Advertising Annual Spotlight: The Midwest

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 11.22.19 AMAgency: Doner Advertising | Client: NGK Spark Plugs | Title: Make Fast Faster 

Doner Advertising, a full-service agency headquartered in Detroit, submitted ‘Make Fast Faster‘ advertisements to the Advertising 2015 competition. Chad Ackley, executive creative director, and creative directors Jason Bergeron and Virgil Adams created this striking ad for NGK Spark Plugs.

Ackley, who began working at Doner a little more than a year ago, recently spoke with Graphis about his job as executive creative director, his mentors in the industry and his future goals.

Ackley started his career at Leo Burnett, beginning as an associate art director and climbing to VP, associate creative director. In 2003, he left Leo Burnett for DDB, San Francisco, where he was eventually promoted to group creative director at the agency.

Ackley said that Scott English and Victor LaPorte, two former creative directors at Leo Burnett, and Lisa Bennett, who works as the Executive Vice President/Creative at DDB North America, were mentors for him. Serving as a mentor, Ackley said, is the most satisfying part of his job.

“I’ve been very lucky in this industry to have people that have looked out for me and looked out for my career all the way since I was an associate creative director,” he told Graphis in a phone interview. “I really feel like that’s a really important part of this business. You used to always feel like you have someone looking out for you and looking out for your career path — that you have someone you can ask advice to.”

“And I think that’s your job as far as an executive creative director. My people are the most important thing to me and it’s my job to make sure they have everything at their disposal so they can do the kind of work that they want to do.”

Ackley believes that giving his teams ownership of projects produces the best work.

“I think what’s inspiring for most people is giving them the freedom to do the kind of work that they want to do,” he said. “One of the things that I’ve always tried to live by is to be a real supportive creative director. I like the idea of hiring talented people and letting them do their jobs.”

Ackley, who helped Doner win J.C. Penney’s business alongside executive creative director Valerie Foley, said he wants to turn Doner into a powerhouse.

“I think this agency is doing some of the best work it’s ever done,” he said. “I would love it to grow and become one of those agencies that people talk about it.”

To check out more work from Doner, visit the company’s website here.

xxxxxAgency: Leo Burnett | Client: Peace One Day | Agency: DRIVEN | Client: Founders Brewing Co.

The advertisements featured above both received Gold awards in the Advertising Annual 2014.

Leo Burnett, whose global headquarters is based in Chicago, created the ‘Recipeace‘ ad for Peace One Day to raise awareness and participation for Peace Day, a global day of nonviolence meant to create peace in the lives of the individual and the community.

The agency juxtaposed war weapons with food to show how the act of breaking bread can resolve conflict. The ads were placed on restaurant tables in Chicago and embraced by the community. The campaign ultimately generated more than 2.3 million earned media impressions, thousands of tweets worldwide and millions were participated in Peace One Day’s mission, the agency wrote in its credits and commentary for the series of ads.

To learn more about Leo Burnett, visit the company’s website here.

Driven is a communications and branding agency based in Ferndale, Michigan, just outside Detroit. The agency not only created the labeling and packing for Founders Brewing Co., it also designed a full line of merchandise and lifestyle gear for the brand.

In April, the agency joined forces with The Powers That Be, a social media agency founded in 2013. Jeff Hupp, CEO of The Powers That Be, previously worked for Facebook and Tumblr.

To learn more about DRIVEN and see more of its work, visit its website here.

The advertising competition features the most compelling and influential advertising of the year. Gold and Platinum awards, along with winning entries, will be published in the Advertising Annual 2015. Submit your work to the Advertising Annual competition here.

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