MEMPHIS DAILY NEWS | ANDY MEEK
Kelly Cooper, an independent creative director based in Tampa, was “blown away,” in her words, by the work from Memphis’ creative community that was honored as part of the Memphis chapter of the American Advertising Federation’s 50th annual American Advertising Awards competition for creative excellence.
Blown away, and even a little jealous.
“When you see a piece and your first thought is, ‘Damn, I wish I did that,’ let’s just say it’s a special blend of impressive and downright unnerving,” she said.
This year’s ADDYs competition brought creative directors from Chicago, Tampa and Nashville to Memphis to judge a record total of 744 entries. The awards ceremony was held in recent days at Propcellar and was attended by more than 500 professionals from local advertising, marketing, graphic design and media companies.
In all, 23 agencies and organizations walked away with 82 Gold ADDYs, 82 Silver ADDYs and 12 “Best Of” awards.
Winners from the Memphis chapter’s competition will compete in the AAF District 7 level of the American Advertising Awards, and district winners go on to compete on the national level.
“The participation level from all areas of our industry, the fantastic level of sponsorship commitments, the caliber of work that was submitted into this year’s competition, and the support from our club members and board of directors has made this special anniversary ADDYs one to remember,” said AAF Memphis president Cynthia Saatkamp, a partner and brand strategist at Hemline.
The recognition was gratifying for a variety of reasons for members of this year’s winners list.
“These honors from AAF Memphis recognize the high-quality work developed by our creative team during the past year, which was further strengthened when the Combustion team joined us,” said Archer Malmo chief creative and strategy officer Gary Backaus. “These ADDYs, together with those recently won by our Austin office, show how brand thinking can elevate creativity across our entire firm.”
Farmhouse principal and creative director Ben Fant called this year a “record” in terms of the number of entries and number of awards handed out at the event. That, as he sees it, signifies a groundswell of energy in Memphis’ creative community: “I say it every day: This is a great time to be a creative in Memphis.”
For DCA principal Doug Carpenter, his agency’s wins are especially meaningful for their recognition of projects the firm has been involved with that contribute value to community and public spaces.
“We have seized the opportunity to successfully activate spaces from Front Street to Carolina Avenue,” Carpenter said. “It’s an honor to be recognized for that effort through a creative lens.”
University of Memphis and Memphis College of Art students also participated in the Student ADDYs, which offered students the same categories as professionals and are judged by the same judges in their own competition.