The robot INO-V8 built for the Innovation Alliance campaign.

By Rick Griffin

Three San Diego marketing firms recently received four national ADDY awards at the American Advertising Federation at the ADMERICA convention, held at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. All three firms received silver awards.

San Diego creative agency i.d.e.a. received two awards for their client Innovation Alliance in the user experience category and the B2B integrating advertising campaign category. The focus of their campaign for Innovation Alliance was to raise awareness on the importance of protecting strong patent legislation to policy makers in Washington.

The campaign spanned multiple platforms, including a national convention where a 10-foot-high robot was brought to life. Built from technologies and products invented in the U.S. over the past two decades, the robot named INO-V8 was a tribute to the spirit of American innovation. Every time someone tweeted to #PatentsMatter, the robot would power to life. Every time they stopped tweeting, INO-V8 would shut down. Through targeted engagement, Innovation Alliance was able to connect with 63 million media impressions, 37,000 letters were sent to elected officials and ultimately a congressional bill being shelved.

“Thanks to our client, Innovation Alliance, for allowing us to truly think outside of the box on this one,” said Ryan Berman, i.d.e.a.’s co-founder and chief creative officer. “This wouldn’t have been possible without their courageous trust in our team.”

Two other national ADDY award recipients included: Traina Design in the magazine category for UC San Diego Discoveries Magazine, published by UC San Diego Health; Eat Drink Sleep in the menu category for Decoy Dockside, a restaurant in San Marcos.

Three students from the San Diego Portfolio Studio also received national student awards. Dan Hawes and Matthew Pitcher won a gold award in the campaign category for “Sea to Summit, Mine’s Smaller.” Vladimir Guskic won a silver award in the website category for client Buena Vista Social Club.

A complete list of winners can be found here,

The American Advertising Federation is a national advertising trade organization representing more than 40,000 advertising professionals and 200 local clubs, including San Diego SDX. The federation’s national competition is regarded as the world’s largest and arguably the toughest advertising competition with more than 40,000 entries annually.

Local Emmy Award Winners Announced

The Pacific Southwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences recently presented more than 100 regional Emmy awards in 70 categories, culled from more than 900 entries.

According to Kristen Castillo, NATAS chapter vice president, recipients included:

  • KGTV/10News for “Violence Erupts at Police Protest” on its 11 p.m. evening newscast; “The Now San Diego: Wildfires Sparked by Summer Scorcher” on its 4 p.m. weekday newscast; and, “Truck Careens off Coronado Bridge” on a 10News weekend newscast;
  • KNSD/NBC 7 San Diego for “Riots at Donald Trump Rally” on its 11 p.m. newscast;
  • KSWB/Fox 5 for its “Showdown on the Southeast Side” on its Fox 5 Morning News with Meagan Medrick as executive producer;
  • KFMB/CBS 8 for “Humanitarian Crisis in Tijuana” report, as well as education and military reports;
  • Fox Sports San Diego for “19 Memories, A Tribute to Tony Gwynn,” and “SDLIVE, Episode #111 with Dick Enberg;”
  • The San Diego Union-Tribune for its series, “75 Years Later, Keeping Pearl Harbor Memories Alive,” in the news-historical/cultural category, produced by Luis Cruz, Howard Lipin, Peter Rowe, David Brooks, Misael Virgen and Lauren Flynn.

Awards for on-camera talent went to: Joe Little, Steve Atkinson, Allison Ash, Brian Schlonsky, Melissa Mecija and Bree Steffen, KGTV/10News; Richard Allyn, Abbie Alford and Nichelle Medina, KFMB/CBS News 8; Nina Thompson, Jason Guinter, Dave Summers, Greg Bledsoe and Steven Luke, NBC 7 San Diego; Jordan Whitley and Andrew Luria, KSWB/Fox 5; Jacob Santos, Mark Sweeney, Jeffrey Byle, Kimberly Pletyak, Henry Ford, Fox Sports San Diego; Francisco Fajardo-­Nungaray, XHAS Telemundo 33; Tabitha Lipkin, AWE TV. Additionally Dick Enberg received an Emmy award for his writing.

NATAS said total number of station awards were: KGTV/10News, 14; KNSD/NBC 7 San Diego, 13; Fox Sports San Diego, seven; The San Diego Union Tribune, six; KSWB/Fox5, five; KFMB/CBS 8, four; Cox Media, two; XHAS Telemundo 33, two; AWE-TV, one; XETV/CW 6, one; and Channel 4 San Diego, one.

For a complete list of 2017 recipients, visit The Pacific Southwest NATAS chapter includes television professionals who work in San Diego, Bakersfield, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Santa Maria. In 2016, the local NATAS chapter presented 240 Emmy awards.

Padres Radio Adds TV Sportscaster to Game-day Broadcasts

Entercom San Diego’s KBZT-FM 94.9-FM, an alternative-rock FM station broadcasting the San Diego Padres games this year, has announced that TV sportscaster Ben Higgins has joined the game-day broadcast team as a pre- and post-game show host. Higgins, sports director for 10News KGTV, said he will host shows along with Rich Herrera, senior executive producer for Padres programming. Higgins also said he expects to host shows mostly on weekends and day games when he’s not busy at 10News on weeknights.

Ben Higgins

Higgins previously hosted Padres pre- and post-game shows, including from 2000 to 2003, when the games aired on iHeart Media’s KOGO 600-AM, as well as during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, when the games aired on XPRS 1090-AM The Mighty 1090, operated by San Diego-based Broadcast Company of the Americas (BCA).

Higgins graduated from Torrey Pines High School (class of 1993) and began his sports broadcasting career with XTRA Sports 690 radio in 1997. He joined 10News in 2002. From 2010 to 2016, Higgins host a sports talk show on KLSD/XTRA-AM Fox Sports San Diego 1360-AM. For the past three months, Higgins has hosted “KOGO at Night,” a current events talk show on 600-AM, which he ended in order to join the Padres.

This is the first year of Entercom’s five-year contract for Padres’ broadcast rights that runs through 2021. It’s the first time in Padres baseball history (the team joined Major League Baseball in 1969) that fans are listening to all 162 regular season games on an FM station instead of an AM station. Since Petco Park opened in 2004, Padres games had been heard on all-sports The Mighty 1090. In addition to FM 94/9, Entercom Communications operates two other stations in San Diego, including KSON 97.3-FM and 92.1-FM and KIFM-FM Sunny 98.1-FM.

AMA Hosts Rebrand Celebration

San Diego’s American Marketing Association chapter will host a “Rebrand Celebration” from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25, at Sparks Events Hall, 7340 Miramar Road. AMA officials said the event will include the introduction of a new logo, new members and new board members. Cost to attend is $30 for members, $60 for nonmembers. To RSVP and for more information, call (619) 402-7825 or visit

Christine Wiley

Serving as 2017-2018 AMA chapter president will be Christine Wiley, a national marketing director with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She succeeds David Palmer, who served as AMA chapter president since 2015. Wiley is a graduate of Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business with a bachelor’s degree in managerial sciences and entrepreneurship. She has been involved in the local AMA chapter since 2011 and has served in various roles, including communications and sponsorship.

“The best thing about San Diego AMA is meeting like-minded marketers, in all types of companies and functions, who want to change the world one story at a time,” Wiley said. “I’m able to connect with the local marketing community, acquire new skills and resources, find out about the latest marketing trends and learn how others are addressing marketing challenges and client needs. My one gold nugget of wisdom would be to cultivate an environment of honesty, sincerity and trust in all you do. Integrity is the foundation of moral character and is an essential trait for truly successful professional and personal lives.”

Rick Griffin
Rick Griffin

Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.