Sick Kids, McDonald’s, IKEA, Rethink and Cossette enjoy strong showing on Effie shortlist

After a delay caused by the pandemic, the Institute of Communication Agencies began a multi-step reveal of the 2020 Effies winners this week with the release of the finalist list.

Forty-six submissions were shortlisted across 28 categories for the awards show known around the world for its focus on creative effectiveness. In terms of brands, Sick Kids led the way with six chances to win an Effie, followed by McDonald’s and IKEA with three apiece.

As for agencies, Rethink and Cossette dominate the list with nine appearances each. John St. has five finalists, while both Bensimon Byrne and Ogilvy have four each.

Rethink is there for six different clients: three times for IKEA, twice for Raptors Republic and single nods for A&W, Kraft Heinz, the Government of Ontario and WestJet. Cossette was shortlisted for Sick Kids six times and three times for McDonald’s. See the entire finalist list here.

This is year two for the Effies, which launched last year after the ICA partnered with the global Effie Awards network to launch Effie Canada. The Effies replaced the long-running Cassies Awards—which had a similar objective of recognizing creative with proven client results.

Five Gold, 12 Silver and 17 Bronze Effies were handed out last year, with the Grand Effie going to Sid Lee and Loto-Quebec.

Originally slated to be revealed in June, this year’s winners are being announced over the next three weeks—Bronze winners on Sept. 9; Silver on Sept. 16 and Gold on Sept. 23—as a lead up the ICA’s Creative Effectiveness Summit, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

Part of the Summit will include Effie Canada Grand Prix Live, which will see the “gold winning brand and agencies battle it out for the coveted Grand Effie.”

This winners announcement wasn’t the only delay for the Effies this year. The call for entries for 2021 would normally go out later this year, but the ICA announced in early April that it would push that call for entries into early 2021.

That decision was part of a larger call from the ICA for agencies to stop all awards show spending for the rest of the year while the industry dealt with the harsh economic impact of the pandemic.



David Brown