DDB picks up Newspaper Ad of the Year, makes it two in a row

These days it isn’t difficult to find someone who holds the opinion that print is only moments away from having a spear thrust into its side by the digital age. And while it may be true that print readership and circulation numbers continue to decline, the level of creativity on display at last night’s Newspaper Advertising Awards seems to suggest that print still provides a virile canvas capable of delivering advertisers’ messages in a way that cuts through the clutter of mass media. 

The ninth edition of the annual awards show was hosted at AUT and again organised by the industry body News Works. And this year, the attendees from DDB left with the biggest smiles as the agency picked up the most coveted award: the Newspaper Ad of the Year.

Illustrating that the greatest ideas don’t always have to be complicated, the judges awarded the gong to DDB for its simple VW print ad that drew attention to a Beetle sale.

International judges Adrian Rossi and Alex Grieve, who ply their trade at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO heaped praise on the ad, saying in a release: “‘VW has one of the richest advertising heritages of any brand.  This is both a blessing and a curse.  You have to raise your standards to what has come before.  This ad does.  It grabs our attention.  It conveys its message.  Top stuff.”

Interestingly, the creatives who collected the award, Kevin Bachtiar (pictured left) and Sasha Arandelovic (pictured right), are currently working for Special Group, but they conceptualised the campaign together while at DDB.  

The win makes it two in row for DDB, following the agency’s success last year when it won the major gong for the YWCA’s ‘From now until the end of the year, women will work for free’ ad.

As has been the case in previous years, every Ad of the Month winner is automatically entered into the Ad of the Year competition, meaning that DDB’s ad was selected as the best in a competitive field of 12 standout ads to have appeared in New Zealand newspaper between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2014.

Whybin\TBWA’s advertisement ‘Minds for Minds’ was the runner up after taking out the ‘Best Craft – Copy’ award. The judges said that they were pleased “to see long copy making a return,” and that the ad made the reader “stop and think”.

Other winners on the New Zealand newspaper industry’s big night were Auckland agencies Ogilvy & Mather, OMD, and Assignment Wellington.

The OMD advertisement for Tourism Australia was headlined ‘What’s your passion’ and took out the awards for both ‘Best Media Thinking’ and ‘Best News Brand Campaign’, while Assignment won the ‘Best Craft – Art’ award for its Absolutely Positively Wellington print ads. Ogilvy won the ‘Best Topical’ award for Rebel Sport’s clever print ad that drew attention to Brendon McCullum’s record-breaking innings against India.

The only category in which a winner was not chosen was the digital category. News Works’ marketing executive Kirsty Atkins says this was because the “judges were undecided on a winner for the category”.  

Despite the ‘Best Digital’ award not being handed out last night, special mention was made of Whybin\TBWA’s ‘Talk Rugby like a pro’, which was created for the NZME (then APN) rugby portal on the Herald.

Special mentions were also extended to DDB and Whybin\TBWA in the ‘Best Craft – Art’ category; to Whybin\TBWA in the ‘Best Craft – Copy’ category; to FCB Media and Ella Yelich O’Connor (Lorde) / Saika Management in the ‘Best Topical’ category; to Ogilvy in the ‘Best Media Thinking’ category; and to JWT Action USA / APN, FCB Media and Whybin\TBWA in the ‘Best News Brands’ category.

In the student category, a Nescafe Azera ad campaign dubbed ‘making instant coffee a little more special’ has won Auckland Media Design School’s Julie Koch and Tania Menzies the 2014 Student Newspaper Advertising Competition.

This win gives each of the students $500 in cash in addition to the kudos that come with winning the award.  

The challenge set this year was for students to prepare a newspaper campaign for Nescafe Azera, and the judges felt the effort from the MDS duo was the best entry.

Success also followed MDS to the ‘Topical Brief’ category, which was won by students Kent Briggs and Nick Houghton for their  advertisement for Sky TV based on the news that John Banks was facing home detention.

The topical ad featured s picture of a Sky decoder and remote with the the accompanying caption “Lucky bugger”. The judges said ‘this is a SKY ad … one they would actually run with – a really clever, good use of humour.’  Brigs and Houghton also received a special mention for their ‘Fujitsu – Cosy’ campaign.

Full list of winners:

2014 Ad of the Year 
Client: VW – Beetle Sale
Agency: DDB
Executive Creative Director: Andy Fackrell
Creative Directors: Gavin Siakimotu, Natalie Knight
Art Director:  Kevin Bachtiar
Copywriter:  Sasha Arandelovic
Judges’ comments: VW has one of the richest advertising heritages of any brand.  This is both a blessing and a curse.  You have to raise your standards to what has come before.  This ad does.  It grabs your attention.  It conveys its message.  Top stuff.

2104 Ad of the Year Runner Up & Best Craft – Copy
Client: Minds for Minds – Routine
Agency: Whybin\TBWA
CCO:  Toby Talbot
Creative Director: Lisa Fedyszyn & Jonathan McMahon
Creatives: Smeta Chhotu-Patel, Tom Johnson & Tom Knighton
Head of Art:  Phil Kelly
Group Head:  Jodi Willocks
Account Director:  Mark Wilson
Production:  Ali Vernon
Print Production:  LightFarm Studios
Logo Design:  Lorenz Perry

Judges’ comments: Great to see long copy making a return.  It is cleverly put together and certainly makes one stop and think.

Best Craft – Art
Client: Absolutely Positively Wellington 
Agency: Assignment Wellington
Creative Team: Chris Bleackley, John Plimmer & Chrissie Lahood
Retouching: Geoff Francis
GAD: Felicity Drader
Judges’ Comments: The ads were pure craft

Best Topical
Client:  Rebel Sport
Agency:  Ogilvy & Mather
Executive Creative Director:  Angus Hennah
Creative:  Rupert Hancock
Illustrator:  Mike Mirfin
Group Account Director:  Sandra Daniel
Account Director:  Darryl Rogers
Group Marketing Manager:  Tanya Laurence
Buyer Hardgoods:  Hamish MacKenzie
Judge’s Comments:   Hugely topical, with a simple idea

Best Digital
NB. No winner was awarded for Best Digital

Best Media Thinking
Client: Tourism Australia
Agency: OMD
Client Services Director: Chrissy Payne 
Account Director: Colleen Porath
Managing Partner: Andrew Reinholds
Digital Strategy Director: Judit Maireder
Digital Planner / Buyer: Christina So
Campaign Executive:  Azriel Chan
Account Executive:  Hanri Els
Creatives:  Avon Willis, Aaron Taylor & Paul Cracknell
Judges’ Comments:   Huge content and variety.  It was visually strong and appealing with great use of ad and editorial

Special Mentions: 

Best Craft – Art
Runner-Up: Client: VW, Agency: DDB
Highly Commended: Client: Minds for Minds, Agency: Whybin\TBWA

Best Craft – Copy
Runner-Up: Client: Talk Rugby like a Pro, Agency: Whybin\TBWA

Best Topical
Runner-Up: Client:  Prime TV, Agency: FCB Media
Highly Commended: Client: Lorde’s letter, Agency: Ella Yelich O’Connor / Saika Management

Best Digital
Highly Commended: Client: Talk Rugby like a Pro, Agency: Whybin\TBWA

Best Media Thinking
Highly Commended: Client: Public Trust, Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Wellington

Best News Brand Campaign
Runner Up:  Client:  Brand USA, Agency:  JWT Action USA / APN
Highly Commended:  Client: Pak n Save – Australia campaign, Agency:  FCB Media
Highly Commended:  Client: Talk Rugby like a Pro, Agency: Whybin\TBWA

Student winners:

Nescafe Azera Challenge

Making instant a little more special – Media Design School – Julie Koch and Tania Menzies
Judges’ Comments: This was a really good way of bringing to life that Azera is instant, and that you can get the best of what you need in an instant. 

Second Equal

For a combination that actually makes sense – AUT – Lennie Galloway and Thomas Gledhill
Letters to the editor – Media Design School – Tom Houghton and Sian Henderson

Highly Commended

Misprints – Media Design School – Julie Koch and Tania Menzies

Topical Brief:


Lucky Bugger – Media Design School – Kent Briggs and Nick Houghton


Greenpeace – AUT – Lennie Galloway and Thomas Gledhill

Highly Commended

Fujitsu – Media Design School – Kent Briggs and Nick Houghton 

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