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DDB gloats, Porter shines and headline malarkey ensues at NAB ad of the year awards

For the second year in a row, DDB walked away with a cool $10,000 after the Sky Arts Channel Mark Rothco spot took out the Newspaper Ad of the Year prize last week (this Throaties spot won the 2009 edition). And the highlight of the night—aside, of course, from the big grand finale announcement, the delectable nibbles and the burly guard who was keeping watch over the silver briefcase on the table that was filled with $10,000 cash—had to be the Q+A video with Chuck Porter, the convenor of judges at this year's event and co-founder of award-hogging US ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

Porter is a big fan of New Zealand and also of Special Group, which did all the branding and hyping for the event (this included personalised messages from Porter that were sent directly to creative directors and general managers' personal mobiles) and, with the help of Curious, took care of the recording. So if you want an entertaining and enlightening look at what this talented ad chap thinks about the industry—and particularly the art of newspaper advertising—it's definitely worth 10 minutes of your time.

Youtube Video

There was also a bit of crowd-sourcing involved on the night as attendees were asked to submit their best headlines for a full-page ad that would appear the next day in four newspapers around the country (download all the various efforts here NAB - LIVE AD HEADLINES). The industry boffins decided on the best headline and the Special Group gang created the ad and dispatched it in under 30 minutes, which either indicates immense skill under pressure, the immediacy of the newspaper medium or that it only takes about 30 minutes to create a good newspaper ad.

Most were in agreement that the work on display at this year's event was of better quality than previous years, including NAB chief cheese Robert Munro. But he says there's still room for improvement and, for many, the fact that quite a few of the newspaper ads chosen were posters—and, even worse, Australian posters—that had also been placed in newspapers didn't show a particularly good or very creative use of the medium. But, in a sense, that's not too surprising: Munro says we have the highest per capita rate of newspapers in the world, but they are now seen mostly as a medium for retail advertising, rather than a branding medium as they often are in Europe and South America.

The student work was also on display, with young'uns from the Media Design School taking both awards on offer: the main winners were Edward Knowles and Charles Twaddle with their AMI 'All the Time' campaign and the 48 hour bonus brief winners were Jonathan Fox and Jack Delmonte for their Bundaberg ginger beer spot.

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