Is there a creative renaissance afoot in Italy? First, there was the thoroughly charming Fast Web "Life" spot out of Ata DMC, Milan (see AdCritic.com and Creativity, Work, November 2002). Now, "Sculptor," an Italian commercial for the Peugeot 206 (above, right), created by Euro RSCG in Milan, has been named best of Europe, capturing the top prize, the Epica d'Or at the European Advertising Festival Epica Awards. The spot won in a shootout with "Missing Piece" (above, left), a print ad for The Economist, created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, London. Andrew Rawlins, who heads the Epica Awards, says the real surprise at the show this year was the many wins by Latin countries, particularly the strong showing by Italy. "For me, the biggest surprise was Italy, with eight winners, including the Epica d'Or - their best-ever showing," he says. Rawlins saw a few other trends in the entries this year. "There is a return to '70s kitsch, on the borderline of good taste, in an ironic sort of way. We saw this in several entries, all youth-oriented in terms of the use of color, fashions and interior design - perhaps a reflection on the childhood of today's creatives."
In its 16th year, the Epicas are the biggest European ad awards, with more than 5,000 entries this year from 42 countries. The most awarded agency was Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, with four winners, including films for Guinness and Stella Artois. Paris-based agencies BETC Euro RSCG and BDDP et Fils had three winners each, as did BBH/London. Apart from "Sculptor" and "Missing Piece," there were four other entries up for the big prize: Levi's "Rub Yourself," from BBH/London; W+K/Amsterdam's "Freestyle Football," for Nike; Pepsi's "Kung Fu," from CLM BBDO/Paris; and the Swedish ICA films, by ad agency King.