Baltimore’s advertising community gathered on March 8 to pay their last respects to “advertising as we know it” and honor the outstanding contributions from the past year at the 44th Annual Baltimore American Advertising Show, presented by Comcast Spotlight and hosted by the American Advertising Federation of Baltimore (AAFB) at the Assembly Room.

GKV produced the event, dubbed “The Last ADDYs?” which pays homage to the “death” of traditional advertising as the industry shifts toward digital platforms and primarily digital entries. More than 260 entries were submitted this year, resulting in 85 ADDY awards,  presented to local agency, production house and in-house marketing teams. One student award will also be presented.

“More than 60% of the entries in this year’s awards were in digital and social media advertising categories — the greatest number we have seen to date,” said David Blum, AAFB president and senior vice president at GKV. “The caliber of digital work celebrated this year is evidence that our advertising community is growing and thriving, as we adapt to this foundational shift in our industry.”

Planit won a total of 12 ADDYs, including 8 gold and 4 silver awards.

Top honors included:

  • 2018 Best In Show presented to GKV for I’d OLD BAY That Campaign
  • 2018 Special Judges Award presented to Early Light Media for Annie E. Casey Foundation’s – “De’Jon’s Story”
  • 2018 Special Judges Award presented to Planit for Flip the Script Campaign
  • 2018 Comcast Spotlight Award for Best Concept presented to Hack|Stone Film Group for Partnership for Healthier America

Title sponsor Comcast Spotlight signed on to present this year’s Baltimore American Advertising Awards for the fourth consecutive year. Other sponsors included Aldersen Loop, Acer Exhibits & Events, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, Valassis Digital, Media IQ Digital, Corporate Communications Group, Pixilated, Indigo Ink, Baltivirtual, Signs By Tomorrow, Paper Camera and AdTheorent.

At the ceremony, the AAFB announced the recipients of its prestigious individual achievement awards:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Rip Lambert, President/Executive Producer/Director at Producers
  • Silver Medal presented to Vanessa Baker, SVP Media Services at Weber Shandwick
  • Patricia Martin Crystal Prism Award presented to Sarah Quackenbush, Group Account Director at Planit

“We are so proud of Sarah, who was honored for her commitment and achievements in the industry,” said Matt Doud, president of Planit. Sarah exemplifies all of the qualities that we value at Planit, including work ethic, grit, and creativity. We are proud to have created an inspiring work environment where talent like Sarah’s can thrive and she can further inspire her staff and our clients.”

The AAF of Baltimore also presented $11,000 in scholarships to the following students:

  • AAF Scholarship $2,500 – Dennis Cole McDonnell, Maryland Institute College of Art
  • AAF Scholarship $2,500 – Chloe Bates, University of Maryland
  • Carolyn E. Fugett Diversity Scholarship $2,500 – Daedriana Harvey, Maryland Institute College of Art
  • Carolyn E. Fugett Diversity Scholarship $2,500 – John Harris, Towson University
  • Matt and Wendy McDermott Scholarship $1,000 – Lydia Hillman, Stevenson University

The American Advertising Awards competition is the industry’s largest and most representative competition — attracting more than 40,000 entries every year in local competitions. Gold winners at the local level move on to the regional competition, competing with agencies from Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Virginia and Washington, D.C. A win at the district level earns a spot in the National American Advertising Awards Competition. National winners will be announced at the AAF’s national conference, Admerica, taking place June 6-9, 2018, in Chicago.

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