The most winning work of the last awards season included a web/social media experience that brought history to life, a live sports event that became a TV show, a billboard campaign that served as social commentary, an outdoor installation controlled via mobile phone, a live/multiplatform piece of cubic content, a prank on Italian men, an integrated campaign, a Twitter-to-road-translating robot and a Facebook campaign/furniture giveaway. There was even a commercial.
Much of the honored brand work in the seven biggest award shows reflected a more expansive definition of "creative," and an industry starting to move beyond the bounds of advertising and toward more meaningful brand ideas.
If there was criticism of some of this year's most-lauded work, it was that a few of the digital initiatives -- things like the creative darling Ikea Facebook Showroom -- were somewhat ... light. They were short-term hits rather than big swinging "brand ideas."
But, looked at another way, that work showed agencies' growing knack for making things that make sense to people in the real world, for harnessing everyday behavior in the service of brands and working in symphony with the most used web and social-media tools instead of reinventing the wheel and orchestrating big, long lead-time "campaigns."
And there were certainly meaty business ideas represented among the winners -- things like Best Buy Twelpforce from Crispin Porter & Bogusky. There were also big content ideas, like TBWA/Chiat/Day L.A.'s Replay campaign for Gatorade, which brought together rival high school football teams for a rematch and which saw the agency evolve into a producer of TV content.
The Creativity Awards Report tallies results from the seven top industry shows -- the ADC, AICP, Andy Awards, Cannes Lions, Clios, D&AD and One Show -- and offers lists of the most award-winning agencies, networks, creatives, directors, production companies and marketers. The report also scores the top campaigns, with lists reflecting most wins in each media category and most wins overall, regardless of category. The scores are based on points assigned to each award type (Grand Prix, Gold, Silver, etc.).
The Martin Agency and Domani Studios' We Choose the Moon sits atop the overall, category-agnostic list of most-winning work.
The Moon site re-created the historic Apollo 11 moon mission exactly 40 years later using digital technology and archival images and audio. Martin Agency and Domani Studios, the digital shop that built the site, re-created the 11 stages of the lunar journey in real time using 100 hours of audio transmissions and 400 photos from NASA and the library archive. A desktop mission tracker allowed people to follow the action; e-mail updates marked key moments; and 650 audio clips were transmitted via Twitter, exactly 40 years after they were first sent. The agency says the site attracted 1.25 million visitors and the campaign drew 30,000 Twitter followers and widespread media attention, including live coverage on CNN.
The initiative was an apt winner in that it demonstrated the power of execution in making a great idea accessible and compelling to a huge number of people, and embodied the more meaningful tone of some of the best work of the last year.
The awards juggernaut that was TBWA/Hunt Lascaris' Trillion Dollar Billboard for The Zimbabwean Newspaper was the top finishing entry in the Integrated & Innovative category (which incorporates things like the Cannes Titanium and Integrated Lions and other shows' innovation prizes) and also topped the out-of-home list.
That campaign and Gatorade Replay racked up big wins for TBWA but it wasn't enough to beat out BBDO as top agency network. Several BBDO offices put big awards numbers on the board this year, including Almap BBDO, which won for work on behalf of VW, Bayer Aspirin and Havaianas, as well as creating the top print campaign, Bono/Eminem/Amy/Britney for Billboard; AMVBBDO for its much-awarded Choose a Different Ending campaign for the London Metropolitan Police, and BBDO, New York, for its hugely awarded "Imagine" integrated campaign for HBO.