Advertising and Design Converge at ADC Awards

NEW YORK More than 400 people gathered at the Art Directors Club here yesterday for the 83rd annual ADC Awards.

Winners had been named in April. TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., won the most awards, taking five, including two of the 12 golds presented. One gold was for its Apple campaign showing silhouettes of people dancing with iPods, and one was for Sony PlayStation 2’s “Tractor Beam” spot

Gary Elliott, vice president of corporate marketing at Hewlett-Packard, accepted the ADC Vision Award, given to honor advertisers that exhibit a consistent commitment to design and art direction.

Thirty-two gold and silver winners were honored. A new multichannel category recognized work utilizing more than one medium, including the Beta-7 campaign for Sega’s ESPN NFL video game from Wieden + Kennedy in New York and the American Legacy Foundation “Crazyworld” campaign from Arnold in Boston and Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami.

The multichannel category is an example of where ADC executive director Myrna Davis wants the club to go, addressing the convergence of advertising and design.

“You can’t be a graphic designer nowadays without being able to design a Web site. You can’t be in advertising and just rely on 30-second commercial,” Davis said. “Now they are starting to come closer together … that’s why we feel multichannel was so important this year. It’s important to be able to work across a lot of different media to tell the story.”

Gary Koepke, chairman and co-founder of Modernista! in Boston, was one of the judges. He noted the emphasis on illustration and animation in this year’s entries. An MTV promo series, “Instructo Art,” was animated and “Waterboy,” by BETC Euro RSCG for Evian, are two examples of this trend, Koepke said.

During the reception, the Main Squeeze Orchestra, an 18-member all-female accordion band, provided music. The format of the show, during which dinner was served buffet style and TV winners were presented in a short video, won raves from some attendees, including Koepke.

“I’m so happy they didn’t have people go up and accept the awards,” Koepke said. “It’s fun to talk to people and mingle and have a good time. Most shows get [too] long.”