ZO, DDB, Sid Lee named tops by strategy voters

Media Agency of the Year, Media Director(s) of the Year, Agency of the Year and B!G Awards: the results of strategy's annual competitions for the best of the best were announced at a soirée in Toronto this evening.

This evening, at an awards-packed event in Toronto, the results of strategy‘s annual competitions for agencies of the year were announced.

Top honour for Media Agency of the Year went to ZenithOptimedia. One of the agency’s big initiatives this year was its creative leveraging of L’Oréal’s involvement with Luminato, the 10-day festival of arts and creativity held in Toronto this past summer. ZO took the MAOY crown for the second consecutive year.

In other media wins, Silver went to MediaCom Canada, and Bronze to M2 Universal, while Mediaedge:cia earned an Honourable Mention. The Media Director title was a three-way tie between Sunni Boot, president/CEO of ZenithOptimedia; Chris O’Hara, media director, Sharpe Blackmore Euro RSCG; and Tatania Tucker, media director, Bensimon Byrne. ZO account exec Tracey Lavender was named this year’s Next Media Star and received her award at the Media Strategy Forum in September.

The judges’ choice for Agency of the Year was a surprise. Top honour went not to Ogilvy & Mather – which seemed to be a shoe-in for its world-beating ‘Evolution’ work for Dove – but to DDB Canada. Based in Vancouver with offices in Toronto, Edmonton, Victoria and Montreal, the agency recently masterminded two much talked about campaigns: ‘The Japanese car the Germans wish they’d made’ for Subaru Impreza and the Capital One ‘Exterminator.’

The Silver Agency of the Year Award went to Ogilvy & Mather, the Bronze to Taxi and Honourable Mention to Zig. Finalist honours went to John St. and Rethink – last year’s Agency of the Year.

Other agencies that made the short list this year include: Montreal-based Bos and Sid Lee, Toronto-based BBDO, Cossette, Lowe Roche and Leo Burnett Canada. Toronto’s Dentsu and Montreal’s Bleublancrouge – two newcomers to the shortlist – also made the cut.

The top winner in strategy‘s second annual B!G Awards was Montreal’s Sid Lee, which also won last year. This competition recognizes the scope of work agencies are doing beyond advertising. The Gold prize went to the agency for its work for client MGM Grand – a seductive virtual tour for the Las Vegas hotel’s website – which resulted in a 25% increase in online bookings. B!G Silver went to Cundari for its BMW internal program and Bronze to Cossette for its HealthWATCH program development work for Shoppers Drug Mart.

In out-of-competition news, an informal poll on the strategy site, asking who among the shortlisted agencies should win the Agency of the Year, indicated strong team spirit at the following agencies, with votes of over 30,200: Dentsu, at 54%, Bleublancrouge at 37%, and BBDO at 6%.

For more information on all the night’s winners, including how each competition is structured, profiles of the winning agencies and judges’ scoring process, visit http://strategymag.com/aoy/2007/.