Gray Kirk VanSant tops in ADDY awards

February 28, 1994|By Joel Obermayer | Joel Obermayer,Sun Staff Writer

The city's top creative advertising shops were all represented as local advertising professionals honored their own Saturday by handing out 35 Best in Baltimore ADDY awards -- advertising's local equivalent of the Emmys -- at the Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor.

Gray Kirk VanSant Inc.'s folksy radio spots for Utz Potato Chips as well as a television ad for Giant Food Inc. and a billboard for the Maryland Science Center helped make the agency the biggest winner of the night with eight ADDYs. W. B. Doner & Co., which won for a television spot for the Baltimore Museum of Art and a promotion for Baltimore Sun classified advertising, was second with five.

Best of show honors went to a television advertisement for the Maryland Lottery by Trahan, Burden & Charles Inc., titled "Linguini." The spot, which was shown in both the Baltimore and Washington markets, depicts a man in a restaurant who picks lottery numbers based on the shape of his waitress' hairdo and a number he sees in his linguini.

"The production values were sensational, the casting was wonderful and it had a real human quality to it," said Jerry Hunnicutt, a vice president at BBDO Advertising's Detroit office and one of the judges.

"There are a lot of great lottery spots throughout the country and this just seemed to raise the bar a notch or two."

Another of the judges' favorites was a series of ads for a dog breeder called Hunter's Stud Service.

The ads won three awards in the newspaper advertising category. The ads, created by Baltimore-based Cornerstone, featured logos with playful double entendres like "Hunter. He's behind you all the way" and "Give her a reason to wag that tail."

The common theme among the winners was that they were solidly entertaining as well as being good pitches for products, the judges explained.

"A good ad rewards you for staying to watch or read or listen to it," said judge Meg Rogers, associate creative director for Saatchi & Saatchi in New York. "You actually enjoy the experience of being solicited. It rewards you by giving you something funny or striking you emotionally."

"The Hunter ad had us all laughing hysterically," Ms. Rogers added, "and there's not much to laugh about these days."

The radio ads for Utz, which were heard in Dallas, Indianapolis and Cleveland, also used a strong dose of humor.

"The Utz spot for Dallas is a great piece about this kid and football and it plays on the whole Bubba, Billy Bob kind of jokes," Mr. Hunnicutt said.

"Original comedy radio is so hard to come by it just stood out all by itself," said another judge, David Carlson, a vice president at Leo Burnett in Chicago.

Chic Davis, executive director of the Advertising Association of Baltimore, which runs the awards program, said Baltimore advertising agencies have managed to weather the recession much better than agencies in other cities.

"That's because Baltimore has gained a reputation for being a strong advertising town and that is borne out at these ad shows," Mr. Davis said.

Most of the judges agreed.

"The best work in Baltimore would compare favorably with the best nationally," said Robert Reiser, a judge who is a vice president with BBDO in New York. "You don't have the depth there yet because you don't have the maturity. But it's catching up."

All local ADDY winners will move on to a regional ADDY competition covering the northeastern United States in April.


The following is a list of the 1994 "Best in Baltimore" ADDY

winners, by division and category.

Collateral Media

Sales and Promotion & Print Material

Catalogs, Brochures & Newsletters:

` Agency: Siquis LTD

Client: The Schwab Co.

Title: "Little Me -- Spring '93"

Art Director: Vickie Schafer

Product Presentation:

Agency: Graffito

Client: ESPN

Title: "ESPN Media Kit"

Creative Director: Tim Thompson

Annual Reports:

Agency: Graffito

Client: American Red Cross

Title: "1992-93 Annual Report"

Creative Directors: Tim Thompson, Kathleen Matthews


Agency: Siquis LTD

Client: The Schwab Company

Title: "Little Me Teacup"

Art Director: Vickie Schafer

Special Event Materials

Entrant: Patrick Scullin

Client: The Scullin Family

Title: "Moving Announcement"

Creative Directors: Donna Scullin

Direct Marketing

Direct Mail & Specialty Ads

Agency: Madison West

Client: The Blakeslee Group

Title: "Helter Shelter -- Bombers Softball Jersey

Creative Director: Keith Bevans

Out Of Home Media


) Agency: Gray Kirk VanSant

Client: Maryland Science Center

Title: "Shark"

Creative Director: Jeff Millman

Print Media

Business/Trade Publication

Less than 4-color, any size

0$ Agency: Trahan, Burden & Charles

Client: Crushing Music (Joey Levine)

Title: "Pytka Can't Sing"

Creative Director: Allan Charles

Consumer Magazines

Less than 4-color, any size

Agency: Wedone Gatno Agency

Client: Mount Washington Tavern

Title: "Crew"

Art Director: Jon Guidera

4-color or more, any size

Agency: Gray Kirk VanSant

Client: GE Information Services

Title: "Dork"

Creative Director: Jeff Millman

Agency: W. B. Doner & Co.

Client: Mid-Atlantic Milk Marketing Association

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