I had the opportunity this past Thursday night to attend the 53rd Annual Birmingham Ad Federation ADDY Awards. For those unfamiliar, the ADDYs celebrate the best advertising in all forms of media (print, interactive, TV, radio, video, etc.). They also recognize the content creators behind the ads. It’s an opportunity to see the caliber of creative talent right here in Birmingham and the quality work they produce each year. For me, this year’s event was an improvement over previous ADDY Awards and I really think the local AAF (American Advertising Federation) chapter is starting to hit its stride when it comes to the annual awards show.
First, it was decided that a new trophy be designed – one that would remain unchanged from year to year. In the past, the ADDY trophy would take on different forms, depending on the particular theme for the year. As a result, the award itself had no real continuity because it always looked different. I applaud the choice to keep the trophy consistent. Over time it will create instant recognition for those familiar with the ADDYs.
I also really enjoyed this year’s choice of venues – the Alabama Theatre. The winning entries (including the TV spots and sales videos) were projected on the large screen as they were announced. The seating was ample and comfortable. It really felt like an award show and not just an after-work social event. However, networking is an important part of the ADDY experience and I only wish the Alabama Theatre had a little more lobby space to accommodate the attendees and the food. Navigating through the crowd was difficult. I was also disappointed that the entries were not on display for everyone to see. In previous years, tables had been set up so that people had the chance to see the entries.
In all, this year’s ADDY Awards show was a great experience. Even if you don’t work in the creative industry, attending the event will expose you to some great creative work happening right here in Birmingham.