The Grand Prix debate took place this year at The Groucho Club in London, in partnership with production company Papaya Films.
Check out the winners here
The President of the jury was David Griner, former international editor of Adweek and co-founder of the non-profit Creative Ladder, which aims to bring more diversity to the industry.
• RESPONSIBILITY: “Anti Look – the life-saving QR design”, Scholz & Friends (Germany), Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe
• PR: “The Name Catalogue,” TRY (Norway), IKEA
• PR: “The Missing Chapter”, Leo Burnett (India), Procter & Gamble
• INNOVATION: “Touch Card”, McCann New York (US), Mastercard
• DIGITAL: “Ketchup A.I”, Rethink (Canada), Kraft Heinz
• MEDIA: “The Pirate Match”, Mirum Agency (Brazil), DirectvGo
• FILM: “The Spider and the Window”, Leo Burnett (Germany), Samsung Electronics
• NETWORK OF THE YEAR: McCann Worldgroup
• AGENCY OF THE YEAR: Rethink, Canada
The Norwegian agency TRY also performed exceptionally this year, making it the runner-up for Agency of the Year, followed by Germany’s Scholz & Friends.
There were two PR Grand Prix this year. They went to “The Missing Chapter”, from Leo Burnett India and P&G, which educates young girls about menstruation in a country where the subject is often taboo; and “The Name Catalogue”, from TRY and IKEA, which inspires parents in search of baby names with the help of names from the brand’s furniture back-catalogue.
In a joint statement, Leo Burnett India commented: “Thank you for this honour. We will continue to fight for the future of millions of India’s girls.”
Egil Pay, Executive Creative Director at TRY, said: “We are truly honored to accept this Grand Prix with our amazing client, IKEA. To be awarded a Grand Prix by a jury of worldwide journalists is the best Christmas present we could have wished for.”
The new Innovation Grand Prix went to McCann New York for the remarkable “Touch Card”. In collaboration with Mastercard, the initiative enables the blind and partially sighted to distinguish between different payment cards thanks to a series of notches in the plastic.
Alex Lopez, Global Chief Creative Officer, McCann Worldgroup, said: “This recognition from the journalists who cover our business every day reflects the contributions of our teams and agencies from across our global network, and results from the trust our clients invest in us to help them build their brands and businesses. Our goal is to be the be the leader in the business of creativity, not for the purpose of winning awards, but to help our clients earn a meaningful role in people’s lives. I want to congratulate our team in New York, and our Mastercard client, on earning this very special Innovation award.”
The Media Grand Prix – also a new addition, to recognize creative use of media – was won by Mirum Agency (Brazil) for DirectvGo and “The Pirate Match”. The operation steered online viewers trying to illegally stream major soccer matches to fake, clumsy (and very funny) pirate matches, encouraging them to pay for the genuine article.
The Digital Grand Prix went to Rethink (Canada) for “Ketchup A.I.”, the latest in a series of smart campaigns for Kraft Heinz. This time around, the agency discovered that asking an artificial intelligence to draw a ketchup bottle invariably results in one that looks like the iconic Heinz bottle. (The jury tested the theory live during the meeting, with the same result.)
Zachary Bautista, Creative Director, Art Director, and Geoff Baillie, Associate Creative Director, Writer, at Rethink commented: “Heinz has been an icon for over 150 years and to ensure they remain relevant into the future, we’re always looking to move at the pace of culture. There's a lot of buzz around artificial intelligence and for Heinz A.I. Ketchup, we saw an opportunity to join the conversation – proving that just like people, when AI thinks of ketchup it thinks of Heinz. It was great to use this new tool to push a big creative idea forward and it's an honour to have those efforts be recognized by the Epica Awards and the worldwide press.”
The Responsibility Grand Prix – celebrating work for good causes – went to “Anti Look, the life-saving QR design” from Scholz & Friends (Germany) for first responders Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe. When people pause at the site of an accident to take pictures with their phone, a QR design on emergency vehicles and uniforms activates a message warning the gawkers that they are cluttering the area and may prevent rescuers from saving a life. The Responsibility Grand Prix is sponsored by ACT Responsible.
Ramona Junggeburth and Christoph Schlossnikel, Creative Directors at Scholz & Friends, said: “We are overwhelmed by the Grand Prix! When we realized the project, we expected practically no public reaction. We can tell you: as creatives, working in advertising, it’s unusual to get so much positive feedback. And, even more importantly, by so many rescue forces, that feel supported in their everyday work. So finally it’s not just work from advertisers for advertisers but has a real-life impact, which is really nice.”
Finally, the Film Grand Prix was won by Leo Burnett (Germany) and its client Samsung Electronics for “The Spider and the Window”. The amusing and heartwarming film uses convincing special effects to tell the story of a large spider who falls in love with a Samsung phone due to the device’s distinctive camera lenses, which resemble the spider’s eyes.
Summing up the competition, Wojciech Skiba, Executive Producer at sponsor Papaya Films, said: “If you are passionate about craft and creativity, you really want to be a part of the Epica Awards. It’s a truly egalitarian space for inspiration, where diversity can thrive. At Papaya we were excited to support the journalists in this process that not only champions the best creative work but also creates a platform to drive change together.”
Entrants & Entries by Country
This year the Epica Awards received 3099 entries, a slight drop on last year explained by the absence of Russian agencies, which were banned from entering. The highest number of entries came from North America (400) followed by Ukraine (396), Germany (276), and France (158). There was an increase in entries from Asia, notably Thailand, China and India. In terms of networks, McCann, Publicis and Accenture were particularly well represented, but independent entrants are ever more in the majority, making up over 55% of total entries this season.
Check out all the winners here
Results by Country
Germany was top in the country rankings with 61 awarded projects including 2 Grand Prix and 10 Golds, followed by Canada with 45 awarded projects including one Grand Prix and 5 Golds. Completing the top five were the US with 19 prizes, the UK and Norway. You will find full details of all the winners here
Founded in 1987, Epica is the only worldwide creative award judged by journalists from the marketing, design and advertising press, as well as specialist reporters in fields ranging from automotive to production.