And the winner is …

Posted on March 1, 2014
MiG won silver and gold AAF awards for 2013

“Here’s the thing – I mean, I don’t act for statues. I really don’t. The great thing about winning an award is that it creates opportunities.” -Kevin Bacon

Tomorrow night is Hollywood’s biggest night – the 86th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. Plenty of great movies and actors have been nominated, and the tension will be palpable until the last winner has been announced. Come Monday, the trophies will find a new home on the shelves of success in Beverly Hills and Calabash, CA. And everybody will be back to producing movies, writing scores, editing special effects or rehearsing lines.

Yesterday evening was one of those great nights in the Mountain State, if you work in the Creative Industry. The American Advertising Federation invited its members and familiars to the 2013 Advertising Awards Dinner. The peers of West Virginia got together and celebrated the winning designs, campaigns and commercials. Auge+Gray had themed the event a “Freakshow” and had decorated the place accordingly, a play on the masquerade, smoke and mirrors – rooted in the history of our ragbag profession. Steve Mallory was perfectly dressed as a vaudevillian Master of Ceremonies.

The work that was shown and awarded was testimony of what is great about the region – it was challenging, enticing, motivating, entertaining – and sometimes outright beautiful. My personal favorite was Rainmaker Media Group’s Tudor Biscuits campaign “The Politician” and its tongue-in-cheek commercials. I was cheering for Blackwell & Company as they received two Gold Advertising Awards and a Best in Show Award for the Mark Troy Law Firm brand. And I congratulated Kari Thompson of the Stonewall Group on their achievement in taking West Virginia tourism to the next level, and being well awarded for doing so.

I was thrilled when Steve Mallory announced that Made in Germany was to be awarded a 2013 Silver Advertising Award for our business cards – one showing the roots of the business with the Essen skyline and the other featuring the MiG logo sign. Founded just seven months ago, my fledgling marketing and creative strategy company built its brand on my European origin and how I learned to communicate to and for clients from my father, Mr. Jens-Heiner Kiel, who passed in the Fall of 2008. A recognition of my brand to me also means recognizing in essence a design and communications career of 20+ years, where constant learning, application and pushing the envelope lead me to where I am now.

I was amazed when he – a few minutes later – declared Made in Germany the winner of a 2013 Gold Advertising Award for the Create West Virginia conference program. As our first full-fledged project from estimate to delivery, this is truly a milestone and device of measure for work to follow. As you have read in a prior blog post, I joined Create West Virginia last Summer. Volunteering my talent, I took on creating the conference’s first professionally designed program in the non-profit’s five-year history.

Fellow designer Das Menon created a meticulous reproduction of Richwood’s Main Street facades, featured in the center spread and serving as a tool of navigation to the conference attendees. Liz Roth of New South Media Inc. did contribute the color scheme and font templates, and Rebecca Kimmons of Katalyst Development Strategies in her role as Conference Director churned out content with grace and determination. And Morgantown Printing & Binding printed the program masterfully and according to specs – the uncoated stock provides a pleasing tactile sensation and makes it easy to take notes in.

As I write these lines, it is a new day. The applause has ebbed, the congratulations have been plentiful, and the surprise has turned into humble confidence. Made in Germany is on its way – and the winners are our current and future clients. We will embrace the opportunity to define the solutions to our client’s challenges, design the products, media and content, and deliver to the best of our ability.

Come Monday, we will be back to business – this weekend, we celebrate!

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