Bozell Wins Top Athena Award

By: Lucia Moses

This year’s Athena Awards for creativity in newspaper ads honored not just newspapers as an advertising medium but the medium itself. The $100,000 grand prize went to Bozell New York for the brand ads it created for The New York Times after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks last year.

The five ads, which ran in November and December, adapted Norman Rockwell paintings with references to the attacks. Designed to show the paper’s value in explaining world events, the ads carried the tagline “Make Sense of Our Times” and employed the somber tone used by many marketers anxious to avoid appearing to exploit the attacks.

The Times bought licensing rights from the Rockwell estate for an undisclosed amount to alter and use his paintings. The ads by Bozell, its longtime agency, ran on the back page of the Times‘ otherwise ad-free “A Nation Challenged” section and elsewhere in the paper.

The Bozell and other Athena award-winning ads were presented Wednesday evening in New York by the Newspaper Association of America and affiliate Newspaper National Network.

The other cash prize, the $5,000 student grand prize, went to two students at the Miami Ad School for a G.I. Joe ad that pitted the toy soldier against cuddly dolls.

All 27 award winners will be displayed in New York until Oct. 2, then shown around the country in a traveling exhibit, a first for the Athena winners.

A complete list of finalists is available at http://www.naa.org/artpage.cfm?AID=4390&SID=1.

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