Worlds of creative talent came together for the 57th annual Clio Awards, September 28 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Attendees, honorees and the advertising community at large celebrated the year’s winning campaigns—from fashion and beauty to music and product design, these innovative and forward-thinking concepts were the stars of the night.
Beyond the outstanding work seen in the 11 Grand Clio awards, 2 Grand Clio Fashion & Beauty awards and 1 Grand Clio Music award, the event had extra allure from celebrity appearances, lively performances and quotes that are sure to be trending. Below are a few memorable moments from the action-packed event—from comedic co-hosts to acoustic guitar—that stole the show.
1. The red carpet is a veritable who’s who
Oh hello, Amber Valletta. Welcome, Kerry Kennedy. From models and human rights activists to CEOs, notable friends of the Clios walked the red carpet and ushered in the high-wattage energy of the evening.
2. Co-hosts Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman do classic Megan and Nick
The Clio Awards have a history of outstanding emcees, from Alec Baldwin to Whoopi Goldberg. So of course the audience was excited to spend the evening with one of the coolest couples around—and they did not disappoint.
“Today’s consumer is harder to reach than even Mt. Kilimanjaro,” the actors said, opening the show with a nod to the difficult road to the awards. But they began the evening’s ascent on a high note. It’s an age-old question: What is advertising? Megan and Nick got momentarily philosophical with their answer—it’s everything and nothing.
Dare we say these two are now official advertising insiders? Prior to the show, the duo got everyone up to speed on their Clio history by working with Funny or Die to humorously re-enact the infamous 1991 Clio Awards.
3. CFDA president Steven Kolb announces a new dream team
It’s what’s in style. Kolb took the stage to share the exciting news of Clio Fashion & Beauty’s partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) for 2017. “Some of the most visually arresting campaigns come out of the fashion industry,” he noted. (Read more about the new collaboration here.)
4. There’s something about Tom Ford
Accepting the Grand Clio for the digital presentation of Tom Ford’s Spring 2016 collection, Trey Laird of Laird + Partners summarized the secret of the campaign’s success: “Sometimes there are projects that really come together, and this was one of them,” he said. Backstage, Laird elaborated on harnessing the force that is now digital media: “I think Tom has always been fearless in trying new things. Throughout his career he always puts it out there.” Of course, it didn’t hurt that the project featured Lady Gaga, whom he called a “force of nature,” as well as the musical stylings of legendary record producer Nile Rodgers, who was on hand to celebrate the big win.
5. Mario Testino, Fashion & Beauty Lifetime Honoree, proves creativity is fun
How does a creative mind keep getting better and better, year after year? Tip No. 1: “He’s as fresh and as hungry and as talented as he was when he first got into the business 40 years ago,” Vanity Fair editor in chief Graydon Carter said as he introduced famed photographer and Clio honoree Mario Testino. Tip No. 2: “True artists create worlds that are theirs alone,” Carter added.
To introduce the glamorous and fun universe of Testino, a clever video—directed by Sophie Edelstein and featuring celebrity cameos from Kate Moss, Amber Valetta, Gigi Hadid and others—showed the audience the photographer’s playful nature he surely brings to his iconic pictures.
“I think we have an amazing industry—we see people from different countries. I feel beautiful with this award,” Testino said. Backstage, he elaborated on the humor he brought to the screen: “I think, the world is full of problems, so why not make people laugh a little.”
6. Clio kicks off its inaugural Product Design Grand
The new product design medium expands the world of creativity by highlighting
the craft and creation of new products. This year, the standout was Herman Miller and fuseproject’s “Public Office Landscape,” a workspace that harnesses the power of collaboration. Its goal? “To create inspiring designs to help people do great things… Our approach to design is to have a deferential spirit to the provocation design,” the team said.
“I’ve always felt that desks were designed for working and tables were designed for conversing and collaboration. Herman Miller and fuseproject for the first time successfully merged these two products, providing a solution that’s intuitive, flexible and beautiful,” Scott Clear, chief design and innovation officer at RKS Design and this year’s product design jury chair, told Clios.com prior to the show. “It’s going to thrive as a classic design for future decades, making it a timeless design. It is this quality that makes it worthy of the rare and highly coveted Grand Clio Award.”
7. Creative visionary Baz Luhrmann receives the 2016 Honorary Clio Award
How do you best summarize the creative visionary that is Baz Luhrmann? “His storytelling is a firework display… He’s a real Baz of all trades,” Nick Offerman said.
Working together with his wife and team over the years on projects including “The Get Down” with Grandmaster Flash, Luhrmann said, “We believe there is no difference between high and low. It’s this privilege of being in the business of ideas and story.”
8. Andra Day and Montell Jordan rock the stage and stir the crowd
Creative excellence comes by putting your heart and soul into your work, and singer Andra Day showed exactly how it’s done—she got down on her knees and kicked off her shoes during her moving performance of “I Want It All.” What could possibly follow that? Montell Jordan, who got the room in party mode with his Clios-friendly version of the hit “This Is How We Do It.” Both artists landed spots on the Billboard and Clio Music Commercials Charts powered by Shazam.
9. Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans highlights humanitarianism with his honorary Clio Music award
The Clio Awards came on the heels of September’s Global Citizen Festival in New York City, and the worldwide concert series, which brings awareness to the fight for human rights, “is helping to reframe what it means to live in a borderless world…it’s about ordinary human beings looking out for people across the planet,” said TED curator Chris Anderson, introducing the good works of honoree Hugh Evans. What’s the connection between good deeds and good tunes? “Activism, like music, comes from the heart.” Evans stated.
10. Music Marketing jury celebrates one powerful piece of Student work onstage
Although the Music Marketing jury chose not to award a Grand Clio in the medium this year, it wanted to recognize one piece of Student work that it found particularly powerful. “This student idea not only impressed us with its creativity but inspired us with its potential on behalf of the 360 million plus people around the world that are hearing impaired or deaf,” Music Marketing juror and head of global music at Coca-Cola Joe Belliotti said onstage of the Gold Clio Music award winning campaign “Silent Song.”
Art director Josephine Berntzen and copywriter Kaja Koppang of Westerdals Oslo School of Art, Communications and Technology were overwhelmed as they took the stage to accept the award. Said the students of the honor, “We care about the planet and we care about people… It is really humbling that our work is being recognized.”
11. Linda Kaplan Thaler receives this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award
Any of the poignant insight from Kaplan Thaler, this year’s Clio Awards Lifetime Achievement Recipient and former chairman of Publicis Kaplan Thaler, could easily go viral. “I want you to remember that you have this unbelievable power to change the world,” she encouraged the audience. Backstage, she further addressed being named the first-ever female recipient of the award: "I'm glad I hit my glass ceiling and I hope it's been shattered for good."
12. Gavin Rossdale and Bush rock the afterparty
The Clios only come once a year, so the celebration can’t stop once the last award is handed out. Clio Music presenter Gavin Rossdale, along with his band Bush, closed out the night by treating the audience to a live set.
View more highlights from the 2016 Clio Awards cocktail reception, ceremony and after-party here.