And the 2013 Grand Effie Goes to …

72andSunny unseats repeat winner W+K

Wieden + Kennedy’s two-year stranglehold on the Grand Effie has ended.

Instead, the top prize at the 45th annual Effie Awards on Wednesday night went to 72andSunny for its “The Vet and the n00b” campaign for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, an Activision Blizzard game. The effort, which also involved roster shops OMD, SapientNitro and Edelman, featured explosive, high-adrenaline ads starring Sam Worthington and Jonah Hill.

In 2011, W+K collected top honors for its “The Man Your Man Can Smell Like” work for Procter & Gamble’s Old Spice. And last year, the shop emerged victorious with its “Imported From Detroit” campaign for Chrysler. This year, W+K had another finalist—the warm-hearted “Thank You, Mom” campaign for Procter & Gamble’s sponsorship of the Olympics—but the Grand Effie jury embraced the action-adventure approach of 72andSunny instead. Within 16 days of its launch, Call of Duty realized an estimated $1 billion in sales, making it one of the biggest entertainment releases ever.

“The big idea was brilliantly executed across the paid, owned and earned media landscape,” said Mark Baynes, chairman of the Grand Effie jury and global CMO of Kellogg. “The jury ultimately felt that Call of Duty best captured the principles of marketing cause and effect.”

The other seven finalists this year were JWT’s "Magic Vision" augmented reality app for Band-Aid; CAA Marketing’s “Cultivate a Better World” for Chipotle; OgilvyOne’s credit card application push for Intercontinental Hotels; Digitas and Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s “Small Business Saturday” for American Express Open; BBDO’s “The Great Paper Airplane Project” for the Pima Air & Space Museum; 22squared’s “Million Dollar Gift of Happiness” for the Costa Rica Tourism Board; and Draftfcb’s “Stories to Inspire Change” for PFLAG Canada.

Other Grand Effie jurors included R/GA’s Richard Ting, OMD’s Jonathan Haber, Ogilvy & Mather’s Colin Mitchell and Sony’s Susan Jurevics. The winner was revealed at the end of a dinner ceremony at Cipriani 42nd in New York.

Each year, the show awards gold, silver and bronze prizes in dozens of categories. A full list of this year’s winners can be found here.

Based on a points system, the Effie Awards also identified the “most effective” advertiser, brand, agency, agency office, independent agency and holding company. The winners in those respective categories were P&G (for the third straight year), Mizuno, Ogilvy & Mather, Ogilvy New York, W+K and Omnicom Group.

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