Dwyer snags four Crafts with Fubar homage

It's almost hard to say which is more of an honour: sweeping the writing Craft Awards with four wins, as Halifax-based Extreme Group copywriter Shelly Dwyer did, or picking up one of only two Best of Series Awards, an accomplishment boasted by former Lowe Roche writer Gerald Kugler (see 'The story of Kugler,' below).

It’s almost hard to say which is more of an honour: sweeping the writing Craft Awards with four wins, as Halifax-based Extreme Group copywriter Shelly Dwyer did, or picking up one of only two Best of Series Awards, an accomplishment boasted by former Lowe Roche writer Gerald Kugler (see ‘The story of Kugler,’ below).

Either way, all of this year’s writing award winners successfully blended creative thinking with funny and thoughtful dialogue that lends itself to quality performances.

In fact, looking at the Craft Awards (right), in all of the cases but one, winning writers prompted winning performances. In the case of Dwyer’s ‘Great Reasons to Smoke’ ads, commissioned by the Nova Scotia Office of Heath Promotion, actors Paul Spence and Dave Lawrence went on to win the Bessies Kari Award for performance.

In the anti-smoking spots, the PSA’s dumb-as-rocks characters, first brought to life in the Canadian film Fubar, give reasons why smoking is a good thing. For instance, smoking helps you: live longer (because smoke breaks mean less work-related stress and less stress means longer life); improve your manners (because it’s only polite to ask if someone minds if you smoke while they eat); communicate more effectively (because you never know when you’ll be at the UN and have to ask the ‘Chinese governor’ for a cigarette), and save money (because you can’t waste the money you spend on cigarettes on something frivolous that will require add-ons later).

Next up, building on past wins for Bud Light spots (including last year’s Best of Series Writing prize for ‘Ulterior Emotions’ by David Chiavegato), Peter Ignazi won for the writing in Bud Light’s ‘History.’

That spot tells the story of how God’s gift to men, the Bud Light Institute, has crafted ways to distract woman throughout the years (claiming responsibility for the tea party, the soap opera and feminism, among others), thus creating opportunities for men to go and hang out with their buddies.

Splitting yet another Craft Award for writing was the TBWAToronto team of Simon Creet and David Kolbusz, for the writing of AGF Financial Services’ ‘Private Investigator.’

The spot, one of several similarly-themed ads in the campaign, depicts two men in a car: a private dick with a video camera, and a man who’s life is crashing down around him as he sees graphic video of his partner, Sarah, with another man. While his client agonizes, the private investigator evaluates his own camera technique, explaining how he was trying to emulate Godard’s early work. Still, he feels his composition was off.

Finally, Vancouver’s Joseph Bonnici landed a Writing Craft Award for DDB Canada’s ‘Potato Sack’ spot for Hockey Canada.

That ad features a thinly-disguised ‘hockey dad’ causing a ruckus before his kid’s potato sack race because he suspects one of his child’s competitors is using a non-regulation sack, and demands a urine sample (‘he looks a little beefy for a five-year-old’). The spot is part of DDB’s latest pool of TV ads for its highly successful and internationally renowned ‘Relax – It’s Just a Game’ campaign.

Craft Awards: Writing

Title: ‘Great Reasons to Smoke: Communication’

Advertiser: Nova Scotia Office

of Health Promotion

Agency: Extreme Group

Production House: Spank Films

Writer: Shelly Dwyer

Title: ‘Great Reasons to Smoke: Better Manners’

Advertiser: Nova Scotia Office

of Health Promotion

Agency: Extreme Group

Production House: Spank Films

Writer: Shelly Dwyer

Title: ‘Great Reasons to Smoke: Save Money’

Advertiser: Nova Scotia Office of Health Promotion

Agency: Extreme Group

Production House: Spank Films

Writer: Shelly Dwyer

Title: ‘History’

Advertiser: Labatt Breweries

Agency: Downtown Partners DDB

Production House: Avion Films

Writer: Peter Ignazi

Title: ‘Great Reasons to Smoke: Live Longer’

Advertiser: Nova Scotia Office

of Health Promotion

Agency: Extreme Group

Production House: Spank Films

Writer: Shelly Dwyer

Title: ‘Private Investigator’

Advertiser: AGF Financial Services

Agency: TBWAToronto

Writer: Simon Creet, David Kolbusz

Title: ‘Potato Sack’

Advertiser: Hockey Canada

Agency: DDB Canada (Vancouver)

Production House: Untitled

Writer: Joseph Bonnici