Every year, the Promax North America Awards spotlight some of the very best promos, spots, campaigns, key art, activations and digital offerings in the entertainment advertising world. The competition is huge, with an amazing amount of great work on display.
With the Promax conference just around the corner, we can’t wait to see what finalists take home the gold. But we also can’t really resist the urge to speculate — or at least call out our favorite picks from the huge list of finalists. So we turned to our award experts here at Brave Dog — President David Sipe, Director of Client Services Caitlin M.F. Hornshaw, and Producer Saralyn Tartaglia.
We picked four categories in which our partners aren’t taking part, and asked our experts to pick their favorites. Here are a few of our picks for Promax 2017 winners. You can check out the full list of finalists here.
Channel: Holiday or Special Event Spot
David’s Pick: “Carol of Balls” — Food Network Canada
This one’s my fave – it packs a great, festive use of original lyrics and network talent.
Caitlin’s Pick: Simpsons 600 “Bells” — mOcean
Find the spot here.
It’s tough to create a break-through, memorable holiday on-air promotion, specially when opting to use a carol that has been featured for similar uses countless times before. This particular “Simpsons” spot breaks out for doing something a little different with tradition in such a way that surprises viewers and makes them laugh. It’s both seasonally appropriate and on-brand.
Saralyn’s Pick: Simpsons 600 “Turky Burns” — mOcean
I laughed out loud! The spot gets a lot of humor out of a very creative use of internet videos blended with the show’s content and characters.
David’s Pick: “Direct Effect” — Viceland
This PSA was a very unexpected time-capsule piece, with a nice twist at the end. Viceland spots really challenge the viewer to consider taking action, which I like.
Caitlin’s Pick: “Movember Campaign” — Esquire Network
All of the PSAs in this category were well produced and had strong messages. I personally liked this one especially, because it was a truly out-of-the-box way of piquing viewers interest and driving them to find out more about the Movember Foundation
Saralyn’s Picks: “I Am One” — TV One and “Workalolcats” — Viacom Velocity
I’m torn between these two spots. “I Am One” from TV One has simple, poignant messages that really get across, and the close camera shots makes it all the more personal. Meanwhile, Viacom Velocity’s “Workalolcats” is a really great use of content for the medium!
Seasonal or Special Event Program Spot
David’s Pick: Simpsons 600 “Simpsonians” — mOcean
This faithful, “300”-inspired spot has a lot of very nice animation. No shortage on attention to detail here! You could tell they really had fun with this very original concept.
Caitlin’s Pick: “Sweatsgiving 2016” — IFC
For success in seasonal or special event program spots, it isn’t always about speaking directly to the fact that it’s Thanksgiving, Election Season or Mother’s Day. Sometimes it’s about finding the other, less-talked about but still well-known traditions that coincide with these special events. IFC brings in talent Martha Walsh to sing a parody version of her well-known ’90s hit “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” and makes creative use of dancing sweatpants to send a catchy, on-theme message that viewers will remember long past the end of the Thanksgiving programming stunt.
Saralyn’s Pick: “Recipe for Murder” — NBC Universal
I just like how this spot progressively becomes more and more gross — perfectly on-theme.
Outdoor Static Ad: Art Direction and Design
Caitlin’s Pick: “The Simpsons Billboard” — FXX and “Penny Dreadful S3 Key Art” — Showtime
I am blown away by how both marketing teams were able to twist a few pieces of food and a tortured woman, to create a powerful branded message. It catches your eye on first pass because the photography is strong, but you’re forced to take a second look to uncover a second meaning. “The Simpsons” have become so iconic, that even passersby who have never watched the show are able to decode the message. In the case of “Penny Dreadful” — while the show is in it’s third season, it still likely grabs the interest of those who have never watched before.
Saralyn’s Picks: “AHS?6 Spider Eyes” — FX and “Trailblazer Honors Bus Shelter” — Logo
The key art for “American Horror Story” Season 6 is all beautiful colors, lighting, and use of space. The spiders are just different enough to elicit a double take. Meanwhile, Logo’s key art is really effective and beautiful to lead your eyes to the type and content of the ad.
We can’t wait to see who takes home gold at this year’s Promax conference. We’ll also be dropping highlights from the week here on the blog, so stay tuned!
Good luck to all the finalists, and as always, keep being creative!