PHD takes Internationalist Grand Prix

Three Canadian agencies take home a total of seven Internationalist Awards for Innovation in Media.

PHD was one of two media agencies awarded a Grand Prix from the 2009 Internationalist Awards for Innovation in Media for ‘Fin abrupte’ (‘Abrupt Endings’), created out of the Montreal-based office, Touché!PHD.

The Suicide Action Montreal (SAM) campaign, about the sudden shock of suicide, shared the podium with Starcom Australia, which also won a Grand Prix for its Mars Pedigree ‘Dog Adoption’ campaign.

Both campaigns were praised by the Internationalist for their ‘fresh insights’ and for ‘breaking through the defensive barriers that people automatically erect to avoid difficult emotional subjects.’

The SAM campaign was hailed for conveying the message that suicide strikes when people least expect it. With a 35% increase in calls to the suicide prevention hotline, the campaign literally helped save lives.

The Pedigree spot – using thousands of bright yellow, life-sized cut-outs of dogs placed in parks, stations and main streets – was so popular that some shelters ran out of dogs during the Pedigree Adoption Drive and were forced to put people on waiting lists.

Canadians also came up shining in the Gold and Silver categories. Gold winners include OMD Canada for ‘Doritos Guru’, and Starcom MediaVest Group Canada for Nintendo’s Are You Smarter than a Canadian 5th Grader integration and the Tassimo trompe d’oeil in Canadian magazines.

Silver Canadian campaign winners include PHD Canada for Becel’s ‘Love Your Heart’ campaign and SMG Canada for Cheez Whiz’s Corner Gas integration and Swiffer’s condo-dweller-targeted campaign.

In recognizing the win, PHD president and CEO Fred Forster credited VP media director Karine Courtemanche and media strategist Maxime Corriveau for their work on ‘Fin abrupte’ and the Toronto Unilever team – particularly group media manager Janine Maillet – for their efforts on ‘Love Your Heart.’

A total of 36 awards were given out this year. The winners competed against entries from over 30 countries.