Modernista! Wins

The “lateral” thinking displayed by Modernista! in its first campaign for MTV yielded best-of-show honors at the 41st-annual Francis W. Hatch Awards.

The competition, sponsored by the Boston Idea Group, recognizes creative excellence among New England agencies and clients. The show was held last Thursday at John Hancock Hall in Boston, attended by about 1,000 industry professionals.

Modernista!, the Boston shop formed in 2000 and competing in its first Hatch, scored the top prize for MTV outdoor and transit ads tagged “We’re watching.” The controversial campaign likened the cable music network to a sexually transmitted disease, prompting the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to pull at least one execution from transit stations.

“Most of the work [entered in the show] was logical, cerebral,” said Hatch judge Court Crandall of Ground Zero, Los Angeles. “Modernista! was 180-degrees different—entertaining, emotional. We had to reward their lateral thinking.”

Several judges, all from out-of-region agencies, said MTV’s main rival for best of show was the advertising created for Volkswagen of America by Boston’s Arnold. However, although that VW work was considered good, “It wasn’t as good as in past years,” said Hatch judge Don Pogany of DDB, Chicago. “It didn’t have that ‘I wish I’d done that spot’ impact.”

Arnold led the field with 42 total awards at this year’s Hatch, including four gold prizes. Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, also Boston, won 22 awards overall. Modernista! won 17 prizes, including two golds for MTV, plus its best of show.

Mullen, Wenham, Mass., took home nine awards; Holland Mark, Boston, won seven, including one gold. Winning single golds: Fort Franklin, Boston, and student en trant Emily Sander.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health Tobacco Control Program, an Arnold client, was named advertiser of the year.

The Idea Group, formerly the Ad Club of Greater Boston, also paid tribute to producer William Weems and TJX Cos. staffer Neilie Casey, wife of Hill, Holliday’s Michael Casey. Both perished aboard airliners that crashed into the World Trade Center.