Axis Awards 2019: Colenso BBDO takes Grand Axis, FCB declared Agency of the Year

The crème de la crème of the creative advertising crop was at SkyCity Convention Centre last night to celebrate, compete and collect the fruits of their hard work over the past year.

Master of ceremonies comedian James Nokise kicked the event off in an entertaining manner, referring to himself as a “poor man’s Taika Waititi”. 

Convenor of judges Shane Bradnick, chief creative officer across TBWA, took to the stage to thank the hard work of the judging team and speak about the theme of the night ‘Can you feel it?’.

The Grand Axis was awarded to Colenso BBDO for Kupu, an app created in partnership with Spark for Te Wiki o te reo Māori 2018.

Kupu also won Colenso a Grand Prix, six golds, two silvers and three bronze, and Spark was awarded the Client of the Year award. Colenso and Sparks’ Generation Voice also took home a gold and a silver.

Scott Coldham, managing director at Colenso, says seeing a massive range of work rewarded from the entire industry is what Axis Awards are about.

“Obviously, we’re really happy with our performance and Spark’s accolades in particular. To see ‘Kupu’ and ‘Generation Voice’ do so well in so many categories was amazing and Spark taking home Client of the Year was a fitting cherry on top.”

It was a successful night for FCB New Zealand taking home Agency of the Year as well as two golds for ‘Oat the Goat’ with Assembly for Ministry of Education, a gold for ‘Swim Reaper’ for Water Safety New Zealand, a gold for ‘Pre-Testie Bestie’ for Health Promotion Agency and a gold for ‘Undercover Crossword’ for the Ministry of Social Development/Office for Seniors.


FCB also took home the new category of Brand Axis Award for their brand work with Pak’nSave – ‘Stickman’ for Foodstuffs NZ Ltd as well as a collection of silvers and bronzes across the evening. 

Tony Clewett, FCB’s executive creative director, says it’s “great to win across such a breadth of our clients – creativity in action helping solve real business problems”.

“And Bravo to Pak’nSave. We’re thrilled that the industry has acknowledged this iconic campaign that keeps on giving. I think this definitely calls for all-staff sausage rolls.”

Videos featuring TVNZ Seven Sharp’s Hilary Barry and Jeremy Wells popped up throughout the night, with colleague Lucy Zee interviewing the two international judges Tara Ford, executive creative director at DDB in Sydney, and Jenny Glover, executive creative director at Juniper Park/TBWA in Toronto, about Grand Prix winners Colenso BBDO for Spark’s Kupu and DDB Group New Zealand’s ‘Armoured Truck’ for Lotto New Zealand.

DDB also won two golds for Lotto New Zealand ‘Armoured Truck’ and a gold and two silvers for KiwiRail’s ‘A New New Zealand’.

Production Company of the Year was awarded to Scoundrel who took home two golds for Health Promotion Agency’s ‘Department of Lost Nights’, two golds for Lotto New Zealand’s ‘Armoured Truck’ and three silvers.

Ogilvy won two golds, eight silvers and six bronze for New Zealand Police’s ‘Question A Cop’.

Clemenger BBDO took gold for Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s ‘That Time Professor John Burrows Didn’t and KiwiRail’s ‘That Time Jordie Barrett Didn’t’ and ‘Look Right, Look Left’. Sweetshop won a gold and a silver for Lion’s ‘The Dance’ and Finch won gold for Spark’s ‘Generation Voice’.

The Emerging Talent award was won by Jake Blood and Josh Thompson from Saatchi & Saatchi, with one of the duo collecting the prize on crutches, and the winners of the Google Student Challenge were Clementina de Ruiter and Zach Hall from Media Design School.

Paul Head, chief executive of The Comms Council says Axis remains an important moment.

 “One that we all respect in the New Zealand creative calendar because it celebrates our best creative work; the work our industry is justifiably proud of because it has looked at the world through a new lens, challenged the existing paradigms, permeated popular culture and influenced behavioural change – well done to all the winners this year.”

With fabulous pop art-ish graphics and funk and soul band Mister Speaker keeping the mood upbeat, this year’s Axis Awards was a fun and celebratory evening, with no doubt some sore heads in offices today.

To see the full list of 2019 Axis Award winners, visit here.

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