Poignant United Way campaign takes best of show at Extras

The Canadian Newspaper Association's top honour went to a campaign that did something radical for the news environment - it used no words, and told a story using only compelling B&W images and a clever use of the charity's logo.

The best examples of creative advertising in daily newspaper were honoured in Toronto at the CNA’s Extra Awards last evening, and relevance and resonance were the clear winners. In the Best Use of Medium category, flexible formats and clever placement stole the show. Montreal’s Diesel Marketing and Touche took gold in this category for their work on Belair Direct Insurance by using the gutter as part of the creative. The ads, which also won silver in the national campaign category, use strategically placed skid marks to make it seem as if the bump in the paper caused a car to overturn. It was creative placement that took gold for Lowe Roche’s Habitat for Humanity ad, which buried an image of a house destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in the middle of the Homes listing section of the newspaper, hitting up some folks with money to spend for donations.

But the most coveted award – best of show – plus two other golds went to DDB Vancouver for its touching campaign for the United Way. Dubbed ‘Tear/Alcoholic/Bruise,’ the ads starred the charity’s familiar hand logo. In the Tear ad, the hand’s open palm is poised to catch a tear trickling down a face. In the Alcoholic ad, the hand hovers above an open bottle as if to say ‘you’ve had enough’ to a man contemplating another drink. And in Bruise, the hand covers the eyes of a boy so he won’t see the evidence of domestic violence on his mother’s body. DDB Vancouver also won three silvers for Intuit Canada and one for the Vancouver Aquarium. DDB Toronto won two golds for its Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra spots and a bronze in Public Service and Advocacy for Toronto Crime Stoppers.

Vancouver’s Rethink was also big winner, walking away with seven Extras, including four golds (for advertising for the BC Lions, Gold’s Gym, Greengate Garden Centre and Future Shop), one silver (Future Shop) and two bronze (Vancouver Police Department and Future Shop).

Another big winner was Toronto’s Lowe Roche, which collected six Extras; two golds for its Habitat for Humanity work, two silvers for Mackenzie Investments and two bronzes, one for Virgin Mobile and one for the Toronto Zoo. TBWA Toronto won four awards, including a silver for Infinity Canada and three bronzes, two of which were for Nissan Canada, and one for Adidas Canada.

For a complete list of winners, visit the Extras website at www.prixextraawards.com