30 Nov, 2009

Eurobest Festival News

Posted by: admin In: Creative Review


Hot on the heels of the Epica Awards last week comes another set of award announcements: the winners at this year’s Eurobest Festival, which was held in Amsterdam last week.

While Eurobest has been running since 1988, this was the second year that it has taken place as a festival. Last year’s event took place in Stockholm, but this year the roving event landed in Amsterdam, a city rich in ad and design agencies. Creatives came from all over Europe to judge the awards and take part in the seminar and workshop programme that was held over three days last week.



Two Grand Prix awards were given in the TV/cinema category this year, one going to BETC Euro RSCG for its witty spot for TV station Canal+ (shown top) and the other going to Tribal DDB Amsterdam for its Philips Cinema 21:9 spot (above).




In Print, the Grand Prix went to Euro RSCG Group Switzerland’s elegant set of posters (one shown above) for the Zurich Chamber Orchestra.



The Interactive Grand Prix went to Happiness Brussels, who created a font, above, to advertise Toyoto’s new IQ car, which was made available to download for free online. The IQ font previously appeared in a CR Blog story, which explains in full how it was made.

In general, it was a good year for French ad agencies, with Ogilvy France winning the Eurobest Agency of the Year award, BETC Euro RSCG, Paris coming second, and Marcel Paris third.



It wasn’t all about the glitz and glamour of the awards, however, with Eurobest’s seminars attracting discussion about the state of the ad industry. Among those presenting was BETC’s president and executive creative director Stephane Xiberras, who spent his seminar discussing how to make bad advertising, little knowing that he and his agency would soon be celebrating their Grand Prix win. Xiberras presented C.A.I (Creative Artificial Intelligence), a machine that can create readymade poster advertising. By entering a simple brief online (template below) – including the category of your product and what you would like to achieve with the advertising – C.A.I would spit out an ad in seconds.



Frighteningly enough, much of C.A.I’s output was eerily authentic-looking, which of course was Xiberras’ point – that advertising has become conventional, safe and generic. While fun to play with, there was a serious message behind C.A.I, summed up by Xiberras when he concluded his seminar by commenting that he hoped that C.A.I was “the last robot to make advertising”.

Also focusing on bad ads was 180 Amsterdam, who invited a number of guests to discuss the worst ads they had ever made. The quality level was not in fact too bad when compared to some of the horrors we witness daily on television, although many of the spots shown were similar to C.A.I’s output in terms of mediocrity. The panel did offer sage advice to any young creatives present, however, by explaining that failure was an integral part of the creative experience, and it is the ability to recover from it that counts.



And if that wasn’t enough, advertising also received a bashing in another panel, where shots editor Danny Edwards invited the jury presidents to nominate their pet hates about the industry to be placed in Room 101. All suggestions were met with glee from the audience as making-of films, industrial procurement managers, arrogance, the word ‘traditional’, airport advertising and the poor old Olympics logo (above) were all voted to be cast into Room 101.

As usual with such festivals there was much chat of how the industry would cope with the changing media landscape, with mobile and digital advertising particularly discussed. Ironically then, when it came to the awards themselves, the emphasis remained firmly on the traditional categories of print and TV, with the Integrated jury not even awarding a Grand Prix this year. Either this is a sign that despite all the talk, the European agencies have yet to embrace the possibilities of integrated campaigns, or that those making them are not bothered about award schemes. In these changing times, it does seem that the awards are often not representing the cutting edge work that is being created, but of course they can only be as good as the work entered.

To view all the winners from this year’s Eurobest, visit eurobest.com.

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