Kenzo Perfume wins Grand Prix at Epica Awards

Spike Jonze’s witty and bizarre film for Kenzo Perfume has won the Film Grand Prix at the 2016 Epica Awards, the only ad awards scheme to be judged by journalists. Other big winners include Tourism Ireland, ING, Norwegian airlines, and the Belgian Alzheimer’s society, Alzheimerliga.

Spike Jonze Kenzo Perfume ad

The Grand Prix winners at this year’s Epica Awards offer a snapshot of the wide variety of creative ideas that make up the advertising industry today. A traditional print ad sits alongside a data driven art project, a beautifully shot film and a tourism project that saw the creation of ten, immaculately crafted doors. Advertising today is complex, sometimes confusing, but still throws up great pieces of work.

Judged solely by journalists, the discussions of what should pick up the major awards threw up inevitable debates, which this year often centred around the merits of projects that looked amazing on the surface (and in the case studies) but were still at prototype stage. This is a challenge for all award schemes now: discovering where the ‘truth’ in a piece of work may lie. In the end, with this jury, the decision was made to award the top gongs only to projects that were already out in the real world. As such the five winners should be somewhat familiar.

And so to the Grand Prix winners:

First up, as mentioned, is Spike Jonze’s epic Kenzo Perfume ad, which won the Film Grand Prix at this year’s Epica Awards. People have quibbles with this film – mainly for the similarities it bears to Jonze’s 2001 Weapon of Choice video for Fatboy Slim – but let’s face it, the perfume and fashion worlds have rarely seen such a vibrant, fun piece of work.

Norwegian Airlines ad

Winning the Press Grand Prix was this witty one-liner for airline firm Norwegian, from Try ad agency, which appeared in newspapers extremely soon after the announcement of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s break up. While it is a traditional print campaign, it had a second life online as people snapped and shared it across social media.

Tourism Ireland has leveraged the success of Game of Thrones – which is filmed in the country – in a wide variety of ways, but perhaps this is the best so far: the creation of the Doors of Thrones, ten beautifully crafted wooden doors. The brainchild of Publicis London, the doors were carved from the famous Dark Hedges trees that appeared in the show but blew down in a storm, and are now hung in pubs across Northern Ireland, creating a tour of the country for Game of Thrones fans. The project picked up the Outdoor Grand Prix at this year’s Epica Awards.

The Next Rembrandt, a project that has already enjoyed a healthy journey around this year’s advertising awards, picked up the Digital Grand Prix. It saw JWT Amsterdam used detailed data to create a ‘new’ Rembrandt painting. The project sparked huge amounts of discussion in media across the world around art and technology. Its link to the brand behind it, Dutch banking group ING, is a little opaque though aims to emphasise ING’s commitment to supporting arts and culture.

We finish with the first Design Grand Prix to be awarded as part of the Epica Awards. It went to DDB Brussels for Simplified Stories, a book project created for Alzheimerliga, an Alzheimer’s society in Belgium. Simplified Stories is a book especially designed for Alzheimer’s patients that helps them to continue to read, which research has shown can slow the process of the condition.

In addition to these main awards, BBDO New York won the Agency of the Year gong at Epica (for the most total awards) and Try in Norway is the Independent Agency of the Year. There were also many gold, silver and bronze prizes awarded at the ceremony last night in Amsterdam. For information on these and Epica in general, visit epica-awards.com.

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Lecturer Design Management

Kingston University

Design Assistant

Cultureshock Media