While the lion’s share of the awards season deluge focuses on the creative agencies whose ideas spawn the work, the industry took some time at the Association of Independent Commercial Producers annual show Tuesday evening to acknowledge the companies that actually make the advertisements.
Or, at least, that seemed like a good excuse for the talent from both sides to don cocktail attire, drink, and mingle during a swank party sprawling across two floors and into courtyard at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Production shop MJZ led the pack for the sixth year in a row, winning eight honors, including three for Jim Beam’s “Parallels” (StrawberryFrog), starring Willem DaFoe and directed by Dante Ariola, and three for its work on Old Spice (Wieden + Kennedy).
Two of the top winners of the night were no-brainers. Anonymous Content and Independent Films shared five honors for Nike’s “Write the Future” sports-star-packed World Cup ad (Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam), winning half the purportedly singular best in show for a commercial. Park Pictures tied for the other half of that title, taking five honors for Volkswagen’s mini-Darth Vader Super Bowl spot, “The Force” (Deustch/LA).
The Volkswagen spot was directed by Lance Acord, whose resume includes serving as director of photography on Spike Jonze films Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu directed the Nike commercial. His past feature work includes directing Babel and 21 Grams.
Epoch Films took only one honor but earned best in show for a campaign with Allstate’s “Mayhem” series (Leo Burnett, Chicago) featuring Dean Winters and directed by Phil Morrison.
It wouldn’t be an advertising event without also celebrating the agencies, too. Wieden + Kennedy led the way, winning a total of 13 honors.