Special effects at the Best Awards

A humane possum trap and a power company that taught people to like them are among the seven finalists in the inaugural Best Effect award to be announced at the Best Design Awards on October 5. 

As the judging panel, led by convenor Noel Brown, noted, the Best Effect Award is a radical departure for design awards in New Zealand because entrants were not judged by designers or on the quality of their design. The judges, business people themselves, were looking for “return on investment for the companies who had commissioned the work”. And, as DNA’s Grenville Main wrote, it should be applauded for adding this award and showcasing the role design can play in commerce. 
The award attracted strong interest from all the design disciplines and ranged from small startups, to large corporates, to small and large exporters, and the arts and non-profit organisations were also represented.

2012 Best Effect Award finalists:

goodnature possum trap best awards

Goodnature A12 Automatic Humane Possum Trap

(Design studio: Goodnature. Design directors: Stu Barr, Craig Bond and Robbie van Dam)

Goodnature, with the support of the Department of Conservation (DOC), has developed the first humane trap for possums, New Zealand’s most ecologically harmful pest (see previous Idealog story). But as well as being humane as it kills possums instantly, the trap is also economically viable as it is powered by a CO2 canister that resets the trap 12 times and is easy to set and install. As the judges noted, developing non-toxic pest control alternatives further positions New Zealand as a global conservation leader.

powershop best awards best effect


(Design Studio: DNA. Design director: Simon Coley)

Powershop, a rapidly growing online energy retailer, was launched in February 2009 with design playing a crucial role in its development. Its aim was to give consumers more information about and greater control over their power consumption, rather than, as happened with traditional power companies, keeping them in the dark. This open policy worked as in last year’s Deloitte Fast 50 Powershop won the title of New Zealand’s fastest growing energy company.

z energy best awards best effect

Z Energy

(Design studio: Jasmax. Design director: Tim Hooson)

Z Energy’s head office engaged Jasmax to refurbish and energise the office environment. Jasmax created an open plan team approach with informal meeting hubs, a range of meeting rooms and a colour scheme which linked to their brand colour palette. The walls are white on white, with 3D pieces used for emphasis and photographs capturing real shots of customers in their locations.

hellers best awards best effect


(Design Studio: Dow. Design Director: Donna McCort).

Hellers is the market leading small goods brand in New Zealand and as it increased product development it hired design company Dow to revitalise the brand and take the company to the next stage. The brief was to communicate that, at its heart, Hellers was still a “passionate local butcher.”

getsorted locus research best awards best effectGetSorted

(Design Studio: Locus Research Ltd. Design director: Rogier Simons, Timothy Allen)

International Merchants (IML) are niche distributors and at the end of 2008 wanted to find an effective response to one of their key markets – wardrobe storage. Locus Research provided a fully integrated external “design team” to come up with an easy to assemble, intuitive storage system, GetSorted. The product was also a market first as it was constructed of material that absorbed moisture away from clothes. GetSorted has been adopted as a leading storage range by Bunnings Australia, and the range has also just entered the South East Asian market.

amp dna do your thing best awards best effect

Do Your Thing

(Design studio: DNA)

This project aimed to assist AMP to broaden the customer base for its scholarships, which had come to be seen as somewhat elitist.  DNA created a communication platform, Do Your Thing, which celebrated a wide range of Kiwi experiences, and in particular used social media to encourage a wider base of entries. The results were impressive, leading to more entries than any previous year. A new initiative – public voting – was a dynamic part of the campaign and attracted voting from 150 countries.

silver fern farms best awards best effect

Silver Fern Farms

(Design studio: Designworks Auckland. Design director: Jeff Wong)

The aim of this project was to rebrand the business and transform meat processor PPCS into a more marketing oriented, export driven company, Silver Fern Farms. Designworks was briefed to create a premium international food brand and also to help shift the culture and company reputation into an industry leader position. Research showed that consumers would pay more per kilo for a high branded product, with distinctive uncluttered packaging, and with a choice of retail packs sized for smaller families and couples. Boldly claiming to be “Proudly New Zealand made” Silver Fern Farms range of premium lamb cuts was accepted into some 220 Tesco stores in September, 2011 across the United Kingdom.
The Best Effect Award will be announced at the Best Awards dinner to be held  on Friday, October 5, 2012 when winners of the other disciplines: spatial, interactive, product, graphic and product will be announced, along with another new award, Nga Aho, celebrating the best of Pacific and Maori designers and design.

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