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The cream of the entertainment advertising and communications industry thronged into Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre on Thursday night for the Key Art Awards, the community’s Oscar equivalent. The event was hosted by Carol Leifer, who earned two Emmy nominations for writing for the Oscars. The awards are presented by The Hollywood Reporter and the Clio Awards.
Zack Snyder gave a special award to composer Hans Zimmer, who said, “My daughter … it’s all for her.” The three top Grand Key Art Awards went to Universal Pictures’ ingeniously elaborate Despicable Me 2 integrated campaign, 30Sixty Advertising’s sumptuous Blu-ray and DVD packaging for Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection, and Industry Creative’s teaser for The Wolf of Wall Street, which was a tease indeed, since it’s still unclear when the film will be released and the highly effective teaser intensified many viewers’ wish that Martin Scorsese would finish it already.
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BLT Communications won an impressive three Gold Awards, for Zero Dark Thirty and The Wolverine teasers and the motion poster for The Croods (shared with A/V, Inc.). Tomy Advertising took two Golds, for two standees that don’t just stand there: Despicable Me 2‘s Spectacular Interactive Motorized Standee with Custom Motion, Light and Sound and Ender’s Game‘s Multi-Dimensional Standee with Spectacular Motion and Lights.
Many of the Gold winners illuminated new directions in entertainment advertising. In the Experiential/Engagement category, Golds went to FX Networks’ American Horror Story Asylum: Get Committed (American Horror Story also worked scary magic for Percival and Associates, who won a Gold for a haunting one-sheet) and Turner Entertainment Networks’ Occupy Conan, one of whose makers credited sponsor Volkswagen for letting the Conan team get riskily experimental. “They kind of just dived in and thought the fans would find us, and they did,” said the Turner winner. “I’d like to thank the fans for all your creativity and strangeness.”
Occupy Conan also scored in the Innovative Media category — new this year — as did The Ant Farm’s imaginative work for Activision Presents Call of Duty and The Branding Farm’s feat of inserting the Minions from Despicable Me 2 all over the Internet, in places where you least expect their mischief.
VIDEO: ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ Trailer
Netflix, which has made mischief (and untold millions) by challenging the TV status quo, won a Gold Key Art Award along with Ignition for their Arrested Development campaign, which used both high-tech promotion and actual frozen banana stands popping up around America.
In the Audio/Visual Technique category, Buddha Jones mined gold from a project called Load of Shit for Ninja Gaiden Z. Accepting the award, a Buddha Jones winner noted, “You work all day for Gravity and then you win for Team Ninja.” Audio/Visual Technique’s five other Gold winners were: History’s The Bible tease, Jennifer Horvath‘s Man of Steel music, Transit’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty music, AV Squad’s 42 music, and mOcean’s sound design for Evil Dead.
The packaging category was almost as Gold-heavy, with five winners: The Refinery, Neuron Syndicate, Lionsgate, 30Sixty and GNAH Studios, whose name inspired several “Gnah” gags by Leifer and others.
Iron Man 2 star Clark Gregg gave a smart tribute to Stan Lee, Zimmer’s fellow Key Art Honoree. “Beyond the extraordinary powers and interdimensional conflicts of Stan’s characters, it’s the frailty and everyday crises with which we all can identify that has so endeared them to the whole world, in comic books, television, video games, pajamas and the next 100 mediums they have yet to invent,” said Gregg.
PHOTOS: The 2012 Hollywood Reporter Key Art Awards in Pictures
“Stan’s legendary heroes and villains are still recognizable in the way they’re portrayed today. Their muscles and budgets may be bigger, but they still retain that trademark Stan Lee pluck and humanity, and I would be remiss not to also mention the man’s moxie-influenced voice, as well as cameo appearances without which movies like Spider-Man, Iron Man and The Avengers would’ve been terrible failures,” Gregg said.
Lee said, “To receive an honor that Hans Zimmer got — I am incredibly flattered.”
“Thank you, everybody,” said host Leifer. “Now go make bad decisions at the afterparty.”
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