Martin Agency wins big at local ad awards

Connor Wood, left, and Bailey Jenkins of Barber Martin Agency inspect their cannonball trophies during the show. (Photos courtesy Stephen Wing Ong)

Two women at the forefront of a year of change at The Martin Agency were among the top honorees at this year’s Richmond Show, the annual awards show of the Advertising Club of Richmond.

Martin had a big night at Friday’s ceremony at the Hippodrome in Jackson Ward, nearly sweeping best-in-show honors and landing the Mike Hughes Ad Person of the Year award, which went to two recipients this year: Martin CEO Kristen Cavallo and chief creative officer Karen Costello.

Karen Costello

Karen Costello

Kristen Cavallo

Kristen Cavallo

Arts & Letters Creative Co. won best-in-show in the production category for its “Home Alone Again” spot for Google, and VCU Brandcenter student Yotam Ohayon won in the student category for his “It Didn’t Stick” magazine ad for Pam cooking spray.

The three remaining best-in-shows belonged to Martin, which was recognized in the interactive category for its “Find Your Old Friend” social campaign for Purina Mills, in the advertising category for its “JFK: Words Count” integrated campaign for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, and in the design category for its “Equal Pay for All–Corporate Social Responsibility” campaign.

Eliminating pay discrepancies at Martin while increasing diversity in its leadership and new hires were among reasons cited for Cavallo and Costello being named Ad Persons of the Year for 2018, a year that started with Cavallo and Costello being named to their posts – the first females to hold them in the agency’s 54-year history – in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal.

Martin Agency CEO Kristen Cavallo, left, and CCO Karen Costello received the Ad Person of the Year award.

The agency rebounded through the year, rolling out work from a multimillion-dollar contract with Virginia Tourism and picking up new accounts with UPS, Sling TV and Buffalo Wild Wings.

More than 160 of the awards’ coveted cannonballs were presented in five categories: interactive, advertising, design, production and student campaigns.

Top winners included Work Labs, which picked up golds in interactive, advertising and design; Barber Martin Agency (advertising and design); Martin (interactive and advertising); and Arts & Letters (advertising and production).

Other gold recipients included Coloryn Studio, Interface Studio, Think and NDP in the design category, and Overcoast in the production category. Golds in the student category went to students from the Brandcenter and Old Dominion University.

More than 160 cannonball awards were presented in this year’s show.

The out-of-town judges for this year’s awards were Ray DelSavio, executive creative director at Droga5 in New York; Diana Brost, senior story editor at Walt Disney Imagineering in Orlando, Florida; and Kathy Parks, freelancer and interim creative director at Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Oregon.

Madeline Honig, a rising senior in VCU’s Robertson School of Media and Culture, received the Barbara Fultz Women in Advertising Scholarship, and Alana Loveys was awarded the Harry Jacobs Scholarship for Brandcenter students.

Also at the ceremony, Desiree Davis was announced as the club’s president for 2019, replacing outgoing president Anne-Stuart Teter. Davis is a senior process manager at Capital One. Vera Magdeeva of Commonwealth Partnerships was named vice president.

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