Ad Stars 2020 Announces Finalists Led by Australia, South Korea & Japan

South Korea’s Ad Stars has revealed finalists for the 2020 awards. 1,651 finalists were chosen from a total of 20,028 entries from 60 countries with all shortlisted entries now in the running to win two Grand Prix of the Year trophies and a cheque for US$10,000. Winners will be announced online on September 7.

The following countries received the highest number of finalists:

  • Australia – 203 finalists
  • Korea – 201 finalists
  • Japan – 169 finalists
  • United Arab Emirates – 153 finalists
  • Thailand – 104 finalists
  • Philippines – 85 finalists
  • Singapore – 71 finalists
  • New Zealand – 68 finalists
  • Malaysia – 64 finalists
  • China – 56 finalists
  • United States – 55 finalists
  • India – 55 finalists
  • Brazil – 51 finalists 

“It was impressive to see the high standard of production in many of the film entries that have been produced remotely this year due to COVID-19. It just goes to show that a pandemic doesn’t get in the way of creativity,” says Kim Ellison, Creative Director at Stanley St, New Zealand, and a judge of AD STARS 2020.


The agency networks with the highest number of finalists are BBDO Worldwide (155 finalists); Ogilvy (127 finalists); Dentsu Inc. (113 finalists); McCann Worldgroup (60 finalists) and Grey Group (55 finalists).

“Whether the projects were more or less commercial, more or less with a social cause at heart, the common thread is the burning desire to make an impact,” said Frederico Roberto, Executive Creative Director at Interweave in London, judged the Direct and PR categories.

“And this is something that is not bound to just one country’s work or even a region. AD STARS has a broad reach and significance: from Iran to Indonesia, I saw work that truly elevates the human spirit through the craft of stories and messages that will surely be part of everyone’s day to day. Inspirational, to say the least!”

Most awarded agencies in the countries with the highest number of finalists



M&C Saatchi Sydney – 21 finalists

VMLY&R – 20 finalists

Clemenger BBDO Sydney – 19 finalists

Ogilvy Australia – 18 finalists

whiteGREY – 16 finalists


Innocean Worldwide – 30 finalists

Cheil Worldwide – 27 finalists

Serviceplan Korea – 10 finalists

HSAd – 8 finalists

DminusOne – 7 finalists


Dentsu Inc. / Dentsu Creative X Inc. / Dentsu West Japan – 85 finalists

Hakuhodo / Hakuhodo Kettle – 17 finalists

Geometry Ogilvy Japan – 8 finalists

Google – 7 finalists

ENJIN TOKYO  – 7 finalists


Impact BBDO – 70 finalists

McCann Worldgroup MENA – 29 finalists

Wunderman Thompson – 18 finalists

Geometry MENA – 15 finalists

The Classic Partnership Advertising – 7 finalists


WPP Marketing Communications (Thailand) – 24 finalists

CJ WORX – 12 finalists

Ogilvy Group Thailand – 12 finalists

The SOUR Bangkok Co., Ltd. – 11 finalists

GREYnJ UNITED – 9 finalists

By category, there are 349 finalists in Film and Video Stars; 185 finalists in Design and Print; 397 finalists in Diverse Insights, Outdoor, PSA, Pivot, Place Brand, Radio & Audio; 260 finalists in Interactive, Integrated, Innovation, Mobile, Data Insights, Social & Influencer; and 299 finalists in Brand Experience & Activation, Creative eCommerce, Direct, Media, PR. There are also 54 finalists in the Pivot category for work created in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

AD STARS offers a category for Non-Professionals to encourage students and non-professionals with a passion for commercial creativity to further their careers. From 1,651 finalists, there are 161 finalists who are Non-Professionals.

All shortlisted entries are now in the running to win two Grand Prix of the Year trophies and a cheque for US$10,000. Winners will be announced online on September 7. View the complete shortlist here.

Bobby McGill

Bobby McGill

Bobby is the founder and publisher of Branding in Asia.

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