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Empower Wins Best of Show and Judge’s Choice at Cincinnati ADDY Awards
The Un-Holding Company Also Brings Home Five Gold and 10 Silver Awards.

CINCINNATI (March 15, 2021) – Empower: The Un-Holding Company was one of the most awarded agencies of the night at The American Advertising Awards. Winning Best of Show for its American Standard #Flush2020 campaign and a Judge’s Choice award for its very own holiday window gift guide were among the highlights of the evening. Check out the award-winning reel.

Everyone can agree that 2020 was a year for the toilet. So, American Standard decided to give 2020 the sendoff it deserved. For the #Flush2020 campaign, Empower custom-designed toilet paper filled with some of the worst parts of 2020, like murder hornets, COVID and being stuck on mute, and gave it away in an online contest.

“A timeless, functional brand like American Standard can be relevant and have a little fun,” said Noelle Giblin, Sr. Director, American Standard Brand Activation. “It’s not about having a large budget—it’s about having the right partners to push you outside of your comfort zone. We’re proud to earn Best of Show with our social media partner, Empower,” she said.

Empower struck gold in five categories including an award for best photography for its stunning capture of Cincinnati’s Black Lives Matter Mural in front of City Hall – a work developed by 17 Black project managers and over 70 local artists. Several publications and organizations requested to use it. Empower’s docu-series “Grind Before You Shine” follows the journey of its very own Olympic hopeful, Annette Echikunwoke, earned a gold ADDY in the self-promotion, single medium category. The Empower Search Associate is slated to compete in the Nigerian Olympic Trials in June for Hammer Throw.

“The Cincinnati advertising community used to defy expectations, but now creative excellence is expected,” said Empower’s president and chief operating officer, Rob FitzGerald. “It’s an honor to be recognized among the best in this town – the consumer marketing capital of the world,” he said.

Rounding out the night with 10 Silver ADDY Awards included recognition of the progressive healthcare advertising Empower has created for TriHealth – honoring spectacular art direction, branded content and radio.

See below for a full list of Awards.


American Standard #Flush2020


Empower’s OTR Window Gift Guide


American Standard #Flush2020 | social media campaign
Empower OTR Window gift guide | corporate social responsibility campaign
BLM Mural | photography
American Standard #Flush2020 | integrated campaign (regional national)
Grind Before You Shine self-promo | single medium campaign


Empower OTR Window gift guide | ambient media self-promotion
Empower OTR Window Gift Guide | cross-platform corporate responsibility
Grind Before You Shine (Annette) | photography
TriHealth Ortho | art direction
Grind Before You Shine | ep 1 cinematography
Grind Before You Shine series | cinematography
Grind Before You Shine Series ep1 | editing
TriHealth Cancer | radio
TriHealth Cancer “Ring Out Hope” bell | branded content
Grind Before You Shine | self-promo film video and sound


Joel Arzu — ACD, Ogilvy Chicago
Emily Chang, Copywriter, Droga5, NYC
Joshua Erhart — Marketing, Chicago, former BBDO
Kevin Hart — CD Mathworks, Boston
Dan Rozier — CD Laundry Service, NYC
Lizzie Wilson — CD, NYC, former McCaan

About The ADDYS

The American Advertising Awards, aka the ADDYS, is one of the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition, attracting over 40,000 entries every year in local AAF Ad Club competitions. The mission of the American Advertising Awards competition is to recognize and reward the creative spirit of excellence in the art of advertising.

Conducted annually by the AAF, the local Ad Club phase is the first of a three-tier, national competition. Concurrently, all across the country, local entrants vie to win ADDY Awards—recognition as the very best in their markets. At the second tier, local ADDY winners compete against winners from other local clubs in one of 15 district competitions. District ADDY winners are then forwarded to the third tier, the national stage of the American Advertising Awards. Entry in your local Ad Club competition is the first step toward winning a national ADDY.

About Empower

We are Empower, The Un-Holding Company. Our advantage is simple: Clients first - not shareholders.

From the day we opened our doors in 1985, Empower has always challenged the media status quo.

Empower is MediaPost’s 2021 Creative Agency of the Year, recognized as one of the top independent agencies by Campaign US, a two-time Ad Age Agency A-List Standout (2019 and 2021) and was crowned MediaPost’s 2016 Media Agency of the Year.

Our integrated team of experts in Media, Creative, Analytics and Word-of-Mouth Marketing outperform expectations. Celebrating two Adweek Media All-Star wins, back-to-back, while also being honored by the Webby Awards, The One Show, National ADDYs and ANA REGGIE Awards proves the eclectic talent at Empower is no one-hit wonder.

Empower’s client and employee tenure rate is unmatched - 3X the industry average. Some of our biggest fans include Brooks Running, Conn’s HomePlus, LIXIL (American Standard, GROHE and DXV), Tempur Sealy, Fifth Third Bank, Gorilla Glue, TriHealth, Jack Link’s, V-Tech, Bush Brothers, Wendy’s, GNC, Famous Footwear, Ashley, Rust-Oleum, RoC Skincare and Newell Brands.

Empower is headquartered in the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of downtown Cincinnati. Our Chicago office is located in the city’s bustling River North neighborhood, just steps from the Merchandise Mart. And our newest Atlanta hub is located inside the Interlock in West Midtown.

While much has evolved in our 38-year history, we remain independent with plenty of hustle…

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