The PHNX Winners Have Risen & Impact BBDO has shone out
Posted on 2020 Jul,09

It’s time to make a flap about the top performers in the year’s most unusual creative competition: The AdForum PHNX Tribute.

As lockdown descended in March, AdForum decided to look up – and what it saw was an opportunity to celebrate creativity in adversity with a one-off, free-to-enter online event.

So despite the current crisis, AdForum believes that our industry still needed to celebrate creativity, and that as a symbol of resilience and respect for our community, the best work of the last 12 months deserves to be seen and recognized. 

Three months later, the AdForum PHNX Tribute is a reality, with a list of Grand Prix, Gold, Silver and Bronze winners that were announced during a dynamic online event in partnership with the UK Advertising Export Group (UKAEG) and the International Advertising Association (IAA)-- A true celebration of creativity, as the PHNX aimed to be from the very start.

Taking part in the virtual Grand Prix panel debate were Valerie Madon, Chief Creative Officer Asia, VMLY&R; Harry Bernstein, Chief Creative Officer, Havas New York; Ali Rez, Regional Executive Creative Director, ME & Pakistan, BBDO Worldwide; Mónica Moro, Chief Creative Officer, McCann Madrid; and Bechara Mouzannar, Former CCO, Publicis Communications MEA. The panel was moderated by Nils Adriaans, Founding Partner of Morning + Glory, who was also on the jury.




The Grand Prix winners were:


  • FILM: Lacoste, “Crocodile Inside”, BETC, France


Ali Rez commented: “What they’ve done with the metaphor of being split apart and what it feels like when you break up – and the peace of coming together again – is really beautiful, and the craft is superb.”

Valerie Madon added: “The storytelling, the mood, the emotion – everything is on point with this film.”

Harry Bernstein pointed out: “This really feels like a movie – it doesn’t feel like a commercial.”

“Pure poetry,” summed up Bechara Mouzannar.


  • DIGITAL: Burger King, “Stevenage Challenge”, DAVID Madrid/DAVID Miami


The panellists agreed that this was an extremely strong category. Mónica Moro commented: “I think the idea of hacking a video game in such a smart way is very Burger King. It has that role of being the underdog.”

Ali Rez said: “It’s very intelligent – they used the digital world to achieve what they couldn’t in the real world. I was impressed by the bravery of going after the team that nobody wanted.”


  • STRATEGY: Burger King, Moldy Whopper, INGO Stockholm/DAVID Miami/Publicis


Bechara Mouzannar commented: “This campaign was shocking – positively shocking. I thought it was very daring.”

Mónica Moro described it as “strategically impeccable”.

Valerie Madon said: “The idea is rooted in the strategy – it challenges the idea that food has to look like beautiful wallpaper.”

There were no clear Grand Prix winners in the Print and Design categories. Overall there were 41 Gold winners, 97 Silver and 191 Bronze, from a total of 4,000 entries.


Winners from the Middle East are as follow:


- 'Violence Cover' for Internal Security Forces / Abaad by Impact BBDO Dubai: Bronze - Best use of Sound (Film); Bronze - Best use of Music (Film);

- 'The New National Anthem Edition' for An Nahar Newspaper by Impact BBDO Dubai: Bronze - Press (Print); Silver - Copywriting & storytelling (STRATEGY & TECHNIQUE); Silver - Public Relations (STRATEGY & TECHNIQUE); Bronze -Direct marketing (STRATEGY & TECHNIQUE); Silver - Branded content (STRATEGY & TECHNIQUE); Bronze - Integrated (STRATEGY & TECHNIQUE); Silver - Publication Design (DESIGN);

- 'Close The Gap' for Fifty Fifty Lebanon by Impact BBDO Dubai: Bronze - Press (Print); Bronze - Copywriting & storytelling (STRATEGY & TECHNIQUE); Bronze - Awareness (STRATEGY & TECHNIQUE); Bronze - Online advertising (banners, pop-ups etc.) (DIGITAL);

- 'Hidden Allergy' for Novomed by Impact BBDO Dubai: Silver - Advertising Photography (Print);

- 'Hunger Insurance' for Snickers by Impact BBDO Dubai: Bronze - Online advertising (banners, pop-ups etc.) (DIGITAL);


- 'Secure your account' for Emirates NBD by Leo Burnett MENA: Gold - Best use of music (Film);

- 'McDonald's Star Hunt' for McDonald's by Leo Burnett Riyadh: Silver - Online advertising (banners, pop-ups etc.) (DIGITAL);


- 'Astronomical Sales' for Mastercard by FP7 McCann Dubai: Bronze - Brand Activation (STRATEGY & TECHNIQUE); Bronze - Websites & mobile sites (DIGITAL); Gold - Online advertising (banners, pop-ups etc.) (DIGITAL);


- 'Planet or Plastic' for National Geographic by Saatchi & Saatchi Dubai + Square Pixel: Bronze - Press (Print); Silver - Print Craft (Print); Silver - Graphic Design (DESIGN); Silver - Publication Design (DESIGN);



- 'Endangered Species' for Splash by The Classic Partnership: Silver - Advertising Photography (Print); Bronze - Publication Design (DESIGN);


- 'Smile strong' for Colgate by VMLY&R Dubai: Silver - Advertising Photography (Print);


- 'Give Youtube a break' for KitKat by Publicis Middle East: Bronze - Online advertising (banners, pop-ups etc.) (DIGITAL);


Out of the 35 countries that won awards, the one with the most prizes was the United States with 52 prizes, including 10 Golds; followed by the United Kingdom with 37 awards and 5 Golds. Also successful were the United Arab Emirates (29 awards), Argentina (22) and Brazil (19).

The most awarded agency was Impact BBDO Dubai with 10 Bronzes and 5 Silvers, but no Golds. The most awarded networks were BBDO and Ogilvy, who got 32 prizes each, followed by McCann with 29, Havas (including BETC) with 24 and DDB with 20.

The jury was a uniquely diverse gathering of creatives, strategists, consultants and journalists – a total of more than 430 people from 60 countries, making it possibly the most diverse gathering of talents for any creative jury to date. Together, they voted on almost 4,000 entries from 62 countries and gave over 270,000 scores, which amounted to more than 2,800 hours of voting – or 117 days. Surely an awards show record!

The biggest participants were the United States and Spain, followed by Colombia and Brazil, but there was also entries from as far as Peru, Sudan and the Côte d’Ivoire. And of course the Middle East was significantly represented.

The online ceremony was preceded by an afternoon of inspiration from speakers including Trevor Robinson, Founder and Creative Director of Quiet Storm, Bas Korsten, Global CCO of Wunderman Thompson, and Advertising Association President Keith Weed.

AdForum CEO Philippe Paget, said: “Congratulations to all the winners and of course a huge thank you to everyone who entered. You rose to the occasion. I’d also like to thank our jury, of course, and the Grand Prix panel. I’m hugely grateful to the UK Advertising Export Group, which became a valued partner in the event. As intended from the start, the AdForum PHNX Tribute showed that creativity grows even stronger in a crisis. Perhaps the PHNX will rise again one day in the future.”

The AdForum PHNX Tribute was designed to lift the spirits of the industry and put creativity back in the spotlight – where it belongs. And we can easily say that this objective was duly met.

Find the full results here