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Red7e wins 1GoldAddy, only Louisville winner at national AdFed competition

by Terry Boyd

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(Editor’s note: This post was updated June 11 at 11:30 a.m.)

Red7e just won 1GoldAddy.

And not any gold Addy, but the funky stylized gold “A” the American Adverstising Federation gives out only to winners at its national competition.

Even winners with a blasphemous advertising campaign.

Last weekend at the AdFed National Awards Show and Gala in San Diego, Red7e received the gold Addy for an Anglo-American Development campaign titled “Go to Hell.”

Pip Pullen-Swope, Red7e director of account planning, is part of Anglo-American, which owns The Church, an East Main Street church converted into a mixed-use, residential-office complex.

Since our describing it is going to suck the cleverness out of the campaign, we’ve included it here so you see what the national judges saw.

(Full disclosure: If it looks familiar, it runs on this website along with other Red7e creative.)

Red7e was the only Louisville-based advertising/branding firm to win the nation’s top advertising award last weekend.

To understand how big a deal this is, the AdFed contest attracts 40,000 to entries from regions across the United States and is the largest advertising contest on earth, stated Dan Barbercheck, Red7e president, in an e-mail.

Fewer than 100 entries make it to gold, with major national firms deploying huge budgets to garner top honors, Barbercheck wrote.

Of the 1,382 entries received at the national level of the three tiered competition, 87 professional gold Addy Awards, 156 professional silvers, 26 gold student awards and 39 silver student awards were presented, according to an AdFed news release.

Entries were judged based on creativity, originality and creative strategy. Manhattan-based Leo Burnett captured “Best of Show” for the Allstate Insurance’s Mayhem TV/web campaign.

Barbercheck, Red7e president, was copywriter and creative director, and Pullen-Swope was the designer for the “Go to Hell” pieces.

The national award is a surprise, Pullen-Swope said: “This isn’t fake humility. I honestly never follow the Addys.”

“I never won a regional. But it was 90 percent Barbercheck,” he said.

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Barbercheck wrote the Go to Hell campaign for The Church as well as a second campaign that reads, “And They Said It Never Had a Prayer.”

Both versions won local AdFed Gold Awards,  known as “Louies,” making them automatically eligible for regional competition.

Louisville’s AdFed region includes Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus and Cleveland.

The Church ads were two of 21 to win Fifth District gold or silver awards, making them automatically eligible for national competition.

The total list of national winners hasn’t been released yet, Pullen-Swope said.

Last year, Louisville-based Bandy Carroll Hellige received two silver Addys at the national competition, but no Louisville firm won gold, he said.

The Go to Hell campaign is meant to push boundaries, he added, “but it’s not as provocative in New York as it is in Louisville.”

It’s meant to attract attention “in a good way,” Pullen-Swope added. “Not to piss people off, but to do it in an intelligent way.”

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