25 were whittled down to just six at the ANZ round of judging of this year’s Immortal Awards which took place virtually last week.
The first ever local jury for the region featured Damon Stapleton, chief creative officer at The Monkeys NZ, Rob Galluzzo, CEO and executive producer at FINCH, Joseph Perkins managing director and co-founder at ARC Edit, Jim Curtis executive creative director at Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, Takeshi Takada, executive producer and co-founder at Alt.Vfx and Pia Chaudhuri, executive creative director at BMF.
The jury was a first for the local region and an expansion to last year’s five regional juries bringing the Immortal Awards closer to home and something akin to the World Cup of advertising. To kick things off the jury were shown a reel of 25 pieces of work before collectively deciding which should make it through to this year’s regional APAC judging round.
Damon, who was a fan of the variety of work, said: “It was really great to see such varied work from the region. I guess what I was looking for was the idea and the execution working together. Sometimes one saves the other. For me that isn’t great work. And the last piece of the puzzle for me was looking for work that’s great because it’s from here. I think the real advantage of looking at something from a certain region is you can send that flavour onto a global stage and represent this part of the world’s perspective.”
For Jim, less gimmicks and more engagement was key when he made his picks. “It was so promising to see such a variety of good work coming from the region. While I think it’s important for Australia and New Zealand to maintain a sense of their own identity through the work, it’s great to see the region is not relying on a particular shtick to create engagement.”
His team were part of one of the finalists Carlton & United Breweries VB Solar Exchange, an exciting campaign that promises to offset 100% solar electricity through brewing. Also selected to to go through to the APAC regional round of judging is a campaign to Meddle In The New Zealand Election from The Special Group, The Monkeys & ARC Edit pledged to Make Lamb, Not Walls, VMLY&R Melbourne and The Royal Australian Navy were Lost in Translation, Thrive by Five by M&C Saatchi Sydney and The Minderoo Foundation and UN Women Australia ask When Will She Be Right? by the Monkeys.
Picking something deemed as ‘immortal’ is never an easy task especially as this year the jury were presented with plenty of clips that were contextual for a local market, but had to decide whether it would be translated the world around.
“Taking away categories and judging work purely for its potential to be immortalised in the minds of people the world over, presented a really unique challenge,” said Pia. “We were lucky enough to have some great work to judge but when it came down to it, we asked ourselves whether something would be remembered next year, or beyond, and settled on just a handful of pieces. The best thing about most of them is, they could only have come from this part of the world!”
There’s no denying times have been tough for Australia and New Zealand recently but Takeshi is proud to have spotted some great bits of work despite the turmoil. He says: “We are going through tough times globally due to Covid, but it has not stopped us from making great creative. It was hugely inspiring to see so many great entries from Australia and New Zealand. Since Covid hit, it added another layer of challenges in our creative process, but the Immortal Awards clearly showcases true resilience in our industry. Congratulations to all the finalists.”