W+K New York and a Nameless Shaman Want Your 2016 ANDY Awards Entries

By Patrick Coffee 

The International ANDY Awards, birthed in 1964 by what was once a group of ad guys who got together in Manhattan to drink each other under the table in the 19th century, is not quite like other awards shows.

Last year, Wieden+Kennedy played up the semi-absurdity of the whole thing by positioning advertising as a career choice that takes REAL COURAGE. As an example of what that means, W+K cited the “brutal” readers of a certain trade blog who tend to hate on anything that doesn’t include their own names in the credits.

The 2016 Call for Entries spot, which W+K New York officially released today, might make even less sense to a casual observer.


This year, the ANDY jury will include creative leaders from McCann, BBDO, FCB, Anomaly, Ogilvy, Deutsch, BFG 9000 and more. It will be chaired by Colleen DeCourcy, who was promoted to the partner/co-global ECD role at W+K early last year. Regarding the spot above, she told us/Adweek:

“We’re just poking fun at the clichés, the classic tricks that are worn out. The message is: Do something new. Stop caring about the wrong things. Have some fun.”

So the above spot is the sort of “commercial” that will win awards: it means less than nothing and it certainly won’t move any products from the shelves, but it’s vaguely international and very well-produced. (It’s like a subtitled black-and-white film directed by Michael Haneke that hits two “limited release” theaters in Manhattan around the end of November: very few people will see it, but everyone who does will feel the need to talk about it. And it might not sweep the Oscars, but it will definitely get at least three nominations for things like production and screenwriting.)

The campaign encouraging creatives to submit their work will also include “a series of ‘perfect’ digital media ads, and the world’s best social media campaign,” but the most interesting thing about it may be the micro-site best.andyawards.com. The W+K team positions it as a sort of evolving, crowdsourced work of content curation (if not art).

Any viewer can add work from anywhere to the growing creative tapestry, which could very well crash your desktop browser. That work could be anything from an official campaign to a GIF that you liked six months ago or a tweet that a few people found amusing.

The tone, from the “Beat the Best and Win an ANDY” tagline down, is all very self-critical, advising creatives to take their own work seriously while poking fun at them for doing so.

andy awards screenshot

There’s also a big focus on the “interactive” aspect of the site itself (which obviously took a while to build) and a semi-obsession with Doge. We expect the lineup to get a bit more crowded in coming weeks.

Regarding the larger organization, DeCourcy says:

“The ANDYs is an incredible act of collaboration. It’s run by and for creative people. It’s the most rewarding and supportive community I’ve been part of outside of my own agency.

The ADVERTISING Club of New York has become a kind of second home for a lot of creatives in this business.”

Lest you think this isn’t really all about beating the other guys, she adds:

“All that being said, advertising IS a competition. It’s not Kindergarten — it’s sports. Brands are competing. Our job is to make better brands for people. It’s part of the fun.”

DeCourcy agrees with BBDO global CCO David Lubars‘ assertion that the ad world nurtures “an unhealthy obsession” with awards, adding:

“The ANDY Awards isn’t Advertising’s Got Talent. This show is run to celebrate what we do and lovingly push each other further. It’s also how we support our professional development, diversity and education programs. The show isn’t set up as a big profitable venture. It’s a self-sustaining support network for an industry that asks a lot of its people.

The ANDYs jury is made up of the most respected creative leaders in advertising. The show is a chance to get your work in front of them. We spend a lot of time with the work. The whole thing is put together with a generosity of spirit that I take seriously. I’m proud to be associated with this group.”

When asked what sort of work might win the ANDY, she says:

“Did a group of people put their skills, their reputation and their brand on the line to get to a great idea and get it made? That’s what gets an ANDY.”

Submit away, then.

Client: ANDY Awards
Project Name: Beat the Best and Win an ANDY
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy New York
Executive Creative Directors: David Kolbusz, Jaime Robinson, Colleen DeCourcy
Copywriters: Howard Finkelstein, Andrew Jasperson
Art Director: Grant Mason
Interactive Art Director: Andre Poli
Head of Content Production: Nick Setounski
Producer: Orlee Tatarka
Account Team: Jacqueline Ventura
Business Affairs: Sara Jagielski, Tana Prosper
Director of Technology: Charles Duncan
Executive Interactive Producer: Jonathan Percy
Sr. Interactive Producer: Jen Vladimirsky
Technology Lead: Alex Maiorov
Lead Experience Designer: Kate Bauer
Front End Tech: Joe Zhou
Creative Technologist: Craig Blagg
Project Management: Cory Chonko, Ava Rant
Production Company: Caviar Content
Director: Hugo Stenson
Executive Producer/MP: Michael Sagol
Executive Producer: Kim Dellara
Line Producer: Tova Dann
Director of Photography: Jac Fitzgerald
Editorial Company: Joint Editorial
Editor: Lindsey Houston
Post-Producer: Stephen Schmidt
Post Executive Producer: Michelle Carman
Editorial Assistant: Stephen Nelson
VFX Company: Caviar Content
VFX Supervisors: Terry Huynh
VFX Flame Artists: Arnold Aldridge
Colorist: Dave Jahns
Mix Company: New North Sound
Mixer: Brandon Jiaconia
Sound Designer: Alison Ables
Producer: Alex Thiesen
Artist: Alison Ables