The 2016 Epica Awards concluded recently in Amsterdam. In the 30th year of the competition, there were Grand Prix winners from Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Norway and France. Leo Burnett, with 49 awards including 12 golds, was awarded the Network of the Year. Agency of the Year was bagged by BBDO New York, with 19 awards including 1 gold.
Independent Agency of the Year was TRY, Norway, with 9 awards including 4 golds. The country to win the maximum awards, 69 to be precise, was USA, including 12 golds.
Summing up the awards, Jury President, Norman Pearlstine, Vice Chairman of Time Inc, said, “The remarkable range of entries reminded us that culture and commerce are not incompatible, and that this is a global industry where there is no monopoly on creativity or on great work.”
Coming to the Grand Prix awards, Epica’s first ever Design was won by “Simplified stories” by DDB Brussels for Alzheimerliga, a new kind of pared-down publication which simplified reading for Alzheimer’s patients through concise storytelling and visual cues that meant they never lost the thread of the story. Peter Ampe, Chief Creative Officer of DDB Brussels, commented, “It's great to see Epica rewarding creativity as a force for good. Journalists are known to be more critical than anyone else – that’s what makes winning an Epica so special.”
The digital Grand Prix went to “The Next Rembrandt” by J. Walter Thompson, Amsterdam for ING. The ambitious project used data, historical research and 3D printing to create a “new” Rembrandt painting that looked exactly like the real thing. The goal was to draw attention to the bank ING’s support of the arts. Creative Partner Bas Korsten said, “We’re so thrilled and proud, winning the Epica Grand Prix for the second year in a row! Especially because it is judged by some of the leading journalists in our industry. It’s a great honour. And since The Next Rembrandt owes much of its success to the press writing about it like they did, we would like to thank everyone who has engaged with this campaign – especially the journalists.”
Kenzo Parfums, France, won the Grand Prix for film for its new Kenzo World perfume that featured a bored model freaking out and performing a bizarre dance inside a deserted theatre. Director Spike Jonze referenced one of his previous videos but placed it in a new context that disrupted fragrance advertising conventions. Patricia Tranvouëz, CEO of Kenzo Parfums, said, “We’re very touched and extremely proud of this project, which is the first we’ve worked on with Carol Lim and Humberto Leon – artistic directors of the Kenzo fashion house. The project brought together great artists like Spike Jonze, Ryan Heffington, Sam Spiegel and of course Margaret Qualley, whose talents as a ballerina and actress burst out of the screen. Thank you to my entire team, who made this project a priority and brought it to fruition.”
Norwegian agency TRY won the Press Grand Prix with a timely ad inspired by Brad Pitt’s breakup with Angelina Jolie. “Brad Is Single. Los Angeles one way from £169” for Norwegian Airlines. The agency’s creative duo, Susanne Hovda and Marius Aasen commented, “A big thanks to everyone involved for moving fast, and for having the guts to go for this idea. Winning a Grand Prix is beyond what we ever expected. It’s like booking tickets for only £169, and realising that you actually have really good leg space. An amazing feeling.”
The Outdoor Grand Prix went to Publicis London for an unusual initiative that involved taking trees felled in a storm on a Game of Thrones filming location, and turning them into hand-carved doors depicting scenes from the cult TV show. These were then installed in a selection of Irish pubs, becoming tourist attractions that led fans to travel across Ireland visiting each one. Dave Monk, Executive Creative Director at Publicis London, said, “Who’d have thought combining two of our favourite pastimes – pubs and Game of Thrones – would help us pick up an Epica Grand Prix? We feel hugely honored. It also feels all the more significant because it was voted for by a jury outside our usual advertising bubble. So huge thanks to them. Also to our client, Tourism Ireland, and everyone involved in the campaign, as well as a respectful doff of our helmets and swords to the craftsmen and women who created and carved out the idea so brilliantly.”
Founded 30 years ago, Epica is the only worldwide creative award judged by journalists from the marketing and communications press.