Gatesman was honored by The American Advertising Federation in recognition of outstanding creative work completed for clients Pace Suburban Bus and the Pennsylvania Resources Council. The agency was awarded five silver awards at the American Advertising Awards in Pittsburgh on April 13.

The American Advertising Awards, home of the ADDY® Award, is one of the industry's largest creative competitions, attracting nearly 30,000 professional and student entries each year through competitions offered through local AAF clubs. The mission of the American Advertising Awards is to recognize and reward the creative spirit of excellence in advertising. This year’s award show was the first year back in-person since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and was held at a unique location at the Dependable Drive-In in Moon, Pa.

“We challenged ourselves to think outside of the box and create the kind of work that we want to see in the world,” said Mark DiPietro, VP, Senior Creative Director, Gatesman. “The end results were both impactful, unique, and much more memorable. This creative work, particularly the Pace campaigns, were a team effort with support from all departments, so the recognition is truly a win for the whole agency. I’m excited to build on this momentum and continue to bring breakthrough creative to our clients.”

Gatesman’s work for Chicagoland public transit agency Pace Suburban Bus earned four silver ADDYs for two different creative campaigns.  

“Pace plays a vital role in connecting people to employment, education, medical care, recreation, and essential services. It’s imperative that those we serve are aware of the benefits of public transportation and the family of services Pace has to offer. Gatesman has been an integral partner in making sure we reach our markets and engage them in meaningful and creative ways. My congratulations to the Gatesman team,” said Pace Executive Director Melinda J. Metzger.

The Rocking the Shoulder campaign celebrated 10 years of Pace’s Bus-on-Shoulder program, which helps commuters avoid rush hour traffic by riding on the shoulder of Chicago’s expressways. Gatesman helped Pace celebrate a different type of traffic jam, with a campaign centered around a Spotify playlist of “Traffic Jams,” which launched with 59 songs perfect for cruising—one for every minute the average Chicagoan spends in traffic. The campaign included bus wraps, in-bus and out of home advertising, as well as social content which encouraged riders to share their favorite “Traffic Jams” using #RockingtheShoulder, with the best suggestions landing a spot on Pace’s playlist.

The standout piece of the Rocking the Shoulder campaign was an original song created for Pace, called Rocking the Shoulder, which solidified “Traffic Jam” as a music genre, and won its very own ADDY. The lyrics, sung by a local Chicagoland singer, encapsulate everything riders experience when Rocking the Shoulder— more time, money saved, and the priceless feeling of bypassing traffic.

Through digital, radio and television advertisements, Pace’s We’re Ready, Even if You’re Not campaign highlighted relatable work situations that emphasize the humorous challenges of going back to the office after working from home for so long. In each scenario, characters struggled with the return to normalcy; forgetting what floor they work on, accidentally wearing slippers to work, and attempting to get into a pair of work pants that don’t fit the way they used to. The light-hearted videos showcased that even though commuters might not be ready to get back to the office, Pace will be there as a safe and reliable option when the time comes. The consumer campaign earned Pace a silver ADDY, with the slippers TV ad earning its very own award.

Gatesman’s work for the Pennsylvania Resources Council also earned a silver ADDY. The Landfill is a Life Sentence campaign promoted PRC’s composting classes while educating Pennsylvanians on food waste. The award-winning poster featured the grim future of a half-eaten pepper that’s been sentenced to a trash can, reminding the public that food thrown into the trash doesn’t actually go away.

“Between sentencing a green pepper to life and writing a legitimate banger of a song for a bus company, we really got to flex some creative muscles,” continued DiPietro. “These campaigns aren’t just a win for us, they’re a win for our clients because creativity is a force multiplier. It can earn attention. It can start conversations. It can take brands to some really interesting places.”

About Gatesman:

With offices in Pittsburgh and Chicago, Gatesman offers expertise in strategy/branding, advertising, public relations, social media, digital and analytics. Gatesman is a partner in AMIN Worldwide, an alliance of over 50 independent marketing agencies, and IPREX, a global communications network.  Gatesman acquired Quest Fore in 2014 and Noble Communications in 2017.