After a fairly controversial 2012, CAANZ and a bunch of senior ad folk engineered a few big changes to this year's Axis proceedings to make the awards, as Colenso BBDO's Nick Garrett said, a more collegial, more credible and more celebratory event that aimed to show the business community how influential creativity could be. And now CAANZ has announced some more changes to the programme for 2014.
The biggest change is the decision to hold the event in the first two weeks of March for the foreseeable future. And the most notable effect of moving to this date is the need for entries to close prior to Christmas. Therefore, the call for entries will be open in October each year.
“We’re acutely aware that the pre-Christmas deadline impacts on the industry in what is traditionally an extremely busy time of the year," says Paul Head, chief executive of CAANZ. "We encourage agencies and companies in the creative services to start thinking about compiling their best work now."
Garrett, who is also a member of the CAANZ executive board, is returning to helm the Axis Awards committee.
“March is the best time for the New Zealand creative industry to have their work judged. It gives us better insight to what will be successful at Cannes and Spikes. It also means everyone will know that we associate March with Axis. However, it does mean a shift to thinking about entries in October.”
James Mok, executive creative director at DraftFCB has been appointed as convener of judges for 2014 and he will be instrumental in leading the team of jury presidents in overhauling the categories and descriptions.
“There is a great deal of work going on behind the scenes. We received some great feedback from the 2013 juries and as a result are working to refine categories and their descriptions in order to rule out any ambiguity. It will take time to craft the category descriptions, however we felt it is important to inform changes to the categories now so everyone can start to plan their entries. I have a great Axis team working with me along with a brilliant group of jury presidents and our aim is to make Axis THE awards for the creative industry."
- Check out all the category changes made so far here.
Some categories have been renamed or split in two, while some have been removed completely, such as direct response, digital craft, visual craft and titanium and interactive Axis.
Among the new categories are best use of radio medium, creative agency of the year (based on most points), viral videos, cinematography (on any screen), direct (other) and animation/design (on any screen).
Credibility seems to be a major issue for Axis among the client community, many of whom see the awards as agency wank; an insular celebration of expensive art. So with more emphasis being placed on effectiveness at most international creative awards, do the Axis Awards even needed to exist? And should CAANZ and the wider industry be placing more emphasis on the Effies?
When we spoke with Head about the changes earlier this year, he said the two awards serve different purposes and getting rid of Axis or merging it the Effies was never discussed throughout the process.
"We think there is real value in celebrating creativity in this industry in New Zealand. And if we did away with it, local agencies would only have international awards like Spikes or AWARD to enter."
He said there is the possibility that, like Cannes and Spikes, a creative effectiveness award would be added in the future, allowing winners from the previous year to prove their commercial worth. But that category hasn't been added this time round.
"But what we don't want to do is is walk away from celebrating commercial creativity. I think it would be a retrograde step."
The jury presidents are Angus Hennah, Ogilvy & Mather (Craft); Tony Bradbourne, Special Group (Out of Home/Print); Philip Andrew, Clemenger BBDO (Direct Marketing/PR/ Experiential); Aaron Turk, Colenso BBDO (Digital/Interactive); and Toby Talbot, Whybin\TBWA (Screen Content/Radio). A grand prix will be awarded in each of these categories and the Grand Axis will be chosen from those winners.
The Axis programme will once again involve a day of speaker events incorporating some of the international judges and the Axis Exhibition of finalists' work.
Axis Awards 2014 Dates:
Call for Entries goes live: Tuesday 22nd October 2013
Entries close: Wednesday 11th December at 4pm
48hr deadline closes: Friday 13th December at 4pm
Hard copy material deadline: Thursday 19th December
Speaker Event (daytime): Thursday 6th March 2014
Awards Show (Viaduct Event Centre): Thursday 6th March 2014