Mainland advertising firms took more than half of this year's 112 Kam Fan awards handed out by the Hong Kong Association of Accredited Advertising Agents, with their 'grass roots' approach captivating the judges. The industry's grand prix event saw the top prize for the most outstanding single advertisement out of 33 categories go to J Walter Thomson Shanghai's (JWT Shanghai) Nike Suzhou 2008 cycling Olympics campaign. JWT Shanghai was also the biggest winner on the night, scooping up a total of 42 awards, including eight golds, two of which also came for sporting themes - the Nike Suzhou China High School Basketball League and Nike Beijing Marathon campaign. Leo Burnett Shanghai, last year's major winner, took home 11 awards, the most outstanding of which was for the New Oriental Language School campaign. In all, mainland agencies won 72 awards. This year the number of mainland entries accounted for 35 per cent of the total, compared with 15 per cent in 2004. 'New blood in the China advertising industry being hungry for success contributed to this year's outstanding performances,' said Lo Sheung-yan, executive creative director for JWT Northeast Asia, after Friday's ceremony. 'Our team's success comes from talking to the audience,' said Mr Lo, adding that this 'understanding of the market and local culture' was a constant idea of mainland entries. He said the winning formula of Nike campaigns was the adoption of grass roots themes. 'The creativity of mainland entries is improving and the advertising people in China are showing their passion through their entries,' said Shaun Branagan, executive creative director of Publicis Hong Kong. He said that due to the economic downturn in Hong Kong in previous years, both advertisers and agencies had become more conservative. 'Hong Kong advertising people need to inject more passion into their creative work and should be more aggressive,' Mr Branagan said. However, the local agencies scored well in the television and cinema commercial category with McCann Erickson (HK)'s Cathay Pacific people and service campaign winning three awards. Chan Tsang Wong Chu and Mee Advertising Firm's KMB passengers rule campaign won a silver award in the transportation sub-category.