Steelcase Storms ADDY Awards

February 23, 2007
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GRAND RAPIDS — Although the region’s largest advertising agency maintained its ownership of the local industry’s signature event, it allowed a non-agency entry to steal the spotlight this year, as Steelcase Inc. matched Hanon McKendry with 13 ADDY Awards.

The Ad Club of West Michigan’s 2007 ADDY Awards, entitled “Wicked Good,” were held at

DeVos Place
last Thursday night. A total of 117 awards — 31 Gold and 86 Silver — were divvied out, the lowest total since 2001.

For the 12th straight year, Hanon McKendry had, or tied for, the highest trophy count, with 11 Silver and two Gold awards. For the first time this decade, however, it had no Best of Show or Judges’ Choice selections. Steelcase had both, the only firm to do so.

The world’s leading office furniture manufacturer earned nine Silver awards and four Gold awards, plus a Best of Show for its Alive Seating advertising campaign and Judges’ Choice: Best Copywriting recognition for its brochure, Don’t Hate Me Because I’m a Cubicle.

“An example of that kind of superior wordsmithing was whoever wrote the Cubicle brochure for Steelcase,” wrote one judge of the Steelcase copywriting. “(It was) a cut above anything I’ve read for a long time.”

The panel of judges from across the Midwest praised the Steelcase Alive Seating advertising campaign as “Haiku concept and smart copy,” and a “departure from furniture advertising in its resistance to letting the product take over.”

Other top winners included Grand Rapids’ Extra Credit Projects (10 awards, 3 Gold), Grey Matter Group (10 awards, 4 Gold) and Highland Group (7 awards, 3 Gold); Holland’s Fairly Painless Advertising (7 awards, 2 Gold); and Kalamazoo’s Biggs|Gilmore (5 awards, 1 Gold).

Grey Matter Group won the night’s other Best of Show award for its Lookadoo Web site for Baker Publishing Group. Judges called the site “a winner and the most deserving of Best of Show on so many levels. ... Who couldn’t spend hours toying with all the gadgets in this site — it’s fun!”

Other Judges’ Choice awards went to imart Corp. (Best Interactive Practices, imart.com), Mitch Ranger Photography (Most Engaging, Mitch Ranger Photography Web site), Highland Group (Best Use of Design, packaging for SketchPad), Fairly Painless (Best Broadcast Video, Bill Stumpf film for Herman Miller), and Traverse City-based Greenlight Marketing (Best Concept, billboard for Marshall Downtown Development Association).    

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