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Veterans and newcomers share honors

Many winners in Mississippi Delta Advertising Federation

GREENVILLE — Peace, love, and Addys. That was the theme of the ninth-annual Mississippi Delta Advertising Federation Addy Program — the first step in the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition for creative excellence — held Feb. 24 at the Greenville Golf and Country Club in Greenville.

More than 100 advertising industry representatives attended the Addy program, where 66 Addys, 30 Citations of Excellence Awards, and three Judges Choice Awards were selected from more than 170 entries on creativity, originality, and creative strategy.

Mandy Lester, president of MDAF, and Robby Scucchi were Addy 2000-2001 co-chairs.

“Some of the larger markets, like Jackson, theme their Addy programs with hot topics of the day, like ‘Survivor,’ but we’ve always played on various themes, such as ‘Aloha, Addywood,’ a salute to Hollywood, or ‘Addy Days,’ a throwback to old favorite TV shows,” said Darlene Carey, MDAF treasurer and program director for The Wound Healing Center at Delta Regional Medical Center in Greenville.

“When casinos came to the Mississippi Delta, we held ‘Casino Night.’ This time, we sat down and brainstormed in the truest sense of the word, until an idea stuck. We all liked the idea of ‘Peace, Love, and Addys,’ a tribute to the ‘60s. We made more peace symbols than you can imagine,” she said.

Competition for the MDAF Addys was keen this year, with the addition of newcomers Shamoon Advertising in Greenville and Coopwood Communications in Cleveland, Carey said.

“Newcomers gave advertising veterans stiffer competition,” she said. “In our market, we also have television and radio stations, and hospitals who enter the competition as producers and marketers.”

Allan Hammons, a 26-year advertising veteran, and owner of Hammons & Associates in Greenwood, picked up honors as Copywriter of the Year for Helena National Bank. Hammons’ advertising agency also won Best of Show Broadcast for a TV spot for Helena National Bank.

“When we got into the advertising game, we were still doing things the way Gutenberg did it when he printed the first bible,” Hammons said, with a laugh. “We were actually setting hot type and pulling press proofs to send out to newspapers, many of which were being printed on letter presses, not offset presses. We had to go through the process of making ad mats, a kind of a paper mache process where you set up everything with hot lead through an engraving process. Then you laid this paper mache-like material over the top of it and made a mold that newspapers would pour lead into. They’d get what amounted to a negative image from which the letter press would print what would appear to be a photograph of your ad.”

Charles Homan was named Graphic Designer of the Year for Delta State University’s Bologna Performing Arts Program. Homan worked on the DSU account when he was a graphic designer for Coopwood Communications in Cleveland before he moved to Oxford. Best of Show Print was also awarded to Coopwood Communications for the Bologna Performing Arts Program at Delta State University.

“Soon after I started the Delta Business Journal in June 1998, I saw the opportunity to create a full-service ad agency,” said Scott Coopwood, owner of Coopwood Communications. “We were creating at least half of the ads that we were placing in the newspaper, and advertisers often called us to resize ads to send to other newspapers. Then we began getting requests for developing three-panel brochures. So, about a year and a half ago, I saw the need to start an ad agency, and it’s grown like wildfire. People are beginning to see our work, and we’re getting calls from all over the South.”

Noel Workman, owner of Delta Design Group, an advertising agency in Greenville, established the Mississippi Delta Advertising Federation, a member association comprised of advertising and media professionals, in 1991. Since then, the federation has more than doubled in number from 24 to 49 members.

During its initial two years, Workman served as president and received the first Silver Medal Award in 1996 for his dedication to the advertising industry. Subsequent winners included Bill Seratt, executive director of the Greenville Convention & Visitors Bureau, Allan Hammons, president of Hammons & Associates Advertising in Greenwood, and Carey.

Hammons said he’s glad to see more professionals involved in the advertising industry in the Delta, but he’s concerned that college students “don’t seem to be quite as interested in advertising as they once were.”

“I don’t know if they’re heading off in different directions or what, but they’re missing an exciting opportunity,” he said.

With the advent of the Internet, advertising executives have faced difficult decisions about where to spend media dollars, Hammons said.

“To some degree, the pie may get bigger, but if you take any given day, there are only so many dollars available for marketing and promotion,” he said. “Today, probably more than ever in the past, it’s a difficult judgment where to put the dollars to reach your audience. And the media options available are so diverse. You really have to be careful about planning and spending a client’s money. That’s absolutely critical. Some people predicted the rise of the Internet would be the death of print media. But I can tell you for a fact that I get more magazines today than I ever dreamed possible. If anything, there’s been an explosion in the print media.”

Competition for the Addys begins at the local level, where Addy winners from more than 200 American Advertising Federation ad clubs and federations from the U.S. proceed to 14 regional competitions. In April, Addy winners from the Mississippi Delta Advertising Federation program will compete in the 7th District American Advertising Federation competition in Baton Rouge. (Two years ago, MDAF hosted the annual fall board meeting in Greenville for the 7th district.) Those winners will proceed to national finals in Cleveland in June.

Contact MBJ contributing writer Lynne Wilbanks Jeter at lwjeter@yahoo.com or (601) 853-3967.

About Lynne W. Jeter

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