For Charlottes advertising industry, Thursday night is the equivalent of the Oscars.
Addy Awards will be handed out at the Big Chill in 75 major categories for the best work by Charlotte agencies and creative shops, an annual event that has attracted about 400 entries, a surge over the recession years when the industry hit a deep slump.
Work is definitely coming back, says Theckla Sterrett of South Ends Saturday Brand Communications, the agency handling promotion for the event sponsored by the American Advertising Federation/Charlotte.
Saturday Brand launched an irreverent campaign overseen by creative director Mark Conachan using specimens of Victorian spiritualism.
A fortune teller, Ouija board and other mystic symbols have been bombarding local agencies along with misfortune cookies for the losers (Samples: At least your mom loves your work; Thats right. Your copy was just too clever for the judges).
Charlottes ad community includes about 75 agencies plus shops specializing in design, social media and studio work.
Addy director Beth Hernandez said Wednesday many ad professionals started their own shops when they lost jobs during the recession, which is evident in the entries this year.
One of the dynamics this year is the growth in independent freelance and small agency startups, she says.