Epica Grand Prix goes to BBDO’s Beeps

You win some, you lose some. And “Jesus” – more correctly known as Forsman & Bodenfors’ “The Good Guys for Christmas” campaign for Unicef proved a big winner at the just-announced 2014 Epica Awards.

It picked up two golds, in the public interest and copywriting and storytelling categories. “Mistakes,” the road safety campaign devised by Clemenger BBDO Wellington for the New Zealand Transport Agency, excelled as well. Runner-up in the public interest category, it scored golds in online and viral films and direction and cinematography.

Neither won the top prize, however (the rules in any case exclude winners in the public interest category from consideration as grands prix). That honour, or the film version of it at any rate, went to “The Boy Who Beeps”, BBDO New York’s corporate image campaign for GE (General Electric). It’s the story of a boy who emits tonal “beeps” instead of words. No one really understands him except machines. With just one of these phonic emissions he can turn the city’s lighting back on and make the stars shine more brightly. He’s a godsend to industry and becomes an overnight media celebrity. It’s a clever storyline that lends lustre to a potentially dull subject (i.e., GE’s corporate image). But (no doubt unintentionally on the client’s part) there’s a darker side to this tale.  Why, in our daily life, are we allowing ourselves to become hooked on automated software that only a geeky wunderkind way down the Asperger’s spectrum can comprehend?

Other Grands Prix winners went to Publicis Conseil, Paris, for “Wildlife is back in town” (outdoor), marking the reopening of Paris Zoo; Leo Burnett Beirut for its “Making Music” campaign on behalf of Virgin Radio (print); and, a double bill for digital: Leo Burnett Toronto’s #LikeAGirl viral campaign, and “Night Walk in Marseilles” by 72and Sunny, Amsterdam.

Agency of the year was adamandeveDDB which hauled 30 awards, including 15 golds. In fairness, it should be pointed out that no less than 7 of these golds were for a single campaign, the much-praised “Sorry I Spent it on Myself” for Harvey Nichols.

Network of the Year was Leo Burnett, with 96 awards, 2 grands prix and 12 golds. France was the most decorated country, with 57 awards, 1 grand prix and 13 golds.



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