Ad Stars Announces 2021 Finalists

Ad Stars 2021 has announced this year’s finalists with Japan, Australia, Thailand, China, and Korea scoring the highest number of finalists at the Ad Stars 2021 Awards. Overall, 1,726 finalists from 54 countries made the shortlist, which equates to approximately 9% of total entries.

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 27 August on the final day of the Ad Stars Online Festival, which runs from 25 – 27 August.

“The Brand Experience & Activation category is more important than ever before, with a rise in entries of 30% over the past five years. It has been difficult to go out and communicate in person face-to-face due to the pandemic, so we saw many innovative campaigns that use technologies like AR and VR to solve the problem,” says Chloe Moon, Head of Awards at AD STARS.


Mariana Albuquerque, Global Creative Director at MediaMonks/Circus in Brazil, judged the Film categories: “It was amazing to see the diversity of films produced all over the globe, but especially Asia. What stood out to me was the quality of animation in the film category, and films that were entertaining, instead of a manifesto.”

Gustavo Nardini, Creative Director at FOUNDRY Berlin, said: “Amidst the chaos and uncertainty that took over the whole world since last year, the work presented this year showed me how creativity is still our best weapon against anything we face. What would I love to see less of next year? Less corona-related entries – that would mean this is finally behind us.”

The agency networks with the highest number of finalists are: Dentsu (112 finalists); Ogilvy (108 finalists); BBDO Worldwide (78 finalists); Cheil (72 finalists) and Leo Burnett (66 finalists).

Top 5 Finalists By Country

Dentsu Inc. / Dentsu Craft Tokyo / Dentsu Digital / Dentsu Isobar Inc. / Dentsu Kyushu / Dentsu West Japan – 76 finalists
Wieden + Kennedy Tokyo – 16 finalists
AKQA Japan and McCann Health Japan – 11 finalists each
Enjin Tokyo, TBWA Hakuhodo and SIX INC. – 9 finalists each


Ogilvy Australia – 34 finalists
GoodOil – 20 finalists
DDB Sydhey – 19 finalists
Thinkerbell – 16 finalists
Deloitte Australia – 12 finalists

Wunderman Thompson Thailand – 29 finalists
Ogilvy Group Thailand – 20 finalists
BBDO Bangkok – 19 finalists
GREYnJ United – 14 finalists
Leo Burnett Group Thailand – 9 finalists

Tencent – 18 finalists
TBWA\China – 16 finalists
inyoung – 12 finalists
F5 Shanghai – 8 finalists
The Nine – 7 finalists

Cheil Worldwide – 32 finalists
Innocean Worldwide – 14 finalists
DminusOne and HS AD – 13 finalists
SK Telecom – 8 finalists
Daehong Communications & IDEOT – 6 finalists

Completing the top 10 countries with the highest number of finalists are:
Philippines – 96 finalists
United Arab Emirates – 87 finalists
Brazil – 61 finalists
Indonesia – 59 finalists
Singapore – 58 finalists

Regarding the top 5 categories, there are 205 finalists in Film; 173 finalists in Design; 124 finalists in Print; 98 finalists in Brand Experience & Activation; and 88 Interactive finalists. There are also 55 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 2,920 entries, there are 151 finalists.

All shortlisted entries will now proceed to the Final Judging stage. Winners will be announced online on 27 August. View the complete shortlist here.


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