Trumpeting a path to Axis glory

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At a sell-out event at the Axis Awards at the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland last night, emceed by very funny comedienne Urzila Carlson, 800 advertising types came together to celebrate the industry’s best creative work from the past year. The big winners were Saatchi, Y&R, and Colenso/Proximity.

Colenso BBDO/Proximity and Saatchi & Saatchi took out the two big awards – Colenso/Proximity’s Creative Agency of the Year, and Saatchi’s Grand Axis for ASB Clever Kash.

Saatchi also won the Grand Prix in the Digital & Interactive division (also for ASB Clever Kash). The other three Grand Prix went to Y&R (for Burger King McWhopper in Promo & Activation), Colenso BBDO/Proximity (for DB Brewtoleum), and Colenso/Proximity again for Non Tech Product Design.

Google Asia Pacific CCO John Merrifield and BMF founder Warren Brown flew into Auckland earlier in the week to join the four local jury presidents on the executive judging panel. Their role was to award the final metal which included a total of 21 gold Axis Awards, 4 Grand Prix and 7 additional Special Awards including Emerging Talent and NZME Student Challenge.

The Grand Axis was awarded to Saatchi & Saatchi for their simple-to-use but sophisticated tech piece Clever Kash, created for ASB Bank. The elephant money box allows children to physically experience money and was a hit with all judges. The trophy will sit alongside Saatchi’s Grand Prix (in Digital & Interactive) and a further five Gold Axis awards in Innovation, User Experience Digital Craft, Product Design Non-Tech, Design User Experience and Tech Driven Creative.

Y&R also had a great night with Burger King’s McWhopper campaign which took away four Golds (in PR/Promo & Activation, Social Media, Integrated). Then there was the small matter of their Grand Prix for their bold work done bringing McDonald’s and Burger King together for World Peace Day.

“The work that stood out this year, including Clever Kash, McWhopper and Brewtroleum, all reflect a significant change in our industry as our clients demand ever more innovative ways to connect with consumers,” said CAANZ ceo Paul Head.

“It’s been a great year for creativity in New Zealand.”

Other winners included Special Group with Gold for 2degrees Play the Bridge, DDB with three Golds –  in Craft for Fargo Woollens for Sky Television, BMW Reverse April Fools (in Promo & Activation), and Gold in Outdoor for The Unforgotten Soldiers for Sky Television.

When it came to the executive awards, the executive judging panel felt Brewtroleum and McWhopper were faultless examples for the Integrated category so awarded both a Gold. And for new category Innovation, Clever Kash and Reduce Speed Dial were also recognised with Golds.

In Craft, The Sweet Shop, Finch and Assembly rose to the top – The Sweet Shop’s ground-breaking Air NZ inflight safety video Safety Defenders, Finch’s emotional piece Deng Adut for the University of Western Sydney, and Assembly with a beautiful piece of motion graphics for PWC Extraordinary Challenges.

ON the night though, Colenso BBDO/Proximity came out on top and were crowned Creative Agency of 2015 for their portfolio which included DB Brewtroleum, Mars Pedigree Found and VW Reduce Speed Dial – a lovely idea.

These campaigns and others helped Colenso/Proximity to win five Golds in Promo & Activation, Direct Digital, Product Design Non-tech, Innovation and Integrated with a further Grand Prix for Integrated and Product Design plus a swag of Silvers, Bronzes and finalists.

Creative business of the Year was ASB Bank and The Sweet Shop celebrated five consecutive years in being named Production Company of the Year.

Former COO of Saatchi Worldwide and Assignment and now Lewis Road Creamery founder Peter Cullinane was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his illustrious career in the advertising industry.

The executive judging panel awarded the Emerging Talent Axis to Katyana O’Neill and Renee Bryant from Barnes Catmur & Friends Dentsu.

The NZME Axis Student Challenge Award went to Deborah Chae and Kieran Buchan from AUT for their campaign for Lightbox (CAANZ made a point of thanking NZME and Young & Shand for supporting this award with a live brief.

“Axis has always been the pivotal moment in the New Zealand creative calendar because it is a celebration of our best creative work; the work our industry is most proud of because it has broken the rules, permeates popular culture and influences behavioural change,” said Paul Head.

“The winners this year are all great examples of those attributes.”

  • Click here to view a complete list of results including silver, bronze and finalists.
  • Video clips from the awards ceremony here
  • The CAANZ photographer was RiK (

CAANZ also thanked its commercial partner NZME, and sponsors Adstream, Toybox, Bauer Media, Fashion Quarterly (for Best Dressed), Finch, Marsden Inch, The Radio Bureau, Mediaworks, Smile Dealers and Soar Print.

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