1 2
top of page



Cherokee-based Darling Brand Makery captured 19 Golds at the St. Louis American Advertising Awards. The nine-person shop also took Best of Online/Interactive and overall Best of Show, accounting for nearly half of all Golds awarded.


The lion’s share of the awards came from work done for the agency’s largest client, Toppers Pizza, Inc., headquartered in Whitewater, Wisconsin. 


The American Advertising Awards is the industry’s largest and most representative creative competition, attracting over 40,000 entries nationwide. In St. Louis alone, 500 entries competed for Gold or Silver. The three-tiered competition moves on to regionals where Darling’s work will go up against campaigns from all over Missouri, Illinois, Nebraska and Kansas.   


A total of 41 Gold Awards went to agencies and production companies like Rodgers Townsend/DDB, OB+P, HLK and Coolfire Studios.


Six of Darling’s 19 Golds recognized a series of hand-illustrated pizza boxes for Toppers. They were also cited as the Best of Show. “A pizza box is arguably the most important messaging opportunity for Toppers. It carries the product and sits on the customer’s counter while they eat,” says Jake Edinger, founder and creative director at Darling.


The upstart agency launched in 2017 with three partners and has since grown to nine on a reputation of finding creative opportunity in every assignment. Last year, the little idea shop on Antique Row brought home 10 Golds with its Chief Pizza Officer campaign for Toppers. This year the momentum continued with 7 different campaigns winning for the pizza challenger.


“We couldn’t be more proud of our partnership with Toppers. They’re taking on the big names in the pizza business just as we are going up against larger shops in ours,” says co-founder and head of account service, Blake Padberg. 


“It’s always nice to be recognized by your industry. Our goal is to continue to win awards as a byproduct of doing business-building work for our partners,” chimes co-founder and creative director, Peter Rodick.



Jake Edinger



bottom of page