Group names the year’s top ad campaigns

Attendees were able to view some of the winning campaigns.

Attendees were able to view some of the winning campaigns. (Photos by Lena Price)

The plucky Geico Gecko is still top dog.

The Richmond Ad Club on Friday handed out 79 trophies to honor the best advertisements created by local ad firms. The Martin Agency, which invented the gecko character, took home three best in show awards: Two for its work with Morgan Stanley and one for an interactive campaign with the Geico Gecko.

Donna Spurrier accepts her award. (Photos by Lena Price)

Donna Spurrier accepts her award.

The group also named Donna Spurrier, who launched Spurrier Media Group in 1996, ad person of the year.

Some of Spurrier’s clients include MeadWestvaco, Union First Market and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

“This is exciting and humbling,” Spurrier said. “It shows me that the Richmond advertising community is as progressive as the New York and L.A. markets when it comes to understanding how important media is.”

This is the first time in the 53-year history of the organization that a media buyer won ad person of the year.

Mondial won the top award in the production category for a BF Goodrich tires ad featuring Olympian Shaun White.

The VCU Brandcenter and School of Mass Communication swept the student division, picking up 13 awards. Brandcenter student Amanda Younger left with a $5,000 scholarship for her work with Diamond Matches.

The event’s “Show Some Love” theme honored Martin Agency founder David Martin, who died last year at 82. Martin created the “Virginia Is for Lovers” campaign.

A panel of five judges, all from out-of-state agencies, selected this year’s winners. About 300 people attended the show at the Downtown Omni Hotel.

For a full list of the winners, click here. You can watch the aforementioned Geico ad below.

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