Special wins big at B&T Awards in Sydney

Special has had another successful evening at the B&T ‘Agency of the Year’ awards in Sydney last Friday taking out a slew of titles.

Not only was the agency named ‘New Zealand Agency of the Year’ for the fourth time in a row, it also won ‘TV Campaign of the Year’, ‘Best Media Campaign’ and ‘Best Content Strategy’ titles for Partners Life, and took out the overall Grand Prix ‘B&T Agency of the Year’ title yet again.

In a statement, B&T described Special’s win: “Three Grand Prix wins in four years – ladies and gentlemen we give you New Zealand-born, now global and B&T’s top agency for 2023 – Special! And the proof is in the pudding, with the agency snaring six gongs at this year’s B&T Awards. In Cannes Lions’ recently released 2023 “Creativity Report”, complete with global creative rankings for the world’s leading agencies, it ranked Special Auckland in fourth place.”

Tony Bradbourne, Special’s Founder, says the last couple of years have been “a dream”. “We had recognition of work from every agency and every discipline in the finalists list at B&T this year. But to walk away with the Grand Prix for the third time in four years, and to win New Zealand agency for the fourth year in a row, shows a consistent pattern of world-leading work from our team.”

In a statement, the B&T judging panel outlined their rationale for Special’s success: “Special New Zealand has had another incredible year. It was ranked the Most Effective Independent Agency in the Effie Global rankings and had three campaigns ranked in WARC’s 100 Most Effective. It also took home a Cannes Lions Grand Prix, two Gold Lions, as well as a single silver and bronze and a D&AD Yellow pencil. What’s more Cannes Lions also named Special as ‘Independent Agency of the Year – Strategy’ – another first for any agency from Australasia. Chances are, you already know Special’s work.”

“Its “Last Performance” campaign for health insurance firm Partners Life was celebrated all over the world, despite it being a campaign addressing an almost uniquely Kiwi problem and delivered through a Kiwi TV show. Its work for Kathmandu, however, was far more light-hearted with a focus on nature and human adventure set to an incredibly funky soundtrack.”

“Both campaigns, while innovative and award-winning, delivered exceptional results for Special’s clients. “Last Performance” saw chronically under-insured Kiwis boost their appetite for life insurance and Kathmandu had its best summer ever off the back of Special’s campaign. Special also gives back. It also launched Special Aotea. The initiative is a culturally-led creative, strategic and business rōpū (group) within the agency that is designed to authentically represent Te Ao Māori in its people, place, the work it delivers for its clients, and the next generation — something its Aussie counterparts could learn from.”

This year also proved a stellar year for the Auckland-founded Special global network, which now has offices in Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Wellington, New York and London. The agency network climbed three places from last year and is now the fourth Independent Creative Network in the world. Special also impressively ranked as the number two network in the Asia Pacific region, ahead of global giant Accenture Song and just behind Omnicom-owned BBDO.

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