The video opened with the sound of a running river and the image of a pair of jean shorts swaying on a clothesline — and by the end of the night, the ad had won an award.
Asheville-based Market Connections produced “The Summer of You” for Brevard’s Keystone Summer Camp. The local company was just one of many honored when the American Advertising Federation Asheville announced its chapter-level winners of the American Advertising Federation’s ADDY Awards Competition at Highland Brewing on Tuesday, March 5.
“What makes a creative good is that it drives an action,” says the local AdFed chapter’s president David Bonyun. “It can be to pick up the phone. It can be an emotional tear. It could be a sale.”
He uses an example to make his point: “It’s kind of like the idea of a joke. A joke works because it walks you down a path you’re expecting and then gives you a little nudge into unfamiliar territory. That’s what makes us remember it and makes our brain say, ‘This is something unique and different, let’s hold onto it.’”
From video to print graphics, Bonyon explains, the three-tiered ADDY Awards celebrate the best of the best in advertisements. Ads that win a gold award advance to the regional level. (Silver awards can also progress to the regional level, but with a fee.) Regional winners move on to the national level.
But what makes an award-winning advertisement? “The ADDY’s celebrate the creativity,” says Bonyon. “It’s not so much about the process, and it doesn’t look at how successful an ad was or where it ran. It looks at the creative.”
For Dena Snyder, art director at Market Connections, advertising is a chance to tell a story.
“We’re storytellers, and we like to tell stories for our clients in ways that people will want to engage with them,” she explains. But, Snyder emphasizes, these stories go through many drafts.
“We love to throw out any idea and then narrow it down to that one idea that we think will resonate,” she shares. “Things don’t usually just come out off of the top of our heads. We sit down and work at different angles and think of different ways that people could relate to a message — building the ad around that.”
But behind visually appealing images and sounds, there is a method, Bonyun reveals. More specifically, there is a psychological concept coined by Abraham Maslow — the hierarchy of needs. Maslow’s hierarchy argues that people are motivated to fulfill basic needs first (like breathing, food and water) before they can satisfy more advanced needs (like morality, creativity and spontaneity).
“Most advertising sits on the bottom tiers: food, shelter, safety. Those are the pieces fitting in, those are the pieces that drive a lot of marketing. What we do is find ways to find that’s what resonates with people. These are things targeting people in a gut level,” Bonyun explains.
For the summer camp video, Snyder said it took four days of shooting to get the desired level of craftsmanship, look and feel. “As the art director, I always want to make sure we’re not polluting a publication but that we’re actually making it more beautiful and adding value to it.”
This idea, Bonyun says, lies at the heart of the ADDY Awards. He says, “You see the science and you see the artistic side all really combining into a real craftsmanship.”
A full list of the evening’s winners can be found below:
Best of Show
The Summer of You – Keystone Camp, Market Connections for client Keystone Camp
Special Judges Award
Pure Adventure – Transylvania County Ad Campaign, Market Connections for Transylvania County
Gold ADDY Winners
Pure Adventure – Transylvania County, Market Connections for Transylvania County
Green Man Seasonal Logo, Big Bridge Advertising for client Green Man Brewing
The Ramble Window Displays, SCALE for client Biltmore Farms
Made by Milk Entry Kit, Evergreen Packaging
Silver ADDY Winners
Project Carton Journal, Evergreen Packaging
Carrier Conference Invitation, Evergreen Packaging
Asheville School ViewBook, Blake Madden Photography for client Asheville School
Holiday Email Design, Earth Fare
Made by Milk Habitats, Evergreen
Skyland Methodist Church, Big Bridge Advertising for client Skyland Methodist Church
Mission Health Orthopedic Campaign, Integritive 2 for client Mission Health
Green Man Vinyl, Big Bridge Advertising for client Green Man Brewing
Fiber Procurement Box, Evergreen Packaging
Ambler’s Wine Label Packaging, Earth Fare