2015 One Show
By Yash Egami on Jun 09, 2015
It was the Year of the Woman at the 2015 One Show with Always #LikeAGirl, Under Armour’s “Will Beats Noise,” American Greetings “World’s Toughest Job” and several other female empowerment-themed works taking home multiple Gold Pencils.
The star-studded evening at Lincoln Center was also hosted by two of television’s brightest new female stars: Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer from Comedy Central’s Broad City.
But the biggest award of the night went to a surprise winner. After whittling some 20,000 entries down to a few hundred finalists, the One Show jurors ultimately voted for Funny or Die’s satirical interview “Between Two Ferns” as this year’s One Show Best of Show.
By all accounts, it was a good year in advertising, with many of the judges citing impressive uses of technology, ideas turned into movements and work that went beyond the traditional realm of advertising as some of this year’s themes.
But the overall sentiment was perhaps best summed up by Andy Azula from The Martin Agency, who served on this year’s film jury.
“Like many years, the first impression of the work is always the toughest, because there is so much work to go through and consider,” he says. “But once the numbers come down, the body of work started feeling very strong. This year was no exception, except there were fewer ‘holy shit’ things that stood way, way out.”
Winston Binch from Deutsch North America, who served on the cross-platform jury, came to a similar conclusion. “There was a lot of interesting, beautiful, and thoughtful work, but we were short on game-changers,” says Binch.
“I wanted to find and celebrate a piece of work that pushed the industry forward from a pure innovation perspective,” he continues. “I unfortunately didn’t find it in the Cross-Platform category.” He does cite #LikeAGirl as the best work of the year, because “it felt bigger, more moving and culturally significant than most everything else. It tapped into a real conversation in culture, was beautifully executed, and unforgettable.”
Even on the interactive side, as judge Luciana Haguiara noted, “We saw a lot of great quality work, but nothing mind blowing or absurdly innovative.”
For her, the “Will Beats Noise” campaign stood above the rest, for being “a well-rounded work with a great concept, a social experiment, great use of PR and a celebrity, and flawless execution that boosted the brand’s image and its sales.”
Interestingly, some of the highest awarded work this year was also some of the simplest and cheapest to make. Publicis London and Pilion Trust’s “Fuck the Poor” involved a man wearing a sign with passers-by being filmed by a hidden camera. Nike’s “Make Every Yard Count” by J. Walter Thompson India in Bangalore was created using crowd-sourced images that were edited together. “Nazis Against Nazis” was a guerilla marketing campaign that used banners, signs and a website to turn an annual Nazi march into an anti-Nazi fundraiser. “World’s Toughest Job” used a webcam to record people interviewing for a fake job posting. Even the Best of Show winner, “Between Two Ferns,” was purposely made to mimic a low-budget program.
Creativity for the greater good returned this year with varying degrees of success. “We saw an awful lot of work focused on positive social change, which is a great thing,” says John Patroulis, CCO of BBH New York who was also on this year’s cross-platform jury. “Communicating a strong brand purpose—a POV and a role to play in the world—can be incredibly powerful, and of course has the nice side benefit of making the world a bit of a better place. But, like any great brand idea, it has to come from the soul of who you are.”
Another trend that continued this year was “sadvertising.” Film jury member Chris Beresford-Hill from BBDO observed, “It can be expected in the PSA categories and short films, but there was even a cloud hanging over traditionally funny categories, like TV :30. If I’m remembering correctly, there might have been a sad :15 campaign. I don’t even know how you do sad in 15 seconds.”
International work played a strong role in the show with more than half of the entries coming from overseas. “It was a good year in the sense that even more work is coming from around the world and the show is feeling more international,” says Azula. “This is really, really important and I’m glad it’s continuing.”
Interactive juror Mathias Appelblad agrees. “You get to see global work…. You get to see work from agencies that don’t have exceptional PR departments (work that hasn’t been on all the ad blogs already).”
But the most valuable take-away from the One Show was a first-hand look at how hard it is to win a Gold Pencil. “You get a sense for how high the bar is,” says Appelblad. “It's very humbling and makes you appreciate the winning entries even more.”
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