If the results coming in from the international awards shows are anything go by, then New Zealand clearly enjoyed a strong year in terms of creativity in 2013.
In addition to winning several nominations toward Yellow Pencils at the D&AD Awards, Kiwi agencies also appeared consistently across most categories at the 35th edition of the AWARD Awards, which are held annually to honour the best creative communications work in the Asia Pacific region.
On the night, the most well-awarded single piece of work from New Zealand was FCB's 'Driving Dogs' campaign, which won gold awards in the Film and Video, Direct Marketing, and Digital categories.
Clemenger BBDO's 'Blazed' campaign, one of the big winners at the Axis Awards, was also singled out for a gold award in the Film and Video category, while Whybin\TBWA won a silver ( in the Direct Marketing for Posters category) and three bronze awards (in the Integrated, Direct Mail and Digital categories) for its 'Results Don't Lie' campaign for CAANZ.
Saatchi & Saatchi NZ won a silver for the Toyota Corolla 'Feels Good Inside' campaign as well as two silvers and a bronze for the ultra-viral 'Tui Beer Plumber' video.
In looking back on the evening without gold, Saatchi chief executive Nicky Bell decided to take positives from the agency's consistent performances across the Axis Awards (three golds, two silvers and five bronzes), the 2013 Yahoo! New Zealand Digital Strategy Awards (a grand prix for 'Beer Plumber') and the D&AD Awards (an in book spot).
“This ongoing recognition is a fantastic testament to the potency of these campaigns," she said. "We’re especially proud that our winning campaigns are ones that successfully tackled big business challenges and generated real commercial results. Winning across a breadth of categories – social, digital, PR, viral and experiential – is also great evidence of our evolution as an agency.”
Another agency that didn't win gold for any campaign-specific work was Colenso BBDO. However, the team on College Hill did end the evening with 10 bronze and two silver awards.
And this impressive performance meant that the agency's creative duo of Simon Vicars and Brett Colliver won the inaugural Creative Team Award, which is given to the most prolific creative (or team) in terms of the number of bronze, silver and gold awards won throughout the night.
"We're chuffed for the boys – they're great lads, hard working, and damn talented," said Colenso chief executive Nick Garrett. This also proves that the harder you work the luckier you get. It's nice for [Australian-born] Brett to be recognised in his home country too and I'm sure Si will be enjoying getting one back on the Aussies."
The sheer number of awards won by Colenso also meant that the agency finished fifth on the list of the top five creative agencies behind Clemenger BBDO Melbourne (fourth), Leo Burnett Sydney (third), FCB New Zealand (second) and McCann Melbourne (first).
Another big winner from a Kiwi perspective was DDB Group New Zealand, which bagged an impressive collection of 10 bronze and four silver awards.
And although we can't take all the credit for the top five production companies, each of the companies listed are active in New Zealand and have worked on a host of award-winning campaigns here. The overall winner in this category was Finch, followed (in order) by Exit Films, The Sweet Shop, Curious Film and Thick as Thieves.
Click here to see the full list of winners.