The Institute of Communication Agencies has announced the Gold Winners for the 2020 Effies, part of a multi-step reveal of this year’s winners that concludes with next week’s Canadian Creative Effectiveness Summit and the announcement of a possible Grand Effie winner.
Each of the Gold winning agencies will make a live pitch to a nine-person Grand Prix jury and virtual audience during next week’s event, with a potential Grand Effie winner announced on Thursday (Oct. 1). The Effies were originally scheduled to be handed out at a June gala, but were postponed and turned into a virtual event because of the pandemic.
“Reviewing this year’s work has been a pure joy. I can categorically tell you that there is world-class work in these Effie Canada entries, work that bloody worked,” said ICA president and CEO Scott Knox. “Brands across the world should look at the amazing work being delivered in Canada and the diverse people creating it and bring their work here.”
The Gold winners and Grand Prix contenders are…
Cossette and SickKids Foundation
Cossette led all agencies with two Gold Effies, both for its work on behalf of SickKids Foundation. It won for “SickKids Vs.—Crews” in the Engaged Community, Influencers, Positive Change – Social – Non-Profit category, and for “Get Better Gifts” in the Seasonal Marketing category
“This crazy year has forced us all to focus on what’s truly important, so we’re beyond thrilled that a crucial, life-saving client like SickKids has been recognized at a show that also celebrates work that truly matters,” said Cossette creative director Craig McIntosh in an e-mail statement.
Rethink and IKEA
Rethink won Gold in the Media Idea category for “IKEA Bedtime,” which delivered contextually relevant videos to people at the exact time they were avoiding sleep.
“More than ever it’s crucial to consider not just the message in the medium, but what your use of the medium does to build more meaning into the message itself,” said Rethink managing partner, head of strategy Sean McDonald. “By targeting Canadians in this way IKEA demonstrated they understood the importance of sleep in our lives. A close partnership with media allowed us to do this in a very targeted way.”
Bensimon Byrne and White Ribbon
Bensimon Byrne won gold in the Small Budgets–Services category for “Boys Don’t Cry” on behalf of White Ribbon, which partner, ECD Joseph Bonnici said generated 90% positive social sentiment as well as widespread global conversation around toxic masculinity.
“‘Boy’s Don’t Cry’ harnessed a powerful insight: men’s inability to see the toxicity within themselves,” said Bonnici. “However, within that story we embedded as many experiences as possible, so a wide swath of men could relate to the film.”
Union and Interval House
Union won Gold in the Positive Change – Social – Non-profit category for its “Freedom Tampons” campaign for Interval House, which led to an 805% increase in referrals to the women’s shelter compared to the year before.
“We think our case stood out to judges because it leaned into the fact that we didn’t want our campaign to get mass awareness, which is highly unusual for an Effies submission,” said creative director Rica Eckersley. “If a woman’s abuser suspects she is trying to leave, her life is in danger. So we had to reach women in abusive relationships, and only them.”
The Effies are in their second year in Canada after the ICA partnered with the global Effie Awards network to create Effie Canada.