By: Gretchen Carswell [MDB Art Director]
Going into its 10th year, Advertising Week DC promised to be part retrospective and part looking forward. What I saw, in both instances, was inspiring.
This year's ADWKDC kicked off with a new event called "CREATE." This was a day-long session where students and young professionals teamed with local nonprofits to create advertising campaigns designed to solve the respective problem each nonprofit had. The seven teams worked with industry mentors throughout the day to create strategic marketing plans, integrated advertising campaigns, social media outreach and more. While most nonprofits had a similar goal of boosting revenue, each team went at it creatively and in completely different ways. Walking the halls at Facebook DC headquarters, where CREATE was held, and listening to the brainstorming sessions, I am confident that the young people I saw will become the creative directors and leaders of tomorrow. (The photo above was taken during the CREATE judging.)
One ADWKDC highlight was the annual Cannes event hosted by USA Today. While the city folk curse the rush-hour trip out to Tysons, the chance to network and catch up while getting to see the best of the best in advertising is well worth it. We got the opportunity to honor Karen Riordan as she accepted the AAF Silver Medal Award. Looking back at Karen's accomplishments and the stamp she has made on the advertising community, it's an award greatly overdue. As for the Cannes work, I challenge you to find anyone there that wasn't singing along to "Dumb Ways To Die" or trying to come up with their own "Oreo of the Day" idea. My favorite part of this event each year is the drive home as I try to think of ways to "borrow" what I've just seen and incorporate it into the client work I have sitting on my desk.