Colenso, Special, Sweetshop, oOh!, star at Axis 2023

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AUCKLAND, Last Night: Colenso BBDO took out the Agency of the Year title at the 43rd annual Axis Awards at Shed 10. Special won the Grand Axis, and Sweetshop was named Production Company of the year.

Here’s the release from the Comms Council …

The event hosted by the wonderful Anika Moa, who added a slice of classic Kiwi humour. It followed Axis Speaks, a creative speaker event held the morning of the awards.

With a record number of entries, the competition was fierce, making it a monumental task for the judges to select the winners, but in the end, it was 28 Gold, 59 Silver, and 110 Bronze awards handed out to deserving winners.

The Grand Axis, which is awarded to the single outstanding piece of work of the last year, was awarded to Special for their campaign Last Performance for Partners Life.

This campaign had already picked up two Gold Axis, two Grand Prix, and the coveted Innovation Axis. Special also picked up another two Golds, with one also taking a Grand Prix, for their work Te Kākahu Hou for Education New Zealand, and Summer Never Sleeps for Kathmandu.

“Colenso BBDO was named Agency of the Year after scooping a total of eight Gold awards and a host of silvers across various categories.”

Colenso BBDO was named Agency of the Year after scooping a total of eight Gold awards and a host of silvers across various categories.

Their innovative work on the Skinny Phone it in campaign won six of their Gold awards in the categories of Radio & Audio, Out of Home, Direct Marketing, and Craft. While their work with Spark, Beyond Binary Code earned them Gold in both the Design, Digital and Interactive categories.

This culminated in them taking out Agency of the Year, and their client, Spark, taking out Client of the Year later in the evening. Spark also picked up Gold in Media with PHD.

Clemenger BBDO also enjoyed success. Their work on Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Mixed Meds campaign earned three Gold awards in the Out of Home and Craft categories.

Other notable winners included Motion Sickness, who won Gold in the PR & Brand Experience & Activation category for their work on Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s You’re Cooked – The Test Kitchen Activation, and Dentsu Creative, who won two Gold in the Film & Video category for their work on TVNZ’s It’s free but it could cost you – Wrong Ride.

The event also recognised the rising stars of the industry, with Colenso BBDO’s Callum McDonald & Charlotte Upton winning the Emerging Talent award. AUT’s Amie Franshaw & Max Hansen taking home the Axis Student Challenge award for their work on their Trademe Vi$ion campaign.

“DDB picked up this year’s Cultural Axis for their work with Tourism NZ.”

DDB Aotearoa picked up this year’s Cultural Axis for their work with Tourism New Zealand, If you seek.

The final two Grand Prix went to Road to Zero campaign for Waka Kotahi/NZ Transport Agency in both the Film & Video category with FCB, and in Craft – Direction with 3&7. The same campaign scored 3&7 a Gold for Craft – Cinematography.

But they weren’t the only production company awarded on the night. Scoundrel picked up four Golds for Kathmandu Summer Never Sleeps, but it was Sweetshop who took out Production Company of the Year for 2023, along with a Gold for Craft – Cinematography for Canterbury The World’s Toughest.

Overall, the event showcased the incredible talent and creativity of Aotearoa’s advertising and media agencies. It also highlighted the impactful campaigns they have produced over the past year. All winners and finalists deserve congratulations for their dedication to delivering work that pushes boundaries and inspires others.

“Axis is back in person, and back with a bang. The quality of the work being celebrated tonight is world-class. Creativity has always been the differentiator that builds value for clients and there was value aplenty on show at this year’s Axis Awards,” said Simon Lendrum, chief executive officer of the Comms Council.

The night ended on a high note with DJs Flamingo Pier providing the perfect soundtrack to celebrate the winners and toast to another year of creative excellence.

The Axis Awards are made possible through the generous support of our sponsors: oOh!media, TVNZ, NZME, TRB, Google, Meta, and Stuff.

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