Earlier this year, Joe Brooks and Lucía Ongay left the Epica Awards to start the Gerety Awards. Named after the legendary copywriter Frances Gerety, the goal was to create an award specifically designed to support and celebrate initiatives that champion diversity in the creative industries.
While other awards shows have hundreds of categories and craft disciplines, the Gerety Awards are focused on the best work, regardless of the brand or medium. Additionally, the jury members, judging campaigns that were launched between Jan. 1, 2018, and last May, are all women.
“I feel like it was being part of history, the first all-female jury in the industry—ever! I don’t feel bad about that at all knowing the past has had the same for the opposite gender,” said Jade Tomlin, creative director of Tribal DDB in the U.K. “It was great that everyone’s opinions were heard and shared, a very different experience to previous judging rooms.”
After the first rounds of judging in London, Hamburg, New York, Mumbai, Paris, São Paulo, Stockholm, Beirut, Amsterdam and Sydney, the final, grand jury announced their selections, with some familiar campaigns winning Grand Prix honors.
Other top winners included LOLA MullenLowe for its #HiddenFlag stunt supporting LGBTQ rights during the 2018 World Cup in Russia, McCann New York for its adaptive controller work for Microsoft and VMLY&R Warsaw for “The Last Ever Issue,” an audacious program where media and brands bought a popular Polish porn magazine to shut it down.
“If I had to talk about the work I saw and the work that stayed with me, the number one piece was Viva La Vulva,” said Kainaz Karmakar, chief creative officer of Ogilvy India West. “It hit my heart as a writer and as a woman. The love in the idea and the execution makes it rise above many other greats. When I am voting a piece for a Grand Prix, in my mind, it has to be something that pushes the profession ahead. Creative people should be pulling it out as an example for their teams and clients.”
In addition to individual winners, BBDO New York was named agency of the year, and BBDO Worldwide was crowned network of the year for their combined work with Monica Lewinsky, KLM, Johnson & Johnson, AT&T and others. Country winners were, in order: the U.S., U.K., Germany and Spain.
Notable gold winners included Nike’s Caster Semenya campaign from Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam, “Highlight the Remarkable,” for Stabilo by DDB Group in Germany, Wendy’s entertaining “Keeping Fortnight Fresh” campaign from VMMLY&R Kansas City and “My Line” for Colombia’s ministry of technology and communication by MullenLowe SSP3.
“I could not be prouder of the winners chosen by the Gerety jury. In total, there were just 60 entries which reached the required score to be awarded this year’s Gerety Awards,” said Ongay. “The highly acclaimed and respected jury and the winners they have chosen clearly sets the benchmark for the very highest standard of creativity.”
To see the full list of winners, visit the Gerety Awards site.