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Tuesday, 30 July 2013 21:41

Commercial Visionaries Honored in L.A.

Written by  James Thompson, Photos By Diane Lesko Thompson
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aicp presPresented by the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP),the AICP Show’s “The Art & Technique of the American Commercial” and the AICP Next Awards recently visited the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles as part of an extensive tour across the U.S. and abroad. The 2013 AICP Show debuted at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in June while the AICP Next Awards premiered at the NYU Skirball Center, and the commercial productions honored by both events each year become a part of the growing archives of MoMA’s Department of Film. “The Next Awards is such a natural outgrowth of the AICP Show,” said AICP President/CEO Matt Miller. “Here we are in our 22nd year of honoring the best in commercials.”

As digital technology changes the planet, the commercial industry is also embracing change via multiplatform audiences, the evolution of integrated television, aicp pic1integrated marketing campaigns, and live digital television. “The Next Awards really was a jump in the industry at a time when we did see other things happening [and] really understanding that our industry was changing,” Miller remarked. “The skill sets you all possess were being used for different things that could influence and create amazing pieces of art. But, more importantly, marketing and communication messages … mean a lot, both to our industry and also a reflection of culture.”

The AICP Next Awards have become a centerpiece for showcasing artists’ work, networking and sharing ideas, and allowing attendees to understand where the commercial industry is going and how to broaden opportunities. “There’s never been a more exciting time in this business than the opportunities that are in front of us,” noted Miller.  

panelAttendees of the Hammer Museum event were treated to a roundtable discussion moderated by Miller and hosted by AICP Next Awards Judges Winston Binch and Matt Ian (Deutsch), Gui Borchert (72andSunny), Dustin Callif (Tool) and Jimmy Smith (Amusement Park Entertainment). The informative discussion included many hot topics, including integrated television. “I think you’re going to start to see more of these integrated cases that are going to be like a year long, because that’s really the nature of it now,” said Binch. “I think we’re starting to see some of that change starting to happen.” As for what’s next in line for commercial production, Binch noted the areas breaking new ground. “They found a way to integrate it [to be] more social [and] make it useful, make it fun, and added a real storytelling layer to it,” said Binch. “When you look at all the people up here and in the audience, I really think there’s a massive opportunity for us in the next few years to bring in competitive products [like Instagram] … that consumers can use over the long haul.”

Each category of the AICP Show was allowed up to three honorees, while Advertising Excellence/Single Commercial and Advertising Excellence/Campaign had one honoree each for “Best in Show.” The Advertising Excellence/Campaign lauded DirecTV’s “Cable Effects” campaign, which was comprised of the spots “Funeral,” “Platoon,” and “House,” all directed by Tom Kuntz of MJZ via Grey. The Advertising Excellence/Single Commercial honored “Best Job” for Procter & Gamble out of Wieden+Kennedy and directed by Alejandro González Iñarritu for Anonymous Content. A Curator’s Recognition was given to Nike’s “Jogger,” from Wieden+Kennedy and directed by Lance Acord for Park Pictures. AICP recognition is bestowed by a unanimous vote of the Curatorial Committee for a piece that would otherwise not be included in this year’s archive. At the AICP Next Awards, the Most Next honor went to R/GA’s Nike for “Nike+ Fuelband,” and the winner crowdwill direct a $5,000 grant from the AICP Foundation to an educational institution of their choosing. Nike selected the Active Schools Fund,which is managed by Partnership for a Healthier America. 

Station FilmPartner/Executive Producer Michael Di Girolamo is serving as chair for the 2013 AICP Show, and R/GA Founder/Chairman/CEO Bob Greenberg is the judging chair for the Next Awards. Each Next Award category is judged by separate panels, and Greenberg handpicked eight jury presidents who selected judges based on their area of expertise. The AICP Show is scheduled to screen in San Francisco (September 18), Austin (September 26), Atlanta (October 10), Dallas (October 17), Minneapolis (October 21) and Chicago (November 21). The dates for Miami and Richmond will be posted on AICP’s website as they become available. This year’s honorees — along with the entire AICP Show and Next Awards archive — are available for viewing at www.aicpshow.com.  

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