Toasting the Best of What's Next

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In a prelude to its annual show and shindig, the AICP handed out its Next Awards this morning at the Museum of Modern Art. BBDO's "Voyeur" (below), for HBO, 180 Amsterdam's global Adidas "Impossible is Nothing - Where Sport Meets Art" campaign and Crispin Porter + Bogusky's "Whopper Freakout" for Burger King all earned the Next prize, launched last year by the AICP to recognize multi-platform creative work.

The winners were selected by a 13-person jury chaired by BBDO North America chairman/CCO David Lubars. Lubars and fellow jurors Benjamin Palmer, co-founder and CEO of the Barbarian Group, R/GA chairman/CEO/ global CCO Bob Greenberg, AKQA ECD Lars Bastholm and Digital Kitchen executive producer Dan McNeill appeared on stage at the event and spoke about the Next winners and their perspectives on how the digital/integrated landscape is changing. Words like "engaging" and "entertaining" were consistently used to describe the current approach to advertising, with Lubars saying the event would be more apt to be called "Is" versus "Next."

Following a brief Q&A session with the audience, the panel gave way to the awards event. Accepting for HBO's "Voyeur," Lubars and BBDO, flanked by network execs, offered a three-part video presentation that went behind-the-scenes of the outdoor-based project, from conception to realization. Featuring interviews with Voyeur director Jake Scott as well as some actors and BBDO creatives, the film offered insight into how the agency came to choose the stripped apartment building facade with various scenarios unfolding in each room, why lower Manhattan was ideal to screen it, what it does for HBO and how it's filtered through the web, mobile and on-demand spaces.

180 Amsterdam creative directors Sean Thompson and Dean Maryon, in keeping with the doodle-driven theme of their honored Adidas promotion, offered a step-by-step sketchbook from start to completion of the project. Wanting to tell "local stories for a global crowd," the agency lured athletes from all over the world including David Beckham and Gilbert Arenas to share hardships in getting to the top by not only narrating them but sketching an image to represent their tale in animated spots. The 180 presentation also included footage of Beckham, Arenas and others in the agency's workshop toiling away on their masterpieces, which have evolved from TV spots to a website to outdoor displays, clothing and even a lavish book that chronicles the two-dozen-plus contributions.

Finally, Crispin's VP of integrated production David Rolfe and Oscar-nominated Smuggler director Henry-Alex Rubin, who helmed the Whopper-withdrawing, customer-baiting "Whopper Freakout" prank, shared the stage for a casual, In the Actor's Studio-like conversation (read our interview with Rubin about "Freakout" here). The pair discussed the amusing campaign including background info, directing hassles, the numerous YouTube parodies and anecdotes about some of the enraged BK customers to wrap up this year's NEXT event.
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