Deardorff Goes Big - Wins 2015 Louix Award
There are times when a firm just has to go big. Or in the case of Deardorff, go Big Top. The brand agency was seeking to show clients the wild creativity, digital expertise and tight turnarounds it offers. In the process, the agency created a sumptuous story of a murder that took place in an 1890s traveling circus, and brought that world to magnificent life ¾ both in a parallax Web experience and live performance art. The final result was honored by the Art Directors Club of Philadelphia on February 26, 2015, and can be viewed at
“The advertising world is bursting with highly creative, highly inventive people doing amazing work,” explains Deardorff President, Jill Deardorff. “My team knows that if we want our agency and our work to stand out, we have to push the boundaries in every conceivable way, and I think we really accomplished that this year.”
Deardorff clients are familiar with the elaborate, annual Halloween parties the firm hosts. For Halloween 2014, the theme was “Murder at the Circus.” The intriguing HTML invitation took invitees to an animated website that captured the dark, virtual world of O’Malley’s Traveling Circus, a downtrodden assemblage of circus stars and sideshow performers. On the site, the grisly murder of Nicolo Coronado, the star trapeze artist, was presented in graphic detail, along with images of all the suspects and their motives: The Boss Lady Madame O’Malley, The Strong Man Matt Hayden, The Wolf Boy Thomas, The Bearded Lady and more.
In all, seven sinister suspects were woven throughout the tale, each cast through an agency wide audition, and depicted with creepy stop-motion photography for an engrossing online experience.
Deardorff’s technology team developed a fully animated site with custom sound effects for this year’s much-anticipated invitation. On October 30, 2014, guests arrived at Deardorff’s headquarters to find the entire facility transformed into a Big Top circus, and at the peak of the party, the Deardorff team ¾ dressed as their online circus personas ¾ staged a live performance in which the murderer was revealed. A second HTML blast delivered the news of the killer’s capture to those who could not attend the party.
“Did we go over the top?” asks Deardorff. “Absolutely. We set out to captivate the imagination by creating an experience that would bridge the virtual, physical and metaphorical worlds. Our Traveling Circus did all this and now more with the award we received!”
About the Louix Awards
The Louix Awards is the Art Directors Club of Philadelphia’s “Top Dog” creative competition, honoring the year’s best creative advertising and design work from agencies, designers, art directors, illustrators, Web designers, videographers, animators and copywriters.
Celebrating more than 30 years of success, Deardorff is an award-winning and full-service, integrated brand agency with expertise across numerous industries. Serving the advertising, interactive and public relations needs of a client list that includes global Fortune 500 companies, government, nonprofits and smaller businesses, the agency delivers tangible results to businesses that want to Go Places! For more information, visit www.deardorffassociates.com or call 302.764.7573.