Black & Abroad and FCB/Six win Advertising Best of Show

"Go Back to Africa" goes back to the podium, while Rethink, John St., Cossette, FCB, Lg2 and Sid Lee celebrate several Gold wins on the final day of Marketing Awards Week.
Go Back to Africa

While not planned, today’s Marketing Awards Best of Show reveal is remarkably apt.

On a day like Juneteenth, when the U.S. (and increasingly the world) recognizes the end of slavery, awarding the top prize to Black & Abroad’s “Go Back to Africa” campaign by FCB/Six is a welcome highlight. After all, the campaign is based on eradicating 300-year-old oppressive sentiments that stem from the West’s trading of people from Africa.

It’s also a faultless campaign that one jury member said to the chairs during deliberations in the spring: “I want to be part of the jury that gives a [Best of Show] to this.”

The jurors were moved by the transformation of a racialized expression (“go back to Africa,” as seen in derogatory posts online) into a call-to-action. Co-chairs Marilou Aubin of Lg2 and David Rosenberg of Bensimon Byrne add that it also helps “move the industry forward” by showing how advertising can turn a pervasive problem (negative perceptions of Africa) into a business solution (encouraging travel dollars to go to the continent through the celebration of its beauty and cultural diversity).

The work also picked up three Golds in the Advertising category, in which the final winners were announced today. The last nine Marketing Awards categories – Branded Content, Digital, Direct, Film, Integrated Campaign, OOH, Press, Radio and Self-Promotion – were revealed with agencies Rethink, John St., Cossette, BBDO, FCB, Lg2 and Sid Lee picking up Gold “Ms” of their own.

As always, strategy tracked and assigned points to the medals won by each agency across the four main categories. This year, Cossette topped the index with the most awards, while Rethink placed second with the most Golds and Sid Lee came third on the list. The full medal count can be found in the 2020 Marketing Awards print annual.

For the first time, as a result of physical distancing due to COVID-19, Marketing Award winners were revealed in a virtual show. The chairs and some jury members shared their thoughts on this year’s portfolio of entries, followed by a reel of the winning work below.

This year, the agency that picked up the most awards across all Marketing Awards categories was Cossette, with 46, though the most Gold “M” trophies went to Rethink, which won 11.

The full list of winners can be found on the Marketing Awards website.

Today’s announcement concludes the virtual Marketing Awards Week – but in case you missed it, here are the DesignMulticulturalCraft  and Advertising Part I winners that were revealed each day this week.