A Hatch With No Single Winner: Arnold, Pagano Share Top Prize

A television commercial by Arnold Communications for Volkswagen of North America and a pro bono print campaign by Pagano Schenck & Kay tied for best of show last week at the 37th annual Francis W. Hatch Awards.
The VW spot – officially titled “Sunday Afternoon, Parts 1 & 2” but better known for its theme song, “Da Da Da”– shared top honors with a public service effort for the Connecticut chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
There has not been a draw for best of show at Hatch since 1979, when print ads by Mullen for Old Town Canoe tied with a television campaign by Humphrey Browning McDougall for Titleist.
The last time a public service effort was singled out for top honors was in 1993, when Doyle Advertising & Design Group moved judges with a poster series developed for the National Association of Atomic Veterans.
Although past Hatch shows have been dominated by a single shop, that was not the case at this year’s show, hosted by the Advertising Club of Greater Boston at John Hancock Hall.
Houston Herstek Favat won the largest number of awards, 27, including a gold prize for a TV spot for the Museum of Science’s Leonardo da Vinci exhibit. Ingalls Advertising landed 26 awards, including two golds. Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos won 24 prizes, including two golds.
Leonard/Monahan earned the greatest number of gold prizes. Four of the 20 awards it took home to Providence, R.I., were gold. Mullen snagged 15 awards, two of which were gold.
Eight creative directors from outside New England judged 1,904 entries and doled out 192 awards, including 24 gold prizes, in 34 categories.
Some of the judges commended the mix of entries as representing both large and small clients. One judge, however, pointed to a gap between the winning ads and those that did not deserve mention.
Said Harry Cocciolo, creative director of Leagas Delaney in San Francisco, “I was impressed. New England definitely stacks up as a region. Some of the stuff was quite good, and some you wouldn’t even consider [for a prize]. There was a breach in between.”
Hatch judge Jelly Helm, creative supervisor at The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., said Arnold’s commercial deserved recognition because “it’s likeable . . . You can watch it again and again. It was one of the few spots [in the show] that didn’t just lead to punch line.”
Pagano’s print campaign for MADD imitated legal warning signs. Using headlines such as “Curb your dog” and “No graffiti,” the executions’ body copy compares the lenient sentences given to drunk drivers with the stiffer penalties assigned to minor infractions.
Helm called the MADD ads “clever . . . [and] creative in a way that accentuated the message. It’s such a strong idea, you can’t help notice it.”
“We were very pleasantly surprised,” said Pagano creative director Woody Kay. “It’s a campaign that we’ve been extremely proud of, but because it wasn’t a big-budget blockbuster, we weren’t sure how it would be received.”