ADwërks Obtains The Most ADDYs


This was just the beginning.

The 48th annual ADDY Awards Show, which was held this past Saturday in Sioux Falls, was rife with cut-throat competition between ad agencies, but out of everyone else, ADwërks is proud to announce that we probably obtained the most ADDYs – the name of the signature drink at the event – leaving everybody else with egg on their face. We attribute this success to our strict and rigorous training, which involves shutting down the agency early every Friday to drink. It has taken a lot of hard work and dedication, but after receiving this honor, we know that it was all worthwhile.

On a side note, we took home some bling too.

Best of Class Award – Advertising For the Arts & Sciences – Non-traditional Category

We took home two Gold ADDY Awards and the Best of Class in Advertising for the Artsphoto for the SculptureWalk X campaign we did last spring. We created big metal Xs and installed them on all of the sculpture stands downtown to spread the word about the SculptureWalk eXpo, which was being held to celebrate SculptureWalk’s 10th anniversary.

As Jim put it, “It pays to wake up in the middle of the night with an idea.”

Gold ADDY Award – Newspaper Category

Andrew missed the announcement of these awards because he was in the bathroom relieving himself of all the ADDYs he obtained earlier in the evening. But we received a Gold ADDY Award and four Silver ADDY Awards for the print campaigns we did for the Falls Park Farmers Market. A couple examples are below.



– Andrew

Celebrating The Life And Career Of Monday Mathis

It is with deep regret and heavy hearts we announce that we had to say goodbye to our Environmental Wagineer, Monday Mathis. We wish we could say that she was recruited by another agency with a promise of more doggy treats (hey, it’s a dog eat dog world), but instead, we’re sad to say that age and health issues finally caught up with our dear friend.monday-big_blog

Of course, in times like this, we remember the highlights of Monday’s life. And here at ADwërks, she had an accomplished and fulfilling career. Every Tuesday and Friday (despite her name, Monday probably hated Mondays more than Garfield), Monday came to the office to continue her lifelong work of closely monitoring the lunchroom, ensuring perimeter security, and keeping up employee morale. Over the years, she even enjoyed some moments in the limelight, with starring roles in many TV commercials, print ads and billboards.

Monday also enjoyed some press time with a couple local news stories about dogs in the workplace. There was one instance when one of the local TV stations was in the office filming her for a story. As we threw one of her toys down the hallway in an effort to catch her running on camera, Monday left a big steaming pile of over-excitement on the floor. We all had a good laugh, until it was time to clean it up…

But every hardworking dog needs some time to rest, and Monday could frequently be found sleeping on the job, either privately on her bed under Kara’s desk, or shamelessly out in the open, right in the middle of the hallway, as her snoring resounded throughout the office.

In addition to working hard and resting easy, Monday was a social butterfly and liked to have fun in the workplace as well, frequently joining us in our status meetings and making herself at home during conference calls with clients, innocently banging her tail on the wall with glee. She’d also greet ADwërkers by making her daily rounds to each cubicle, always leaving behind a bit of drool. But Mike seemed to get the butt end of that ritual, as his cubicle was her favorite place to break wind.

Monday brought a kind of energy and happiness to our office that can’t be matched, and we will all miss her dearly. Tuesdays and Fridays at ADwërks will never quite feel the same without her. But we celebrate her life and feel grateful that she has provided us with so much joy.

Rest in peace, old friend.

– Andrew

Celebrating 15 Years of Handcrafted Marketing Solutions, and “That’s What She Said” Jokes

On February 19, 1999, ADwërks opened its doors for the first time. Jim had boldly, and kind of crazily, decided to leave his stable job with a cushy office, for an unstable job with a home office, that also doubled as a spare bedroom.

There was no fancy ribbon cutting ceremony or popping of champagne (although there was a healthy supply of Maker’s Mark in the house). There was just one man (with 50% more hair) and one dream. And with that, Jim turned on his Windows 98 computer and fax machine, and began work for a couple of car dealers in Topeka, KS and Lincoln, NE. ADwërks’ first client grew up to be CarHop, and they are still a client today.

What began as a dream, quickly spiraled into a reality. Like, a real-employees-who-need-retirement-plans type of reality. Over the last 15 years, ADwërks steadily grew from one employee and a handful of clients, to 12 employees and numerous clients. Some clients and projects have come and gone, but many clients have been working with us since the beginning.

ADwërks has undergone many changes over the years – changes in staff, changes in locations, changes in clients – but there is one thing that has remained the same, and that’s the passion. It’s the same thing that motivated Jim to leave his job and go at it alone, and it’s what continues to fuel ADwërks today – a passion for advertising, a passion for producing great work, and a passion for working with great people.

Thanks to our friends, industry colleagues, clients, and all who has supported us over the years! Here’s to many more!

– Andrew

ADwërks Successfully Clones Kara

Of course by “cloning,” we mean that we hired an equally skilled and hardworking person Caryla-for-blogto take over some of Kara’s workload.

Caryla Chambers has joined ADwërks as our Cog Whisperer. Her main duty (ha, duty…) is to coordinate and manage all of ADwërks’ production work for McDonald’s, guiding it from creation to completion, and making sure that it is produced and delivered efficiently, correctly and on time. Additionally, Caryla will oversee the production work for ADwërks’ other clients, which includes updating the daily job sheet and ensuring that each project is progressing on schedule. In other words, if the creative team is wasting time drawing pictures of Batman and watching cat gifs when they’re supposed to be working on a project that’s due in two hours, Caryla will lay the smack down.

Caryla has been in the advertising business for more than 30 years, and over that time she has accumulated an impressive amount of experience. Heck, she was laying the smack down before The Rock grew into his speedos. She worked as a production manager at Lawrence & Schiller for over 14 years, she was a traffic manager at Avera for over five years, and she was a production/traffic manager at LodgeNet for nine years, to name a few.

Caryla was born and raised right here in Sioux Falls, but she has kicked around a bit, including a stint in Minneapolis and taking up residence in Missoula and Bozeman, Montana, but ultimately family brought her back to South Dakota.

The self-proclaimed workaholic (an addiction that is fueled by another addiction – coffee), still manages to find time doing the things she loves, which includes spending time with her husband Dar, her two beloved cats, and spoiling her 7-year-old granddaughter. Caryla also enjoys gardening, drawing and painting. Plus, as a dedicated Cirque du Soleil fan and art buff, she travels the region to attend every show and gallery possible.

We’re confident that Caryla will be an excellent fit for our team and our clients, and we look forward to her future here at ADwërks. Feel free to help us welcome her aboard!

Toulouse-Lautrec & His World Campaign

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s art has captivated the world for decades. His immersion into the theatrical and decadent nightlife of 19th century Paris influenced his creation of a wealth of prominent and iconic works. To celebrate these works, an exhibit called Toulouse-Lautrec & His World has come to America for the first time, and the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls is one of only four stops around the country. ADwërks was honored to have the opportunity to promote it.

Since we knew the exhibit would appeal to a diverse group of people, we created and implemented an extensive marketing campaign that’s sure to reach everyone.

Accompanied by 19th century cabaret music, images of some of Toulouse-Lautrec’s most recognizable pieces transition from one to the next as a French woman’s sultry voice communicates the message.

Taken from real quotes from art critics of the time, the radio spot features two cynical French men scrutinizing Toulouse-Lautrec’s work. But hearing their rants today, they actually provide us with an accurate description of his art. What some may have considered Toulouse-Lautrec’s flaws during his time, we view as his strengths today.

This is one of four animated GIF ads we created. They resemble the same look as the TV spot. To replay, just click it.


Since a good portion of our target audience frequents downtown Sioux Falls, we created posters that were displayed in the windows of downtown shops.


Additionally, we created some print ads and a billboard to help get the word out.

The exhibit will take place January 25th through June 8th, and will be held in the Everist Gallery of the Visual Arts Center at the Washington Pavilion. It will feature 150 of Toulouse-Lautrec’s original works, including 12 of his famous posters and 35 sketches. If you enjoy art even just a little bit, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity to witness Toulouse-Lautrec’s work firsthand.

– Andrew

Girl Scouts Dakota Horizons Campaign

Being a Girl Scout is much more than just selling cookies. The program offers young girls GSDH HiResa world of new experiences and opportunities, empowering them with the confidence to do almost anything, even making a commercial. That was the idea behind the public service announcements (PSAs) ADwërks and Mud Mile teamed up to produce for Girl Scouts Dakota Horizons.

First we had to put together a group of Girl Scouts from around the Midwest to star in the PSAs, so we sent out a request for submissions. Any Girl Scout who wanted to be in the spots just had to send us a video containing whatever content they wanted. Some told us why they wanted to be in the PSAs, others introduced us to their families and pets, and one little girl even launched a rocket into the sky. She made the cut, obviously.

Once our stars were selected, we scheduled a production day here in Sioux Falls, and the day was jam-packed. After the girls got their hair and make-up professionally done, they learned about the field of advertising and what the motive was behind the PSAs we were about to make. They also got a rundown of the video production equipment, from the green screen, to the cameras, to the lights and the audio, so that they could run the equipment when we were ready to shoot.

After a long day of shooting, the girls were sent on their way. To thank them for their participation we sent them home with a goodie-bag that included their very own movie clapboard, which was probably the most popular gadget among the girls on the set.

The day gave us enough footage to make three different PSAs, and we’re pretty proud of how they turned out. Check them out below

Along with the PSAs we also produced a billboard, some radio spots, and did some work for their website.

– Andrew

A Not-So-Politically-Correct Holiday Letter From ADwërks

It’s been another great year here at ADwërks – a year rich in achievements, milestones, and slightly inappropriate comments from around the office that we will always cherish.

A few ADwërkers experienced some major milestones this year. Sara had a baby, Andrew got married, and our illustrious leader Jim Mathis had a birthday, and coincidentally, they were all scheduled for the same day. Yes the universe can be quite the jokester. Jim couldn’t help but think that Andrew’s wedding reception was nothing more than a lavish birthday-bash held in his honor, and the birth of Sara’s first-born baby was clearly an homage to him, and she would likely name her new bundle of joy after his namesake. It turns out Sara’s baby boy was born before her due-date, and she and her husband named him Elis, but… close enough.

Also, Kara experienced a rare milestone that is just a pipe dream for most nerds around the world – she can now technically call herself a cyborg. She underwent a surgery that left her with some robot discs installed in her neck (at least that’s how Andrew understands it), and is currently on the path to recovery.

Over the year, ADwërks saw many changes in its staffing (there was an intern in there somewhere, she rocked), but at the end of the year we are now left with the fantastic addition of Kristi Cornette (who joined as a media buyer in February), along with some extra office space.

With the passing of another year, comes valuable experience and wisdom gained. To help pick up some of the workload that came along with the recent changes to our staffing, Jolene, our MBA-holding, talented public relations specialist, has learned how to try to answer the phones at the office. Sure, some callers have been accidentally hung up on here and there, but it’s all a part of the learning process. And now she can boast a brand new skill on LinkedIn – Phone Etiquette. Oh, and Magazines for some reason; I guess she’s just really good at magazines.

Reflecting upon this past year, we experienced many ups, but also experienced some downs, just as everyone does. But they sucked; they just… sucked. So we’ll just tell you about one. Not to dismiss them, but we’d like to keep a light-hearted tone in this letter… Andrew’s cat had to have his penis removed. Moving on.

As in any office setting, there’s plenty of every-day (and not-so every-day) conversation that takes place on a daily basis here at ADwërks. And through that conversation, several classic quotes emerge from the mouths of ADwërkers, like, a ridiculous amount, sort of like a Christmas elf sweat shop. Multiply that by 365 days, and there are just too many quotes to count. So here are just a few from over the year, that are either intentionally taken out of context, or we literally just can’t remember the context, which makes them even more magical.

  • “I’m going to tie your dickless cat to the train tracks next to you.”
  • “We wouldn’t have to worry about this sh*t if dinosaurs were still alive.”
  • “Can you take the R-ball off the funny band?”
  • “Is your butt purring?”
  • “Turn your teeth in backwards and eat yourself.”
  • “Elvis poopy-butt.”
  • “You can’t bulk up wrist.”
  • “Can I access your server?

Wow… so wise, so inspirational…

As much as we love producing great work, ads and campaigns come and go, but fond memories endure, and we look forward to another productive year.

Merry politically-correct-Holidays from everyone at ADwërks!

Chief Idea Officer Steps Down

After 12 years of working as the account strategist and supervisor on our Leigh_AnglinBlogMcDonald’s account, Leigh Anglin is stepping down from his role as Chief Idea Officer at ADwërks to return to the radio industry.

Leigh will carry out his final hours as an ADwërker through the end of the day today, then he’ll go on to begin a new position at Townsquare Media in Sioux Falls.

In the meantime, Jim Mathis and Carol Oren will handle Leigh’s workload until ADwërks finds a replacement.

It’s been a great ride, and we wish Leigh the best of luck in the future.

If you have any questions or concerns about this change, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 605-357-3690.

The Dreadline

The Dreadline Nov 12, 2013

The dreaded deadline (or dreadline, as I like to call it in my head then laugh at myself in my head because I’m cool) has a bad reputation. Too often it’s last minute, down to the wire, and demands an unreasonably short amount of time to accomplish the task, especially if you want to do it right.


“I like them. I think they make me look sexy.”

Creatives in advertising know this all too well. We like to mumble and grumble when a job with a deadline that’s tighter than skinny jeans on Danny Devito lands on our desk. We’d prefer to take our time on the project, immerse ourselves in it, and explore all the avenues, with ample time to check Twitter and watch cat gifs for “inspiration”. Of course this isn’t always realistic. A tight deadline may seem like it restricts creativity, but I’d argue that it can have the opposite effect, and help it flourish.

Orson Welles said, “The absence of limitations is the enemy of art.” Sometimes restriction breeds creativity. When you have restrictions, you’re forced you to overcome them. And how do you overcome them? Well, you gotta get creative. In the case with deadlines, when you’re granted with a lot of time on a project, it’s easy to get wrapped up in exploring every possible avenue without choosing a direction. But a tight deadline forces you to pick a direction and move forward.

Tight deadlines are going to elbow their way to our desks no matter what; it’s just the way the world works; so we might as well embrace them. And by just changing our attitudes about them and having confidence in ourselves, it will make a world of a difference in our work.

– Andrew

ADwërks Implements Groundbreaking Interoffice Communication System

It all started when Jim was trying to get Andrew’s attention. Their offices are kitty-corner from each other, separated by a walkway and cubicle walls. Oftentimes Andrew has ear buds in, and deafened by music and podcasts, is oblivious to what’s going on around him. You could outwardly call him a stinky orange-flavored hack and he would be none the wiser.

So, while sitting at his desk, Jim cried out, “Andrew! Andrew!” No answer. Then Kara chimed in from her office, “Hey Andrew! Jim wants you!” No response. Finally, Jim grabbed the nearest projectile, a blue Sharpie pen, and without even looking, tossed it over his wall, past the walkway, into Andrew’s cubicle, striking him on the head with impeccable aim. Finally Andrew responded calmly, “Yeah?”


ADwërks’s Nerf Brand Intercom System

This is not an uncommon occurrence at ADwërks. Someone tries to get the attention of another who has ear buds in, and they get ignored. And that’s when one may resort to throwing random objects found around the office – sometimes pens, other times Gorilla Snaps, but those objects are clunky and unpredictable. We needed something faster, more reliable, and more agile, something that would unmistakably get the receiver’s attention, like a gun! But apparently busting caps in an office just to get someone’s attention is looked down upon, and against those employee rights and protection law things or whatever, thanks a lot ObamaCare… So a Nerf gun would just have to do.

There Andrew was, ear buds in and typing away, like so many times before, blissfully unaware that Jim was packing heat. A dart bounces off the wall in his cubicle. Another whizzes past his head. Yet he remains oblivious. A third dart ricochets off the book shelf and hits him in the face! Only that time Jim didn’t actually want anything, he just wanted to shoot Andrew.

Ever since the cushioned communication device has been implemented at ADwërks, interoffice communication has improved significantly, although we may not be able to say the same about office morale.

As for the next steps in this groundbreaking communication system, ADwërks is looking into obtaining a Nerf bazooka or something with rapid fire for urgent messaging.

Try it out in your office!

Disclaimer: ADwërks is not liable if you try it out in your office.