A panel of 150 judges scrutinised the entries and selected just under 100 finalists across 17 categories for this year's edition of the Effie Awards.
Leading the finalist charge is FCB, which picked up 26 spots, including four for FCB Media. This sees the agency slightly ahead of Colenso BBDO's 24 finalists and further ahead of DDB's 14.
With these agencies confirmed as the top three most nominated, the event on 19 October again looks set to be a tussle between the big network agencies.
That said, there's also a good indie contingent with Special Group nominated 10 times across multiple categories and True nominated twice for Air New Zealand campaigns.
Another strong contender is Saatchi & Saatchi, which has landed seven nominations.
The Effie Awards have always been seen as notoriously difficult to win and the organisation is looking to up the ante this year by focusing on long-term success. The aim of the awards this year is to draw attention to campaigns that have gone beyond short-term returns to create lasting change for an organisation.
As part of this, the eligible entry dates for the Effies has been extended backwards in order to create a more open window of eligibility for these long-term success stories. According to the Commercial Communications Council, the intention of these new dates is to allow long-term campaigns from the last two years an opportunity to demonstrate their success across a longer period of time than previously available.
This comes at a time when short-termism in the industry has come under enormous scrutiny, with thinkers such as Peter Field and Mark Ritson expressing concern about the emphasis on return on investment (ROI) often at the expense of long-term brand building.
This issue is so significant across the industry that the Effies did not award gongs in the 'Long-Term Effects' category at the Australian edition of the event last year. This year, this long-term accolade was one of only five gold awards handed out during the 2017 Australian Effies Awards. And Lion, the winner in that category, went on to claim the Grand Effie at the end of the night.
The executive judging panel, which this year includes UK-based strategic planner Chris Baker, was under strict instructions to focus on long-term effectiveness this year, which in turn places added value on every award set to be distributed at the Langham on awards night.
Here's the full list of finalists: