I remember my first year coaching t-ball with my son. At the seasons end the upper brass of the baseball organization came to our dugout and gave us medals to give to all the children for a job well done. Everyone was a winner, and one by one we ceremoniously placed these medals on each tiny ball player to their delight.
While that strategy of recognition may work for t-ball it doesn’t work here.
The American Advertising Awards is a culmination of a years worth of creativity, the best of the best surviving three rounds of opinions, judged by some of the brightest minds in the advertising industry. Only the best get recognized. Only the extraordinary walk away with hardware.
The American Advertising Awards show is also the closing ceremony at the annual ADMERICA conference and it has left the attendees here at Disneyland’s Hotel and Resort in California leaving with mixed emotions; Excitement, disappointment, frustration, surprise, wonder, and above all, inspiration. Even now, writing this blog weeks later, I find myself reminiscing on the work that received gold and silver and thinking, “How’d they do that?” “I wish I’d thought of that idea!” “How’d they get that concept past the client, or better yet, into production?”
The show itself is all about the work. No fancy themes, bells or whistles. When it comes to giving away awards it’s all business. Coming from the RAF in District 2, I would like to see a bit more pomp and circumstance from the show, but I understand, for time’s sake, why it’s not there. It would be a welcome change to have the show embrace social media (like it’s entrants) and have the attendees react to the work real time. The conversation is happening, and the AAF, as the unifying voice in advertising, should help facilitate the conversation on one of the most celebrated nights of the year.
So, congrats to the winners, professionals and students at the local, district and national level. Securing ADDY gold or silver at any level of this competition should be celebrated. So tweet your success. Post to Facebook or Instagram. Tag the AAF (@aafnational) and let us personally thank you as well.
Special congrats goes out to all the best of show winners.
- Best of Show: Leo Burnett Chicago,
Allstate Insurance Company – Social Savvy Burglar
- Student Best of Show: Jason Manns and Ellen Wareham –
College For Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan (My alma mater!)
- People’s Choice: Carmichael Lynch
Subaru of America – Bucket List
On a personal note I’ve been an American Advertising Award judge at the local and district level. I’ve also judged the NSAC competition and the Ad2 Public Service Competition, so I know the time and sacrifice judges put into the process in order to make sure the outcome is fair and completed without bias. Judges focus on the merits of the concept, not the butts it placed in seats or the sales numbers it lifted. In the end judges make the tough decision, is the idea worthy of ADDY gold or not. And that night in Disney, during the American Advertising Awards at ADMERICA, we saw a room full of ideas that were definitely worthy.
People ask me all the time, “How do I win an ADDY?” I state “Don’t do good work… do extraordinary work”, because good work goes on the fridge—Extraordinary wins an ADDY.”
See you in New Orleans.
About the Author
Joe currently serves on the NA3 committee for the AAF and is a former AAF club president of the Rochester Advertising Federation from District 2. He’s co-owner and Creative Director at Brandtatorship, a boutique advertising agency in Western New York that specializes in forging ideas that help companies take charge of their brand. Read more.