Awards and Events in association withCreative Circle

The 2021 AICP Next Awards Winners Announced

Associations, Award Shows and Festivals
New York, United States
The Most Next goes to ‘Courtside’ for Michelob Ultra in collaboration with, Microsoft and the NBA

The 2021 AICP Next Awards debuted tonight, recognising creative excellence in new and emerging media. Appropriately, a cutting-edge campaign that put virtual fans in the seats for NBA games, creating a global sensation while driving sales for its sponsor, was proclaimed as the Most Next winner. 

Chosen from all the winners in the Next Awards categories, and serving as its Best in Show, the Most Next Award was presented to ‘Courtside’ for Michelob ULTRA, in collaboration with Microsoft and the NBA. Created by FCB New York, it was produced by the design and production studio Ntropic. ‘Courtside’ also won in the categories of Digital Experiences, Experiential and Real Time Engagement.

‘Courtside’ utilised Microsoft technology to allow Michelob ULTRA drinkers a chance to win virtual courtside ‘tickets’ that would place them alongside the digital ‘fans’ seen on video boards that surrounded the courts in the NBA’s pandemic bubble in Orlando, where all of the 2020 season games were played. These virtual fan boards were peppered with celebrities, former NBA stars and other notable names, along with everyday fans. The ‘Courtside’ effort generated extensive media coverage and social media engagement, while also boosting ULTRA sales by double digits.

The AICP Next Awards recognises work in 11 categories: Branded Content & Entertainment, Creative Data, Digital Experiences, Experiential, Influencer, Innovation, Purpose Driven, Real Time Engagement, Social, Web Film and Integrated Campaign. The Next Awards Judging Chair – Tiffany Rolfe, global chief creative officer at R/GA, who repeated her role from the 2020 Next Awards – and the Jury Presidents from each category, along with this year’s Curator At Large, chose this year’s Most Next from among these category winners.

Serving as AICP Next Awards Jury Presidents for 2021, along with their respective categories, were Lauren Connolly, global executive creative director BBDO (Integrated Campaign); Scott Donaton, SVP, head of marketing, Hulu (Branded Content & Entertainment);  Bianca Guimaraes, partner and executive creative director, Mischief, (Real Time Engagement); Piper Hickman, executive creative director (Web Film); Erin Lynch, SVP, executive creative director, R/GA (Digital Experiences); Marc Maleh, MD, technology and emerging experiences, Huge Inc. (Creative Data); Allen Mask, managing partner,  CōLab /Westcap (Innovation); Nina Mishkin, director, North America creative strategy, Snapchat. (Social); Bill Oberlander, co-founder and executive creative director Oberland (Purpose Driven); James Robinson, chief creative officer North America, Momentum Worldwide (Experiential); Bekah Sirrine Director, brand creative, Airbnb (Influencer); and Mike Woods, ECD/head of immersive, m ss ng p eces (Curator At Large).

The AICP Next Awards is part of the AICP’s suite of juried competitions, which also includes the AICP Post Awards, presented on July 27th, and the AICP Show: The Art & Technique of the Commercial, which will be presented on July 2th9. As with the AICP Show, the Next Awards honourees are preserved in The Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Film’s state of the art archives for future generations to study, and are available for use or exhibition by the museum’s curators. All individual works, and each year’s shows in their entirety, can be viewed exclusively at here, the AICP Awards Archive website.

The winner of the Most Next honour directs a $5,000 grant from the AICP Foundation to an institution of their choosing. FCB New York has directed the grant to Move United. Founded in 1956, Move United’s vision is that every person, regardless of ability, has an equal opportunity to participate in sports and recreation in their community. Move United has been redefining disability by providing year-round sports and recreation opportunities to people with a wide range of disabilities, offering more than 70 different adaptive sports. Through its national network of more than 200 community member organisations, Move United serves over 100,000 individuals with disabilities of all ages each year.

The opening titles and graphics for the AICP Next Awards were created by Ingenuity and Cosmo Street, with a score by RNDM ORDER. The AICP Next Awards Curators films were edited by Whitehouse Post, with music by MusicBed and audio mix by Heard City. The sponsor reel screened prior to the Next Awards was created by The Colonie, with music by Noisefloor. 

Sponsors help make the AICP Awards – including the AICP Next Awards -  possible. AICP Partners and Supporting Partners, who support all AICP events throughout the year, are: CAPS – A Cast & Crew Entertainment Company, Universal Studios and Wrapbook (Partners); and Film Offices of The Hawaiian Islands; Musicbed + Filmsupply; Sony Pictures Studios; and The TEAM Companies (Supporting Partners). The 2021 AICP Awards Sponsors include Aspen Travel, AwardCore, BMGPM and BMG Bespoke, The Colonie, Color Lab, Cosmo Street, Heard City, Hello World, International Digital Centre – IDC, Istros Media, Ingenuity, Kodak, Little Black Book, Noisefloor, RNDM ORDER, The ROOTS, S'well, SHOOT Magazine | SHOOT Online,  Source | SHOTS | Slate and Whitehouse Post.

A full roster of AICP Next Awards winners includes:

Branded Content & Entertainment

Beats By Dre “You Love Me”

Production Company: PRETTYBIRD

Director: Melina Matsoukas

Agency: Translation 

Cox Communications “Drawn Closer”

Production Company: Nexus Studios

Director/Script Writer: Patrick Osborne

Agency: 180LA

Creative Data

Reddit “Up The Vote”

Advertising Agency/ Production Company/ Editorial Company: R/GA California

Verizon “Full Transparency by Verizon”

Production Company/Media Distribution: MadNetwork

Advertising/Digital Agency: Huge

Digital Experiences

Michelob ULTRA, Microsoft, NBA “Michelob ULTRA Courtside”

Production Company: Ntropic

Director: Nathan Robinson

Agency: FCB New York

NAACP Atlanta “Invisible Hate”

Production/Development Company: m ss ng p eces

Director: Mike Woods

Developer: Steel Jones

Agency: 22Squared


Michelob ULTRA, Microsoft, NBA “Michelob ULTRA Courtside”

Production Company: Ntropic

Director: Nathan Robinson

Agency: FCB New York

Verizon “Verizon Fortnite Stadium”

Advertising Agencies/Production Companies/Editorial Companies: R/GA + Momentum Worldwide


Dunkin’ “Dunkin' x Charli”

Production Company: Saugatuck Strategic

Agency: BBDO New York

Social Media Team: Charli D’Amelio 

Verizon “#NotDone”

Production Company: The Mill

Agency: Verizon


Mastercard “True Name”

Production Company: Hungry Man

Agency: McCann

Patagonia Brewery “Comunal Gin” 

Production Company: Aire.Life

Director: Fernando J Pérez

Agency/Editorial Company: R/GA Buenos Aires

Purpose Driven

Change the Ref “Unfinished Vote”

Production Company: The Colony

Director: David Gaddie

Agency: McCann Health, New York

Chief, National Museum of Women’s History “Glass Ceiling Breaker: Kamala Harris”

Production Company: m ss ng p eces

Director: Mike Woods

Developer: Mike Bodge

Agency/Editorial Company: BBH

Courageous Conversation Global Foundation “Not A Gun”

Production Company: Rakish

Director: Kevin Foley

Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Real Time Engagement

Arby’s “$5 Missing Menu Meal-Tik Tok”

Agency: Fallon

Michelob ULTRA, Microsoft, NBA “Michelob ULTRA Courtside”

Production Company: Ntropic

Director: Nathan Robinson

Agency: FCB New York


Ally Financial “r/Bank”

Advertising Agency/Production Company/Editorial Company: R/GA New York

Reddit “Superb Owl”

Advertising Agency/Production Company/Editorial Company: R/GA California

Verizon “#NotDone”

Production Company: The Mill

Agency: Verizon

Web Film

Frida Mom “Frida Mom - Stream of Lactation”

Production Company: ICONOCLAST

Director: Rachel Morrison

Agency: Mekanism

Integrated Campaign

Kraft Mac and Cheese “Send Noods”

Production Company: PlaytimeMedia.TV

Director: Zach Math 

Agency: Mischief @ No Fixed Address

Miller Lite “Farwell, Work Holiday Parties”

Production Company: Arts & Sciences

Director: Alex Prager

Agency: DDB Chicago

Most Next

Michelob ULTRA, Microsoft, NBA “Michelob ULTRA Courtside”

Production Company: Ntropic

Director: Nathan Robinson

Agency: FCB New York