AMV BBDO shows traditional DM agencies how to do it
The first of the award ceremonies took place last night with the Promo & Activation, PR and Direct gongs being handed out. As you’d expect from Cannes, the whole event was a slick and well-oiled machine, with every Gold winner enjoying their moment in the spotlight.
Unlike many of the award shows that Campaign are invited to attend over the year, this one, as you’d expect, was a little more civilised than the rest – the only boos of the night coming when Frank Lampard appeared on screen during the Walkers Crisps campaign.
That Walkers campaign won Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO a Gold, and the agency went one better when it was named as the Direct Agency of the Year. That’s right, traditional old AMV BBDO triumphed not only over all UK DM agencies but also over every global direct agency too.
The result perhaps raised more questions than it did answers. Most poignantly, where does this leave the traditional DM agency? You won’t find an agency that you’d consider a traditional “direct shop” that doesn’t claim to be an expert in all things digital as well, but when the opportunity arises to create an exciting and impactful direct to consumer campaign, are they being beaten to the punch by their above-the-line rivals?
There’s perhaps some truth in laying the blame at the door of the clients. With most clients having an advertising, digital and direct agency, it’s difficult for any agency to really follow through on a big direct idea and seize control of a campaign. And when they do get that chance, as with AMV and Walkers, its usually the client’s big above-the-line agency that gets the opportunity to do so. But can Direct shops muscle in to that space?
Away from the Direct category, and Promo & Activation and PR was dominated by TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles for its “Replay” campaign for Gatorade. For the second time in 2 years, a campaign has picked up the Grand Prix in 2 different categories, and you wouldn’t put it past the work winning more awards as the week goes on. The campaign really is the best example of a brand embracing a big idea and pushing it to the limit. Who doesn’t have a moment in their high-school sporting career that they wouldn’t want to replay? The resulting campaign captured the imagination of the US public, and is guaranteed to run and run.
A worthy winner, I think you’ll agree.