Kiwis show their calibre at YoungGuns Awards

What started as “drunken idea” between Kristian Barnes, Jason Williams and Michael Kean this year celebrated its 12th year, as the YoungGun Awards were again distributed to advertising’s most promising minds under the age of 30.

Historically, Colenso BBDO has been a standout at the competition, accumulating an impressive collection of prizes, which eventually led to the agency being singled out as the YoungGuns most-awarded agency of the decade in 2010. And this year was no different. 

In addition to winning the digital agency of the year award, Colenso was also the only Kiwi agency to have an employee in the best young talent list, with Ben Polkinghorne placing 12th out of 21.

Polkinghorne also picked up a pair of golds in the media and digital categories for his creative contribution to Colenso’s ‘Trial by Timeline‘, a campaign that’s no stranger to awards having already won quite a few accolades at the recent Direct Marketing Awards.

Although Colenso once again walked away with the most awards among the New Zealand agencies, only FCB was singled by YoungGuns Awards chair Nick Law in his report of the event. In writing about the process of choosing the best work of the show, Law expressed his admiration for the ‘Driving Dogs’ campaign and commended it for being viewed by three times as many people as the population of New Zealand.”

Although the award for best creative innovation eventually went to Bot & Dolly’s ‘Box’ campaign, FCB’s Matt Williams was also honoured with a gold award in the creative awards section for his work on the ‘Driving Dogs’ campaign. 

But the Kiwi contribution to the creative section wasn’t limited to Williams. Y&R NZ’s Lisa Dupre was awarded a silver for the ‘standard glass’ campaign that she helped to conceptualise for Cheers.co.nz (The Tomorrow Project’s website), and Colenso’s Brett Colliver picked up a bronze for his ‘Fire at the Old Well’ TVC for DB Breweries.

Colliver’s name also appeared among the list of finalists in the integrated campaign (creative section) and digital solutions (digital section) categories, but the panel of judges decided not to award his work on ‘The Smart Phone Line’ campaign with any silverware. His ‘Anti-Pre Roll‘ campaign for Burger King also appeared among the list of finalists in the digital section, but this was similarly snubbed by the panel.   

A similar fate befell Whybin\TBWA’s Tom Knighton, Smeta Chhotu-Patel and Tom Johnson, whose creative use of longer-form copy in the ‘Meeting of the Minds’ campaign for Minds for Minds was also listed among the finalists but did not receive a gong.      

Given that the event is about the sharpest young minds in the business, it comes as little surprise that the nation’s ad schools pay particular attention to the results every year. And judging by the comments released by Media Design School course leader Kate Humphries, it appears that last year’s students have left quite an impression.  

“Two weeks after winning the Student Axis, the class of 2013 continue to do all at The Media Design School proud,” says Humphries. “On Friday, Ellie Jones and Avani Maan, received the news that they’d won a student YoungGuns Gold [in the student awards section]. Not only that, Ellie and Avani, who are currently interning at Barnes Catmur & Friends, also found out that their idea for Getty, ‘The Living Photograph Series’, was one of only two Golds awarded to ad students worldwide.”

“The AdSchool also scored a YoungGuns Bronze for Red Cross Ready by Jian Xin Tay and Kiran Strickland, the team that won the DDB Scholarship internship.”

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