NZ ad schools step up for Axis

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Both of NZ’s top adschools are celebrating the achievements of both grads and current students at last week’s Axis Awards.

AUT Ad Creativity grads took out a Grand Prix and Gold for their agencies – DDB’s Rory McKechnie for Bring Down the King and FCB’s Kevin Walker and Melina Fiolitakis for Sony Fan Cam.

The congratulations continued in the student category, with recent graduates Matt Halliday and Reamonn Thomson-Dudding winning for their Icecream on Demand campaign for the TVNZ Axis Student Challenge.

“Competing against three finalists teams from Media Design School, 20-year-old Reamonn is possibly the youngest winner of Axis,” says AUT Ad School lecturer/CD Jane Berney.

Dudding is now working in a creative team for The Web Company which is managed by another AUT Ad Creativity grad, Daniel Watson. His creative partner for the TVNZ project, Matt Halliday is now a copywriter at the Good Folk agency.

“It is wonderful to see so many of our grads achieving in an arena judged by local and international creatives,” Berney said. “They never quite leave us though; last year, as the Bring down the King statue was being lowered in Aotea Square, Rory was sharing his copywriting insights with our students.”

The MDS Adschool also tasted success at Axis, with female grads winning both the Emerging Talent award and two Grand Prix.

Liz Richards (DDB) scooped Emerging Talent, Christie Cooper (DDB) collected several awards, including Grand Prix for Best Integrated for Steinlager Live Dive; Beth O’Brien (Colenso) also picked up gongs for both The Great Montieth Meatpack Hunt and K9FM, with the latter winning Axis Grand Prix for Radio.

Rob Cooke (Barnes Catmur) kept the flag waving for the male grads with a Silver (Outdoor Special Build) for Rabbit Billboard , and three Bronzes (Copywriting for Magazine/Newspaper, Copywriting for Direct, and one for Direct Campaign) for  Beer Census .

“So, a very strong graduate showing,” says MDS CD Kate Humphreys. “And this despite the fact that we’ve lost an extraordinary number of of our grads offshore in the past 18 months – with a large number of them being headhunted and packaged off to Sydney, London, New York and Amsterdam.

“After a healthy five-year run of winning the Student Axis, and despite scoring three of the four finalist places this year, we let AUT have it this year.

“But be warned, Professors Berney, White and Brown – we could be lulling you into a false sense of security!”

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