Axis chairman Toby Talbot, ECD of DDB (left) outlines big, bold changes to the Axis Awards, which includes inviting three top overseas judges to pick Gold, Silver and Bronze:
Welcome to your new, improved AXIS.
This year we’ve changed a lot about your local show. Not for the sake of change, but because it seems everyone really wanted AXIS to change.
The feedback was clear after last year. You weren’t happy. At all.
When I say ‘you’, allow me to break that down for you. Creatives, suits, producers, CEO’s, MD’s, clients, directors, composers, production companies, photographers, media companies and sponsors.
Yep, pretty much all of you.
So what we’ve done is change the things about AXIS that you least liked. Obviously we can’t please everybody. But then it wouldn’t be AXIS if there wasn’t a bit of bitching and moaning, now would it.
So what’s changed?
Well for starters, there are fewer categories. We’ve got it down from a hefty seventy-two to a svelte fifty-five. Hopefully, you won’t miss the categories we killed (let’s face it, why did we have all those ‘International’ categories anyway). If you do, um, sorry.
Then there’s that hoary old chestnut, the judging.
For as long as Roger MacDonnell has been wearing long pants, questions have been raised about Axis judging. And the voices of discontent have grown louder. My theory is that the industry has shrunk which means so has the number of agencies and therefore judges. With only a handful of agencies dominating the awards, it seems to have become harder and harder to objectively judge the work.
There has to be a better way and this year, we think we’ve found it.
For AXIS 2008, we’re asking some of our most respected New Zealand creatives to cull the initial entries into a shortlist. But not the usual suspects. This time the ‘Pommie Mafia’ Creative Directors are stepping down and the younger up-and-comers are stepping up.
Then we’re going to take the unprecedented step of getting three independent, unbiased, globally significant judges - all based offshore - to decide Gold, Silver and Bronze.
Before the outcry, ‘but what does Johnny Foreigner know about New Zealand’, the answer is quite a lot really.
We are in a global business. Our work is highly visible these days given our successes at overseas awards shows. All three of our judges will be very aware of what we do here.
As for our little kiwi idiosyncrasies, campaigns like L&P have done very well overseas, so let’s not get too caught up about people ‘getting it’.
Besides, do you really want Axis to be a parochial, xenophobic show? I know I don’t.
So who are the three annointed ones? Traktor
need no introduction, but I’ll give them one anyway. Twice crowned the most award-winning directors in the world, Emmy winners, and two-time winners of the Cannes Grand Prix, this directing collective are a formidable creative force. Who can forget the MTV ‘Jukka Brothers’ or the Fox Sports ‘News from the only region you care about’ spots. We’re proud to announce that we’ve got two of them. Chuck McBride
(pictured), prior to setting up his own agency, Cutwater in San Francisco, was Lee Clow’s right hand man at TBWA\Chiat\Day North America. Think of all those amazing adidas ads that have come out of the States in the last ten years. Chuck was behind them all.
And we’re bloody excited to have Seb Royce
representing digital. The CD of Glue London, Seb’s just been listed as one of the Top Ten Digital Talent by the UK’s Campaign Magazine. A truckload of awards probably had something to do with that, as well as being a super passionate creative.
These are people whose opinions you should give a shit about.
And what’s going to make AXIS night special this year is that they will be here for the show itself to hand out the awards.
What other changes? Well, instead of five Grande AXIS, this year there will be just one Grande AXIS, previously known as Best of Show. This award will be judged during AXIS week by all three judges and chosen from the various Golds they have already awarded.
Gone are the days of forests of polyboard. Your AXIS entries this year will all be uploaded to an ftp site. Except DM entries.
(Bloody DM, but what can you do).
Oh yeah, there’s one more change that will make this AXIS better than last year’s.
Clems Wellington is entering it.
See you on the night.