Ready for the ADDYs?


By Jake Edinger

Award shows are flawed. The judges are terrible. The categories are hard to navigate, and big shops over-enter.

At least that’s what I tell myself when I don’t win.

But the truth is, I love ‘em. Especially, the ADDYs—excuse me, the American Advertising Awards.

In my opinion, the ADDYs are both democratic and nourishing.

Those are weird words to describe an award show, but someone either borrowed or absconded with my thesaurus.

First of all, there’s only a .03% chance the entry you place in your local show will go on to win a National ADDY. That may not sound democratic, but when you consider the relative affordability of the entry and consider that you have a shot to go up against the coasts, it’s more than worth going for it.

There are plenty of categories to choose from. You’re not priced out of entry. And if you win, you can point back to that daunting statistic as well as some hefty hardware.

It’s a three-tiered, tournament-style process. That means you have to win. Then, you have to win again. And then, you have to win one last time against all the other winners to get into that .03%.

Last year, REI took national gold for its #OptOutside campaign. That campaign also bagged 9 Lions, including the Titanium Grand Prix, at Cannes. So, when we see places like Once Films taking Silver at the national level, it means we’re onto something here in the Gateway City.

In fact, our town claimed 10 national ADDYs from 6 different shops just last year.

Which brings me to the other reason I love the ADDYs—the whole nourishment thing.

The awards are nice. The recognition is important. It keeps us focused on greatness. But it’s also a tax-deductible* excuse for our industry to get together.

A lot of us have worked together in the past. Yet, many of us have no idea what is going on at other agencies. Did you know Fusion did work for American Honey? I didn’t. And they landed a National ADDY for that brand.

I’m ashamed that I’m surprised.

But I’m also excited. The upcoming ADDYs are a chance to get together and rally around the cool work happening here.

This year, I can’t wait to see what comes from greats like Toky and Atomic. Or find out what’s happening with Momentum or the ever-expanding 2e. Will we see work from in-house marketers like Checkmark? What sort of wonder will be on display from our neighborhood production companies?

This year’s show will be held February 23rd at Bissinger’s Caramel Room. And entries are due by January 6th.

It’ll be a chance to see work from over 70 categories, together in one place. You can talk about the work with the people who did it. You might even hear a war story or two.

And if your name gets called from the big stage, congratulations. If not, hopefully, you walk away with more inspiration than excuses.

*I’m no tax accountant, but I think it should be if it isn’t.