NEWS- Emma wins: Martin/Horn snags top prize

If Danielle Gauldin had any fears about leaving Charlottesville's biggest ad agency to set up a one-woman marketing department for a construction company, such fears probably evaporated May 16 when she earned an "Emma" in the area's leading marketing contest.

Her "Greetings from..." campaign played on classic American travel postcards– using photographs of buildings built by Martin/Horn Inc General Contractors. The portfolio was named the top overall campaign in the annual contest sponsored by the Central Virginia Chapter of the American Marketing Association.

"This is totally different for us," said Martin/Horn VP Doug Horn. "Danielle's come in and started with nothing and done a really good job."

She might have started with some big-firm experience, though. The agency Gauldin left behind, Payne Ross & Associates, turned out to be the night's big winner, taking three "Emmas," the most of any firm.

"I would only hope that she's learned as much from us as we learned," said Payne Ross principal Susan Ross. "When you're in the advertising business, people move on, and that's great."

The evening's top print advertising prize went to a husband-wife graphic arts firm, Gotham Grafix, for its campaign for Prince Michel winery.

"We played off the traditional wine terms to make it sound fun, and we used contemporary images not usually found in wine advertising," said Gotham Grafix principal John Payne. His wife, Susan Payne, executed the winery ads, and– with a logo featuring the eyes of the Bard– earned a second Emma for "rebranding" Shenandoah Shakespeare as the American Shakespeare Company.

The most highly contested category was in print materials, which Payne Ross won with brochurs for the Charlottesville & University Symphony Orchestra. The laggard category was radio advertising. Neither of the two local radio station conglomerates entered. Payne Ross sent in both entries.

The Daily Progress, although it didn't win, was the only major newspaper company to enter, and there were 63 entries in all. Travel company World Strides won for best Internet maketing. Payne Ross, which donated its creative work to the Charlottesville Free Clinic for bilingual materials, won for best non-profit marketing.

Ironically, shortly after the winning winery campaign began last fall, Prince Michel was sold, and the innovative ads immediately stopped running. Not so for "Greetings from..," and Doug Horn believes his company's investment in creative services will pay off. "It'll help people think of Martin-Horn," Horn says, "next time we're looking for a contract."

Danielle Gauldin accepts the "Emma" she earned for Martin-Horn.


Martin/Horn sent its greetings from the Charlottesville Pavilion, CHS, and the Venable Court Apartments.