BBDO, Leo Burnett Earn Emmy Awards

NEW YORK BBDO in New York and Leo Burnett in Chicago were each honored with an Emmy for outstanding commercial by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences on Saturday.

BBDO won the honor for its FedEx commercial, “Sticks,” which features a prehistoric office battle between an employee and boss when a caveman is fired after bungling a package delivery. Leo Burnett was honored for Hallmark’s “Required Reading,” a spot in which an older man struggles to learn to read in order to appreciate the cards he has been given over the years.

The 45-second FedEx commercial from BBDO’s “Relax, it’s FedEx” campaign first aired in February on this year’s Super Bowl. The caveman employee tries to deliver a stick using a prehistoric bird, but a dinosaur eats it in mid-flight. His boss fires him for not using FedEx, despite the fact that it doesn’t yet exist.

In the Hallmark spot, an aging man slowly learns how to read, and finally gets to enjoy all the Hallmark cards he’s received through the years, including a Father’s Day greeting.

The two other Emmy nominees were: Budweiser’s “Clydesdale American Dream,” from DDB in Chicago, in which a colt tries to pull a Bud wagon; and Ameriquest Mortgage’s “Concert,” from DDB in Los Angeles, in which a father who is taking his teen daughter to a rock concert is mistaken for soliciting a prostitute.

This year’s honor is the second for BBDO; the agency won the first Emmy awarded by the academy in 1997 for the HBO spot “Chimps.”

The FedEx commercial, directed by Traktor, was filmed over a week in Death Valley, Calif., where a cave was built and actors underwent more than three hours of makeup each day. The spot was produced in high-definition, the first for FedEx.

Agency production credits on the spot include chief creative officers David Lubars and Bill Bruce, executive creative director Eric Silver, associate creative director and copywriter Jim Le Maitre, and associate creative director and art director Jonathan Mackler.

For the Hallmark spot, directed by David Harner of The Institute for the Development of Enhanced Perceptual Awareness, group creative director Tim Pontarelli served as creative director and copywriter.

Last year’s commercial winner was “Surprise Dinner,” from DDB in Los Angeles, an ad for Ameriquest.