As the daylight was dwindling on Thursday, February 21, we worked quickly to wrap up lingering projects and hit our deadlines early. There was a party to attend.
I have the great fortune of living only a mile away from our office, so in the late afternoon, I went home to get gussied. Thankfully, the bow tie I borrowed from a buddy was pre-assembled (although I had a YouTube tutorial loaded, just in case). When I came back, our usually casual crew had donned skirts and suit coats, and our office smelled like hairspray. The laptops were mostly closed, and people were talking excitedly. A little after 5 pm, we stuffed ourselves into a minivan chocked full of Doritos and beer, and headed over to the Carolina Theatre in Durham for the 2013 ADDY Awards.
The world’s largest and arguably toughest advertising competition with over 60,000 entries annually, the ADDY Awards recognize all forms of advertising from media of all types, sizes, and levels. The American Advertising Federation, a not-for-profit industry association, conducts the ADDY Awards through its 200 member advertising clubs and 15 districts. It is the only creative awards program administered by the advertising industry for the industry.
When we arrived, we were greeted by friends and colleagues, cheese spreads and carving stations. The food was on the second story of the event; the beer was on the first. So, of course, we spent some time on the first. When we were summoned for the ceremony, we piled into the elevator, but confusion prevented all but one of us from stepping out successfully. Without a word, we bunched together and crossed our fingers that Chris would still be standing there when the doors re-opened. Camera in hand, there he was. If there’s such a thing as winning gold for being silly, I imagine we’d take the cake every time.
Of course, we were all excited when we won our first award, a Gold ADDY for the promotional video we created for Slingshot Coffee Company. Last year, Will issued a challenge (while taking a slip of the cold brew) to create a video for the company, and so, with help from marketing master Malia, we did. Marisa and I co-produced the spot, and I wrote the general concept and script. Jenny really nailed her interviews, so that made it easy. Marisa got to flex her camera muscles, and Daniel edited and wrote a custom score for the piece, for which he won a separate Silver ADDY. You can watch a hilarious video in which Daniel talks about his custom music process (the score for Slingshot included pots, pans, beans, and rice) right here. We all wanted to try out different roles on this project, which sometimes made it feel a little like a Chinese fire drill. But, it was a productive exercise in teamwork, and we had truly had fun producing it.
We were recognized again for the far-our ACC-United Way spots we produced for NCSU and UNC. Taking inspiration from the United Way’s tagline, “Live United,” I pushed to create a campaign where we took the tagline literally—connecting an athlete and a child together through split screen footage. It was a lot of work, and our client took a leap of faith to pursue the idea. I’m so glad they did, because the campaign won another Gold ADDY. Producer Tony and post-wizard Daniel spent countless hours making the ads the success that they are, from detailed planning of each shot, to long stretches of time spent in the edit room. It was a really challenging project, unlike anything we had ever done before, and fun to see on TV. You can watch them here:
Finally, there was Malia’s amazing Super Ordinary Brewhouse Project, where we created our own special beer for marketing (and general enjoyment) purposes. Malia snagged us a Bronze ADDY in the Non-Traditional Advertising category for her hard work crafting our own company brew. We’re working on a tutorial so that you can try your hand at making the formula yourself. Or, maybe you just want to swing by our office sometime and crack one open. This group loves to make new friends:
As always, we’re endlessly thankful to our clients, friends, and supporters. Without you, well, we’d only have the beer. And what good is a specialty brew if you don’t have anything to toast to?