Colenso receives slap on the hand one day, international honour the next, and remains in AXIS contention

Its DB Export TVC may have been pulled off air after a complaint was upheld by the ASA in connection to the misuse of historical footage, but Colenso BBDO must be feeling  pretty good right about now after news the TVC has picked up an honourable mention as part of the inaugural Ads Worth Spreading challenge, established by non-profit organisation TED.

Honouring ads “so good you choose to watch” is the crux of the TED challenge, and DB Export’s campaign is one of 24 from around the world to be recognised as part of that challenge.

Commenting on the DB Export campaign the judges said: “Here’s an ad that holds on to your attention with great storytelling. We were enthralled by the tale of one of New Zealand’s most creative innovators, who revolutionised beer brewing.”

But which version of the ad was judged—the original or the edited—remains a bit of a mystery, even to Colenso BBDO’s planning director James Hurman.

He says the original ad was submitted into the awards, and when the edited version came out, it too was put forward. But whether it was the old or new version that went under the scrutinising eyes of the judges is irrelevant to Hurman, who describes the difference between the old and new ad as only small.

“I’d be surprised if anyone noticed the difference let alone if it had any impact on the judging.”

At the end of the day, Hurman is just happy that the story of Morton Coutts has been recognised.

“Had he been alive and well today we might well have seen Morton Coutts himself gracing the TED stage,” says Hurman. “I guess this is the next best thing.”

The panel of 24 judges included advertising and media executives, video artists, filmmakers, journalists and producers.

But while the agency has the TED honour firmly in grip, its submission of the original, unedited TVC is no longer in contention for an Axis award in its category, according to Axis convenor of judges, Tony Bradbourne.

But all’s not lost for the TVC in AXIS land. The agency submitted the re-edited version, which Bradbourne says is eligible and has already been judged by the panel of international judges. Whether it goes any further (like all the entries) remans to be seen.

Bradourne says the difference between the two clips is so minor that “even to a judge’s eye you wouldn’t notice the difference”.

“AXIS is about spotlighting and highlighting great pieces of work. It’s not about kicking out great work over a minute thing,” says Bradbourne.

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