It was a noteworthy year for Richmond’s advertising and marketing community, with campaigns that ranged from a groundbreaking online pre-roll ad to a four-part video series starring a talking piggy bank. Here’s our picks for this year’s standout local ads, in no particular order, pulled from The Pitch and other BizSense coverage:
Misery Brothers – “Tomatoface”
The first foray into marketing for this art and music collective produced a video splattered in GWAR blood for Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix. Featuring cameos from members of the shock-rock outfit, the video – filmed in the band’s own GWARbar – tells the urban legend of Tomatoface, the local beverage brand’s mascot. Misery Brothers’ Joe Adkins described the cinematic cocktail as equal parts “Carrie,” the cantina scene from “Star Wars” and a GWAR video, complete with a dash of “Heathers.”
Free Agents Marketing – “Redskins Fandemonium”
What do a bicycle-riding hipster, a Bon Secours physician, a single dad of two and a chair-throwing woman have in common? In this spot for the Bon Secours-sponsored Washington Redskins training camp, they’re all Richmond football fans showing their best Redskins “camp face.” The 30-second spot by Free Agents Marketing earned the agency a first-place Silver Telly award.
The Martin Agency – “It’s What You Do”
You just couldn’t escape those Geico “It’s What You Do” ads in 2015. Whether you thought you were watching an exploration documentary, the final round of a golf tournament, a “Game of Thrones”-esque trailer or an emergency room drama, before you knew it, your eyes were glued to Dora the Explorer, or a golfer-hungry kraken, or a prisoner ping-pong game, or surgeons playing Operation.
Studio Flatland – “Penny Bags a Buck”
Starring the client’s own employees and a hilarious animated piggy bank, this enjoyable four-part video series for ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions won Studio Flatland a 2015 Summit Creative Award and an Internet Advertising Award for Best Financial Services Online Campaign.
Madison + Main – “Lightning Strikes Twice”
Resembling a live news report, this PSA for the Lightning Protection Institute’s Lightning Safety Awareness Week was produced with local studio Broadscope Media.
ND&P – “Dr. Internet”
Neathawk Dubuque & Packett created this 30-second TV spot for MidMichigan Health. Starring “Dr. Internet,” the ad advises viewers to avoid incorrect information from online searches. The spot earned the agency a bronze Telly Award in the local TV and cable hospital category.
Think804 – “Community Impact Fund”
The latest fundraising campaign for the United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg took on a new look with this effort from Think804, which used recognizable typography and consistent visuals to tell the stories of people being helped by the campaign. Materials included brochures and a video.
Studio Flatland – “Do You Wanna Save Some Bacon”
Another ad for ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions, this animated singalong won multiple awards for Studio Flatland, including three Telly Awards – two silvers for Online Video and Use of Animation, and one bronze for Online Commercial for Financial/Banking. It also picked up two People’s Telly bronze awards for Use of Animation and Online Commercial.
ND&P – “Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art and Tradition”
Combining eye-catching visuals on banner ads and posters, stickers and cup sleeves with links to online videos – even a tattoo-like mural painted onto the agency’s building – this multifaceted campaign for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ Japanese tattoo exhibit earned the agency four Summit Awards – three gold and one silver – from the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
The Martin Agency – “Family: Unskippable”
The accolades say it all: AdWeek’s top pick for Best Ads of 2015; winner of The Martin Agency’s first Grand Prix in Film award from the prestigious Cannes Lions festival in France. The awards kept coming for this 60-second pre-roll for Geico that gave online video viewers a reason not to skip it. Of the Grand Prix in Film award, Martin CEO Matt Williams told BizSense in July: “It recognizes that piece of film as the best piece of digital film in the world last year. That’s a remarkable and humbling and exciting achievement for us.”
The Martin Agency’s Geico commercials are always instant classics. Wonder if they won any awards for the “You will not defeat meeee!” fish commercial…and the “Scapegoat” one?? Best 30-ish seconds to ever happen to TV.