Happiness is a Gold “A” (or two)

Well, the annual local advertising validation awards season has officially begun. The Austin ADDYs are the first stop in the American Advertising Federation’s ADDY Awards. Winners locally advance to District competition. District winners advance to Nationals. Austin ad and design firms have made strong showings nationally over the past 10 years. Some are who you might expect. GSD&M Idea City, McGarrah-Jesse and such. Others are not. Even little-biddy The MAD House took a National ADDY a few years ago thanks to a fun poster concept from Jeff Neely. It’s fun and satisfying to be recognized by your peers.

From the Austin Ad Fed web site:

The ADDY® Awards are the ad industry’s largest and most competitive creative competition, drawing 60,000 entries nationwide.

This is a red hot creative community, and the Austin ADDY Awards are the gateway to the regional and national competition. Three times in recent years, local Austin ADDY winners went on to earn many national ADDYS —  second in number only to New York City.

The competition is fierce, the show a social happening, and the rewards of participating are real.

The MAD House has entered the ADDY’s  11 of the past 12 years. We have won as many as nine at a time and even came up empty one year. They bring in creative folks from around the U.S to judge the competition. You never know what kind of mood the judges will be in after partying it up in Austin.This year we entered five pieces, knowing that two had a really good chance and the other three were toss-ups.

The award show took place Friday, February 12. Naturally, I was out of town and missed the fun. I did receive good news via text and Twitter that evening, though. Seems the two we felt were the strongest won Gold ADDYs.

The first was in the Package Campaign category. Luke Miller and Charla Adams got together and translated the desires of Freetail Brewing’s owner and brew master into winning concepts designed by Luke. The project was challenging but allowed Luke to have some fun. Freetail brewing is in San Antonio.

The second was in the Book Design category. Our client, Jim Shelton, came to us with an idea to put a book together honoring his father, a Presbyterian minister. Titled  Christian Heretic, the idea was to combine stories about his father (as told by folks from the church and old friends) with some of his more popular sermons, and add an audio CD to the package. Derrit Derouen was the designer on the project. Working closely with Jim, and our printer (Jon Landau of EarthColor), we were able to put an affordable short press run together – including some gold foil stamping. Derrit’s eye for typography and photo re-touching produced a truly elegant book and slip cover design.

So, these two are off to the next level. I’ll update you on their progress. Congratulations to our clients, Jim Shelton and Freetail Brewing. And a huge THANK YOU to Derrit, Luke and Charla for your creative MADness!



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