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March 11, 2021

Creative Energy Dominates American Advertising Awards with a Special Twist

David G. Brashears

Creative Energy 2021 American Advertising Awards wins

Local Agency Leverages Their Talent to Help Community and Small Business

(Johnson City, Tenn.) – Creative Energy grew its dominance in creative accolades this year during the annual American Advertising Federation’s Awards sponsored by the Northeast Tennessee Chapter. But this year, there was a special twist to the ad agency’s recognitions as several of its top awards were for a new business start-up and a pro bono campaign to help fight the COVID pandemic.

“Every business has faced extraordinary challenges over the past year,” says Creative Energy founder and CEO Tony Treadway. “Our employees never lost sight of our mission to use our insights to bring brands to life through ideas that serve a greater purpose. That is why we invested in our own community to save lives and grow business for new and established clients.”

CURED Fine Meats campaign

A Jonesborough, TN-based new business start-up, CURED, earned Best of Show honors as well as numerous Gold and Silver Awards for everything from brand identity and social media to photography. “Helping to develop a branded identity to tell the powerful story of a small business start-up has been a really fun experience for both our client and team. Earning the Best of Show recognition is incredibly rewarding, and further validates our passion and capability of developing cult brands for all kinds of clients,” says Samantha Davis, Brand Executive for the CURED account.

Earning a Judge’s Choice Award and a Gold Award was the agency’s pro bono “Wear the Mask Campaign” for Region AHEAD to encourage consumers to wear masks during the height of the pandemic in the region. The agency also produced a pro bono campaign that raised more than $250,000 for grants to struggling small businesses for Region AHEAD.

Other top awards came for established accounts, such as a Judge’s Choice award for Pal’s Sudden Service’s “Full of Magic Campaign” promoting the fast-food chain’s Cheddar Rounds, and a Judge’s Choice Award for Bank of Tennessee’s “Green Ribbon Campaign” saluting small business customers who they helped in securing PPP loans during the pandemic.

A Gold Award was presented for the new “” website to attract motorcycle enthusiasts on behalf of the Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau. Another Gold Award was earned for the Holston Medical Group’s “HMG Brand Campaign” and a Gold for the brand identity campaign for Unicoi County, TN.

Overall, Creative Energy earned five Silver and seven Gold Awards as well as Best of Show and swept all three Judge’s Choice Awards in the competition. The judging was performed for the Northeast Tennessee Chapter by advertising experts from across the U.S.

“We are blessed by great creative and marketing experts who opted to weather a pandemic by focusing on creating brands and growing business for our clients,” says Teresa Treadway, Vice-President of Media for Creative Energy. “Congratulations to all of our clients and to every employee.”

Below is a list of all awards earned by Creative Energy during this year’s competition:

Silver Award Winners

  • Single Spot :30 Seconds – Green Ribbon Campaign
    • Client: Bank of Tennessee
    • Goal: To communicate the client’s proactive support for local businesses during 2020
  • Integrated Brand Identity Campaign – Southern Dozen
    • Client: Johnson City Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • Goal: To help our local tourism board inspire new ways to experience the beauty of our region safely through curated rides/drives
  • Black & White/Color/Digitally Enhanced Photography Campaign – CURED Photography
    • Client: CURED Fine Meats
    • Goal: To help a local entrepreneur pivot to retail goods during mass shutdowns and social distancing that had impacted local foodservice business
  • Local Design – I Am Tybre
    • Client: Tybre Faw
    • Goal: To create a branding campaign to help a young social advocate share his message with a larger audience
  • Single Spot Any Length – Philly Swirl Pre-Roll
    • Client: J&J Snack Foods
    • Goal: Develop new assets to inspire delight and comfort using frozen confections for kids of all ages

Gold Award Winners

  • Social Media Campaign – CURED
    • Client: CURED Fine Meats
    • Goal: To engage a locally targeted social media community to grow a new retail brand
  • Integrated Brand Identity Campaign – CURED
    • Client: CURED Fine Meats
    • Goal: Create an effective brand identity to grow a new local cured meats retail producer
  • Television National Campaign – HMG Brand Campaign
    • Client: Holston Medical Group
    • Goal: Develop a new brand message to share the local commitment of Holston Medical Group with their patients and team members
  • Single Spot :30 Seconds – Full of Magic
    • Client: Pal’s Sudden Service
    • Goal: Share a new message of whimsy and fun around one of Pal’s Sudden Service’s most beloved menu items – Cheddar Rounds
  • Consumer Online/Interactive – Southern Dozen Website
    • Client: Johnson City Convention & Visitors Bureau
    • Goal: Create a new online resource to showcase the beauty and natural resources available in our region for those needing to escape safely
  • Logo Design – Real Wild Unicoi County
    • Client: Unicoi County Economic Development Board
    • Goal: Create a new brand identity campaign to help Unicoi County communicate its many attractive resources to those looking to work remotely, retire, or start a new business
  • Integrated Media Pro Bono Campaign – Wear the Mask
    • Client: RegionAHEAD
    • Goal: Help develop a community PSA campaign that inspires residents and visitors to wear their masks by leveraging emotional stories from frontline medical workers

Best of Show

  • Cured Integrated Branding Campaign

Judge’s Choice Awards

  • Full of Magic – Pal’s Sudden Service
  • Wear the Mask – RegionAHEAD
  • Green Ribbon – Bank of Tennessee

To learn more about Creative Energy, and to see other examples of their award-winning work, visit To join or learn more about the American Advertising Federation’s Northeast Tennessee Chapter, visit