Creative Crawl ADDYs draw ad industry interest

February 18, 2011
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When West Michigan’s advertising industry gathers Thursday for the ADDY awards at the ultra-modern Grand Rapids Art Museum, Wolverine World Wide Inc. plans to showcase a touch of yesteryear: a 1950s Airstream trailer refurbished to show off the Rockford firm’s signature Hush Puppies brand.

“It’s a great vehicle to pull up in front of retailers during a promotion for Hush Puppies,” said Scott Albini, creative director in WWW’s corporate marketing services. “It’s really about the 1958 Collection. It’s the Americana of that time period. I think that’s what the charm is. It brings back the emotions and good times of vacations and family.”

The Airstream trailer, which traveled around the country in 2010, is expected to be parked outside the GRAM as the industry meets inside to honor Silver Medal Award winner Yang Kim of PeopleDesign and to find out whose work from 2010 will go on to the district ADDY level.

Thursday’s ADDYs and the Creative Crawl on Tuesday, Feb. 22 are the two events for this year’s Ad Fair, said Tim Mroz, vice president of marketing and communications for The Right Place and vice president for the American Advertising Federation West Michigan chapter.

The ADDYs are set for 6-10 p.m. Thursday at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, 1010 Monroe Center in Grand Rapids, with reception for Kim beginning at 5:30 p.m. The cost ranges from $25 for students to $65 for non-members. See www.aafwmi.org for registration details.

Local winners move on to the district level competition. Winners of competitions in the nation’s 14 districts compete for national ADDY awards, which will be handed out at the AAF’s national convention June 1-4 in San Diego.

On Tuesday, the AAF is presenting the Creative Crawl, which features open houses at six ad agencies, design firms and video production studios, giving small business owners a chance to shop for creative services in a casual environment, Mroz said. No registration is required for the 4-8 p.m. free event.

Participating firms include: Creo Productions, 40 S. Division Ave.; Extra Credit Projects, 560 Fifth St. NW; Grey Matter Group, 131 S. Division Ave.; Hanon McKendry, 25 Ottawa Ave. SW; Stevens Advertising, 190 Monroe Ave. NW; and Highland Group, 645 Cherry St. SE.

Rob Jackson, founder and creative director of Extra Credit Projects in Grand Rapids, said he is looking forward to West Michigan’s close-knit creative community getting together for some R&R. The industry seems to be pulling out the recession, he said.

“A lot of little shops like us are pretty successful right now,” Jackson said. “Everyone I talk to our size says this year feels better than last year, which was better than the year before. I think everything is on the upswing.”

Meanwhile, WWW is finishing work on a second Airstream trailer that is slated to be shipped to Australia this week after Hush Puppies retailers there clamored for their own version, said Albini, who credited those who work with the brand for coming up with the idea to use the old-school metal camper.

“We’ve got quite a group of talented individuals for an internal agency,” he added.

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