Leo Burnett wins AOY

Missed last night's show? Here's a quick recap: John St. and Lg2 tied for Gold Digital AOY, OMD picked up top spot on the Media AOY list and North Strategic won our inaugural PR AOY. Check out who else placed at this year's awards.

Does a tree stop searching for space to spread its limbs in a crowded forest? Or does it contort its boughs toward the light and dig its roots that much deeper into the ground? Growth is part of survival, and much like a mobbed sapling, this year’s agency winners are attempting to tower above the rest by sprouting new branches and exploring new spaces.

AOY Gold-taker Leo Burnett is crossing borders to conceive global creative. Data intelligence experts are arriving at DAOY winner John St., while shiny new Toronto digs are in the works for Lg2 (which tied for first place in Digital). And over in media, top winner OMD kicked off an innovation and startup community division.

Even strategy’s agency competition is growing, expanding to include a public relations category, with North Strategic (an indie shop that has seen massive growth in three short years) stepping up to the plate to pick up the inaugural Gold PR award.

All of these winners, plus Silver and Bronze in each category, were crowned at an awards gala at the Ontario Science Centre on Oct. 30.

Check out the cases below to find out what it takes to emerge triumphant from the masses, and be inspired to do the same.

AOY Gold: How to win AOY #LikeLeoBurnett

AOY Silver: Rethink digs up winning ideas

AOY Bronze: DDB’s partner quest

DAOY Gold (tie): Think like an agency, act like Lg2

DAOY Gold (tie): John St.’s appetite for acceleration

DAOY Silver: From A to Zulu: how to stick to your creative guns

DAOY Bronze: Proximity goes big on data

MAOY Gold: OMD turns up the heat on tech

MAOY Silver: Planning for success at PHD

MAOY Bronze: MEC’s groundbreaking year

Media Directors of the Year: Courtemanche and Warring tie for tops

PR AOY Gold: North Strategic does it their way

PR AOY Silver: Narrative fashions its own storyline

PR AOY Bronze: Veritas expands its influence 

Image of AOY Gold winners’ Judy John and Dom Caruso (via ryanwalkerphoto.ca)