The ADCC is back with a call to unquarantine your creative

Who: The Advertising & Design Club of Canada, with Zulu Alpha Kilo.

What: A new call-for-entries campaign announcing that the esteemed awards show is back for 2021 after going on hiatus last year. 

When & Where: There are three video ads and social posts live now and being pushed out through ADCC’s channels. 

Why: One of the feel-good stories of 2020 was the industry rallying to save the ADCC. The revered not-for-profit was almost entirely dependent on its awards show revenue to stay afloat, and when the pandemic forced its cancellation, the ADCC’s future was very much in doubt.

A special “All-Nighter Webathon” fundraiser in July generated enough donations to save the ADCC, however, and now it’s back with its awards show for 2021. Normally a fall show, the ADCC has been moved up to a virtual event in June, and the work eligibility period has been extended. 

“Part of our club’s mission is documenting our creative history through our archive, so we didn’t want to miss the work created during the normal eligibility period for 2020,” said Michelle Ovcaric, executive director of the ADCC. “We also know that many agencies were banned or chose not to enter awards last year—and we felt that they should still have the opportunity to have their work recognized and celebrated.” The campaign raises awareness that the show is back and the deadline for entries is Feb. 5. 

How: The ads find humour in the ridiculous circumstances under which great creative was produced in 2020. They playfully make light of the extraordinary things that have become ordinary but will, we hope, become extraordinary again: writing in a storage closet, wearing the same sweat pants day after day after day. Fittingly for a campaign inspired by 2020, the visuals rely and stock art and simple photography, shot by Zulu Alpha Kilo, and lean on smart writing and clever typography to deliver the message. Each execution ends with the tagline: “Unquarantine Your Creative.”    

“This year has been unlike any other,” said Zak Mroueh, CCO of Zulu Alpha Kilo, which created the new ad campaign and put together the All-Nighter Webathon. “Most of the ads that will be submitted would have been conceived, crafted and executed while at home. We wanted this year’s call-for-entries campaign to remind us that creativity will always prevail, even if you’re stuck at home.”

Why spring instead of fall? “A big part of the show is bringing the creative community together and we didn’t want to wait until November 2021 to do that,” said Ovcaric. “Also, when deciding on timing last year, we weighed all of our options but ultimately felt there was too much uncertainty around holding physical events in 2021.” 

Will it be spring from now on? “I think 2020 taught us that being flexible is key. We obviously love having the show in November, but we’re also looking forward to the possibilities of moving it to June. Right now, I’d say we’re not ruling anything out for the future.”

Any other changes? Submissions are online only, meaning no physical materials required. “So it’s even easier to enter the ADCC Awards,” said Ovcaric.

And we quote: “After nearly being forced to end operations in 2020, and watching the industry rally around the All-Nighter Webathon, we’re excited to have the show return in 2021 to celebrate all the amazing work from the Canadian creative community. The funds raised from entry fees allow us to continue to educate and inspire the community even while apart, with content like the ADCC Created Podcast, our ‘In Conversation With’ and ‘In & Around Design’ series.” — Michelle Ovcaric, executive director of the ADCCOvcaric.

David Brown