16 projects will be judged in the regional North American round of Immortal Awards judging with Tuesday's Canadian jury sending through seven campaigns to join USA's already announced nine
. The first ever bout of local Canadian judging for the global award show from Little Black Book saw 54 projects entered, which were whittled down to 17 shortlists via online judging before a live, virtual session on Tuesday, hosted in partnership with global partners Nice Shoes and regional partners Whitehouse Post.
The judges representing Canada were: Peter Ignazi, global chief creative officer at Cossette; Zak Mroueh, founder and chief creative officer at Zulu Alpha Kilo; Denise Rossetto, partner and chief creative officer at Broken Heart Love Affair; Danielle Kappy, owner and executive producer at FRANK Content; Alexis Bronstorph, chief creative officer at TAXI; Harv Glazer, executive creative director at Nice Shoes; Nathalie Cusson, creative director design at Le Parc Design, Juniper Park\TBWA; Josh Stein, chief creative officer at McCann Canada; Jennifer Rossini, group creative director at FCB Canada; and Joel Holtby, partner|creative director and head of art at Rethink.
Like the US jury the day before, this was the first ever local Canadian jury to pass judgement at The Immortal Awards after its expansion to from regional competitions to local heats, which will feed into the regionals before heading global. This creates what we like to think of as something like a World Cup of the advertising industry. The jurors watch a reel of 17 shortlists before collectively deciding on the seven projects that they deemed worthy to pit against the nine from the United States.
Much of the successful work had a focus on making various elements of modern day life better. “Looking at the wider finalist list, I can see that the work that touched everyone had the common quality of a desire to change the world for a better place,” says Nathalie. “Whether it was done through humour, beauty or drama, hope really came through.”
One of the most praised pieces of work and a general standout during the session was Juniper Park\TBWA’s ‘Signal for Help’
for the Canadian Women’s Foundation. The viral campaign evolved into a globally recognised silent, covert one-handed gesture for women suffering domestic violence. Invented at the height of the pandemic during a surge in gender-based violence, the signal became a tool that women could and were proven to use to ask for help.
Other examples of potentially world-bettering campaigns were SickKids ‘Moms VS: Hard Days’ by Cossette, Pfaff Harley-Davidson ‘Tough Turban’ by Zulu Alpha Kilo and the me too Movement’s ‘Act Too’ by FCB/SIX. The me too campaign was the cause of healthy debate between the jury. New to the awards circuit, the campaign was eventually praised for providing an outlet for people to take tangible, meaningful action against something where it can feel difficult to do so. Its innovative use of blockchain technology was also applauded. On the 'Tough Turban' initiative, Josh says: "Some brands talk about being inclusive. Other brands go out and make things like tough turbans because they are inclusive. I hope these are being made at scale - and available to Sikh men and women motorcycle riders all over the world."
Big brand work was also holding its own though. Rethink’s ingenious ‘Draw Ketchup’ campaign for Heinz was, along with ‘Signal for Help’, a clear frontrunner during the judging session, while No Frills ‘Hauler’ from john st. was rightly singled out for its depth of idea and the fact that it truly became part of everyday culture. IKEA’s ‘Our Little World’ was praised by one juror for bringing ”a touch of poetry in a time of darkness”. They added: “It was literally like a ray of sunshine. The production value is remarkable, and it is the type of commercial that you could watch over and over, and still discover new details.”
The full list of finalists is: IKEA 'Our Little World'; Heinz 'Draw Ketchup'; Loblaw Companies Limited, No Frills 'Hauler'; SickKids 'Moms VS: Hard Days; Canadian Women's Foundation 'Signal for Help'; me too. 'Act Too'; Pfaff Harley-Davidson 'Tough Turban'. Check them all out here.
The regional North American round of judging, which will include the seven Canadian Finalists and nine Finalists from the USA and be judged by a selection of jurors from both, will take place on Friday 15th September before the final, global round on Thursday 18th November.