Having been both a category judge of The Beacons and an extremely happy recipient of metal many times over the last 10 years, I know first-hand how bloody hard they are to win.

To be a finalist is exceptional and to win gold is exponentially harder than that, so hats off to all of the successes on the night.

What we saw in 2018 was more diversity across the categories; often in the past one amazing campaign has swept the board but last week multiple brands got to take home a coveted ‘Beacon’.

Diversity as a topic also won big, with Westpac’s inequality Issue picking up Best in Show. It would be easy to merely put this down to diversity being the cause du jour, but I loved the simplicity and impact of this campaign in a medium where cut through is hard to attain. Westpac highlighted that only 29% of leadership positions are held by women by partnering with the NZ Herald to remove all but 29% of the content and advertising in the business section and on the front page. Clever.

Once again public service campaigns grabbed the judges’ imagination. The Swim Reaper from Water Safety NZ dramatised the thoughtless ways youngsters behave at swimming spots across the country. They did this with a very comedic grim reaper figure who garnered huge social media support because of his humorous messages. This is his Insta bio:

Swim Reaper

Public Service campaigns are often attention grabbing and creative because they have limited budgets, and clients know they have to be emotive to prompt behaviour change; in this case with humour. A lesson for all of us?

- Emma Bolser, Managing Partner/Head of Media, ContagionM