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May 1, 2006

WAX Wins at Ad Rodeo

It was a slightly different look at Calgary’s Anvil Awards April 28. The usual winners like Trigger and Highwood took their share of gold awards, but MacLaren McCann emerged as the new creative heavyweight, while several smaller agencies staked their claims to a piece of the awards pie. The final count for MacLaren McCann was eight first-place Anvils in wide variety of categories for several different clients. The agency won for annual report, radio single and series, copywriting, poster single, non-traditional, point-of-purchase and photography.

Galloping hard on MacLaren’s heels came Trigger, winning seven first-place Anvils and copping Best of Show for its outdoor series “No Substitute for the Zoo” for the Calgary Zoo. The same campaign also won Anvils in the outdoor single and transit single and series categories. The whimsical campaign featured “substitutes’ for zoo animals including a very hairy guy chomping on a banana, a hamster with a bristle brush on its back, and a cat with a giraffe patterned boot on is head. Trigger also took home top prize in the public service broadcast and public service print categories for the United Way.
Highwood Communications, which has dominated the Anvils for the past three years, had a respectable showing with five first-place awards in the out of home, advertising campaign, business to business, newspaper series and TV single over $30,000. Up and comer Wax also enjoyed a good night with five wins in the newspaper single, corporate image/identity, poster design series, illustration/campaign and outdoor series categories.

Smaller agencies shared the big guys party, taking a larger number of Anvils than usual. Rock, Paper, Scissors and Jason Sweet Photo Illustration won two each, while Combine, Zero Gravity, Shine Media and Traffik Design Group won one each. The other multiple winner was Rare Method with two first-place Anvils.

There were some surprises on the night. Ogilvy Calgary, now subsumed by Young & Rubicam, could manage only one Anvil, for its quirky and innovative “There’s a Horse for Everyone” series of TV ads for Horse Racing Alberta, which also won a Marketing Awards gold earlier this year. Venture Communications, despite acquiring the services of award-winning CD Steve Williams mid-2005, could only manage one Anvil in the logo category.

More than 600 members of the Calgary advertising community showed up to listen to some Anvil heavy metal and celebrate what show chair Glenn Dawes said “helped set a higher standard.”
-Norma Ramage, Marketing Daily, May 1, 2006