American Advertising Awards host annual gala

Carmen Smith

Headline: American Advertising Awards host annual gala

By: Carmen Smith 

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In recognition of outstanding advertising work completed by professional and student-level nominees, the American Advertising Awards (ADDY), facilitated a gala, hosted by the American Advertising Federation of West Michigan, Thursday, Feb. 16 at the New Vintage Place in downtown Grand Rapids.

Award-winning participants and supportive guests gathered to network and celebrate with live music and an abundance of food and drinks.

Contestants from each category were eligible to win a bronze, silver or gold along with a Judge’s Choice and a Best in Show ADDY. The gala also included an audience participation aspect with a live-voting opportunity. The piece that received the most votes won a People’s Choice ADDY award.

“To become a successful advertiser post graduation, you have to get out in the community, networking as much as possible,” said Dan Doubert, AdFed Intern and GVSU student, “just to get a feel of what it’s like, even if it’s just talking to professionals, learning from them or visiting their agencies.”

Two advertising students from Grand Valley State University took home three ADDY awards. Goubert and Joey Parks won a bronze ADDY for their three-poster campaign piece on Krispy Kreme donuts. Parks also won an individual bronze ADDY for one of his original illustrations, and Goubert collected a gold ADDY for copywriting work.

“Going there and seeing people doing the work that I want to do, it keeps a career goal in mind. It makes my dreams feel a little bit more realistic,” Goubert said. “Let it be a testament that entering does pay off for Grand Valley students.”

With more than 100 categories in both the student and professional areas, contestants were able to submit any piece produced in 2016.

“If you enter, then you can get recognition from these high class profiles,” said Alex Rabideau, AdFed intern and GVSU student. “If you go (to the gala) and volunteer, then you get to interact with these judges, and that’s a really cool experience.

It’s really important because one of the big things that the ADDY’s provide is kind of a chance to view what other students in the area can produce.”

The ADDYs offer a one-of-a-kind opportunity for students to network themselves and get their work recognized in the community.

“It’s a chance to get people to look at your work. Second of all, if you have a great idea and you can communicate it well, then you’re going to have a great shot at getting an award,” Rabideau said. “Also, creativity isn’t always an art. The actual strategy behind something has been proven to be enough to win at the ADDY’s.”