Last night, a sell-out crowd of just under 1000 keen New Zealand media personalities came together for the 2018 Commercial Communications Council Beacon Awards, in association with NZME. In what was a celebration of the industry’s best work from the past year, the Viaduct Events Centre turned it on as the media industry leered up for the annual celebration.
The night began in unexpected fashion as emcee and comedian Brendhan Lovegrove got rudely interrupted by a nagging and persistent fire alarm. While there was no sign of smoke, three or four firefighters arrived and mitigated the situation before the night continued. Lovegrove quickly turned it into a gag about a certain media personality lighting up a cigarette in the men’s bathroom and it set the tone for what was a jovial and fairly long night for some.
Media heavyweight PHD snatched the highly coveted Media Agency of the Year award on the premise of its consistent achievement over the calendar year. The criteria of the award was based on business vision, employee development, financial performance, client acquisition and development, industry contribution and creativity and innovation rather than the traditional way of who won the most metal on the night.
The award acknowledged PHD for its outstanding client and employee achievements, industry contribution, and global award recognition over the past year.
Louise Bond, chief executive officer of PHD New Zealand says she's immensely proud of the creativity, innovation and hard work of PHD’s talented team "who have produced fantastic work and pushed the boundaries over the past year”.
PHD also won three gold category awards. These include two for Consumer Services and Most Effective for its 'The best Freekend Christmas ever!' campaign with Skinny Mobile. Judges credited the campaign for its honest and grounded approach, as well as its ability to overcome a difficult challenge.
PHD also enjoyed a golden gong for its Best Use of Technology alongside MediaWorks for 'Helping Newshub Win the Election'.
It also gained eight silvers; Fast Moving Consumer Goods (DB Breweries), Consumer Services (Genesis Energy), Best Small Budget (MediaWorks), Best Use of Data (Genesis Energy), Best Use of Video (DB Breweries) and Communications.
Bond adds: "As well as our team, fundamental to PHD’s achievements has been our incredible clients who have shared our vision and given us the opportunities and trust to do innovative and creative work. We are very lucky to work with, and for, exceptional people.”
Fellow media giant FCB Media also enjoyed time in the winner’s circle, collecting the supreme award for Best in Show with its 'The Inequality Issue' campaign for Westpac NZ, (also awarded gold in Best Collaboration and Best Small Budget categories).
Speaking to managing director of FCB Media Blair Alexander about the wins, he thanks its clients for giving the agency the opportunity to push the boundaries, saying it's great to be recognised for that.
“To win Best in Show three years in a row is hugely satisfying. I’m really proud of our team for their consistent effort across all of our clients.”
FCB Media took home plenty more silverware throughout the night, including 12 golds and three silvers for its campaigns with Water Safety New Zealand, Westpac NZ, European Motor Distributors (Audi), Foodstuffs (NZ) – PAK’nSAVE, Fire and Emergency New Zealand and Testicular Cancer New Zealand.
This year’s Advertiser of the Year was Fire and Emergency New Zealand, which also picked up numerous awards during the night.
Furthermore, MBM enjoyed a successful night with three golds for work with Serato and two for Cheers and Uber.
OMD, Carat and the collaboration of Carat, BC&F Dentsu and MKTG rounded out the golds for the night for their campaigns with Kiwibank, MetlifeCare and the Movember Foundation respectively.
Derek Lindsay, convenor of Judges for Beacons 2018, credits the strong year of media entries, particularly the campaigns that were awarded Gold. He adds that it was a particularly tough decision to award the Best in Show.
“The International judges also noted that all of the Gold winners should be especially congratulated for keeping NZ at the forefront of effectiveness in media thinking and that this was a stable of world-class work.”
Not to be forgotten was MediaWorks, which took out the Media Business of the Year award, a particularly special one for newly appointed chief customer officer Glen Kyne who admits awards aren’t usually something he gets excited about but this one was an exception.
“It was particularly special for me because of what it represents. To be nominated by effectively our customers as media company of the year is extraordinary and reflects the effort of every person at MediaWorks who are so passionate about what they do.”
On the individual front, Robert Harvey from Dentsu Aegis Group won the Sandy Smith Inspiring Individual Award with many of his staff acknowledging him in a tribute video as “amazing, compassionate, savvy, respectful and deserving”.
Overall the night was widely enjoyed as media agency folk took the chance let their hair down and deliberate with what is and will continue to be a big night on the calendar for the industry.
A full list of winners can be seen below: