BMW's innovative campaign featured a series of action-packed, big-budget episodes, which were broadcast on the web (www.bmwfilms.com). They featured a hired driver getting into all kinds of scrapes with various passengers, who included Madonna, Forrest Whitaker, Mickey Rourke and Stellan Skarsgard. The campaign proved to be incredibly successful and gained acres of press coverage around the world, not least for its star-studded cast and directors, who included Ang Lee, Guy Ritchie and Wong Kar Wai.
The industry has been hailing 'branded content' as the future of advertising for some time, and many regard 'The Hire' campaign as the first successful example.
The awards were judged by 20 creatives from around the globe. Other winners included BMP DDB for The Guardian, Hakuhodo, Tokyo for their Coca-Cola work and The Concept Farm for their work with The History Channel. Also scooping Golds were Saatchi & Saatchi's London and California offices for their Toyota TV work; Agulla & Baccetti, Buenos Aires for its HSB ads; and BBH, London for its Lev'is Odyssey work.
Here we present our selection of the winners.