Aotearoa Effie Award winners announced for 2023

Show-stopping campaigns that achieved true effectiveness were honoured and celebrated at the Commercial Communications Council’s 2023 Aotearoa Effie Awards, in association with TVNZ, held at the Auckland Town Hall last night.

It was a big night for Special, which took out two top spots including the Grand Effie for its work with Kiwibank on ‘Reigniting NZ’s relationship with Kiwibank,’ Most Effective Agency of the Year, and a raft of gold, silver, and bronze medals.

Special CEO and Chief Creative Officer NZ Tony Bradbourne says the most creative work is the most effective work and he and the team are proud to see this proven over six clients.

“Five golds, six silvers and four bronzes and the ‘Most Effective Agency in New Zealand’ title takes a hell of a lot of good work, but it also takes an equal amount of hard work to gather all of the data and write all of the entries,” he says.

“I want to thank all of our client partners and the whole team at Special who have really put in the hours to prove our belief. And last but far from least, the whole incredible team at Kiwibank – in the most competitive category, massively outspent, but armed with the believe that strategy, creativity and innovation can triumph over the biggest of competitors, says everything about just how good the whole team are. It’s brilliant that ‘This is Kiwi’ and the banks transformation has been recognised with the Grand Effie. They don’t get any tougher to win than that.”

The Special team.

Kiwibank was a standout business on the night, winning the Grand Effie along with gold for brand revitalisation, gold for financial services, silver for new product or service, silver for insights and strategic thinking – and a bronze for its work with OMD in the B2B category.

Simon Hofmann, General Manager of Brand and Marketing at Kiwibank, says he and the team had “clear ambitions to transform the brand and drive growth”.

“With a very competitive and well-resourced category, we need to be more creative and more effective to deliver. This recognition is testament to all our people across Kiwibank and our agencies, who have worked relentlessly towards our common goal of making Kiwi better off.

“There were phenomenal results recognised last night, and it’s great to see the exceptionally high standard of work from the financial services celebration,” he says.

Motion Sickness also had a big night with its best ever Effies haul, walking away with seven wins in total for its work with Fire and Emergency NZ and Whānau Ora, and the ‘Hardest Challenge’ award for ‘You’re Cooked’.

“The campaign broke new ground creatively for public sector marketing, delivering behavior change results previously unseen within such a hard to shift audience,” says Kelley Toy, Marketing Manager at Fire and Emergency NZ.

“This is a big moment for us,” says Head of Strategy Hilary Ngan Kee. “To have our team be awarded at this level shows the effectiveness of our work stacks up with the best. To be recognised in this way by our peers in what is arguably the toughest awards programme, and to come away with this result on the night, we couldn’t be happier.”

Motion Sickness was awarded 11 finalists, with Frank Energy clinching two of them. In the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion category, ‘Rep Your Suburb’ for Whānau Ora earned a bronze award, while ‘You’re Cooked’ for Fire and Emergency NZ received five distinctions, including a gold for Short-term success.

The Motion Sickness and Fire and Emergency NZ team.

Chief Marketing Officer ANZ Group and General Manager Data, Customer Experience and Marketing at ANZ NZ, Astrud Burgess, took out the recipient of ‘Effective Marketer of the Year’.

It was also a strong night for Colenso BBDO which won three golds, DDB which won two golds, and The Monkeys which won one gold.

This year’s convenor of judges, Lisa Divett, says the quality of entries this year was “outstanding”.

“It was wonderful to see so many strategic challenges solved so elegantly across such diverse categories. We all know how hard it is to write an Effie, let alone win and yet every year the bar keeps getting raised. Congratulations to all you incredibly clever and creative people.”

The Effie programme is internationally acclaimed as a standard for assessing marketing efficiency, and has been running in New Zealand for over two decades.

The 2023 Aotearoa Effie Awards are presented by the Comms Council in association with TVNZ and are made possible through the support of its sponsors; Cartology, Google, Meta, Nielsen, New Zealand Story, NZME, oOh!media, Stuff, TRB, and UnLtd.

For a full list of winners please visit www.commscouncil.nz/effie

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