Thirty-seven ads were presented with ATHENAs (Award To Honor Excellence in Newspaper Advertising) at a Sept. 21 ceremony at Exit in New York City. Almost 1,100 entries competed in 20 categories in this year's competition.
Fallon's Grand-Prize winner was a tribute to tennis star Andre Agassi on behalf of The United States Tennis Association. The ad was a jibe at Agassi's doubters, featuring a tournament-style bracket wherein Agassi's opponents become one-line popular criticisms he has faced during his career, such as "Can't win the big ones," or "Doesn't train hard." Agassi advances through the bracket by "defeating" these slights, one at a time, until he finally emerges victorious. Timing was a crucial factor in the impact of the ad. It appeared in USA Today shortly after Agassi's victory in the 1999 French Open.
Ogilvy's Grand-Prize winner was a 32-page insert for IBM's e-business services. Full-page ads with the familiar "e" theme were used to communicate the scope and depth of IBM's expertise in a variety of applications of e- commerce. Each page featured photography and a different "e" headline such as "e-jazz," "e-hope" or "e-adventurer." The insert also took full advantage being in a newspaper by including quotes from current news stories within the copy.
The $5,000 Grand Prize in the student category went to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., for its ad entitled "Hungry" for Trader Joe's. The ad used a map of Italy and the Adriatic region, with strategically placed copy to convey the idea of Trader Joe's as a source for authentic international specialty foods.