By Joanne Brathwaite
The best of the television ad biz were celebrated at the 2008 Bessie awards Thursday, which featured a diverse selection of ads from agencies across the province.
The finalist spots, ranging in tone from hilarious to heartbreaking were selected from more than 300 entries. The gang at BBDO Canada brought their A-game to the awards, taking away an industry leading five gold awards, which included Best of Show. The Random House campaign for Douglas Coupland’s new novel The Gum Thief also won in the same category.
Coupland was also the featured of the evening, and to spare the already attention-deficient audience the pain of a speech, a Q&A style interview conducted by Terry O’Riley opened the night. The verdict is still out on whether or not the interview hurt less.
Of the night’s top spots, the cringe-inducing “Camp Okutta” produced by John St. for Warchild Canada was far and away my favourite, followed closely by “Top Chef” from DraftFCB (morbid, much?). On a lighter note, I was also pleased to see the Blockbuster “Christmas Dinner” spot (DDB Canada).
Other notable distinctions include:
Gold Campaign Winners:
“Camp Okutta” for Warchild Canada, from John St.; “Elevator Small Talk Tony” for 7up from BBDO Canada and “The Gum Thief”, produced by Crush.
Gold Singles Winners included:
“Electricity for Rent” for Habitat for Humanity and “New Guy” for McDonald’s.
“Dave” for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, ‘”Stairs” for Parmalat Canada and 7up’s “Elevator Small Talk Tony” and “Emoticon Susan”.
Blockbuster Canada’s “Christmas Dinner” (DDB Canada); “Buckets” for Vancity Savings Credit Union (TBWA Vancouver); Workers Safety and Insurance Board’s “Top Chef” (DraftFCB Toronto); Unilever Canada’s “Onslaught” (Ogilvy Mather) and “Camp Okutta” for Warchild Canada (John St.).