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BUFFALO, NY – To say Friday night, March 8, 2024 was a big night for Abbey Mecca, is an understatement.  The agency earned a total of five American Advertising Awards at the annual AAF Buffalo awards competition. The agency won two Gold awards, the CommUNITY Award, the MOSAIC award, and the coveted BEST OF SHOW award. The agency was recognized for the documentary film TWO WARS; The Road to Integration. Abbey Mecca created the 30-minute film for the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park.

Pictured L-R: Dan Mecca, President & Managing Creative Director; Saladin Allah, Associate Producer; Steven Tedesco, Director of Education for the Buffalo Naval Park; Sean Donovan, Director of Video Production; Paul Maurer, Art Director; and Paul Marzello, President & CEO for the Buffalo Naval Park.

A GOLD ADDY is recognition of the highest level of creative excellence and is judged to be superior to all other entries in the category. Abbey Mecca won Gold ADDYs in the categories of Video Editing and Branded Content for Entertainment and Television. The CommUNITY Award recognizes work that has a significant impact in the community.  The MOSAIC Award honors work that exemplifies diversity, equity, and inclusion for underrepresented voices through advertising. The BEST OF SHOW was awarded unanimously to Abbey Mecca by the panel of judges as the best piece of work among more than 400 entries to the 2024 competition.

“Winning these awards and BEST OF SHOW is simply amazing. I’m incredibly proud of the Abbey Mecca team. Hard work, passion and talent was recognized and rewarded.” commented Dan Mecca, president and managing creative director for Abbey Mecca. “We are grateful to the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park for the opportunity to collaborate on this project and tell this important story of American history. We would like to thank AAF Buffalo and the 2024 Show Committee and congratulate the other winners in the 2024 AAA Competition.”

TWO WARS; The Road to Integration examines the topic of segregation and eventual integration of the United States Military. Since the earliest days of the Republic, African Americans have been part of the nation’s fighting force. African American service members in the United States Military fought to defend the very freedoms they could not enjoy as citizens.

In 2022, the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park created an original exhibit and educational program entitled TWO WARS: The Road to Integration. Director of Education, Steven Tedesco created the exhibit to tell the story and major events in U.S. history that involved the segregated armed forces and the changes leading to an integrated fighting force. Tedesco also wrote and co-directed the film.

TWO WARS is told within the context of three time periods – the time from the Revolutionary War to World War II, World War II and Executive Order 9981, and post-World War II to modern-day. The Buffalo Naval Park commissioned Abbey Mecca, a Buffalo based creative and digital marketing firm to produce the documentary. Interviews with military historians, African American authors and historians, along with African American veterans from World War II and other wars, provide first-hand accounts of segregation and integration in the U.S. Military.

“The TWO WARS exhibit and film are ways for the Buffalo Naval Park to fulfill its mission while telling an important chapter of American history. We are thrilled this film and the efforts of those involved received this well-deserved recognition.” commented Paul Marzello, President and CEO for the Buffalo Naval Park.

Picture L-R with the AAF Buffalo MOSAIC Award and BEST OF SHOW are Melissa Keith, Dan Mecca, Sean Donovan, Paul Maurer, and Maggie Attea.

The Abbey Mecca team on the project included: Dan Mecca – Creative Director & Executive Producer; Paul Maurer – Art Director; Sean Donovan – Co-director, Editor, Motion Graphics; Melissa Keith – Media Director; and Maggie Attea – Content Marketing & Social Media. The team from the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park included: Steven Tedesco – Writer and Co-director; and Paul Marzello – Executive Producer.

Abbey Mecca recently received three Telly Awards and a Davey Award for the TWO WARS documentary. The film, which was broadcast in the Buffalo Niagara market in 2023 and is currently syndicated across the United States on PBS, is available online here.

About the AAF and American Advertising Awards

The American Advertising Awards, formerly the ADDYs, is the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition, attracting over 40,000 entries every year in local AAF Club (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 American Advertising Federation (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.

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