Advertising Age Best Awards

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Comedy tends to rule at awards shows these days, and the work named as the Advertising Age Best Ads of 2000 certainly hews the humor line.

Of 32 TV spots that were either category winners or that earned commendation status this year, 23 of them can be characterized as funny. They run the gamut from gently amusing, as reflected by our Best of Show winner for Pac Bell from Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, to rudely over the top, as seen in an outrageous broadcast promo for Fox Sports from Cliff Freeman & Partners, New York.

The biggest overall winner in the Best Awards for 2000 was Havas Advertising's Arnold Worldwide, Boston. Its work was named Best in three categories: in TV, it won Best Automotive for Volkswagen of America and Best Public Service for the American Legacy Foundation, while its Web site was named Best Branding Site in the interactive category. It also earned commendation status in the Automotive and Public Service categories with TV spots for VW and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, as well as in the magazine category for VW. Finally, an Arnold TV spot for VW earned Best Adapted Music honors in the craft category.

Another big winner was the Swedish directorial team known as Traktor, which is represented by Partizan in New York. Four TV spots shot by Traktor were either category winners or commendations, for Levi Strauss & Co., Fox Sports, Conseco and retail chain Finish Line. In addition, four commercials shot by various directors from the Hungry Man production house in New York were either category winners or commendations, for Nike, E-Trade Group, ESPN and EDS.

The Ad Age Best Awards does not separate out public service or pro bono work in its magazine, newspaper and out of home categories. It's worth noting that public service ads won Best honors in two of those media, magazines and out of home, with work for the ACLU from DeVito/Verdi, New York, and the NAACP from Havas' McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C., respectively. A newspaper ad for Financial Times from Omnicom's BBDO Worldwide, New York, was named Best Newspaper ad, while Best Radio honors went to a campaign for Bud Light from Omnicom's DDB Worldwide, Chicago.

More than 2,200 ads were entered in the 2000 Best Awards competition, representing a 40% increase over the total entered for 1999.

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