And the winner is, Outpost.com!
In an industry more obsessed with scorekeeping than House Republicans and more enamored of medals than your standard Third World dictator, the results are in.
Donald Gunn, former head of Leo Burnett Co.'s Creative Exchange Resource Department, former president of the International Advertising Festival and longtime Cannes prognosticator, has transformed himself into the ad industry's version of the General Accounting Office and released the first "Gunn Report."
Mr. Gunn has spent the last seven weeks compiling what he claims is the authoritative list of the most-awarded TV and print ad or campaign, the most-awarded agency, the most-awarded agency network and the most-awarded brand in the world, as based on his review of the most important and prestigious awards presentations around the world.
Proclaimed the most-awarded TV commercial or campaign of 1999 was the Outpost.com work from Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York -- the controversial, three-spot introductory campaign that featured gerbils being fired from cannons and a marching band attacked by wolves.
The honors of most-awarded agency went to BMP DDB, London, which Mr. Gunn said was a "runaway" winner based on his system of awarding points for various levels of award show wins. It took top honors on the strength of its work for Volkswagen -- which was also Mr. Gunn's most-awarded brand -- as well as work for Sony and London Transport.
The "Gunn Report" named that shop's parent, New York-based DDB Worldwide, as the most-awarded agency network. While London was its star, Mr. Gunn said the network was boosted considerably by the performance of DM9 DDB, Sao Paulo, agency of the year in Cannes in both 1999 and 1998.
The most-awarded print ad was Volkswagen's "Wedding" ad from BMP DDB. It featured a shot of a newlywed couple posing for a photo in a park; they're seen out of focus because the photographer instead zoomed in on a bus ad for a VW Polo in the background.
Rounding out the top five TV commercials of the year were, in descending order: "Double life" for Sony PlayStation, from TBWA GGT Simmons Palmer, London; "Litany" for The Independent, from Lowe Howard-Spink, London; "Meat," "Marathon" and other "What are you getting ready for?" Nike ads from Wieden & Kennedy, Portland; and "The Unexpected" for Sony Stamina Camcorder, from BMP DDB, London.
The rest of the top five agencies: Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York; TBWA GGT Simmons Palmer, London; Abbott Mead Vickers/ BBDO, London; and Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore. In agency networks, BBDO Worldwide was No. 2, followed by TBWA Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi and Lowe Group.
The other top five brands included No. 2 Nike, followed by Sony, Miller Beer and Fox Sports.
In almost every category surveyed, Mr. Gunn listed the top 30 performers, and in some instances ranked the top 50. He used what he called a somewhat subjective scoring system -- assigning a point value for each ad that won any recognition in the 22 TV and 10 print shows he surveyed, then breaking ties based on how an agency, ad or production house performed in the more difficult competitions.
A different measure was used to arrive at the most-awarded TV and print ads, one that assigned greater point values to winners at what Mr. Gunn considers the more important global competitions: Cannes, the U.S.' One Show and the Design &