Low-profile campaign wins ad creativity award

By John Drinnan

A tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign that showed people how to secretly read books at work took top prize at the Axis awards for advertising creativity.

The Read a Book at Work online ad from Colenso BBDO - which features books disguised as PowerPoint documents - was made for the New Zealand Book Council.

Yellow Pages Group won two Axis Golds for best integrated campaign for the tree house restaurant and best "guerrilla" ad campaign.

The New Zealand Transport Agency and its agency Clemenger BBDO won best TV advertising campaign for Wheel of Misfortune about safety at intersections and was named Creative Business of the Year.

The Yellow Pages campaign - featuring a treehouse restaurant made entirely with services obtained from Yellow Pages - was made by Aim Proximity and Colenso BBDO.

Aim Proximity and Yellow Pages Group also won an Axis Gold for "guerrilla advertising" in a controversial stunt where it hired someone to stand in line to get the first iPhone.

The outcome saw media coverage unveiling the plant for Yellow Pages.

Liquidstudios won Production Company of the Year and the Industry Excellence Award went to veteran advertising creative Kim Thorp - the brains behind the global success of Saatchi & Saatchi Wellington in the 1990s and now a partner in the advertising agency Assignment.

Axis convener of judges Toby Talbot said the Grand Axis winner, the New Zealand Book Council ad, was for a small client and acknowledged the campaign had a relatively low profile.

There is a view in the industry that creative awards should recognise big commercial advertisers whose campaigns underpin the financial health of the industry.

Talbot said the ads had been a boost for the Book Council and bigger commercials were represented among other winners.

Agencies have sometimes been accused of putting extraordinary efforts into pro-bono clients with the aim of winning an award. Axis is one of several advertising awards but is focused on ideas rather than sales or revenue.

The full list of awards is available at www.caanz.co.nz

- NZ Herald

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