So here it is: the APG shortlist for 2013. 25 papers, from 16 companies, and 8 countries outside the UK, from China to Puerto Rico. Whittled down from 131 entries (the second-highest in APG Awards history) by a jury consisting of planning’s finest brains. Covering everything from TV programming for the BBC to Health and Safety information at Siemens (yes, really).
But what does the shortlist say about the state of planning these days? Well, the good news is that the best papers are absolutely excellent.
As ever, there are some big, brave ideas – like BA’s request to the British public, not to fly abroad during the Olympics or Band Aid’s attempt to reposition itself in the market for “distraction”.
But there are also some radical shifts in targeting – like Sprite’s decision in the United Arab Emirates, to focus on poor Asian immigrants rather than the native population.
Then there are some fascinating examples of behavioural economics – like RKCR’s “Fire kills” campaign or O&M’s work for the London Borough of Greenwich.
As you’d expect, social ideas feature heavily (like the papers for Dove, Benadryl, Refuge and Dorito’s) as do content-driven approaches (like Polident’s ingenious use of TV programming in Malaysia).
But perhaps most encouraging of all, there are papers – like W+K’s for the Kaiser Chiefs and Publicis’ for the De Paul charity – where planning’s contribution went to the very heart of the business model and in doing so stretched the sense of what an agency can do.
Of course, the flipside of all this diversity is that it’s arguably harder than ever to agree what “great planning” is these days. So there were some very powerful papers that just missed the cut – and some heated debate about some of the ones that snuck in.
Maybe that’s an inevitable consequence of the world in which we now operate, and perhaps it will be a recurring challenge for APG juries going forwards. But in the meantime, a heartfelt thanks to all of this year’s entrants for forcing us to think about our discipline afresh– and to the judges for making some extremely difficult decisions. Then congratulations and good luck to the shortlistees, as they prepare to battle it out in the next round
Andy Nairn – Chair of Shortlisters
APG 2013 Creative Strategy Awards in association with Google: Shortlisted papers
Air New Zealand – Host Sydney, Australia
Banco Popular – JWT Puerto Rica
Band-Aid – JWT New York
BBC Africa – BBC Media Centre
British Airways – BBH
Cancer Reseach UK Brand – AMV BBDO
Changing Faces – Adam and Eve DDB
Department for Communities & Local Government – Fire Safety – RKCR/Y&R
Depaul – Publicis
Doritos Social – AMV BBDO
Dove Social – Ogilvy & Mather
Exit – Grabarz & Partner, Germany
Hellmann’s – Ogilvy & Mather
Johnson & Johnson, Benadryl – JWT London
Kaiser Chiefs – Wieden & Kennedy
Paddy Power – Crispin Porter & Bogusky
Polident – Grey Asia Pacific
Refuge – BBH
Royal Borough of Greenwich – Ogilvy & Mather
Siemens Wind Power – M&C Saatchi
Sprite – Memac Ogilvy & Mather, UAE
St John Ambulance – BBH
Vodafone – JWT Cairo
Womens Aid – WCRS
Wrigley’s Extra – BBDO China