It’s easy to love advertising in RVA. We’re ripe with it. Good advertising. From boutique ad shops to full service agencies, Greater Richmond has long been home to creativity.
Richmond Ad Club, hatched over fifty years ago, celebrates and unites the region’s feisty band of advertising brainiacs. Home to events such as the annual Richmond Show and AddyShack Golf Tournament, the Ad Club offers a mixed bag of networking, education, service, and shenanigans.
“The advertising community represents so many diverse audiences,” explains Rob Reid, the 2010 President of Richmond Ad Club. “We include a top-notch and nationally recognized university program, the current ad agency of the year, and certainly not least, dozens upon dozens of small and mid-sized agencies. As for the Ad Club, we’re simply here to bring these communities together in a meaningful way.”
Reid says that over the years the organization has attracted a wide range of professionals. “Freelancers and small business owners have long seen the Ad Club as a valuable resource for networking, but we’ve also seen more and more web-centric and social media groups become involved.”
In addition to monthly socials at favorite watering holes, like Bellytimber Tavern and Gibson’s Grill, the organization makes it a point to direct a portion of its revenue back to the community. Friends of the Homeless, for example, received coats and a cash donation as a result of the club’s holiday party, while organizations such as Art180 receive continued support. Additionally, Richmond Ad Club provides the Harry Jacob’s Scholarship, in conjunction with the Martin Agency, to a deserving VCU Brandcenter student each year.
Come April, Richmond Ad Club hits its stride as it doles out a handful of coveted advertising awards to the area’s latest and greatest stars. With approximately 500 entries rolling in each year, the organization flies in five judges from around the country to participate in an intense Judges Weekend where winners are selected. Award categories include design, interactive, advertising, production, and student work, with the top advertising minds taking home a snazzy cannonball award.
Last year’s ceremony saw Aaron Dotson and Frank Gilliam, head honchos at Elevation, snag the annual “Ad Persons of the Year” honor. Other winners at last year’s festivities included The Martin Agency, Work Labs, Barber Martin Agency, Siddall, and studioSavvy. Nominations for the 2011 Richmond Show begin in January.
Incoming Richmond Ad Club president, Edward Baldwin, promises to offer River City yet another year of opportunities to mix and mingle. He says, however, “What I’m most excited about is everything that will be going on behind-the-scenes.
True to its mission of bringing Richmond’s Ad community together we will be working on increasing our outreach and membership as well as our participation and promotion of educational programs as our relationship with the Brandcenter continues to grow.”