February 26, 2024

AADC Awards wrap up

By on November 9, 2018 1 8125 Views

Well, that was quite a night (and morning) then. There were drinks, drinks, people drinking and more drinks, with a few awards thrown in for good measure. Not many, mind you, but a few. We’ve been going to these things since they didn’t cost $180. Since about twice as many people went. Since they used to give out a lot more awards. But enough of that wistful little trip down memory lane. We also used to send faxes, and think Bill Cosby was cool. Everything changes, right? It was still a sort of epic night. We’re mostly just pissy because we’ve only just this week relaunched MADtown and we’ve already blown our annual budget forking out $180 for a few a bits of food, a few sherbets, and some cock stroking. (We can’t speak for the carnivores, but it must be said, the vego food option was quite nice though.)

We’ll get to the awards in a second, (and if you want, you can talk right through them like everyone else did on the night, especially in the traditionally awkward second half when everyone was ticking over and the 96% of the audience who weren’t finalists in the remaining categories no longer had any fucks to give), but perhaps the biggest bombshell was the whiff of a new name for the AADC which club president James Rickard let rip in his opening speech. Yeah, you heard us right, a new name for the club! What started out as the Adelaide Art Directors Club, and morphed into the Advertising And Design Club a few years back, is now set to become… something else. All will be revealed, and perhaps decided, at the club AGM on December 6 so stay tuned on that one. We’re hoping it goes to a public vote and we end up with something like Addy McAdFace, otherwise, no doubt, it will be something suitably ideas-based to better reflect the zzzzzzzzzz… sorry, nodded off there for a second. Now, where were we? Oh, that’s right. The awards.

We’re still confused. (But that’s not unusual.)

It would probably make sense if we explained the structure of the award giving, and how it all works, but in fairness to us, the AADC didn’t do it on the night, which means you may as well be as baffled as us as to what the fuck is going on. We shouldn’t be too harsh on them for that though, it’s only the 41st award show they’ve had now, so we’re sure they’ll iron it out when they’ve had a bit more practise. As far as we can tell there’s the stuff that’s on display on the night – the stuff they say gets a “finalist award”. Which is a bit like the Claytons Award – the award you win when you’re not winning an award. (See below if you’re under the age of 105.) Because it used to be just a ‘finalist’, then year after year, there were hardly any awards given out and everyone was getting sad, so they said getting a finalist is like getting an award, but didn’t actually say it was an award, they said it was a “finalist award” which, presumably, occupies that rare space between being an actual ‘finalist’, and an actual ‘award’. But whatever. So they went through the categories, rattled off all the finalists awards, then they said if anyone got an actual award award, then at some point later in the night when the fuck giving was all but over, but the award giving was not, those awards morphed into… something else. An actual Chair Award aka a Speech Award which is sort of like when out of the people who won regular awards, the best ones of those got another award for winning an award and they got to give an actual speech. But don’t quote us on that. We’ve only been going for 30 years and still haven’t quite got our heads around it ourselves.

So, as for the big winners, a few of the usual award winning suspects were in there, but interestingly, and importantly, so were a bunch of relatively new faces. So yeah, Showpony picked up a chair and blackbocks Jamshop picked up a couple, but The Distillery, Simple Integrated Marketing and Heesom Casting also got their hands on one.

blackbocks Jamshop, who were pretty much the stars of the show, went on to nab the Gold Chair – sort of like the gold Logie of the night – for their fatigue campaign for the Motor Accident Commission. You know, the client that just recently hit a bit of a roadblock when it was announced they’d run out of petrol and were going to be turned into scrap metal by the current government. It was notable that a fair chunk of awards were actually for government type clients and that without them we’d be a bit fuckeder than we already are as an industry. And Angela Heesom won the Masters Chair for casting something called Baby Einstein which was apparently something for the USA she did. No one really knew what it was, and the feeling was mutual when she gave her speech and admitted she had no idea who 90% of the people in the crowd were either.

A kick in the balls.

While MAC may soon be a thing of the past, (much like a few of us there last night), for now at least, they’re good for a few gongs, and as Chairman of Judges Kevin McNamara from The Core Agency in Sydney said, “Cracking this (MAC Fatigue) brief comes with a very high degree of difficulty, because it’s been done brilliantly hundreds of times, all around the world. So finding a new way to do it is impressive, and deserves to be recognised.” So they recognised it. Nice. Personally, we think cracking a brief for the used car joint down the road also comes with a very high degree of difficulty and actually doing a road safety campaign is way fucking easier, but maybe that’s just being old fashioned? He also told a story about actual chairs which was a bit confusing, because although Kev ol mate is a lovely bloke, it was a bit fucking condescending when he said a lot of our work was like a wooden box to sit on, when we could be making nice chairs, and that we shouldn’t just stop at the first idea as if that’s what we all do before we head home for a cup of tea and a lay down at 3pm every afternoon. And to think the work he saw was the best of the best! But then, it may well be in their contract that the chairman of judges has to say something vaguely shitty because it happens most years, and perhaps some whipper snapper in the audience will be more motivated than insulted, and pump his or her fist in their air and say something like “I’ll show you ya knob” and go and push through to their second idea in an effort to win a finalist award next year. Who knows?

(For any young guns who might be wanting some inspiration on how to make a name for yourself, it’s worth remembering, you don’t actually have to do 10 award winning pieces of work every year. You can literally do just one, as long as you have the budget to enter into it in as many award shows and categories as possible so you take home a nice haul. It won’t fill up your portfolio but all those gongs will look fucking excellent on your desk at work.)

The Can.

The recipient of the President’s Awards, the silver watering can that Sputnik never urinated in, was agency producer Di Wilson. She’s produced more award winning ads than there were blokes there last night with no-show socks on, and as James the Club President says, it’s about fucking time she gets “the recognition she so richly deserves”. We have no idea if there’s any truth to the rumour it was neck and neck between Di and the work experience kid at THEM Advertising as the receipient. But Di certainly gets two big thumbs up from us as she’s awesome. Also awesome was her epic collection of facial expressions, (we’re pretty sure Angela Heesom will win another award next year for casting her in the role of Watering Can recipient) and her speech, the highlight of which was when she turned around to see some of her body of work playing on the big screen behind her only to realise the screen was in fact showing a live feed of her speech. Her reaction when she was greeted with a 20 foot high image of her own face was pretty fucking epic. We didn’t get a snap but type in : – O to your phone and you’ll get a fairly accurate re-enactment.

Some observations.

A few final observations before we get all statistical on your ass…

Firstly, when you look at the actual number of awards, it’s possibly useful to divide that by the number of pieces of work that actually won work. The trend of winning 527 awards for exactly the same campaign entered into as many categories as possible continued, and while we get it, it also gets a bit ridiculous. For example, the Cleland campaign is in the book no less than ten times. Alright already, we get it, it’s a well art directed idea that had more than one bit (individual and campaign) with digital enhancement and manipulation that appeared inside and outside. And on buses.

And although we look at categories every year, as always there’s still room for improvement. For example, our memory is a bit dusty, but it’s entirely possible that the ‘charity’ category was introduced because people who did real work for real clients were sick of charity ads winning the top tv award. So when the surf life saving ad wins in the charity category and the regular tv category, we had to wonder, what’s the fucking difference? Should it maybe be in one or the other, or is everyone fine that it can be the best of both? And don’t even get us started on what the fuck “large format screen” is, because it fucking won that as well? We have a pretty big Onkyo TV at MADtown HQ so does that qualify as ‘large format’? Anyway, again, we sort of get it, but wowee.

It should be noted that while the regular awards were arguably male dominated as usual, both the can and the chair went to very deserving women in the industry, and the gold chair went to a multi-gender team, so women were at least reasonably well represented on the night. James Rickard did allude to some new gender initiatives as well, so who knows, perhaps we’re finally seeing some progress in that department.

The show itself was at the National Wine Centre which we thought stacked up pretty well, and the after party was at The Stag Hotel and perhaps one of our favourite parts of the night was the short stroll across the parklands where it had very creatively been arranged for the sprinklers to be on, which required an Indiana Jones style duck and weave to make it through alive. And dry. Although big thanks to the manly men who took it upon themselves to temporarily distract and divert the sprinklers long enough for the women folk to make it through unscathed. *high fives*

The numbers.

If you want to know the actual details of who won what, or you’re just an egotistical prick and want to see your own name up in lights one more time, here goes:

In addition to 2 Chairs, one each for National Pharmacies and MAC, blackbocks Jamshop collected 10 Awards and 13 Finalists, and with any luck, the motivation to come up with a catchier name.

Showpony collected one craft Chair for San Remo-owned Balfour’s Bakery, 11 Awards for the Hospital Research Foundation, the Department for Environment and Water (Cleland), Balfour’s and 13 Finalists.

Simple Integrated Marketing were awarded a Chair in design for their work for the SMSF Association in addition to two awards for SMSF and SA Health, plus 8 Finalists.

The only other Chair awarded went to The Distillery for Detmold Group. They also collected 2 finalists for Hoshizaki Lancer.

KWP! collected a total of 10 Awards, with the majority being for Surf Life Saving Australia and The Menzies School of Health Research and 20 Finalists’ awards.

Influx were the only other multiple winners on the night with 2 Awards for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

Single Awards went to KOJO for Zero Latency, Justin Astbury for MAC, Cul-De-Sac Design for Adelaide Fashion Festival, Martins Brand House for Australian Naval Infrastructure, Audio Embassy for Adelaide Oval and FULLER for Adelaide Hills Wine Region.

Multiple Finalists winners were Hybrid 12, Welbourn O’Brien 8, Nation 5 and Black Sheep Advertising 4.

So the tally looks a bit like this:

  • blackbocks Jamshop 2 Chairs, 10 Awards, 13 Finalists
  • Showpony 1 Chair, 11 Awards, 13 Finalists
  • Simple Integrated Marketing 1 Chair, 2 Awards, 8 Finalists
  • Heesom Casting 1 Chair, 2 Awards, 2 Finalists
  • The Distillery 1 Chair, 2 Finalists
  • KWP! Advertisng 10 Awards, 20 Finalists
  • Influx 2 Awards, 1 Finalist
  • KOJO 1 Award, 7 Finalists
  • Justin Astbury 1 Award, 5 Finalists
  • Cul-De-Sac 1 Award, 3 Finalists
  • Martins Brand House 1 Award, 3 Finalists
  • Audio Embassy 1 Award, 2 Finalists
  • FULLER 1 Award, 1 Finalist
  • Hybrid 12 Finalists
  • Welbourn O’Brien 8 Finalists
  • Nation 5 Finalists
  • Black Sheep Advertising 4 Finalists
  • Merlin 2 Finalists
  • Monkeystack 1 Finalist

But I think we can all agree the real winner on the night was advertising. Oh, and design. And probably the Wine Centre who got our money.

Some of the award winning work from the night: