Home » Cade Martin wins “Best of Show” at AAF DC’s 2023 American Advertising Awards

Capitol Communicator reports that a project for the International Spy Museum won Best of Show at AAF DC's 2023 American Advertising Awards.

Cade Martin wins “Best of Show” at AAF DC’s 2023 American Advertising Awards

by | Mar 11, 2023

175 advertising professionals – an approximately 15 percent increase in attendance over last year – gathered at The Hamilton in D.C. on March 9 for a “live” celebration to honor and recognize the award-winning work of the D.C. advertising community.

There were 250 entries and a project for the International Spy Museum won Best of Show at AAF DC’s 2023 American Advertising Awards.

The campaign’s photographer, award-winning Cade Martin said it was “very cool to be recognized with the Best in Show at the AAF DC 2023 American Advertising Awards. And a big thank you to Zach Goodwin and Maggie Winters at January Third for the creative collaboration!

“There’s no “I” in spy, and it was extra special to be on this project with such a nice and talented team. I was grateful for the opportunity to work with long-time creative partner Fedde Souverein at Luminous Creative Imaging, in collaboration on CGI and retouching. I was thrilled to get to work with the fresh, creative team at January Third, and I got to team up with Robert Luessen and Jackie Ney of NLD Productions.”

The American Advertising Awards (ADDYs) is the advertising industry’s largest and most prestigious competition, attracting over 40,000 entries every year in local AAF Club (Ad Club) competitions. The mission of the American Advertising Awards competition is to recognize and reward the creative spirit of excellence in the art of advertising.

The event featured a much-needed networking hour with hors d’oeuvres and drinks. The host was Dr. Sheila Brooks from SRB Communications.

Cade Martin added that “it’s hard to imagine even 007 with a better assignment.”

To gain insights into this award-winning project, check out this Q&A with Cade Martin:

Cade, some of your past projects were about museums, what do you find interesting about working with museums?

So much! I love working in museums – one of the things I have always really enjoyed is the ability to walk around behind the scenes of locations that we are working at. I always have found that the back corridors are fascinating, and places that I would never be able to venture and experience as a regular rule-following visitor. The dream is to get to experience these spaces and their treasures in ways most don’t.

It is my own Scooby-Doo mystery, you never know what is lurking (on display or in storage) around the corner. In addition to being able to hang out and talk with the curators, a lot of times it is literally the Night at the Museum since we have to work after hours so as not to interfere with everyday goings on

How did these images come together? 

 As most projects, I was approached with a brief and asked to bring the concepts to life.

I grew up loving movies and comic books so I embraced the idea of mystery and cinematic lighting. We tossed ideas back and forth, settling collaboratively on the right marriage of form and narrative. As with any great character, you want to know more, what’s next, what will they do, I wanted these images and actions to invoke that same curiosity and sense of adventure and intrigue.

Sometimes I’m reluctant to give too much away, to walk people through the entirety of my process, or to talk about things in too technical of terms – spies don’t give away all their secrets! I hear that little voice in the back of my head that whispers “doesn’t the magic disappear if you talk about it?” And while equipment, lighting and post-production were vital parts of this project, what I always trust and rely on is relationships, with clients, the on-set team, and all my creative collaborators. This project was a dream in that department.

What did you learn on this project?

Other than that I love the new Spy Museum!?

If anything – it reinforced that I have always loved adventure, and I want to go where I don’t know I want to go yet. One of the great things about working for yourself is that you never know what is coming around the corner or where you might be going next for a project. Someone may call and say you’re going to so-and-so tomorrow; it may be a place you never been or never heard of. You might love it or hate it, but you have those experiences. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a good bit, to be exposed to all kinds of different environments and people, and the camera has been my passport. I like to relearn that as often as possible.

 Which shot is your favorite and why? 

The young woman repelling into the vault might be my favorite. It looks like she is having a great adventure – a little Raiders of the Lost Ark meets Mission Impossible.

 How does this fit into your vision through imagination? 

Storytelling is everything in a photograph. No matter the subject, the tone, the technique, a photograph has to tell a compelling story. It anchors the work I have done, and is always what I’m chasing.

About the Author

Capitol Communicator

Capitol Communicator is a unique online and offline resource for Mid-Atlantic advertising, marketing, public relations, digital and media communications professionals. The e-magazine, e-newsletters and events bring together communications professionals, fostering community and providing important information; news; trends; education; and opportunities for networking, career enhancement, business exchange and showcasing great work. Visit www.capitolcommunicator.com to learn more.


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