When Axis set out to stage a more collegial and celebratory awards show this year, it might not have imagined agencies cosied in warm embrace over each other's work, nor its trophy moving in for a fleeting kiss with a doppelganger. But as this year's awards open for business, Clemenger BBDO has paired off the big guns and asked them to love each other as only agencies can.
Think best man speech meets promo video, says Clemenger boss Andrew Holt.
"Very much the intention, in line with what Axis have been doing, is to raise the eminence of the show and the best work in New Zealand.
"We set out to create a theme that would celebrate that. For all the differences that might divide us during the year, this is he time to celebrate the very best work that comes out of the very best agencies."
Clemenger BBDO and Draft FCB were the first to flatter and tease each other on the awards website.
On 18 November JWT will express its affection for Whybin\TBWA, to be reciprocated on 2 December.
The following week Saatchi and Saatchi will cuddle up to Colenso BBDO, with the favour returned on 11 December. In early February Special and Barnes Catmur cosy together, followed by Y&R and DDB.
The last mystery pair before the awards is yet to be confirmed.
"Its' a chance for one company to express admiration for the work of another. In a business as competitive as ours that doesn't happen often," says Holt.
Clemenger wanted to follow the lead of big international awards shows like Cannes Lions by putting the trophy centre stage in communications about Axis this year, says Holt.
"People talk about winning a Lion. We wanted them to think about this the same way."
The Call to Entries document can be downloaded from either the CAANZ website or the Axis Awards website.
Convener of judges, James Mok, says it’s a completely new document. “We’ve removed some categories while adding a few more, to better reflect where advertising creativity is heading. We’ve tuned the category descriptions to remove ambiguity and, maybe most significantly, we’ve reduced maximum award video length from three minutes to two.”
Entries close on 11 December, with awards held next March.