BUSAN – AD STARS has unveiled this year’s winners, which include two Grand Prix of the Year recipients, 15 Grand Prix and 51 Gold winners chosen from 21,530 entries from 56 countries. All Grand Prix, Gold, Silver and Bronze winners were announced at a gala awards ceremony in Busan, Korea on Saturday, 26th August.
Australian agency Clemenger BBDO Melbourne won two Grand Prix trophies in PR and Direct, plus Grand Prix of the Year (PSA) for ‘Meet Graham’, Transport Accident Commission.
New Zealand agency Colenso BBDO won Grand Prix of the Year for its Pedigree (Mars) ‘Child Replacement Programme’ – a campaign that also won Grand Prix in Print.
Advertiser of the Year went to Samsung, while the coveted Network of the Year honor went to BBDO.
BBH Asia Pacific (Singapore) won three Grand Prix awards in the Design, Interactive and Promotion categories for Nike ‘Unlimited Stadium’ – a campaign that also won five Golds.
Another of this year’s standout campaigns was created by Serviceplan Korea for Dot Corporation, creator of the world’s first Braille smartwatch. This campaign won Grand Prix in Innovation, plus 3 Gold trophies for Design, Interactive and PR.
Wain Choi, Senior Vice President & CCO at Cheil Worldwide and Executive Judge at AD STARS says: “It is great to see more Korean work being awarded. Dot is a watch for disabled people, I think it’s really beautifully made and it’s been doing well in other shows as well, which shows that today Korean agencies are shoulder-to-shoulder with everyone else.”
Other agencies to win a Grand Prix include:
Dentsu Taiwan (Branded Entertainment Videos)
TBWA Santiago Mangada Puno, Manila (Diverse Insights)
Tohokushinsha Film Corporation, Japan (Film)
Cheil China (Film Craft)
Serviceplan Korea (Innovation)
McCann Melbourne, Australia (Media)
Dentsu Japan (Mobile)
CJ Worx Thailand (Outdoor)
McCann Colombia (PSA)
TBWA\Santiago Mangada Puno's Miele Dungo receives the Grand Prix for Diverse Insights from AD STARS 2017 Executive Judge Daniel la Hora of DH,LO Creative Boutique for 'Correcting History.
James Keng Lim, Creative Director at Hakuhodo Singapore, says: “AD STARS has certainly exceeded my expectations. The judges’ line up is nothing short of stellar. Apart from legends such as Suthisak [Sucharittanonta], Wain [Choi] and Helen [Pak] steering the show and ensuring fairness and diversity remain the order of the day, the rest of the motley crew of judges reads like the who’s who in the industry on a mission to unearth and celebrate the best pieces of work that represent the AD STARS ethos.”
Kiran Koshy, Creative Director at Innocean Worldwide USA says: “A disturbing trend was the number of category Grand Prix winners that fell under the PSA umbrella…more than half. It might seem like agencies have settled on a cause-based strategy to win awards. I can’t say I’m a fan of that approach.
“A few of us debated whether great Film was being undervalued, and underappreciated, in favor of more non-traditional media campaigns with more executional tentacles. Film is still the most dominant medium of advertising, and it’s harder than ever to do great Film. Some of us felt the category deserved more respect, and a higher pedestal,” he says.
Design & Print
Only 4 Gold awards were given out in Print this year: McCann Health Hong Kong won Gold for Pfizer; and Neogama Brazil won Gold for ASICS. Cheil Worldwide in Hong Kong won gold for its JBL campaign; and TBWA Thailand won Gold for McDonald's.
“Only a few works were outstanding in comparison to previous years. Pedigree’s Child Replacement Program by Colenso BBDO Auckland won a Grand Prix in Print. This campaign takes a lighter approach to pet adoption. It is brilliant, insightful, and connected to the brand platform,” says Suthisak Sucharittanonta, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer at BBDO Bangkok and an Executive Judge at AD STARS 2017.
In Design, the Grand Prix went to BBH Asia Pacific for Nike ‘Unlimited Stadium’, which Sucharittanonta describes as “the world's coolest running track!” Four Gold trophies were awarded to McCann Colombia, CJ Worx Thailand, BBDO Bangkok and Serviceplan Korea.
Sucharittanonta says: “I was a judge at AD STARS two years ago and saw a lot of great work from around the world. This is a global show, but this year I saw fewer entries from Europe and America, from my observations. Why? This is such a great show, it is open to everyone – so I encourage all agencies to enter AD STARS 2018 so we can see more great work here next year.”
Film, Film Craft, Video Stars
Dentsu Taiwan Inc. won Grand Prix in Branded Entertainment Videos for its Pernod Ricard ‘Single Belief’ campaign, while Cheil China won Grand Prix in Film Craft for Operation Smile, ‘Girl in the mask’.
Inspire Advertising Taiwan, Hakuhodo Kettle Inc., Tohokushinsha Film Corporation, TBWA Hakuhodo and Colenso BBDO each won one Gold award for Film.
In Film Craft, Hakuhodo Kettle Inc. Japan, TBWA Santiago Mangada Puno in Manila, Tohokushinsha Film Corporation in Japan and Cutters Studio Japan each won one Gold.
Diverse Insights, Outdoor, PSA and Place Brand
“Our jury had the highest number of entries to view, but the average level is amazing with so many well-known works from around the globe, but also work that I had never seen before. Getting to know such different creative looks from Asia, for me, it's been a big surprise,” says Daniel da Hora, Chief Creative Officer of DH,LO Creative Boutique in Brazil.
“I think the Diverse Insights category is one of the hardest to judge because it is a broad concept, in which you have to consider both idea and execution, but still consider each entry as an ongoing project and if it makes sense in a short, medium, or longer future. More and more, advertising is about meeting people's needs and expectations for a good, healthy, secure and fair life. Brands and activations that tap into this mood are at the best place in the audiences' minds.”
Esther Wong, Executive Creative Director at TBWA Hong Kong, was particularly impressed by McCann Melbourne’s campaign for University of Melbourne, ‘Made possible’, which won two Golds in Outdoor and Promotion, plus a Grand Prix in Media.
“This could have been a very boring campaign about university research. Instead it is very beautifully and cleverly made, and truly interactive,” says Wong.
In the PSA category, The Bulletpen by McCann Colombia won Grand Prix. Sucharittanonta says: “The Bulletpen was actually a contender to win the PSA Grand Prix of the Year. It’s a brilliant, tangible way to solve a problem.”
There were 8 Gold trophies awarded in Outdoor, 2 Golds awarded in Diverse Insights, and 2 in the PSA category.
Interactive, Integrated, Innovation, Mobile, Radio
“Our jury was fortunate to see such a great a range of work across these five very different categories. There were some exceptional ideas in all categories. In particular, in the Innovation category: although there weren't as many shortlisted ideas, the ones that were on the list were quite amazing and breakthrough,” says Helen Pak, President and Chief Creative Officer at Grey Group Canada and Executive Judge at AD STARS.
The jury awarded Grand Prix awards in three of five categories: Innovation (Serviceplan Korea), Interactive (BBH Asia Pacific) and Mobile (Dentsu Japan).
“It has been a great judging experience. Seeing such a variety of work from different regions and being with such a diverse group of talented judges has been an honour. The city of Busan has been wonderful to explore and the show organizers have been so incredibly hospitable and welcoming.”
In Mobile, Dentsu Inc. won Grand Prix for its ‘Glicode’ campaign for Ezaki Glico Company. Tom Paine, Executive Creative Director at Y&R New Zealand says: “This campaign teaches kids how to code from a very young age using Pocky sticks to code algorithms for a tablet or iPhone. Considering that coding is one of the fastest growing languages in the world, it’s a very clever idea.”
BBH Asia Pacific (Singapore) won Grand Prix in Design for Nike Unlimited (plus Interactive and Promotion Grand Prix’, and five Golds overall). “It offers a fresh take on the Interactive category by giving runners the opportunity to beat their own personal best, which is a target that everyone can relate to. Building a stadium was a really interesting way to bring that idea to life, and the craft is amazing,” says Paine.
Direct, Media, Promotion, PR
“The quality of these categories was pretty high, although Media was probably the weakest. I was hoping to see a truly ingenious use of a media space, but that wasn’t coming. The Direct category was really strong, thanks to entries like ‘Meet Graham.’ You couldn’t ask for better,” says Kiran Koshy, Creative Director at Innocean Worldwide USA.
James Keng Lim, Creative Director at Hakuhodo Sinagpore, adds: “Quite frankly, I was utterly gobsmacked by the quality and high standards of the thinking behind the work in these categories. What was really interesting to me was how the lines between categories are blurring. It was most encouraging to see how work has evolved over the years. All the winners have adopted a holistic approach to solving business problems, and can easily segue to any category. This is certainly the way forward.”
McCann Melbourne won Media Grand Prix for University of Melbourne, ‘Made possible by Melbourne’; Clemenger BBDO Melbourne won Direct Grand Prix for Transport Accident Commission, ‘Meet Graham’, and BBH Asia Pacific won Promotion Grand Prix for Nike ‘Unlimited Stadium’.
Some of the judges at AD STARS 2017.
“What made the Grand Prix winners great was their pursuit to create transformative storytelling that connects brands with consumers; which then creates a chain reaction to get them to act on the brand truths. At Hakuhodo, we call it ‘sei-katsu-sha’, where we view people not as consumers or economic entities, but as individuals with aspirations,” says Lim.
The new AD STARS Grand Prix trophy
At tonight’s awards gala, AD STARS also unveiled a bold new trophy – a bright, colourful star, which was designed by award-winning design agency Oricom in Seoul.
“We would like to thank all the agencies, production companies and creative professionals that entered AD STARS 2018. Congratulations to tonight’s winners who prove that the strength and vibrancy of our industry is alive and well,” says Hwan Jin Choi, Co-chairs of the AD STARS Executive Committee.
AD STARS will return in 2018 for its 11th annual festival and awards show.
The complete list of winners at AD STARS 2017: