Colenso BBDO and DDB NZ lead the pack at the finalist stage of the 2020 Axis Awards

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Colenso BBDO and DDB NZ lead the pack at the finalist stage of the 2020 Axis Awards

With the preliminary round of judging completed at the end of last week, the Comms Council have today released the finalists who will all compete to put a new Axis trophy in the cabinet.


Colenso BBDO leads the pack with 109 finalists followed closely by DDB with 102. Clemenger BBDO Wellington has scored 70 finalists, whilst Special Group has 49. FCB NZ has picked up 37 finalists and Saatchi & Saatchi has 28. Stanley St. has secured 25 finalists followed closely by YoungShand with 24 finalists.

Other agencies with finalists in the single digits include TBWA, BCF Dentsu, Assembly, 99, Raydar, WiTH Collective, True, VMLY&R, Wave, Wunderman Thompson, NZME, House of Travel, Eyes + Ears, Federation, Freelance, Independent.

Sweetshop leads the production company pack with 27 finalists followed by Good Oil with 12, whilst FINCH and Scoundrel both have 9 apiece. Other companies that have made the cut are Liquid Studios, Flying Fish, Flux Animation, Alt.VFX, Film Construction, The Editors, Eight, Heckler, Thick As Thieves, Beatworms, Franklin Rd Music & Sound and Motion Sickness.

Around 474 entries make up the 2020 finalists from the 95 categories that have so far been judged. This year we are seeing great work coming from all areas of the industry, with the more traditional categories of direct, print, design and outdoor having a strong showing this year.

Clemenger BBDO Wellington’s ‘Belted Survivors’ campaign for NZTA has scored the most finalists with 32 shortlists.

Colenso BBDO and DDB NZ lead the pack at the finalist stage of the 2020 Axis Awards

Says Paul Head, CEO, Comms Council: “The amount of diverse work that has made it through to finalist should mean that there will be many celebrating at the Axis Awards Dinner this year. Our industry is always evolving and every year we face different challenges around categories and face new considerations at the judging round. This year was no different and the entire judging panel have done a great job with the huge number of entries. We congratulate everyone who made it on to this year’s finalist list and look forward to celebrating the ideas from the past year that will hopefully be remembered for another 40.”

Find out what’s worth “sellebrating” at the 40th Axis Awards on March 12 at SkyCity Convention Centre.

Tickets will be on sale from today. Go to the Comms Council website for tickets or email