Burnett wins dominate the Addy Awards comeback

Actor Dean Richards, Allstate’s “Mayhem”

The Chicago Ad Federation-sponsored Addy Awards reappeared after a 10 year snooze to reemerge as a low-key event last Thursday at Resolution Digital Studios, attended by a comparatively small audience.

Nonetheless, Leo Burnett, a prodigious competition entrant, was the big winner of the night.  Out of the 92 awards, it swept the competition by taking home 19 gold and silver awards.

The agency won “Best of Show” for Allstate’s “Mayhem” campaign, in which actor Dean Winters at the wheel of a car portrays all the obstacles that can lead to a major insurance claim.

Some 400 pieces of work were entered into 15 main categories and more than 200 subcategories.

Allstate’s “Mayhem” ads went gold in three main categories and six subcategories: TV, TV National, TV National Campaign, Consumer Services, Public Service, Interactive, Integrated Campaign, Mixed Media and National Consumer categories.

Four Burnett/Arc Worldwide McDonald’s and Norton Security ads scored in four subcategories each and the All Scouts of American won in two.

The other 73 winners are unknown as the Chicago Ad Federation has yet to post the names on its website, but the list is expected to go up this week.   

The American Advertising Federation, whose National Addy Awards Rules and Categories determine those multitudinous categories and subcategories, conducts the Addy Awards in 14 district competitions.  Those winners automatically advance to the June 4 national competition in San Diego.  

Chicago Addys take us back to the future 

Why the decision was made to resurrect the decades-old Addy Awards format was best described by Sun-Times Media Mix columnist Lewis Lazare.

Armchair historians may recall that discontent with the stodgy Addys was what prompted local advertising honchos to rethink things several years ago, he wrote.

That rethink initially led to the debut of the Chicago Creative Club Awards and the infamous bricks (creativity, you know) that were handed out. But as the Chicago ad industry started to falter, and more agencies began fighting to stay afloat, the CCC event became harder to pull off.

Finally it fell apart, even as a few brave souls tried to maintain some kind of awards show. But nothing stuck. Now the Chicago Advertising Federation, sensing nothing was in the works to replace the Chicago Creative Club concept, fell back on the familiar Addy Awards. 

Lazare talked to the executives in charge of the awards evening and gathered that this format will be the template for a local awards show for the foreseeable future, unless some group comes up with a better idea that is fundable and can be executed without undue complication.