Strategy’s 1999 Creative Report Card: Intro

'Once again, Chris Staples has led Palmer Jarvis DDB to a first-place finish in Strategy's Creative Report Card.' For those who've grown really, really tired of reading sentences like the one above, there's good news. Check this space a year from...

‘Once again, Chris Staples has led Palmer Jarvis DDB to a first-place finish in Strategy’s Creative Report Card.’

For those who’ve grown really, really tired of reading sentences like the one above, there’s good news. Check this space a year from now, and you may well see a very different lead on our report.

Not that we don’t expect both Staples and PJDDB to figure prominently in next year’s Creative Report Card. But his recent departure as creative helmsman for the Vancouver-based agency certainly raises some interesting questions about what this ranking will look like in 2000.

Will Palmer Jarvis DDB continue to dominate without its franchise player? Will Rethink, the shop that Staples has established in partnership with colleagues Ian Grais and Tom Shepansky, enjoy the same kind of creative success that PJDDB has experienced these past several years? And – while we’re in this reflective state of mind – is there a new Chris Staples out there at some previously unheralded regional agency, waiting chrysalis-like to emerge? Or do these only come along once in a generation?

Enough speculation. Let’s take a look at the facts.

This is the third straight year that Palmer Jarvis DDB has earned top honours in our Creative Report Card, which charts the results of the major Canadian advertising awards programs of the past 12 months. The agency’s point total is, in fact, four times that of the second-place finisher, BBDO Canada. PJDDB also ranks first in four of the five major media categories.

This is, in addition, the third straight year that Staples has taken first place in the creative director category. And it’s the third straight year that Ian Grais and Alan Russell (also of PJDDB) have topped the art director and copywriter categories.

In the client category, TV12 (a Palmer Jarvis account) ranked first overall, while Playland (Palmer Jarvis again) finished second. Labatt Breweries of Canada took third, on the strength of the ‘Out of the Blue’ campaign created by Ammirati Puris Lintas.

A few explanatory notes are in order.

The Creative Report Card is undertaken separately from the Agency of the Year. In the latter exercise, Strategy asks a panel of clients and advertising professionals to evaluate work from a shortlist of agencies.

While we’d like to think that this ranking provides a valuable service to the community, we would also caution against reading too much into the results. The Creative Report Card does not purport to reveal the names of the ‘best’ creative directors, art directors or copywriters in the country. Never has. Nor does a low number of points mean that one ranks among the ‘worst.’ Strategy is not in the business of making this kind of subjective judgment.

All we’re trying to do, simply put, is provide a

comprehensive record of whose work the industry

was honoured most highly in the course of the

previous year.

Strategy has developed a grading system that provides a cumulative measure of the hundreds of individual advertising awards handed out in 1999.

Here’s how the system works:

Strategy assigns a point value to each gold, silver, bronze and certificate of merit (or the equivalents), weighted according to the relative importance of each awards program, as judged by our editorial staff.

National awards programs are assigned greater weight than regional shows.

In the same way, awards shows that honour a cross-section of media are assigned greater weight than those that look at only a single medium.

By adding up the points accorded to each award-winning piece of advertising, Strategy is in turn able to assign points to each agency, client, creative director, art director and copywriter whose work is honoured.

The Creative Report Card uses, as its foundation, the results of the major national and regional advertising awards programs in Canada that recognize

excellence in consumer advertising. (Next year, we

intend to incorporate, as well, the results of major

international shows, to give proper acknowledgement to the successes that Canadian creatives enjoy on the

global stage.)

The programs that we currently include in our tally are:

- The Advertising and Design Club of Canada awards (all media), presented by the Advertising and

Design Club of Canada.

- The Applied Arts awards (all media), presented by Applied Arts magazine.

- The Ad Rodeo awards (all media), presented by an independent advertising industry committee based in Calgary, Alta.

- The Bessies (TV), presented by the Television

Bureau of Canada.

- The Billi awards (outdoor), presented by the Outdoor Advertising Association of Canada.

- Les Coqs d’Or (all media), presented by the Publicité Club de Montreal.

- The Extras (newspaper), presented by the Canadian Newspaper Association.

- The Golden Marble Awards (all media), produced by Brunico Marketing to honour excellence in North American children’s advertising.

- The Lotus Awards (all media), presented by the Advertising Agency Association of British Columbia. (Note: Because the Lotuses fall so late in the calendar year, the results of the previous fall’s awards show are used.)

- The Marketing Awards (all media), presented by Marketing Magazine.

A summary of the top performers in each category appears to the right.

This may come as a terrible shock, but since the various awards were announced, a number of creatives have changed agencies. To be consistent, they are listed with the agency for which they won the award. In categories where an individual won awards for more than one agency, each agency is listed.

Awards programs and annuals were our reference for all credits.

Due to limited editorial space, listings below 10 points have not necessarily been included.

Special thanks should go to Sharon Malone, who took on the gargantuan task of entering all the awards data and performing the final breakdowns. Her hard work made this possible.

Also in this report:

Strategy’s 1999 Creative Report Card: Top of the Class listing p.21

Strategy’s 1999 Creative Report Card: The Lists p.22

Strategy’s 1999 Creative Report Card: Previous Winners chart p.26