First they claimed Crowded House, now this: an Earth Hour ad for Unilever's Persil brand that was produced by Sydney boutique agency Naked Communications has won the Newspaper Advertising Bureau's (NAB) March Newspaper Ad of the Month.
The judges were Rod Prosser of JWT and Mike Davison, previously head of art at DDB and now a freelancer, who thought the ad was “topical, simple and funny”.
Robert Munro, the NAB's general manager, says it is "reasonably unusual" for an overseas agency to win and he can think of just one or two other occasions (one for Veet and one for Mastercard) when it has happened.
"Obviously, we would prefer to have Kiwi ads win. But the short answer is that there's nothing to stop [overseas agencies] entering," he says. If the ad has run in a New Zealand newspaper, it's eligible. Added to that, the esteemed judges judge each entry blind (aside from the ads entered by their own agency) to ensure the best ad wins and its agency provenance doesn't come into play.
Naked’s winning creative team (creatives: Sesh Moodley and Paul Swann; designer: Kelly O’Rourke; and photographer: Chris Barlow) gets $250 cash and the ad will be sponsored by the NAB into the 2011 Axis Awards. The ad also becomes a finalist in the 09/10 $10,000 Newspaper Ad of the Year competition. But Munro hinted at the possibility of some patriotic bias for the big final: he thinks it would be "extremely unlikely" that the local executive creative directors who are chosen to judge the best newspaper ad of the year would decide on an overseas entry. To him, it would be akin to choosing a foreign campaign for Grand Axis.
Any ad that's run in any newspaper around the country is eligible to enter the competition (email firstname.lastname@example.org for competition details). And to view all the finalists in the current Newspaper Ad of the Year series visit the NAB website www.nabs.co.nz/Inspiration/AdofMonth.