Budwell recently had the honor of winning a Clio award.
Some context for those who work outside the fields of advertising, branding, and design, the Clios is one of the most prestigious industry awards given only in a few verticals, like Entertainment, Sports, Fashion and Beauty, and, as of 2019, Cannabis.
The famed awards left their mark on the cultural zeitgeist in a stellar episode of Mad Men called, “Waldorf Stories.” The theme of the episode is recognition, and it provides a front row seat to the institutionalized sexism of the era, in the simmering frustration of beleaguered creative Peggy and stiflingly typecast Joan. Peggy’s contribution to the winning campaign receives hardly any acknowledgement from the agency’s Creative Director, let alone net her an invitation to the prestigious ceremony. Meanwhile, the long-maligned Joan does get to attend, but obliquely relegated to the role of arm candy and human security blanket, diminishing the vital role she plays in propping up the storied agency and the dysfunctional men that run it.
When malignant narcissist Don Draper gleefully accepts the Clio on behalf of the agency, he doesn’t thank anyone on his team, then proceeds to get so blasted that he loses the trophy in a bar and tops off the evening by embarrassingly pitching plagiarized ideas to clients. The audacity. If you’ve worked in this world, you’ve likely experienced it firsthand... or perhaps if you are a human woman who is alive and working in any field. Years later, by the series end, both Joan and Peggy experience an emancipation, emerge from the norms and niceties of the era that had held them back in the workplace, and step into their own power, finally earning the recognition that eluded them for so long.
My own emancipation wasn't so much from what external forces held me back, but rather what was holding me back internally. I wasted a lot of time worrying about what I was "supposed" to be doing, instead of going for what I really wanted. I used law school as an excuse to get the hell out of Ohio, got rejected from the foreign service because of their drug policy, wound up working in lobbying and strategic communications, which led me into the world of branding, from where I grew the confidence to launch Budwell. This award means I might have taken a weird path to get where I am, but I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
Our intent for the 199X Collection campaign. was to evoke a feeling of flipping open a magazine in the late 90’s and being transported through time immediately. For me, it recalled laying on the floor with my friends, listening to cds, flipping through stacks of magazines, and ripping out pages to hang on our walls. Whatever we designed for 199X had to be wall-worthy. That was the test.
My vision was clear, but I could not execute it alone. I assembled a stellar team of creatives who each contributed an essential part of the 199X Integrated Campaign. After working in branding for nearly fifteen years, the recognition is humbly appreciated and well deserved. This was the type of teamwork I had long pushed for and seldom enjoyed during my ad agency tenure. A heartfelt thank you and congratulations to everyone who contributed to the 199X campaign. We won this Clio award together.
They don’t give out trophies for the shortlist, but if they did, you can be sure I wouldn’t get sloshed and leave it at a fucking bar.
199X Campaign Credits:
Maria Siriano Photography - Have you been drooling over our imagery?
Basis - Ashli and her team at Basis are responsible for the dazzling campaign graphics as well as our gorgeous new website.
779 Video - If 199X had a video on MTV circa 1996, we’d like to think this was it.
David Maley - He created the wordmark that started it all. We call him the type sommelier.
Trailblaze PR - Lisa Weser and her team, including Alice Moon, have been getting the word out about the 199X since our 4/20 debut.
Me - Creative Direction, Copywriting. Cause somebody's gotta write them words, baybee.