The 2021 Epica Award judges have selected two Film Grand Prix winners: The Danish Road Safety Council’s comedic and cinematic “Helmet Has Always Been a Good Idea” from agency &Co./NoA Denmark and directed by Tore Frandsen of Stockholm production house new-land; and Burberry’s dance-driven “Festive” directed by the Megaforce collective via production company Riff Raff Films, London.
Mie Schaffalitzky, account director at &Co./NoA, said, “It feels amazing that a truly local film can travel beyond borders and get this kind of international recognition. We’re really proud that it has managed to raise a few smiles while getting an important message across. The whole team is really excited and honored to get this Grand Prix from a jury of journalists who follow the business closely and judge with an outside perspective of the work.”
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 VR.
“Helmet Has Always Been a Good Idea” helped &Co./NoA earn Epica’s Agency of the Year distinction.
McCann Worldgroup was named Epica’s Network of the Year.
Bill Kolb, chairman and CEO, McCann Worldgroup, said: “As we pursue our mission to help brands earn a meaningful role in people’s lives by being the leader in the business of creativity, being recognized as Network of the Year by the very journalists who we work with every day is one of the most important forms of recognition we can receive. This recognition would not have been possible without the hard work from our teams around the world and the trust our clients invest in us to build their brands and businesses.”
Thomas Hoffman, owner and creative director, &Co./NoA Denmark, said: “Winning Agency of the Year and the Film Grand Prix is of course absolutely amazing for everyone at &Co./NoA. Right now, it is probably too much to fully comprehend. Hopefully it will sink in so we can learn to appreciate the full extent of the recognition and honor. It is especially humbling to receive these awards from one of the most clever and demanding juries there is: the advertising journalists. We are truly grateful to all of them for this recognition.”
Here’s a full rundown of Grand Prix winners:
- FILM: Riff Raff Films, UK – “Festive”, Burberry
- FILM: &Co./NoA, Denmark – “Helmet Has Always Been A Good Idea”, Danish Road Safety Council
- RESPONSIBILITY: VMLY&R Istanbul – “The Rainbow Hack”, Change.org etc.
- PR: BBDO Belgium – “The Breakaway”, Decathlon
- ALTERNATIVE: Wunderman Thompson UK – “The Homeless Bank Account”, HSBC
- DESIGN: Wunderman Thompson Colombia – “Waterlight”, Edina Energy
- DIGITAL: Wunderman Thompson Belgium – “.comdom”, Telenet
- PRINT: Leo Burnett UK – “Lights On”, McDonald’s
The Print Grand Prix went to Leo Burnett UK for “Lights On,” its graphic and striking campaign for McDonald’s. Chaka Sobhani, global chief creative officer, Leo Burnett Worldwide, said: “We’re over the moon to receive the Grand Prix from Epica for ‘Lights On’. It means so much to receive the recognition, especially from such an esteemed jury of the industry’s most informed and brilliant journalists. A big thank you also to our incredible client McDonald’s for their wonderful and continued partnership and trust.”
BBDO Belgium won the PR Grand Prix for a remarkable project for Decathlon, which gave prison inmates the chance to form an “e-cycling” team and race with people outside the walls via a virtual cycling platform. The event attracted wide media coverage and the Minister of Justice decided to expand the project to all prisons as a boost to prisoners’ mental health.
The Alternative Grand Prix for category-defying work went to Wunderman Thompson UK for the groundbreaking initiative “The Homeless Bank Account” for HSBC. The campaign enabled homeless people to open bank accounts--making it easier for them to receive benefits, find a home and reintegrate into society--by using the address of the charity Shelter. Mike Watson, creative director, Wunderman Thompson, commented: “We’re proud to have played our part alongside our friends at HSBC UK in helping to break the cycle of financial exclusion for those who are homeless. To have leading journalists from over 50 countries recognize the campaign for its impact verifies our belief that creativity can do anything--even overcoming some of the biggest barriers in society.”
The Responsibility Grand Prix went to VMLY&R Istanbul for “The Rainbow Hack,” a clever ploy in which several NGOs joined forces to sneak the banned rainbow flag into billboard spaces, thus defying authorities and offering a message of support. Brand team director Dilâra Ergün commented on behalf of the agency: “It’s an honor to receive this Grand Prix from a jury of great journalists. ‘Rainbow Hack’ is a project of courage. We want to thank Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Change.org, the Association for Monitoring Equal Rights, Purple Roof Women’s Shelter and Support to Life Foundation for coming together for this cause and daring to make it real. We keep believing in rainbows and the power of being together.”
Wunderman Thompson Belgium won the Digital Grand Prix with its “.comdom” app, which protects the intimate images used in “sexting” from wider diffusion. An agency statement read, “What a great honor to win an Epica Grand Prix! The fact that the journalists on the jury write about all the big campaigns on a daily basis and still reward a Belgian one as the best of the best really means the world to us.”
Continuing a great year for the network, Wunderman Thompson Colombia won the Design Grand Prix with “Waterlight.” The collaboration with Edina Energy aims to bring light to deprived coastal communities using a recyclable lamp powered by salt water.
Commenting on all the winners, jury president Claire Beale, founder of The Creative Salon, said: “The work we’ve seen here is evidence of the amazing resilience of creative departments around the world. I can’t even imagine how people managed to produce work of such quality in times when remote working has been the norm, when entire countries have been shut down. I’ve been so excited and surprised by the caliber of the work. Everybody who made it to the shortlist deserves our absolute applause. If this is what is produced in a crisis, once things do return to normal I think we’re going to see our industry go from strength to strength creatively.”
This year the Epica Awards received 3,184 entries from 64 countries, a dramatic increase on the difficult year before (1,980 entries) and close to the 2019 level. The highest number of entries came from the United States (206) followed by Germany (200).
France was top in the country rankings with 40 awarded projects including 11 Golds, followed by Canada with 39 awarded projects including 7 Golds. Completing the top five were the U.K. with 36 prizes, the U.S. and Russia with 28 wins each.
Client The Danish Ministry of Transportation, aka The Danish Road Safety Council Agency &Co., Copenhagen Ole Hoffman, Kristian Eilersten, Kristoffer Winther Sorensen, creatives; Filippa Borg, producer. Production new-land, Stockholm, Copenhagen, London Tore Frandsen, director; Sara Samsoe, executive producer/producer; Thor Brammer Jacobsen, executive producer; Kasper Wind, DP. Editorial Jacob Schulsinger, editor. VFX Copenhagen VFX Christian Sjostedt, VFX supervisor. Casting Saskia Skeel Fahlsten Color Michael Balle, colorist. Audio Kevin Koch
Client Burberry Ricardo Tisci, chief creative officer; Rod Manley, chief marketing officer; Rachel Crowther, VP, creative; Al Watts, Sean Bell, art directors; Rose Percy, director of production; Asha Joneja, sr. producer; Cara Gillies, producer; Rebecca Haddaway, production coordinator; Luke Stazaker, sr. manager, postproduction; Susie Miller, styling editor; Fran Dyke, jr. styling editor; Jake Clements, assistant stylist. Agency & Production Riff Raff Films Megaforce, creative & direction; Matthew Fone, exec producer/owner; Nick Goldsmith, producer; Hannah Fowles-Pazdro, Georgia Mills, production, managers; (La)Horde, choreographer; Ben Gill, first assistant director; Katelin Arizmendi, DP; Ib Kamara, stylist; Marco Puig, production designer; Lucy Fewell, stylist; Paul Mann, Neil Gawthrop, SFX. Editorial Final Cut Joe guest, editor. Postproduction/VFX Moving Picture Company (MPC), London Ryan Hancocks, VFX producer; Alex Lovejoy, creative director and 2D lead; Fabian Frank, Rob Richardson, 3D leads; Matthieu Toullet, colorist. (Toolbox: Nuke, Flame, Houdini, Maya, Arnold, Ftrack, Baselight) Sound Design/Audio Post 750MPH, London Sam Ashwell, sound designer/mixer. Song/Music “Singin’ in the Rain,” written by Herb Brown, Arthur Freed; published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd; vocals by Dreya Mac; produced and arranged by Lank and Tank for Twenty Below Music; Emily Pritchard, music producer at Twenty Below Music Cast Zhane Samuels, Kevin Bago, Robinson Cassarino, Chantel Foo.