Wednesday, April 21, 2010 MPG Mexico and MediaCom win big, Canada shut out at Festival of Media Awards

The 2010 Festival of Media came to a close last night, ending with its second annual Awards Gala, a black-tie affair held in Valencia’s architecturally-striking Cuidad de las Artes y las Cienias, complete with a stunning performance of flamenco dancers.

The dancers were local, fortunately, making them some of the very lucky few at the Festival who weren’t troubled by the volcano that nearly shut down air traffic over Europe the last week, significantly reducing the number of attendees and speakers in attendance.

“The Icelandic economy asked for its ashes to be spread across Europe,” joked Charlie Crowe, CEO of Festival organizer C Squared, during the Awards show Tuesday night.

The Awards, in their second year, aim to “showcase creative and effective use of media, as well as media owner innovation.” MPG Mexico was named Agency of the Year for its work on Snickers, Urbania and Nike, while MediaCom won the Network of the Year title for its winning work from the U.S., India, China, Turkey, and the U.K.

The Financial Times was named Media Owner of the Year and Mars picked up Advertiser of the Year honours.

Despite making the short list four times, Canada was shut out of the awards. OMD’s Doritos Guru campaign (with BBDO, Proximity, Fleishman-Hillard and Capital C), and Touche PHD’s Abrupt Endings campaign for Suicide-Action Montreal (with Sid Lee and Astral Media) were both nominated in the Best Communications Strategy category, a category that recognizes “overall brilliance in integrated media thinking,” said Crowe. The winner was MediaCom UK (with Saatchi & Saatchi and Freud Communications) for its famous branded flashmob effort “Dance” for T-Mobile.

OMD’s Doritos Guru work was also nominated in Best Consumer Driven Campaign–“If you don’t want to buy [media], try to earn it,” said Crowe–won by MPG Mexico’s “Huevos” for Nike.

PHD’s “Love Your Heart” benefit concert for Unilever’s Becel brand was nominated in the Best Communication/Entertainment Platform category, won by OMD U.S. for its work on the Hershey’s/Microsoft effort “Reese’s Perfect Xbox Live” (with OMD/Ignition Factory).

New to this year’s Awards was the Media Professional of the Year award, recognizing the media person (from agency, media owner or brand) who has contributed most to the industry in the previous 12 months. The inaugural honour went to Jack Klues, managing partner at VivaKi. Klues was chosen from a short list of individuals nominated by colleagues and peers across the industry.
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