In sports, winning a championship two -- or even three -- years in a row isn't easy.
But the two top awards in this year's Pittsburgh American Advertising Awards contest, casually known as the Addys, were grabbed by the same agencies that took them home before.
Wall-to-Wall Studios on the North Side snagged the Best of Show honors for a single medium campaign called "Silk Scream," done for an Asian horror film screening at Point Park University in October. Last year, the agency took the prize for work done for the Burgatory restaurant.
Meanwhile, Downtown agency Brunner was given the Judges Award of Excellence for the third year in a row, this time for a nontraditional public service campaign trying to raise money for a World War II memorial to honor veterans in southwestern Pennsylvania. The agency used a live model dressed as a soldier and posed him on a granite base as a temporary memorial.
The repeat and three-peat aren't indicative of a lack of creative work coming from other shops in the region, according to Rob Deaner, president of the Pittsburgh Advertising Federation and a partner at Downtown music and sound studio Market Street Sound.
"There's some fantastic [creativity] this year," he said, adding, "It isn't like one or two people are getting all the awards."
The annual contest, which can offer an indication of how marketing budgets are holding up, drew 421 entries, up from just under 400 last year. The judges -- who hailed from St. Louis, Seattle, Detroit, New York and Denver -- chose to award 89 Addys (29 golds and 60 silvers divided among 19 entrants).
The Pittsburgh Ad Federation has seen membership rise in the last year, Mr. Deaner said. The organization is trying to make it easier for young professionals to get involved by creating a Pittsburgh version of Ad 2, an affiliate of the American Advertising Federation open to those age 32 and younger.
Work set to be honored at the Carnegie Science Center on the North Shore on Friday night ranged from TV ads for the Rite Aid drugstore chain done by Station Square-based Marc USA, to a product guide for Field and Stream entered by Findlay retailer Dick's Sporting Goods and a movie trailer for "Sonny Days," a comedy set in Youngstown, Ohio, from Downtown-based Crows Run Pictures.
Brunner collected the most awards with 14 golds and 25 silvers, in addition to the judges' award. The agency's submissions included work for bike maker Huffy, the Atrias restaurant group, Wheeling, W.Va.-based bank WesBanco and even the agency's own holiday card.
Marc USA, based at Station Square, won one gold award for sound design on a project headlined, "When hearts attack." It also picked up nine silvers.
Wall-to-Wall added three golds and three silvers to its Best-of-Show honor, followed by Downtown-based Animal with two golds and five silvers; and Garrison Hughes, also Downtown, with three gold and two silvers. Both Strip District-based Mullen and Blender, in Point Breeze, collected three silvers.
PMI, based Downtown, earned two golds. Chemistry, also Downtown, gathered one gold and one silver, as did Lawrenceville-based Elisco Advertising. Two silvers went home with Downtown-based This Is Red.
Flying Cork Media took home one gold. Entrants that took home one silver each were BarkleyREI, Big Picture Communications, BrabenderCox/Phenomenon Post, Crows Run Pictures, Dick's Sporting Goods, Eat'n Park Hospitality Group, and Vance Wright Adams and Associates Inc.
The contest is part of a three-stage competition sponsored by the American Advertising Federation.
Teresa F. Lindeman: firstname.lastname@example.org or at 412-263-2018.