TBWA\180, NEC Win Grand Clios

MIAMI A Web site and a live billboard, both from Japan, took top honors at the Print, Design, Internet and Innovative Media Gala at the Clio Awards here Monday night.

TBWA\180’s “Vertical Football” billboard for Adidas, featuring players suspended from ropes playing soccer, won the Grand Clio in the Innovative category. A Web site that shows a tree with branches and leaves made up of user comments about the environment, created for NEC Corp. by in-house shop NEC Media Products, won the Grand Clio in the Internet category.

There was no Grand Clios given out in any other category. Across all categories–Print, Billboard, Poster, Integrated Media, Innovative Marketing, Internet and Design–163 Clios were awarded, including 23 golds, 34 silvers and 106 bronzes.

“There was nothing that seemed to be so overly outstanding over everything else that would justify a Grand Clio awarded in Print,” said Print & Poster jury co-chair Kirk Souder, president and executive creative director of Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco. “An important thing in helping the show achieve the stature that it deserves is to have stringent and strong parameters that work has to live up to to be the best piece of work in the world for that year. I look at the absence of a Grand Clio [in the Print & Poster] as a positive sign that the festival and show is heading in right direction.”

Print & Poster jury co-chair Mike Schalit, executive creative director of Net#work BBDO, Johannesburg, South Africa, added that the jury deliberated on the decision into the morning hours of the final judging in Las Vegas in April, but in the end they didn’t feel that there was one piece of work that clearly rose about the rest.

“I think it was a fair reflection on the year’s work,” Schalit said.

The decision was similar to last year’s, when only one Grand Clio was awarded during the Print, Design & Innovative Gala, in the Design category. (That Grand Clio went to Happy Forsman & Bodenfors, Gotenburg, Sweden.)

“Vertical Football” impressed the judges with its ability to reach consumers in a new way.

During the ceremony, Schalit called it a “traffic-stopping execution.”

“Not only was it really exciting and engaging, but to me it kind of tapped right into the consumer who might be a soccer player,” said judge Liz Paradise, creative director at McKinney + Silver in Raleigh, N.C. “It was a thrill. Everything about it to me was spectacular.”

TBWA\Japan creative director John Merrifield, who helped create the billboard, gave credit to his client, Christophe Bezu, head of Adidas’ Asia-Pacific region.

“He demands greatness,” Merrifield said. “When you have a client like that, they rock.”

Of the 66 Clios awarded in the Print category, eight were golds. DDB in London and McCann Erickson in Madrid picked up two each. DDB won for ads for Volkswagen and Harvey Nichols, while McCann won for two campaigns for Medicos Sin Fronteras.

Five Clios were awarded in the Billboard category; two were golds. They went to Holmes & Lee in Toronto for a campaign for The Weather Network and Kolle Rebbe in Hamburg for ads for Bisley Office Equipment.

Arnold in Boston and Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami shared the lone gold awarded in the Integrated category for their American Legacy “Truth” campaign.

In addition to “Vertical Football,” three campaigns won golds in the Innovative Marketing category: Ogilvy & Mather in Singapore’s work for Nike, an ad by Net#work BBDO in Johannesburg, South Africa, for Suzuki, and an inflatable church created by Jung von Matt in Stuttgart, Germany, for the Protestant Church, which Souder called “one of the best concepts in the show.”

“People weren’t coming to church, so they took the church to the people, in places like golf courses” he said. “In our world, more and more answers aren’t about TV or print but about providing branded experiences.”

The Internet jury, chaired by Lars Bastholm, creative director of Framfab in Copenhagen, Denmark, awarded three golds. In addition to the Ecotonoha site, which won the Grand Clio, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco won a gold for its Discover Card site and FramFab won a gold for its Nike iD site.

The Design jury, chaired by Marc Gobe, president and executive creative director of Desgrippes Gobe & Associates in New York, gave out four golds. 9November Union in Cape Town, South Africa, won for an Afro Magazine design; Saatchi & Saatchi, also in Cape Town, won for work for Osram-Iris; Sandstrom Design in Portland, Ore., won a gold for Converse shoeboxes; and Scholz & Friends in Berlin won for a Blush Lingerie Promotion.

The Clios are owned by VNU, Adweek’s parent.