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The 2007 Advertising & Design Club Of Canada Awards

Posted on November 21, 2007 and read 2,187 times

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I have a little pet peeve with advertising award shows. In theory, these events are supposed to be celebrations of incredible creative work, where our industry gets together to honour the achievements of agencies, their talent and their clients over the past year. The reality is that “celebration” is a low priority amongst many award show attendees. If the show is a sit down dinner, people chat throughout the show, more concerned with flagging down the waiter for more wine than with whoever is picking up hardware on the stage. If it’s an auditorium of some sort, as long as booze and hors d’oeuvres are being served in the lobby throughout the show, half the crowd will be out there. Even in Cannes, on the grandest stage of all, most people don’t even consider showing up to any but the final awards gala. Let’s face it; unless you know that you’re likely to win something, or unless you’ve brought your clients along in order to show them why awards matter, chances are you’ll spend most of the show out by the bars, schmoozing with pals and putting back overpriced drinks. In fact it’s entirely possible you might not even know who won anything until the following morning.

It is because of that award show frustration that I must commend the folks at the Advertising & Design Club of Canada, who held their 58th annual award show in Toronto last week. For the past two years the ADCC has done a great job of putting sufficient space between the awards and the alcohol, by holding the presentation and the after party in two separate locations. This has allowed the work and people being celebrated their moment to shine without having a chunk of the audience walking out mid-speech to sip vodka cranberries in the lobby.

The show proper was held in the McMillan Theatre, inside University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music. The theatre has a capacity of just over 800, and it appeared that just about every seat in the house was occupied for the event. The evening was hosted by ADCC President/BBDO Canada President & Chief Creative Officer Jack Neary, who began by telling the audience a funny little anecdote about cleaning his office. Amongst the foamcore and old annuals, Jack found a mounted piece celebrating the work of Michael McLaughin. He placed the work in the hall outside his office, where it caught the attention of a junior creative. The young man picked up the ad, read it, turned to Jack and asked him a single question.

“Who’s Michael McLaughlin?”

It was an innocent question, since the legendary art director and creative director was about a decade before this kid’s time in the industry. However it made Jack think about how many great people in our industry are lauded, only to be forgotten by the next generation. To this end, Jack announced that the ADCC has begun to archive all of its award annuals, so that everybody has access to the names and works of those who came before them. It’s going to take the ADCC crew awhile, since there are almost six decades of annuals to bring into the digital age, but they’ve already posted the inaugural annual from 1949 on their site, which you can view right here in PDF format.

The first award handed out that evening was the ADCC’s most prestigious, the Les Usherwood Award, the annual lifetime achievement award. This year it was awarded to graphic designer Neville Smith for his years of dedication to his craft. Neville has not only made an impact on Canadian design, but he also did it while based in Ottawa, proving that you don’t have to be in the biggest city to make the biggest impressions.

Just as hallowed at the ADCC is their Michael O’Reilly Copywriting Award, which was awarded this year to Chris Booth and Joel Pylypiw of DDB Canada for a Philips radio campaign filled with more double entendres than an entire season of Three’s Company.

The ADCC promotes an annual student competition each year, and this year the brief was for that scrumptious frozen delicacy Hungry-Man dinners. The big grand prize of $3000 and a year’s supply of Hungry-Man (hey, it’s a step up from ramen noodles on a student budget) went to OCAD’s Jan “It’s pronounced ‘Yon’” Drewniak and Beau Turner for their ‘Hunger For More’ prehistoric themed entry.

As we should all know by now, advertising is no longer all about TV spots and print ads, and this year the ADCC reflected this by introducing a brand new category called Advertising Innovative/Non-Traditional. If I need to tell you who won gold in this category, you probably haven’t been paying much attention to the ‘evolution’ of our very industry. Congratulations Ogilvy!

Other shiny golden ‘A’s went out to:

Lowe Roche for their ‘Traps’ multimedia campaign and ‘Destiny’ cinema spot, both for Stella Artois, as well as an interactive gold for ‘Push to Start’ for Nokia.

• BBDO for ‘Stairs/Bus/Bad Dog’ TV campaign for Parmalat, with ‘Stairs’ getting some additional glory as a single TV spot.

DraftFCB for ‘Beautiful Day’ a PSA TV spot for the World Wildlife Fund.

TBWA\Toronto for their ‘Bicycle’ TV spot for Skittles.

DDB Canada for the aforementioned Michael O’Reilly Award winning radio campaign for Philips, as well as a single gold for the ‘Gardening Tips’ spot in the campaign.

Rethink, who continues to rack up awards for their work on Playland. They received gold for their ‘Alarm/Blender/Slingshot’ print campaign, and two more golds for individual pieces of the campaign.

Trigger Communications out in Calgary for both their print campaign and a single print piece for the Calgary Zoo.

Taxi, who won three gold interactive goodies. Their Montreal office won gold for ‘Rail Europe Journey’ for client Rail Europe. Here in Toronto, that office won gold for ‘Stopwatch’ for Pirate Radio & Television, and the Big Apple office received a gold for ‘Junkshaker’ for Amp’d Mobile.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the ‘D’ in ADCC, since design makes up for a major part of the awards show. Golds in the various design categories were handed out to

GJP Advertising + Design, who brought home gold in or their ‘Down Below’ brochure for GEE Beauty.

Soapbox Design Communications, who won two gold awards for their ‘Bad Words: PEN Canada 2005/2006 Annual Report’, one in the Annual Report category, the other in Graphic Design Illustration.

Head Gear Animation, who won Title Sequence gold for the ‘MTV International 48 Fest Event Open’ for MTV International/London.

Underline Studio for their ‘Zoo/Flock [in]/The Watch Man’ entry for the InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre. This gold was in the Graphic Design Miscellaneous category. Underline also won gold in the Art Direction for a Single Magazine Article category and gold for Art Direction for a Single Magazine Page or Spread.

The Walrus Foundation (who had a lot of fans in the audience) for ‘Too Wired to Think’ (Magazine Covers) ‘God’s Slow Death’ (Illustration) and ‘The Last Lumberjacks’ (Photojournalism)

Now just because I began this article by lamenting about how award shows are more about partying than awarding doesn’t mean I don’t like to get my groove on. After all of the awards were handed out, the ADCC moved the festivities up the block to the newly renovated Royal Museum of Ontario, where the spirits were high, the drinks were chilled and the party carried on into the evening.

All in all a great event.


Brett McKenzie
Chief Writer/SBN2
ihaveanidea






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