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The clever theatrical release campaign for Universal’s Ted, Seth MacFarlane‘s raunchy comedy about a guy and his teddy bear, took the grand key art award at the 41st Annual Hollywood Reporter Key Art Awards, held Wednesday night at the Cineramadome.
Warner Bros.’s The Dark Knight Rises was also a big winner, taking the gold key art award for its integrated campaign and another gold in the print category, for its eye-catching dimensional billboards and one-sheet teaser poster.
The Hollywood Reporter‘s Key Art Awards are the entertainment industry’s most recognized awards for advertising and communications. Shaped like golden klieg lights, the awards are chosen by a jury of close to 60 industry experts, and are presented in categories such as audio/visual, digital, packaging, display, print, innovative media and integrated — the last of which consisting of a mininum of three promotions in at least three different media. Entries first appearing in public between June 1, 2011 and Aug. 31, 2012, were eligible for consideration.
Jury heads this year include mOcean president Michael McIntyre, Indika Entertainment Advertising principal James Verdesoto, bpg’s interactive evp Andy Robbins, OnDisplay Creative owner Darren McClure, and executive vice president of marketing for Warner Bros. Pictures Worldwide, Blair Rich.
The first ever Saul Bass Award — inspired by the late graphic designer Saul Bass, whose bold, minimalist posters and title sequences have become the stuff of Hollywood legend — was presented to Dawn Baillie. The award, which recognizes “iconic and influential style,” went to the BLT Communications co-founder for her work creating some of film’s most iconic designs, including the promotional imagery for The Silence of the Lambs, Natural Born Killers, Chicago and The Royal Tenenbaums.
“This is an amazing recognition,” Baillie said as she accepted her award. “Saul Bass was a legend whose success was the result of hard work and pure genius. He set the extremely high standard that many of us strive to reach.”
Leading entertainment photographer Frank W. Ockenfels 3 was named this year’s Honorary Key Art Award recipient. It was an award introduced by none other than Jon Hamm, whom Ockenfels photographed for several of Mad Men’s captivating print campaigns — including the arresting image of Don Draper submerged in water behind his desk.
“So many nerds,” a hoarse Hamm deadpanned as he surveyed the audience, apologizing for his strained voice by joking, “I’m super high.” (The real reason was his vocal nodules, which were acting up on Wednesday evening.) The Mad Men star then offered a humorous and heartfelt tribute to Ockenfels, an industry veteran who has shot movie posters for The Social Network, Men in Black 3, The Amazing Spiderman and the Harry Potter series, among countless others. Ockenfels returned the kind words by calling Hamm one of his “favorite muses.”
“The work of Dawn Baillie and Frank W. Ockenfels 3 exemplifies the key role that original and inspired imagery plays in keeping millions of fans connected to the entertainment industry,” says Janice Min, editorial director, The Hollywood Reporter. “We are proud to present Dawn with the first ever Saul Bass Award and to name Frank this year’s Honorary Key Art Award Recipient.”
Gold winners in audio/visual include Michael Fassbender sex-addict drama Shame for its provocative red band trailer and the exciting teaser for Warner Bros. upcoming Superman reboot, Man of Steel. Digital gold went to Prometheus for its viral “Weyland Industries” website and The Hunger Games for social media. Print gold was awarded to Mad Men for its season 5 one-sheet and Puss in Boots 3D‘s motion poster, in addition to Dark Knight‘s two print awards.
Pirates of the Caribbean 4 took a gold in the display category for its “Queen Anne’s Revenge Pirate Ship,” as did Disney/Pixar’s Brave for its various theatrical marketing elements. Gold for innovative media went both to Prometheus for its cutting-edge and hugely engaging integrated campaign and History’s Vietnam in HD, for its “Call for Photos” project to amass a photograph of every fallen soldier etched into the Vietnam Memorial Wall.
Meanwhile, Greg Proops served as emcee of the night and kept the audience — among whom sat Sex and the City star Kristin Davis — in stitches.
“The truth is most of you spend most of your day working behind a computer screen working away just to entertain us with your own dazzling creativity, and you receive little if any award,” Proops told the crowd at the start of the show, adding, “Tonight is your night, all y’all.”
Lynne Segall, Senior Vice President and Publisher of The Hollywood Reporter, closed out the ceremony by offering thanks to the jury, adding, “We really appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedules.” Segall also paid special thanks to the Clio Awards, who have teamed with THR since 2011 to produce the Key Art Awards.
Guests then walked down Sunset Blvd. to Boulevard 3, where they dined on hors d’oeuvres, sipped on “gold margaritas,” “silver appletinis” and “bronze cognacs,” and danced the night away in honor of the 2012 Key Art Awards’ big winners.
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