Rethink’s Molson ad campaign takes top honours at resurrected Lotus Awards

The 2012 Lotus Awards | Photo: submitted  

The Lotus Awards are in bloom once again following a two-year absence from honouring the best work coming out of B.C.’s ad industry.

The Best in Show prize went to Rethink’s “Hockey Heaven” social media campaign for Molson Canadian, which showcased the lengths Canadian hockey fans would go to play their favourite sport.

More than 150 awards were handed out at the November 6 ceremony after organizers allowed the ad industry to submit nominations from the past two years to make up for last year’s hiatus.

All the judges were selected from outside the province to keep favouritism out of the mix and organizers banned so-called “dog-walker ads” or “scam ads” for the first time.

Judge Denise Rossetto, executive creative director at BBDO Toronto, said after combing through the nominees it became evident just how distinct the Vancouver ad industry is compared with bigger cities.

“If you have a higher budget or bigger budget, you can really execute something well but not be as strong with the idea,” she said.

“But I find with the work out of Vancouver, I’ve always admired how simple the idea actually is, how pure the idea is.”

DDB Canada’s Netflix ad, which features a hockey coach giving his team a pep talk by asking them to recall cliches from sports films, took home multiple awards last night.

Rossetto said it’s exactly the type of ad coming from the West Coast that showcases the region’s ad culture.

Last year’s gala was shelved after the organization behind the awards, the Advertising Agency Association of B.C. (AAABC), folded and sponsors dried up.

A new local steering committee stepped in earlier this year and asked the Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA), which runs the Toronto-based Cassie Awards, to relaunch the award ceremonies on the West Coast.

“We were pleased to be able to do something in West market because we tend to be focused on Toronto just because of the number of agencies,” ICA president Jani Yates told Business in Vancouver.

She said she was “pleasantly surprised” by the quality and quantity of submissions that came in and that she hopes the B.C. ad industry will embraces the Lotus Awards even further next year.

A full list of winners is available at the Lotus Awards website.