Feb. 24 2010 12:00 AM

Addy Awards honor top ads


They may not be “new and improved” — they’ve been around for 75 years — but the Addys are regarded as the Academy Awards of the advertising industry.

“It’s basically the world’s largest advertising competition,” said Camron Gnass, owner and creative director of the local ad agency Traction (formerly Vision Creative). “There are about 60,000 entries annually.”

Approximately 250 ads will be showcased at the local Addy Awards Gala, which kicks off at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at Old Town Temple building.

It’s the first step of the threetiered competition, Gnass explained.

The agencies listed with the American Advertising Federation, which sponsors the awards, are divided up by state into districts: Michigan is in District 6, along with Indiana and Illinois. Within each district are various ad clubs and creative alliances, such as Lansing’s Mid-Michigan Creative Alliance, that host competitions.

Ads must first win Gold Addys at the local level in order to go on to district competition. If they win again at district, they’re eligible for the nationals.

The gala is not just for advertisers, either. According to Gnass, it’s an evening designed as much to entertain as it is to honor the winners.

“It’s not a black-tie event," Gnass said.

"It’s a creative event.”

Addy Awards Gala

p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27 Old Town Temple, 500 East Grand River Ave. $50
for American Advertising Federation members; $60 non-members; $25
students wwww.mi-alliance.com