New trophy and a Martin Agency sweep highlights of local advertising awards

The Advertising Club of Richmond’s new pewter Bridge trophies were introduced at Friday’s annual Richmond Show awards ceremony. (Photos by Jonathan Spiers)

A new era in local advertising honors got underway over the weekend with the unveiling of a new trophy for the Advertising Club of Richmond’s annual Richmond Show awards.

Local creatives descended on The Renaissance on Friday for the first in-person show since the start of the pandemic. This year’s awards, recognizing work released in 2021, were presented in five categories: advertising, design, interactive, production and student campaigns.

It was also the first ceremony to present the club’s new Bridge awards, a pewter trophy depicting Richmond’s arched CSX bridge that replaces the show’s longtime cannonball trophy, which the club retired last year due to a connection to Richmond’s Confederate history.

A total of 65 awards were presented in this year’s show, which was held at The Renaissance downtown.

The bridge design was suggested by Parker Plaisted, a marketing process manager at Capital One. In a video shown to introduce the new trophy, Plaisted and club President Ardyn Granger Longest said the local landmark was selected among six other suggestions as a representation of Richmond and of agencies’ work to bridge gaps between their clients and customers.

The Martin Agency was the night’s big winner, sweeping the best-in-shows in the four agency competitions and taking home 12 awards overall. A total of 65 awards were presented in the show, though only bronze and silver trophies were available to be doled out at the ceremony. The show received 244 submissions.

Martin’s best-in-shows were for its Geico “Scoop There It Is” spot, which won in the advertising competition among nontraditional campaigns; a self-promotion clip called “Pass the Butter,” which won in the design competition; and for its “Dogecan” social media campaign and “The Walk” spot for men’s grooming brand Axe, in the interactive and production competitions, respectively.

Best-in-show in the student competition went to VCU Brandcenter’s Corey Hambly. His “Water Warfare Supply Co.” case study for Liquid Death Mountain Water won in the nontraditional campaign category.

Marcel Jennings

Gold awards in the four agency categories went to Alice Blue, Arts & Letters Creative Co. (2), Martin (3), SaltFire Studio and Wildfire. Silver awards went to Arts & Letters (2), The Branching, Dotted Line, Fable Branding + Advertising, Martin, Overcoast Music + Sound, Red Orange Studio, Think (2), Wildfire and Yebo.

The show’s three judges were David Griner, international editor for Adweek; Shaun Stripling, brand strategy consultant at Lenovo, Alliance Pharmaceuticals and Jackman Reinvents; and Guy Seese, executive creative director at Wunderman Thompson Seattle.

Non-competitive recognitions also were presented, such as the honorary title of Ad Person of the Year, this year awarded to Marcel Jennings, an associate professor in advertising and associate director of VCU’s Robertson School of Media and Culture.

Nhan La

Vivian Tran

This year’s Women in Advertising Scholarship was awarded to Nhan La, a graphic design and mass communications double major at VCU with a concentration in creative advertising. Vivian Tran was awarded the Excellence in Creative Education Scholarship, awarded to Brandcenter students.

The Robertson School’s Scott Sherman emceed the ceremony, and local voice actor Paul Schmidt announced the winners. On Three Photography produced the trophy intro video. Local pottery store Shockoe Bottom Clay created the sculpture for the trophies, which were created by Anthony Berry with Camelot Pewter.

Brandon Shields, a creative technologist with Immuta, was announced as the club’s next president, replacing Ardyn Granger Longest. Kayleigh Crandell was named vice president, replacing Tiffany Boggs.

New trophy and a Martin Agency sweep highlights of local advertising awards