Mon | Feb 17, 2020

The LAB wins ADDY Gold

Published:Monday | March 18, 2019 | 1:49 AM

Millennial-run agency, The LAB, is making strides in the international digital content arena. The full-service creative agency and production company won gold in the Caribbean leg of the American Advertising Awards (AAA), or ADDY Awards, for its groundbreaking Nannyville Run-a-Boat video, created for client Grace Foods.

Kimala Bennett, CEO of the 11-year-old firm, credits the strength of her team with the win.

 “Our team is made up of some of the most talented creative minds and film-makers in the region. From the moment we saw the first frames, co-directed by our own Jesane Jackson, we knew we had something truly special,” said Bennett.

Gold ADDY Award entries are automatically entered in the mainland US competition where they will compete against North American agencies.

“We are very excited about this award to the LAB,” said Angeline Gillings, managing director, Grace Foods Ltd.

 “The series of community activities with Ding Dong, featuring one of his favourite Grace products, achieved the objective of promoting positive vibes and sharing. Community members came together with music and games while run-a-boat preparations were taking place on different corners.”

Angella Black recalls how the Grace team surprised the community with gifts of mackerel and other Grace products and were impressed by the ingenuity of the dishes presented. “Nannyville surprised us right back with innovative dishes including curried mackerel and french-fried mackerel, showing a diversity of dishes using our product,” said Black.

With a real-life philosophy in mind, The LAB team captured the reality and excitement of community life in Nannyville, and the unique way in which Jamaicans have incorporated mackerel, not just into their diets but also into culture.

“Mackerel is a way of life, it is the national dish of the ghetto and when cooked, it becomes a gourmet thing for us,” entertainer Ding Dong explained. A Grace Global Brand Ambassador and Nannyville resident, the two-minute documentary style short film is told from his point-of-view.

“We wanted to show the authentic and unique connection that Jamaicans have to tin mackerel in general and to Grace mackerel specifically,” noted co-director Jesane Jackson.

For LAB General Manager Tashara-Lee Johnson, the win shows how the advertising landscape is changing. “Jamaican advertising is evolving everyday and we are proud to represent the country at this level,” said Johnson.

 An accomplished film producer, who has worked with the likes of Beyoncé and Nick Cannon, she believes that awards like this will bring respect to Caribbean film-making.

The LAB has won four ADDY Awards. In addition to the gold for the Nannyville Run-a-Boat video, they won two silver awards, for Christmas with Flava, also for client Grace and mPOS, for client NCB. For 2017, they won silver for the Grace Flava with a Beat campaign.