DraftFCB gets creative monkey off its back as Driving Dogs takes top Axis prize

  • Advertising
  • May 10, 2013
  • Ben Fahy
DraftFCB gets creative monkey off its back as Driving Dogs takes top Axis prize

As director and filmmaker Tony Kaye said to the gathered marcomms folk yesterday afternoon during his mad but wise speech, "you've just got to keep making shit". And of all the shit that was made in the past year and a bit in this country, DraftFCB's Driving Dogs for Mini and SPCA was chosen as the best. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWAK0J8UhzkFor all its recent success, both in terms of big client wins and its many other awards, DraftFCB has never been too highly regarded for its creative output and hasn't featured too prominently at Axis. But with the grand Axis, two grand prix awards (2013 was the first year grand prix awards were handed out across the five categories) and a further 11 golds, it's now checked that box, too.  

Driving Dogs, which was awarded the grand prix in the Direct/PR/Experiential category and six other golds, was a crazy idea that was brilliantly executed and, judging by its performance in other international awards shows, almost everyone is in agreement about that. And, as some of the Drafties said on the night, it's a good example of the full-service agency at its best, with PR, social, creative and media all working very closely together. Of course, some cynics still question whether the campaign was for SPCA or Mini (charity campaigns aren't eligible for the top prize but, but we were told it was a legitimate brief from Mini to do something to amplify the brand's association with SPCA. 

And amplify it did. It took the cake as the most shared video on BBC three days running, with 225,000 shares to Facebook and 7,900 to Twitter, and ranks as the biggest news event on Campbell Live in its seven-and-a-half year history. In the US the canine racers featured on the The Letterman Show, Huffington Post, USA Today, Mashable.com, ABC News, FastCo, in the UK it appeared in The Daily Telegraph, The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Guardian (where it kicked Kate Middleton out of number one most viewed and talked about video of the week) and the BBC, and over in Oz it made it onto Sunrise, The Age, and NineMSN.

DraftFCB's other grand prix was for Prime's Secret Diary of a Call Girl stunt in Radio and Screen Content. It was also awarded gold in guerilla advertising, direct response, radio and PR/Experiential. And international judge Mother London's Feh Tarty said the campaign did an amazing job of waking up what some may describe as a sleepy category.

As it says on DraftFCB's website: "For three successive days, the agency had an 'actress' engage in call girl-like behaviour in a house opposite [More FM]. The 'activities' were seen through the house's window that was clearly visible to the station's studio and the DJs wasted no time in broadcasting their observations to the nation. On the final night, with public interest at its peak, we revealed the true story… plus the date and time of the new Prime show. Not only did DJs nationwide pick up on the story and unwittingly create for us a free 72hr radio ad, but we captured the furtive imaginations of countless listeners and generated thousands of Tweets and Facebook posts, helping to make the premiere of Secret Diary of a Call Girl the most talked about premiere of the year."

The phrase "free 72 hour radio ad" is slightly misleading, however. It was a paid ad (the sales team was bypassed and DraftFCB went straight to More FM's station manager Ande McPherson, who agreed to play along it and prompted the DJs to keep on talking about it).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsISnoYTghgColenso BBDO and Finch's Donation Glasses has also done the rounds on the international award scene and it added to the canine flavour of the night with the grand prix in Radio & Screen Content and four additional golds. The judges felt the technology, messaging, tone, and freshness of the creative idea worked in the most harmonious of ways. And the international Mars marketers agree, because the campaign is set to roll out in cinemas in the US and Europe.

String Theory and Los Angeles production house Buck took the fourth grand prix in the craft category for its stunning homage to the High Priest of Gonzo, Hunter S. Thompson for Oxfam's charitable book scheme Good Books. It also won a gold in copywriting. And it was one of the few smaller agencies to take home an award on the night. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTfdqPutk5Y

While there was no agency of the year title, Colenso BBDO took home the most total medals on the night, including ten golds for Samsung Instant News Satire, Frucor's V Motion Project, DB Export Dry's 'The Wine is Over' and Pedigree Donation Glasses. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjIoJGyhAgkDB Breweries was awarded creative business of the year for earning the most finalists and awards. Its DB Export Dry campaign (including an actual bottle of wine created to sell beer) took a total of four golds. 

The Sweet Shop once again picked up Production Company of the Year for Steve Ayson's brilliant ads for Australian brand Carlton Draft and DB Export Dry; Clemenger BBDO took two golds for its radio legends campaign for NZTA in direct and radio, along with one more gold for its Wellington Ukelele Orchestra jingle fest; and Saatchi & Saatchi and Goodoil's self-harming cat for the new Corolla rounded out the golds, with one in TV single and the other in direction. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GbHpqfv9is

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZfkSAQWz9E

DDB was conspicuous by its absence this year, and came away with just a few silvers and a host of bronzes. And it was also fairly slim pickings for Special Group, Barnes, Catmur & Friends and Whybin\TBWA.   

Whybin\TBWA's Dave Walden was rightly honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his career in advertising. And, in his inimitable style, he told the young bucks in the crowd that he'd loved every minute of it and they were lucky to be working in the best fucking industry in the world. 

The executive judging panel awarded the emerging talent award to Ben Polkinghorne and Anna Stickley from Colenso BBDO/Proximity New Zealand, who both demonstrated outstanding talent as newcomers to the industry with the likes of Samsung's Instant News Satire and Amnesty International's Trial by Timeline. TVNZ’s Axis Student Challenge Award went to Jordan Dale and Ryan Worsford from AUT AdSchool. 

"Axis has always been the pivotal moment in the New Zealand creative calendar because it is a celebration of our best work; the work our industry is most proud of because it has broken the rules, permeates popular culture and influences behavioural change, and the winners this year are all great examples of those attributes," says Paul Head, chief executive of CAANZ.

Around 300 people attended the Speaker Event yesterday, so that certainly seemed to be a successful addition to proceedings, and while The Getty Images Exhibition was a great way to showcase all the finalists, crowd numbers weren't huge, so it's hard to imagine it achieved its goal of attracting more people from across the business spectrum to soak up some of the country's best comms ideas. 

For better or worse, these awards aren't really about what happened after the campaigns. And, at a time when the industry wants to be seen as a serious business partner, Axis still inhabits a strange realm (as someone said: "It's the art end of business", although some might prefer to call it the arse end of business). Some we spoke to still think it's a circle jerk based around 'expensive art' and that these awards, along with the dubious Media Awards, should be rolled into one big ceremony that puts more emphasis on the results than it does on the ideas. But others we spoke with see Axis as the fashion parade of the ad world, an important celebration of the power of creativity and advertising craftsmanship that might eventually filter down to the mainstream over time. 

Which side of the fence are you on? 

The gold winners: 

Grand AXIS

DraftFCB New Zealand

MINI New Zealand

Driving Dogs

Grand Prix - Craft Jury

String Theory

Good Books

Metamorphosis

Grand Prix - Direct Marketing / PR/Experiential Jury

DraftFCB New Zealand

MINI New Zealand

Driving Dogs

Grand Prix - Screen Content & Radio Jury (Radio)

DraftFCB New Zealand

Prime TV

Call Girl

Grand Prix -Screen Content & Radio Jury (Screen)

Colenso BBDO / Proximity New Zealand and Finch

Mars NZ

Donation Glasses

Integrated AXIS

DraftFCB New Zealand

MINI New Zealand

Driving Dogs

Creative Business of the Year

 

DB Breweries

 

Production Company of the Year

The Sweet Shop

 

 

Lifetime Achievement Award

David Walden 'Devo'
Whybin\TBWA

 

 

Emerging Talent

Colenso BBDO / Proximity New Zealand

 

Ben Polkinghorne and Anna Stickley

TVNZ Axis Student Challenge Award

Jordan Dale and Ryan Worsford

AUT AdSchool

Keep the drama off the road

 

 

 

 

Visual Craft

Colenso BBDO / Proximity New Zealand and Finch

Mars NZ

Donation Glasses

Direction

Goodoil Films

Toyota New Zealand Ltd

99 Lives

Direction

The Sweet Shop

Carlton & United Breweries (CUB)

Beer Chase

Copywriting

String Theory

Good Books

Metamorphosis

Copywriting

Colenso BBDO / Proximity New Zealand

DB Breweries

The Wine List

Guerilla Advertising

DraftFCB New Zealand

Prime TV

Call Girl

Guerilla Advertising

DraftFCB New Zealand

MINI New Zealand

MINI SPCA Stunt

Newspaper Campaign

Colenso BBDO / Proximity New Zealand

DB Breweries

The Wine is Over

Direct Response

DraftFCB New Zealand

Prime TV

Call Girl

Direct Response

Colenso BBDO / Proximity New Zealand and Finch

Mars NZ

Donation Glasses

Direct Response

Colenso BBDO / Proximity New Zealand

DB Breweries

The Wine That Sold Beer

Direct Campaign

DraftFCB New Zealand

MINI New Zealand

Driving Dogs

Direct Campaign

Clemenger BBDO

New Zealand Transport Agency

Radio Legends

PR / Experiential

DraftFCB New Zealand

Prime TV

Call Girl

PR / Experiential

Colenso BBDO / Proximity New Zealand and Finch

Mars NZ

Donation Glasses

PR / Experiential

DraftFCB New Zealand

MINI New Zealand

Driving Dogs

Charity

String Theory

Good Books

Metamorphosis

Online Advertising

Colenso BBDO / Proximity New Zealand

Samsung

Instant News Satire

Branded Content

DraftFCB New Zealand

MINI New Zealand

Driving Dogs

Viral

DraftFCB New Zealand

MINI New Zealand

Driving Dogs

Digital: None of the above

Colenso BBDO / Proximity New Zealand

Frucor Beverages Ltd

The V Motion Project

Cinema & Projection

Colenso BBDO / Proximity New Zealand and Finch

Mars NZ

Donation Glasses

Long-Form Content

DraftFCB New Zealand

MINI New Zealand

Driving Dogs

Radio Campaign

DraftFCB New Zealand

Prime TV

Call Girl

Radio Campaign

Clemenger BBDO

New Zealand Transport Agency

Radio Legends

Radio Campaign

Clemenger BBDO

Wellington Ukulele Orchestra

Ukulele Orchestra

TV Single Commercial

Saatchi & Saatchi

Toyota New Zealand

Feels Good Inside

TV Single Commercial

Colenso BBDO / Proximity New Zealand

DB Breweries

The Great Wine Depression

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