Now in its 80th year as the region’s top advocate for the advertising industry, AAF Phoenix drives the Valley’s growth through the creative achievement of its members. Last night, 455 of the industry’s top professionals gathered at the Phoenix Art Museum to celebrate AAF’s creativity, collaboration and community at the American Advertising Awards (ADDYs).

Awards were handed out in categories such as logo design, copywriting, art direction in print advertising and broadcast. Creative displays and thematic installations by local agencies raised nearly $1,000 for Free Arts and $400 for Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock.  

The evening’s top awards included a Best of Show award to Relentless Inc., for its Massage Envy campaign “Blissmas.” Agency and club promotion also proved a way to unleash creativity, with Copywriting of the Year going to Hapi for its 2017 ADDYs campaign, and Art Direction of the Year to R&R Partners for “The R&R Way.”

Individual professionals were also highlighted through a nomination and voting system, and included:

• Creative Professional of the Year – Ben Galloway, Creative Director, Off Madison Ave

• J. Terry Groener Memorial Award / Ad Person of the Year – Scott Harkey, President, OH Partners

• Phyllis Ehlinger Women of Excellence Award – Alicia Wadas, Executive Vice President / COO, Lavidge

• Young Person of the Year – Kate Sitter, Account Coordinator, Anderson Advertising

The full list of ADDY awards won for the work itself can be found here.

“We congratulate all of the winners across these illustrious award categories,” says Amy Packard Berry, AAF Phoenix President. “This year’s record-breaking numbers meant that the competition was stiff, and the club is thrilled to see so many of our incredible and talented marketers showcased. We’re also so thankful to our sponsors, including Clear Channel, Zion & Zion, Prisma Graphic, the Advertising Guild of Arizona and so many more.”

Sixty-three entrants submitted 615 professional entries from the Metro Phoenix region, a large bump from 2017, which saw 507 professional entries from 60 entrants. The last time the club saw more than 600 entries was 2015, with 610.

In addition, student ADDY numbers broke records, with 25 entries from around the Valley, an increase of 16 percent from 2017 submissions. The prior record was 22 student entries, a number achieved in 2014.

The list of 2018 entrants spanned agencies, brands, non-profits educational institutions and more. Judging took place in late January, featuring three out-of-state creatives who brought national experience to entry reviews. Mike Heidl, Creative Director for Westphal, Deb Vurpillat, VP, Director of Strategy for Leo Burnett, and Steve Bassett, SVP, Group Creative Director, the Martin Agency comprised the judging panel. 

Each judge also picked a favorite campaign, with R&R Partners (The Brand Ascent), OH Partners (Sedona 7 Campaign) and BIG YAM (Byron Browne Anti-Law) taking home Judge’s Choice awards from Steve Bassett, Mike Heidl and Deb Vurpillat, respectively.

The show’s theme was appropriate for the venue, with a nod to Van Gogh and the sacrifice creative professionals make for their work. The theme was designed by Valley agency Lane Terralever.