The 500 or so TV and online advertising elite gathered in Toronto last night for The Bessies were seeing red – Red Urban, that is.
The annual awards show that celebrates the best Canadian television commercials for broadcast or online saw Red Urban take home several key awards, most notably Best of Show – Single for “Super Sexy Abdominal Thrust” for advertiser Fortnight Lingerie. The racy spot also won another piece of hardware: a gold in Single – Online Broadcast.
Red Urban also won two of the seven gold Single – Television awards for its “Eye Drops” and “Buck” spots, both for advertiser Richmond Optometry.
The other prominent agency winner of the night was DDB Canada Vancouver. In addition to picking up the coveted Best of Show – Campaign award for “Chair Pants/Support Hat/Food Lift” (created for the BC Dairy Foundation), the agency also scooped up the gold in Campaign – Television for the same campaign. The “Chair Pants” spot from that campaign also won a gold Single – Television award.
The other golds in Single – Television went to BBDO Toronto (“Change” for FedEx Canada), Taxi 2 (“Man Boobs” for Mini Canada), Cossette West, Dare Vancouver (“Sword” for Amour), and Juniper Park (“Removing” for Frito-Lay).
The other golds in Single – Online Broadcast went to Cossette (“Crimp & Curl” for the National Advertising Awards) and Leo Burnett Toronto (“Love/Hate” for The Advertising and Design Club of Canada).
Gold in Campaign – Integrated went to the “Pure Performance” campaign DDB Canada Toronto did for Subaru Canada. The same campaign took the 2011 Best of Series – Directing award, which went to directors Chris Woods and Jeff Low.
The same directing duo also won the 2011 Don Award, given to those with the “potential to be a future leader.”
The night started with a lively keynote by Chuck Porter of Crispin Porter + Bogusky. He spoke of how awards shows such as The Bessies “level the playing field” in the agency world since a company’s size doesn’t matter.
“The small kids can beat the biggest, colossus agencies,” he said, helping smaller shops get bigger clients because by improving their reputation.
Porter made light of the age-old debate about whether award shows are fair. “There’s only one key factor,” he said. “Did you win or not?”
He also addressed the culture nuances that can affect whether or not a TV spot picks up awards at global awards. He used a spot for Burger King chicken fries as an example from his own company’s past. The spot features racecar drivers eating various BK menu items while driving. The results are equally humorous and messy. While Porter said the spot won awards in the U.S., it didn’t fly elsewhere. That’s because people in North America are used to eating food in their cars, whereas “people in France and Germany don’t, and didn’t understand why it was funny.”
Closing his speech, Porter said “I think traditional TV advertising still has the power and potency to move people from all over the globe in a way no other medium does.”
For pictures from the event and coverage on additional winners, check out the June 13 issue of Marketing.