The 2023 Epica Awards witnessed Grand Prix triumphs by entries from the United States, the UK, the Netherlands, Poland, and Japan. Interestingly, there were no Media or Print Grand Prix winners this year, as the jury deemed the contenders to be on par in terms of quality. McCann Worldgroup achieved the distinction of being the Network of the Year at The Epica Awards for the sixth time.
The Grand Prix deliberations unfolded in Brussels this year, in collaboration with PUB magazine, one of Epica’s esteemed Belgian jury members.
Leading the jury was Dagmara Szulce, Global Executive Director of the IAA, who served as the President of the jury.
• RESPONSIBILITY: “The Last Photo”, Hope&Glory PR, UK, CALM
• PR: “The Brake Room”, McCann New York, Chick-fil-A
• DESIGN: “ADLAM: An Alphabet to Preserve A Culture”, McCann New York, Microsoft
• INNOVATION: “The Mammoth Meatball”, VML, Netherlands, Vow
• DIGITAL: “Where To Settle”, McCann Poland, Mastercard
• FILM: “Train Of Memories,” SIX Inc, Japan, Sotetsu Holdings
• NETWORK OF THE YEAR: McCann Worldgroup
• AGENCY OF THE YEAR: McCann NY
The Responsibility Grand Prix – celebrating work for good causes – went to PR agency Hope&Glory for the media campaign behind “The Last Photo”, for the charity CALM, an unexpected and moving perspective on the taboo subject of suicide.
Don Ferguson, Deputy Managing Director, Hope&GloryPR, said: “Winning the Grand Prix is both immensely exciting and humbling in equal measure, especially considering the level of work it’s up against and the fact an Epica is the only award exclusively voted for by journalists worldwide. It’s a campaign we are incredibly proud of and share the plaudits with all of the incredible people at adam&eveDDB, The7stars and, of course, CALM.”
The PR Grand Prix went to McCann New York for “The Brake Room”, a restroom created on behalf of Chick-fil-A for food delivery couriers, so they could shelter from harsh weather and the stresses of their job.The concept has spread to other brands and cities.
The Design Grand Prix, another win for McCann New York, went to the fantastic ADLAM project, in which Microsoft helped preserve a disappearing culture by digitizing an alphabet that had only existed in a handful of notebooks, thus making it available to write, read and learn worldwide.
In what turned out to be a landmark year for McCann, the Digital Grand Prix went to McCann Poland for Mastercard’s “Where To Settle”, which used Mastercard data to enable Ukrainian refugees in Poland to identify towns where it might be easier to find work and housing, rather than the main urban centres.
The Innovation Grand Prix went to VML for “The Mammoth Meatball”, a scientific feat that involved recreating mammoth meat from the extinct animal’s DNA, to promote lab-grown meat.
Bas Korsten, Global Chief Creative Officer Innovation & EMEA CCO, VML, commented: “The Epica Awards are unique. And I couldn’t be happier to win the Grand Prix in Innovation, because I strongly believe we can think our way out of the problems we’re facing in the world today. Cultured meat is one of those solutions. And through this project, the world knows a bit more about its incredible potential.”
Finally, the Film Grand Prix was won by SIX Inc Japan for “Train Of Memories”. In a single shot using several actors, it depicts a father and daughter on their daily train journey, while showing how their relationship evolves as they age. The jury praised its refined craft, including copywriting and music.
Yuta Okuyama, Creative Director of SIX Inc, said: “We are very honored to be selected by journalists with insightful and cutting-edge perspectives. In an era where AI-generated creative production frequently makes headlines, we are very proud of being recognized for our work crafted by human hands.”
McCann’s run of prizes meant that it was once again Network of the Year. Javier Campopiano, Worldwide Chief Creative Officer, McCann Worldgroup, said: “The Epica jury composed of industry reporters is a breath of fresh air. Even more as we share something truly important with journalism: a relentless pursuit of the truth, – which underpins our mantra and the way we get to ideas: ‘Truth Well Told.’ In an era when truth is constantly under attack, celebrating these ideas is more important than it has ever been. Thanks to the Epica Awards for these honors, and to our clients for their trust and partnership.”
Commenting on McCann New York’s multiple wins, which propelled it to Agency of the Year status, Shayne Millington, Chief Creative Officer, McCann New York, said: “McCann New York is beyond honored to be recognized as Agency of the Year by the Epica Awards. Thank you to our clients at Mastercard, Microsoft and Chick-fil-A for being incredible partners in bringing these powerful stories and ideas to the world, and to our colleagues at McCann Poland, who were instrumental in the creation of Where to Settle. It is especially meaningful to be recognized by the journalists who have the clearest view and most objective lens on all the incredible work coming from our industry around the globe.”
Commenting on the awards overall, jury President Dagmara Szulce, Global Executive Director of the IAA, said: “Journalists need to be heard in the world of awards. They bring objectivity, keep us honest and are connected to the culture. And as reporters they provide a critical eye which helps to raise the bar. Not surprisingly, once again this year they awarded ideas that are fresh, innovative, authentic and true to the brand purpose. The quality of work in the Responsibility field was particularly high and I’d love to see even more creatives engaged in that space. Overall, it was inspiring to hear the variety of opinions expressed by leading journalists on an international jury and how they arrived at a consensus.”
Entrants & Entries by Country
The highest number of entries this year came from Canada (296) followed by Germany (202), France (138), the United States (126), and the United Kingdom (125). In terms of networks, Publicis, McCann Worldgroup, Dentsu and VML (the newly combined VMLY&R and Wunderman Thompson) were particularly well represented.
Results by Country
Germany was top in the country rankings with 53 awarded projects including 8 Golds and 25 Silvers, closely followed by Canada with 58 awarded projects including 5 Golds and 21 Silvers. Completing the top five were the UK, France and the US. This year the number of entries from Central Asia (Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan) tripled, while entries from Asia also rose.
You will find full details of all the winners on Epica’s website at www.epica-awards.com
Founded in 1987, Epica is the only global creative award judged by journalists from the marketing, design and advertising press, as well as specialist reporters in fields ranging from automotive to production.