It's utterly moving. It's astoundingly artsy. It's hilarious. It's"¦advertising?

Of course. And the entries in the recent ADDY® Awards, held by the AdClub of Cincinnati to honor the best advertising created by local companies, are evidence to the wealth of talent the Queen City holds.


These are ads you wouldn't mind seeing again and again. And the Cincinnati advertising community creates them every day.


"We brought in judges in major markets," says Matt Fischer, who served as co-chair for the awards. He adds that the judges, who were from New York, Atlanta and other national markets, were very impressed with the consistency and quality of the work. "It shows they're on a national level," Fischer says.


The Cincinnati AdClub's ADDY Competition and Creative Exposition is the first step in winning a National ADDY Awards. And looking at this year's entries, there's stiff competition. A win here means representing Cincinnati at the Fifth District competition (comprised of Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia) and after that, a shot representing the Fifth District on a national level.


Cincinnati has cultivated an inspired group of advertising professionals, which Fischer partially attributes to all the large local corporate clients. The result is a pool of talent experienced in designing, writing and consumer packaging. And now Cincy is becoming the go-to city for the next generation of advertising: new media.

For the first time ever, a web site, Mickey's Malt Liquor by Barefoot advertising, won Best in Show.


"I think that shows the importance of new media," Fischer says. "Not just in Cincinnati, but nationally. These could compete against agencies anywhere in the country."

He adds, "I think Cincinnati is poised to become a leader in new media in advertising." Local agencies are recognizing that it's just as important for advertising to entertain as it is to inform, and traditional sales pitches may not work like they did in previous years. Case in point: the Mickey's site has a large section devoted to elaborate pranks to play on your friends.


AdClub Executive Director Judy Thompson says that it's not until the annual awards that people realize how big the local advertising community is. "What makes the evening interesting is that we see people from the advertising agencies that we don't see any other time of the year," she says. "They come out in force. It's the night that we really shine the light on the creatives. It's really dedicated to them."

Judges' Choice awards went to hyperQUAKE (including a new media entry), Holland Communications and WonderGroup, each demonstrating vastly different fields in advertising. The impressive student entries illustrates the bright promise of up-and-coming talents as well.


This year's awards, held Feb. 10 at Paul Brown Stadium, drew a larger crowd than in the past. The national finals will be held in Louisville in June. For a complete list of winners, visit the AdClub's updated web site at