I attended the National AAF ADDY Awards Show in Austin the summer of 2012. An ADDY is to the advertising industry what the Oscar is to show business or the Grammy is to the music industry. It is arguably the hardest advertising competition in the world. To win a national ADDY means you’ve won your local and district competition. By the time you’ve won nationally, you’ve won three times and beaten out the best in the entire country. It is filled with the industry heavy weights—the world’s largest multi-national advertising agencies and global brands. Those Superbowl commercials whose budgets are the size of small countries…that’s the kind of competition …and that’s who’s there at the awards show. I can’t stress for me what a BFD this was. That Darth Vader/Volkswagon commercial—it won Best of Show—which was the eve of the young actor going into the hospital for very serious surgery which was what the the agency talked about in accepting their award.
I was there because it’s part of the national AAF Convention and the club I was president of that past year was being honored at the convention. A few of us from AAF-BR were able to attend and there were three companies from Louisiana that won ADDYs. It was great to be able to WOO HOO for them and we may have been a small group but we were the loudest.
One Louisiana agency won three Gold ADDYs for spectacular photography for a campaign they produced. I coincidently sat right behind the two heads of this agency—one of the largest agencies in the state and have a really great body of work that I sincerely admire. They hadn’t seen me and I didn’t really know if they even knew me, though we had met on occasion. As they got up to accept their awards, I thought, how cool it would be for me to take their picture accepting their awards and then I can give it to them and they can instantly tweet and Facebook it!
There are hundreds of people in this impressive room and it’s dark. When they returned to their chairs, I got up and squatted down beside their aisle chair, quietly introduced myself and asked them if they wanted me to text them their photo. Of course they did and were gracious and appreciative.
Then as I got up to leave, I leaned back in my high heels instead of forward and before I knew it I was flat on my ass with my legs in the air…yes at this most prestigious awards show, there I was splayed out in the aisle. I scrambled up as quickly as I could and assured them I was sober.
I had to call them when I got back home over a question about a press release. When I introduced myself, the agency owner said, “Connie, I know who you are.”
Yep, I’m pretty memorable. I’m in advertising and that’s my spin on it.
It’s now been two years since I wrote this. This past Saturday night was the local American Advertising Awards in Baton Rouge. The first ADDY Awards of what is a 3-part journey to national. I was honored to be a presenter for the Best of Show Broadcast Award. Guess who won it? You guessed it. It was the same agency, Zehnder Communications. At least I didn’t fall off the stage when I handed them their award. Congrats to all the local winners and I hope you all make it to National!
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