We Are Unlimited, Energy BBDO among Webby noms


Chicago’s We Are Unlimited, FCB, Onion Labs and Energy BBDO are among the ad agency and post-production companies nominated for this year’s Webby Awards, the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences announced today.

The Webbys were established in 1996, when most people thought of the web as something Spider-man shot from his wrists.

The nominees are selected by a 2000+ member judging body comprised of Executive Members (leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities) and Associate Members who are former Webby Winners, Nominees and other Internet professionals.

This year’s Academy judges include Jimmy Kimmel, Instagram’s Eva Chen, and Playmatics CEO Margaret Wallace among others.

Advertising Academy judges including Alyson Warshaw (Laundry Service), Levi Slavin (Colenso BBDO), Lisa Sherman (The Ad Council), Susan Credle (FCB), Attica Alexis Jaques(Under Armour), Winston Binch (Deutsch), Colleen DeCourcy (Wieden+Kennedy), and Andy Goldberg (GE) select the Webby Winners each year.

“As the lines between advertising and branded content continue to blur, our Advertising, Media & PR Nominees have raised the bar yet again, bringing an incredible amount of ingenuity, cleverness, and authenticity to the industry this year,” said Claire Graves, Executive Director of The Webby Awards in a statement. “We are honored to recognize the inspiring contributions of all our Nominees and celebrate their many talented achievements.”

The Webby Awards shattered records this year, receiving more than 13,000 entries from all 50 states and 70 countries worldwide. From the thousands of global entries submitted, fewer than 10% were selected as nominees.

ALSO READ: FCB’s Credle to chair 2018 AICP Next panel

For the 22nd annual awards, We Are Unlimited’s “Szechuan Sauce Returns” campaign for McDonald’s finds itself nominated in two categories – Best Real Time Response Campaign and Best Use of Earned Media. Here, animated characters Rick and Morty demand McDonald’s to bring back the tasty condiment for Chicken McNuggets dipping.


The FCB Chicago team earned one nomination in the Best Influencer Endorsement for their work on “The Biggest Sports Endorsement Deal of All Time” for Archer.


Energy BBDO’s powerful campaign for Opiods, which we covered here in The Reel, has been nominated and honored as well. “Prescribed to Death” has been nominated for Best Cause Related Campaign while the same creative is being honored in the Public Service and Activism Category. “Hope is Tougher” will be honored in the Best Cause Related Campaign category.


Onion Labs has been recognized as finalists in the Best Copywriting category for their Ace Hardware work. The team will also be recognized as an “Honoree Entry” in the category for Best Use of Video or Moving Image for their work with BMO Harris Bank.



Minneapolis creative powershop Colle McVoy has also been nominated in the Public Service and Activism Category for their touching and memorable “Parents Coming Out” campaign.


Los Angeles Shops fare well in nominations

A number of SoCal agencies and post-houses were also nominated for the coveted Webby. 180LA finds itself nominated in three categories – Best Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign and Best Cause Related Campaign for “Boost Your Voice.” It also secured a nomination in the Best Use of Mobile Media Campaign for Expedia “Visit Britain: The Only Place You Need To Go.”

72andSunny and Furlined both earned a nomination in the Best Art Direction category for “Google: Year in Search 2017” and Apple’s “Barbershop.”


Mistress will be competing against We Are Unlimited and three other agencies in the Real Time Response Category for their, “LA Welcomes Everyone in Real Time.” The agency was also nominated in the Best Use of Social Media category for “#Their Words: Not Ours.”

Post-house The Mill also fared well scoring two nominations in the Best Use of Animation and Graphics category for Monster.com’s “Opportunity Roars” and Playstation VR’s “Skyrim: Claws.” The company also earned a nomination in Augmented Reality category for Stranger Things on Facebook.

Other LA agencies include Deutsch for Taco Bell’s Test Kitchen and Walton Isaacson for Spaulding.


Late Night with Seth Meyers writer and comedian Amber Ruffin is set to host the star-studded awards ceremony taking place at Cipriani Wall Street in New York on May 14.

Ruffin tapped to host

Ruffin is known for her regular segments on Late Night including “Amber Says What?” and “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell.” She became the first Black woman to write for a late-night network talk show in the United States. She has also written for Comedy Central’s Detroiters and is a regular narrator on Drunk History. Ruffin is currently working on a new version of the Broadway musical The Wiz that will premiere this summer at The MUNY in St. Louis.

Winners will be announced on Tuesday, April 28, 2018. Fans can watch the full awards show and all the show highlights, including special performances and hallmark 5-Word Speeches from the night’s big Winners, the next morning, on Tuesday, May 15 at webbyawards.com and on the Webby Awards video channel. For a complete list of nominees, click here.

Contact Colin Costello at colin@reelchicago.com or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.