Nike "Tag" Wins Film Grand Prix

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"Tag," a Nike spot from Wieden & Kennedy/Portland, was awarded the Film Grand Prix here on Saturday, the final night of the International Advertising Festival. The commercial, which features an entire city involved in a game of tag, edged out a spot from Bartle Bogle Hegarty/London for Microsoft's Xbox titled "Champagne" that shows a child catapulted through life as a setup for the tagline: "Life is short. Play more." In the end, however, the jury was impressed by Nike's effort to brand the very idea of play.

"It was a very clever new direction for Nike," says juror Paul Briginshaw, creative director at Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy in London. "It moves beyond just professional sports. Somebody very smart back at Wieden said, 'Let's take this beyond sports and into play.'"

This year's Film jury was the stingiest in recent memory, awarding just 15 Gold Lions, two fewer than the infamous 1995 jury headed by Frank Lowe, which didn't even award a Grand Prix. Jury president Jeff Goodby says that although fewer Lions were awarded this year, the best work was extremely strong. "It was a dark sky, but there were some really bright stars in it," he says. "We could have given the Grand Prix to any of four ads and people would have been happy." In addition to "Tag" and "Champagne," BBH/London's "Odyssey" for Levi's was a top contender for the festival's most coveted prize, followed by TBWA/Chiat/Day/San Francisco's "Beware of Things Made in October" campaign for Fox Sports. "The top three spots were all better than seven out of the last ten Grand Prixs," Goodby says. "I think "Odyssey" and "Champagne" are better than every Grand Prix of the last 10 years."

Of fifteen Golds awarded, U.K. agencies won seven and U.S. agencies landed four. Argentina, Canada, France and Singapore each earned one. In addition to the Grand Prix and Chiat/Day's Fox Sports campaign, U.S. Golds went to Saatchi & Saatchi/Los Angeles for "Dog," a spot for Toyota that shows a dog chasing a parked Celica because it looks so fast; to Crispin Porter + Bogusky/Miami for "Focus on the Positive," a musical number for the Florida Department of Health; and to "Shade Running," another spot from the Nike "Play" campaign. U.K. Golds went to BBH for Xbox "Champagne" and Levi's "Odyssey"; to Lowe/London for the latest installment of the shop's "Reassuringly Expensive" campaign for Stella Artois, and for a Reebok spot titled "Sofa," in which a man's couch tries to keep him from exercising; to Wieden & Kennedy/London for a campaign for Frisk Mints; and to Saatchi & Saatchi/London for a controversial spot featuring an oversexed dog for Club 18-30 and a chilling, animated PSA for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Argentina earned its Gold Lion for a spot for Axe Deodorant out of Vegaolmosponce in Buenos Aires, while Downtown Partners in Toronto earned Canada's sole Gold with a spot for Bud Light, in which a man tunnels through a wall into the back of his neighbor's fridge. France earned Gold with a campaign for Ikea out of Leagas Delaney Paris Centre and Lowe & Partners/Singapore did likewise with a spot, also for Ikea, in which a dog doesn't recognize its own house after an Ikea makeover.

On the strength of two Film Golds and a stunning performance in the Press & Poster competition, Saatchi & Saatchi/London was named Agency of the Year after racking up a Grand Prix, five Gold Lions, two Silvers and a Bronze. Wieden & Kennedy was runner-up for the honor, followed by the unbelievable success story of the week, Bozell/New York, which added a Silver Film Lion to the two Golds, one Silver and a Bronze the surging shop earned in the Press & Poster competition.

Among U.S. agencies, Silver Lions were awarded to Bozell for a spot for milk; to BBDO/New York for a commercial for FedEx in which a CEO steals an underling's idea with a decisive hand gesture; to Crispin, Porter + Bogusky for an anti-smoking campaign for the Florida Department of Health; and to Leo Burnett/Chicago for a Disney corporate image spot. Bronze Lions were awarded to DDB/Chicago for a pair of Budweiser campaigns; to Saatchi/L.A. for another Toyota Celica spot; to Wieden & Kennedy for "Tailgating," the third spot in the Nike "Play" series, and a campaign for ESPN; to Chiat/Day/San Francisco for the Levi's spot "Crazy Legs"; to Hill, Holliday/Boston for work Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare and Dunkin' Donuts; to Y&R/Chicago for a commercial for NASCAR; to JC Advertising/Los Angeles for the infamous "Coverage" spot for Yard Fitness, in which a naked man proves difficult to defend on the basketball court; to GSD&M/Austin for PGA Tour work; to Hungry Man director Jim Jenkins' agency Nice Big Brain for a promo for Turner Classic Movies; to Publicis/New York for a spot for Fujifilm; to production company Hungry Man for its "Tourists" spot for Citizens Against Terrorism; and to Leo Burnett USA for a tearjerking clip for Hallmark.
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