Vibrant industry honours the most creative advertising minds
A 'CUT-OUT' style newspaper ad designed to highlight the resale value of Volkswagen cars has been crowned NNI Press Ad of the Year for 2012. The winning ad – which was created by Owens DDB, with media planned by MediaCom – was announced at a special awards ceremony in the Mansion House last night.
This year's NNI awards were judged by Mark Lewis and Matt Fitch of BBH (London) – the creative duo behind the 'Guardian' newspaper's multi-award-winning 'Three Little Pigs' ad – along with Gavin O'Doherty, Marketing Director of Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, and Today FM Chief Executive Peter McPartlin.
Last night's awards ceremony was hosted by 'Sunday Independent' columnist and TV presenter Brendan O'Connor.
In addition to winning the overall NNI Press Ad of the Year award, Owens DDB's 'VW Resale Value' also won prizes for Best Art Direction and Best Consumer Durables Ad.
The agency picked up a further award in the NNI Best Local and Regional category for its 'Cowboy' ad on behalf of Skoda.
The overall winning ad was described as "right up there with the classic VW print ads" by judges Mark Lewis and Matt Fitch of BBH London, who recommended that the work be entered in this year's Cannes advertising festival.
"This is a purely newspaper ad that would not work in any other medium," said judges Lewis and Fitch.
"It's really simple but it works on multiple levels. At the end of the day, it's a joke, but it succeeds in getting across a very serious point about the resale value of your car.
"The agency could have turned this into an instruction manual but they didn't – and the results are very smart," said the judges.
They added: "We'd love to have done this ad and if we had, we would definitely be entering it in Cannes – it's really that good."
Double Victory for Ogilvy & Mather
WHILE Owens DDB grabbed most of the headlines, it was also a good night for Ogilvy & Mather, who teamed up with media partner Mindshare to win the Best B2B category – for their 'Sharks' ad, highlighting the agency's own success at the Kinsale festival – as well as the Best Charity award for their moving 'Heartbroken Santa' ad on behalf of the ISPCC.
Other award-winners included Brand Artillery and Leo Burnett (with Mediaworks as media partner), who won Best Copywriting for their ad 'The Fools' on behalf of Glasnevin Trust, and Publicis Dublin (Mediavest) who won the Media category for their superb 'Justice Undone' ad for TG4.
Judges Mark Lewis and Matt Fitch praised the overall standard of entries, saying: "The level of work we saw really blew us away and we would happily have our names on a number of pieces".
New Awards Introduced for Media Planning and Strategy
THIS year's NNI awards featured two new categories for media agencies. Susan Daly of OMD took home the inaugural prize for POP (Power of Press) 'Planner of the Year', an award created to recognise an individual who has been working in media planning for three years or less.
Carat was crowned 2012 NNI Press Agency of the Year for the creativity of its approach to media strategy.
Three Mobile Wins Press Advertiser of the Year
MEANWHILE, the award for NNI Press Advertiser of the Year went to Three Mobile. The phone company was praised by the judging panel for its "strong and consistent commitment to newspaper advertising, willingness to take advantage of the collaborations offered by press and its development of new and very effective advertising executions and strategies".
Last night's trophies were presented by NNI Chairman Matt Dempsey, who described the Advertiser award as "a fitting tribute to the importance and input of the client in the advertising process".
'Newspaper Content Drives Advertising – and Readership'
MR Dempsey went on to reassert the industry view that newspaper content is the single biggest driver not only for readership but also for advertising.
"Our content gets the people thinking; your ads get them thinking like consumers. It's the perfect coming-together of the editorial and the commercial," he told the 400-strong audience, which included ad agencies, advertisers and newspaper representatives.
Mr Dempsey continued: "And I'm happy to confirm that our content is bringing in more readers all the time.
"The latest research shows that more than four out of five adults read a printed newspaper on a regular basis, while 13pc of the population choose a digital option, with many readers availing of both print and digital platforms.
"Print remains by far the dominant reading platform, but online is now a serious and growing weapon in our armoury, to the extent that we see the two side-by-side; complementary, co-existent.
"The way that people access and consume their news may have changed, but the way we research and write our news – with the highest standards of care and professionalism – has not."
Mr Dempsey added: "That's what continues to make newspapers a vibrant, relevant and utterly indispensable part of Irish society."