In 2010, Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam's Nike World Cup blockbuster "Write the Future" spot had just missed the deadline for submission to Cannes -- perhaps sparing the film jury the bloodshed that might have resulted from putting Wayne Rooney and other soccer studs in the same ring as Old Spice's The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (star of last year's Film Grand Prix Winner and a fellow Wieden agency creation). But the stamina of the idea -- which plays out the career paths of football all-stars like Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo through to their potential World Cup victories -- or defeats -- endured for a whole year after World Cup fever flamed out.
How firmly "Write the Future" captured the industry's hearts and minds is evident in its emergence as 2011's big winner. The spot topped this year's list of most-celebrated TV ideas, but it also served as the anchor of a multifaceted campaign that rocketed to the top of this year's overall award winners -- the biggest performers irrespective of media category, show or platform.
Not that Nike lacked formidable competition. In a surprise move, "Write the Future" bested what would be hard to disprove as the most talked-about social-media push of the year, Old Spice's "Response" Campaign. In our 2010 Creativity Awards report we predicted this to be the Portland contingent's next big thing. And it was. The W&K, Portland, team allowed everyone and Alyssa Milano to get up close and personal with the Man Your Man Could Smell Like in real time, via an insane production marathon that saw its creative team both writing and directing YouTube video comebacks on the fly in response to fans' and celebrities' social-media comments.
The campaign also ranked among the most-awarded overall, topped the interactive winners category and managed to pull the kind of repeat that has eluded other highly decorated clients such as Honda, or Cadbury, for example—it earned a Cannes Grand Prix and other big bling for its sequel. "It's my belief that agencies and marketers get sick of campaigns faster than your average consumer," said James Moorhead, Gillette associate marketing director and former Old Spice brand manager. "If you do an excellent job listening to consumers, then I believe you will know when to pour gas onto the fire and when to start fresh."
In all, Creativity 's Annual Report tallies the results from the seven top shows in the ad industry: ADC, AICP, The Andy Awards, Cannes, The One Show, D&AD and The Clios. Featured within are the most decorated agencies, marketers, networks, creative, directors and production companies. The report also determines the most-awarded campaigns, divvied up into individual categories (print, TV, integrated, etc.) as well as the overall most-awarded efforts, regardless of category.
Domination was clearly a theme in this year's results. The Wieden family, occupied prime real estate in this year's rankings. Portland, followed by Amsterdam, took the top-awarded agency slots, while its creative directors occupied seven of the top 10 seats for most-awarded creative directors, and its copywriters and art directors took six slots within their respective charts. The success of Old Spice landed its creative team not just in the highest rungs of the creative charts, but also in four seats among the year's most awarded directors—rankings typically reserved for those who make their living full time behind the camera. (see creativity-online.com/ awardsreport2011)
Droga5, New York, also had a huge presence, with two of its campaigns landing among the most-awarded campaigns of the year: Puma's "After Hours Athlete," and Jay -Z/Bing's "Decode," which was runner-up to overall winner Nike and also topped the lists of Out of Home Campaigns and Integrated and Innovative Campaigns.
And then, there was Google. 2011 was the year that the once-famous-for-not-marketing brand became famous for its marketing. The advertiser ranked third among overall most-awarded brands, only to P&G and Nike , thanks to awards magnets like "The Wilderness Downtown" and "Chrome Speed Tests," among other efforts.
See the listings of Top 10 overall and individual category campaigns, agencies, networks, marketers, creatives, directors and production companies in the Creativity 2011 Awards Report.
For a more comprehensive look at the winners and a deeper look at how they were made, download the Creativity 2011 Awards Report Whitepaper.