Beyond TV At The Clios

Nontraditional forms of advertising reigned at the 45th annual Clio Festival in Miami last week, with Wieden + Kennedy’s two-minute viral and cinema spot for the Honda Accord, “Cog,” taking the Grand Clio in the TV competition. Adidas’ “Vertical Football,” the billboard-turned-playing-field from TBWA\ Japan in Tokyo, won the Grand Clio in Innovative Media. And in the inaugural Content & Contact competition, a Grand Clio honored Wieden’s “Beta-7” campaign, which combined Web, guerrilla, print and TV efforts for Sega’s ESPN NFL Football videogame.

Grand Clios were also awarded for Bud Light’s “Real Men of Genius,” which won DDB in Chicago the top honors in radio for the third year in a row, and a NEC Corp. Web site for an environmental project, created by in house agency NEC Media Products. Best of Show honors were not awarded in print and poster, design or integrated campaign categories.

The radio awards for “Real Men of Genius”—which won the only radio golds and featured paeans to unsung heroes including “Mr. Really, Really, Really Bad Dancer,” “Mr. Next-Day Carpet Installer” and “Mr. Multi-Colored-Sweater Wearer”—helped propel the Chicago office of DDB to its second consecutive Agency of the Year win. And for the fourth year in a row, DDB won Network of the Year.

Bob Isherwood, worldwide creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi and chairman of this year’s TV and radio jury, described the judging process as the “business of digging for diamonds.” Because so many of the entries were “unoriginal,” Isherwood said at the TV and Radio Gala on Tuesday night, “when we did find a diamond, we were quite excited.” Announcing “Cog” as the big TV winner, he explained, “We felt it would be a reference point for years to come.”

About 550 people watched “Cog” win its third top prize of the awards season, adding the Grand Clio to its Grand Andy and The One Show’s Best of Show. The elaborate chain-reaction spot, from Wieden’s London office, also won a gold Lion at Cannes last year.

Multiple TV gold winners included Nike’s “Gamebreakers” from Wieden in Portland, Ore., which picked up three Clios for the fast-moving spot that looks like a cross between live football action and a videogame. A spot from Saatchi & Saatchi in Sydney that shows the Toyota Landcruiser hurtling through the bush as its driver hallucinates from a snake bite also picked up three golds.

Ikea, which won last year’s Grand Clio for Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s “Lamp,” was honored at the TV and Radio gala as Advertiser of the Year. “Advertising people are good at giving each other awards—the reality we live in is that we could never have done great work without great clients,” said CP+B executive creative director Alex Bogusky, who introduced Ikea’s U.S. marketing manager, Lena Simonson-Berge. “Everything we are and hope to be has been shaped by our relationship with Ikea.”

At the Print, Design, Internet and Innovative Media Awards on Monday night, TBWA\ Japan creative director John Merrifield was on hand to pick up a Grand Clio for the billboard on which soccer players suspended from ropes kicked a ball back and forth.

“I feel great,” he said afterward. “If you only knew what we had to go through to get this thing up—I’ve lost a lot of hair.” He promised a grander spectacle this summer. “If we can pull this off at the Olympics, it’s going to make this [soccer billboard] look like kindergarten,” said Merrifield, who also won a gold for the ad in the Content & Contact awards.

“Can you imagine wanting to be somewhere to see an ad?” asked Content & Contact juror Kash Sree, a creative director at Leo Burnett, of the billboard.

The 15-member print and poster jury deliberated into the early-morning hours during the final day of judging in Las Vegas last month, but decided no one effort was worthy of a Grand Clio. Gold winners included DDB London, which won for a Volkswagen ad and a Harvey Nichols campaign, and McCann Erickson in Madrid, for two campaigns for Doctors Without Borders. Kolle Rebbe in Hamburg, Germany, also picked up two golds, for Bisley Office Equipment print and billboard executions.

“The work was great,” said jury co-chair Kirk Souder, president and creative director of Publicis & Hal Riney, but “you should be able to see one shine above the golds.”

“It was a fair reflection of the year’s work,” added co-chair Mike Schalit, executive creative director at Net#work BBDO in Johannesburg, South Africa. He said the pure print medium is suffering because of a greater emphasis on nontraditional communications. “There were some genius [nontraditional] ideas,” Schalit said. “But the danger is, a lot of it is seen as PR or urban pollution.”

About 400 people attended the four-day festival in Miami Beach, an increase of about 30 percent over last year, according to a Clio rep. Entries were up about 17 percent, with about 17,000 received across all categories.

The Clios’ first Content & Contact Awards, presented at a Monday afternoon ceremony, honored campaigns that combine creative content and innovative contact with the target. The Grand Clio winner, Wieden’s “Beta-7” campaign, told the story of a game tester who claimed Sega’s ESPN NFL Football made him black out and then become violent (see Critique, page 25).

Content & Contact jury chair Nick Brien, CEO of Arc Worldwide in Chicago, said the category is intended to challenge the industry “to demonstrate its innovation and creativity outside of one dimension.”

Other highlights at the festival included a Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony for Lee Clow (see sidebar) and Cliff Freeman’s induction of two spots into the Clio Hall of Fame. The 1990 British Airways spot “Global Face,” by Saatchi & Saatchi in London, shows large groups of people each dressed in contrasting colors forming a giant face formation by the Grand Canyon. A mouse steers a BMW 318i by running up and down its steering wheel—”Sheer driving pleasure”—in 1991’s “Mouse,” from TBWA Hunt Lascaris in Johannesburg.

Adweek parent VNU owns the Clios.