Entries a record, 1st timers do well

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Just when it looked like only a beer ad could dazzle the judges enough to win Best of Show after Heineken and Anheuser-Busch's Bud Light captured that award the last two years, Grupo Gallegos brought inspiration to the harder-to-be-creative Technology/Communications category. The Long Beach, Calif., agency's commercials for MetroPCS cellular service won Best of Show at Advertising Age's fifth annual Hispanic Creative Advertising Awards (see Page S-2).

Twenty-four different agencies won awards this year, from a record 467 entries. One of the biggest winners was first-time entrant Badillo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, San Juan, as Puerto Rican agencies continue to be strong contenders, especially in print.

The Automotive category turned into a shoot-out between Toyota work from Badillo and Publicis Groupe sibling Conill, Torrance, Calif., and Volkswagen ads by Creative on Demand, Coral Gables, Fla., with a total of 10 awards for the two carmakers.

Everyone loved the clever, high-spirited Heineken ads from the Vidal Partnership, New York, that won both radio and TV Golds this year. Vidal's Silver-winning first work for Wendy's challenged del Rivero Messianu DDB's long-standing dominance among fast-food contestants with McDonald's Corp. Omnicom Group-backed del Rivero, Coral Gables, won a Gold this year.

A direct marketing category was added. Although there were just 13 entries this first year, a Bronze went to WPP Group's Mendoza Dillon & Asociados, Aliso Viejo, Calif., for "A Mexican Shoot-out," a clever invitation to a rodeo from Azteca Milling's Maseca flour.

The fastest-growing category was Interactive as more agencies create Internet campaigns for their clients and learn to think in more fluid online images rather than static print.

The Hispanic Creative Advertising Awards contest is held in cooperation with the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies. This year's winners were honored at an awards show Sept. 13 at Universal Studios' Globe Theatre in Los Angeles.

This year's judges included a variety of Hispanic backgrounds including Mexico, Puerto Rico and Cuba. Three judges were Hispanic agency creative directors: Sergio Alcocer, VP-creative services, LatinWorks, Austin, Texas; Pablo Buffagni, creative director, Conill; and Jose Luis Villa, VP-creative director, del Rivero Messianu DDB. For the first time, a commercials director was invited to be a judge-Xavier de la Cueva, a director at Conexion Films.

Three senior Hispanic marketers were judges: Gilbert Davila, VP-multicultural marketing, Walt Disney Co.; Cristina Morales-Haltiwanger, VP-director of multicultural brand and communications, Bank of America; and Marime Riancho, brand manager, Heineken USA.

From Ad Age: Financial Editor Mercedes M. Cardona and International Editor Laurel Wentz. AA editors judged the Interactive category separately. Judges didn't vote on their own agencies' work. The descriptions of winning ads were written by Ms. Cardona and Ms. Wentz.

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