The 2012 awards season rolled on towards Cannes, as the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP) celebrated its picks for the best ads, production shops, and directors at its "Next Awards" tonight.
The ceremony awards two "best in show" honors, one for a campaign and one for a single spot. BBH New York and Google Creative Lab won best campaign for its "Dear Sophie," "Bieber" and "It Gets Better" spots advertising Google Chrome. Creative Artists Agency and Nexus Productions won best single commercial for Chipotle's "Back to the Start," a two-minute stop-motion masterpiece that was directed by Johnny Kelly and promotes the brand's commitment to sustainable farming.
This year, AICP introduced its first "Most Next" award, to recognize especially "innovative and and forward-thinking" work. TBWA\Chiat\Day and @radical.media director Jeff Zwart won for Sony & Nissan's "GT Academy," directing the accompanying $5,000 grant to arts organization Room 13.
Smuggler led the pack among production companies, winning six awards. Three—in the production, production design, and agency art direction categories—were for Target's "Color Changes Everything" spot. Created with Wieden + Kennedy, the ad features a troupe of brightly-suited acrobats, apparently gifted with magic, storming a city to add splashes of spring color. Production company MJZ, which topped the awards for six straight years prior, followed Smuggler with five total honors. Two of those awards—direction and production design—were for Hahn's "Super In. Super Out," a brilliant sendup of the brewer's 1980s roots created with Publicis Mojo. Nexus Productions also took five honors, all for the Chipotle film. Tool also won five, four of them for its intentionally creepy, Facebook stalking "Take This Lollipop" campaign. Production companies @radical.media, Biscuit Filmworks, and Caviar won four honors each.
Kelly won the most awards of any director—five—which also were all for the Chipotle spot. Zada, the director behind "Take this Lollipop" won four. Filip Engstron, director of the Target spot, and Tom Kuntz, director of the Hahn's spot, each won three honors, as did Jody Hill and and Noam Murro.
Check out the full list of winners at the AICP site.