Ford Wiles, chief creative officer and partner for Birmingham-based Big, was named American Advertising Federation (AAF)-Birmingham Silver Award Medal Winner at the annual ADDYs awards ceremony, held Friday, Feb. 24.
Established in 1959, the AAF Silver Medal Award Program recognizes men and women who have made outstanding contributions to advertising and who have been active in furthering the industry’s standards, creative excellence and responsibility in areas of social concern. Annually, AAF member clubs — including Birmingham — bestow this honor upon outstanding members of local advertising communities.
“Ford is one of those talents and personalities to which people tend to gravitate,” John Montgomery, Big founder and CEO, who received the prestigious Silver Medal in 2011. “His ability and creativity have allowed him to be a mainstay on the creative scene in Birmingham for over 20 years, and we could not be more proud of him for being recognized with this distinction.”
A long-time veteran of the Magic City’s creative entrepreneurial class, Wiles has worked with national brands such as Home Depot, Saks Incorporated, Verizon Wireless and Captain D’s, as well as large regional brands including Books-A-Million, Melvyn’s Department Stores and Bruno’s Supermarkets.
Since 2008, he has been partner and chief creative officer at Big, helping to win statewide accounts including Alabama Gulf Seafood and The Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute, among others, and spearheading the creative work that helped Big land national Agency of Record status with 150-year-old ValvolineTM. His influence and contribution at Big have helped the company grow from 10 people when he arrived to the 75 person creative firm it is today.
“While Ford has helped us grow our client list throughout the nation, he has made certain that Big proudly maintains its commitment to being a local-first agency,” added Montgomery.
His design ability is evident in some of the most iconic identities in Birmingham, creating the “50 Years Forward” mark and brand for the 2013 Civil Rights commemoration, the logo for the Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau (IN campaign) and the graphic identity for the Sidewalk Film Festival.
Wiles is a 2014 alum of Leadership Birmingham and a highly decorated veteran of the AAF-Birmingham chapter, winning both Art Director of the Year and Creative Director of the Year on multiple occasions. He is involved with a number of charitable organizations, including The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham, Sidewalk Film Festival, Bo Bikes Bama, the Woodlawn Foundation and Cornerstone School, and is a member of the United Way Tocqueville Society.
In addition to Wiles’ win, Big Communications won a total of 13 ADDYs for their work with Valvoline, Alabama Department of Commerce, The Burning Peppermints, The Wharf, Finster Fest, John Moreland, Birmingham YWCA, Sidewalk Film Festival, Alys Stephens Center, and Big’s own brand.