Duracell won the first Best in Show prize at the Multicultural Excellence Awards given out Monday night at the ANA's Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference in Miami.
The "Trust Your Power" spot by Saatchi & Saatchi features deaf NFL player Derrick Coleman, who narrates his life story, and the challenges he faced growing up and becoming a professional football player for the Seattle Seahawks: "They told me I should just give up … but I've been deaf since I was three, so I didn't listen." Throughout the film, his Duracell-powered hearing aid is clearly visible. The spot for the Procter & Gamble battery brand also won the ANA's new "People with Disabilities" category.
"As a collective body of work, that [People with Disabilities] category was the most emotionally moving," said Micah Carr, a brand manager at Kimberly-Clark and one of this year's ANA awards judges. "The most successful ones didn't feel like a PSA ad; they weren't just doing right by people with disabilities because it's the right thing to do."
Instead, she said, the brands were deeply connected to an individual's story, such as the way Duracell batteries helped power Mr. Coleman's rise and success.
The other new category this year is Total Market, won by Wieden & Kennedy's "It's Beautiful" spot for Coca-Cola, which aired during the 2014 Super Bowl. Set to "America the Beautiful" sung by Americans in seven languages, the spot highlights the beauty of the country and its citizens.
"They hit it out of the park with 'It's Beautiful'," said Xavier Turpin, director of multicultural marketing at Dunkin' Brands Inc and one of this year's ANA awards judges. "It's all about the U.S., but they did it with all those ethnic backgrounds and languages. Being a multicultural marketer, it's a reality that there are so many minorities who have been here a long time."
Mr. Turpin, who was born in Mexico, added, "We are Americans and we love this country. We're here and we're contributing in so many different ways to the economy and to the culture."
The top prize in the largest category, for Hispanic work, went to Allstate and its Hispanic agency Lapiz for the insurance company's "Mala Suerte" ("Bad Luck") character. In a Hispanic twist, fans picked bad luck moments from melodramatic telenovelas. A special prize for the best bad luck moment was created and handed out -- by the Mala Suerte guy himself -- at the Premios Tu Mundo awards for Spanish-language soap operas.
"Mala Suerte has been around for a few years, but they continued to keep it fresh and relevant, with a lot of interest and social-media impact," Mr. Turpin said. "I enjoyed how they've stretched this one character."
"He was hilarious," said Ms. Carr, adding that the entry made the judges laugh.
Hispanic shop Dieste was the only agency to win in two categories -- Digital and Significant Results --with a pet adoption social-media project for Dallas Pets Alive! that added adoptable pets to Instagram photos of celebrities and others.
The other category winners are:
African American: The NBA and GlobalHue, working with The Marketing Arm & Cultur8
LGBT: Mondelez International's Honey Maid and Droga5
Print: Special Olympics Texas and LatinWorks
Radio: Heineken USA's Tecate and Inspire!