Snappiest spots win Chattanooga ADDY Awards

Supporters of the DREAM Act, a new bill that would give new opportunities to illegal and undocumented immigrants in the United States, held a small rally on the campus of Arkansas-Little Rock.

Supporters of DREAM Act rally at UALR

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Putting a fresh, effective spin on "giving blood saves lives" is tough, but Chattanooga multimedia company Atomic Films found a way to do it.

The group's public service announcement followed a blood transfusion recipient's trip to the hospital in reverse, starting with the operating table, then a car crash, a young couple in love's swimming expedition, ending with a man donating the life-saving liquid. The original take on the tired request for blood donations won Best in Show at this year's Chattanooga ADDY Awards, the top honor a local ad producer can receive.

"Our business has always just been trying to do the best quality possible," said Bobby Stone, co-owner of Atomic Films. "It's nice to feel like you're achieving that."

Blood Assurance uses the PSA in schools, hospitals and to recruit businesses for its bloodmobile programs. In just about four months of use, Blood Assurance public relations Director Lacey Wilson said the video has boosted blood education across the area.

"We have had more of an awareness that it needs to be on the shelf," she said. "We're proud of it. It's top quality and it gets a lot of attention when people see it."

The ADDY Awards are independently judged by members of the American Advertising Federation. The local awards are open to any members of the national organization's local chapter, which was founded in 1956.

Atomic's film beat out 441 other entries for the top distinction. The company took home a total of six of the 136 awards given out.

Local ad agency The Johnson Group walked away with the more than 60 local ADDY awards, the most of any single company, and best in show first runner up for a Krystal ad featuring competitors' mascots secretly enjoying some tiny burgers.

The Chattanooga Publishing Co., which owns the Times Free Press, received the second highest number of awards at 28, including a dozen Gold ADDY awards. The company was second runner up to Best in Show for its ad campaign for Get Out magazine, which debuted last fall.

"There is a lot of good, healthy competition on trying to do the most creative work," said Joe Johnson, head of The Johnson Group.

All three companies will now compete against ads across the Southeast United States. Winners there will head to the National ADDYs.

Last year, The Johnson Group and Atomic Films won a National ADDY for their tourism ad promoting Chattanooga.