The creative love may have been shared in the call for entries campaign, but now the creative competition begins, because the 2014 Axis finalists have been announced and Colenso BBDO/Proximity is in a familiar position atop the list with 56 nods, followed closely by DraftFCB on 54, DDB on 37 and Saatchi & Saatchi on 30.
DraftFCB and Saatchi & Saatchi were among the big movers in terms of nominations and both agencies significantly increased their finalist hauls from last year, up from 28 and nine respectively.
Next on the list is Ogilvy on 18, Y&R on 12, Clemenger BBDO on 11, Whybin\TBWA on nine (+1 for DAN), Barnes, Catmur & Friends and Contagion on seven, M&C Saatchi on four, Shine on three, JWT on two and Starseed, Young & Shand, .99 and OMD Wellington all on one. Strangely, given Special Group's performance in past years, it came in with the donut.
As for the production and post-production nods, the Sweet Shop earned 17 finalist positions, followed by Assembly on 11, Finch on eight, Robber's Dog and Curious on six, 8com on five, Exit, Ruskin and Revolver/Will O'Rourke on three, Thick as Thieves and Goodoil on two and Prodigy on one.
In the sound categories, Liquid Studios earned eight, Franklin Rd was on seven, and Harmomic and The Coopers on two.
- Check out all the finalists here.
The jury presidents were:
- Craft – Angus Hennah: ECD, Ogilvy
- Out Of Home/Print – Tony Bradbourne: Creative Partner, Special Group
- Direct/PR/Experiential/Charity – Philip Andrew: ECD Clemenger BBDO
- Digital/Interactive – Aaron Turk: Digital Creative Director, Colenso BBDO
- Screen Content/Radio – Toby Talbot: Chief Creative Officer, Whybin TBWA
And the international judges who will help decide the winners are:
- Mark Taylor: Freelance (ex-VP ECD, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Boulder Colorado)
- Duan Evans: Executive Creative Director, AKQA London.
- Darren Spiller: Executive Creative Director, DDB Melbourne.
CAANZ and ClemengerBBDO also recently revealed a new Axis logo, which is based on the trophy created for last year's show by Blake Enting and Cassidy van Dyk of Saatchi Design Worldwide and sculptor Terry Stringer and aims to "convey the trophy in a simple line representing an idea taking shape".
“It’s a fantastic, iconic prize,” says Steve Boggs, design director at Clemenger BBDO, who was responsible for the re-brand. “There’s nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world. Making the trophy the focus of the Axis brand was a bit of a no-brainer."
The Axis Awards ceremony will take place at the Viaduct Events Centre on Thursday March 6, with the speaker day on the Wednesday March 5. And keep an eye out for the continuation of the inter-agency love fest in the coming days, with Special Group, Barnes Catmur & Friends, Y&R and DDB soon to share the love (and try valiantly but probably unsuccessful to best Saatchi & Saatchi's magnificent effort).