Small Agency of the Year, Southwest, Gold: Amélie Co.
When tasked with creating a campaign in Colorado to dissuade people from mixing marijuana and driving, Amélie Co. took a crushed car, flipped it on its side at the entrance to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside of Denver, and covered it in a comically large edible wrapper. "Don't be behind the wheel when your high hits," the wrapper warned.
It's the quintessential Amélie project: weird, big and just controversial enough.
"That's our specialty: taking otherwise mundane topics that have become boring [like] health, safety, education and ... sparking conversations about these topics," said Robin Ashmore, who started the agency in 2002 with her husband, Benoît Guin.
Amélie's clients include the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation, the state's Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), which was behind the warnings about driving high.
Guin said market research is integral to the work Amélie creates. When CDOT wanted a campaign on motorcycle safety, Ashmore and Guin went to biker bars around Denver and talked to riders.