It’s a fraternity which loves surprises. And the thousand-and-a-half-odd members of India’s advertising and marketing industry witnessed just that on Friday evening.
The large contingent from Ogilvy & Mather India has made a habit out of winning big at the award events it participates in. But the crew from Lowe Lintas ensured that the adlanders in black (as Ogilvy staffers always turn up at trade events) don’t experience their fifth consecutive win at the Effie, the annual advertising effectiveness awards conducted by the Advertising Club.
Lowe won the coveted Effie Agency of the Year 2013 outwitting Ogilvy & Mather by just 35 points in the final tally.
“This is one night of fun and party for 2,500 bucks. We can’t have a cheaper party than this,” chuckled R Balki, chairman and chief creative officer at Lowe Lintas, while celebrating his team’s victory.
But it’s not that Pandey’s O&M cut a sorry figure. Other than scoring 130 points as compared to Lowe’s 165, Ogilvy also secured the Grand Effie for its Lifebuoy Roti campaign for Hindustan Unilever. Said Pandey who is executive chairman and creative director, South Asia, of the agency: “We have come first so many times and it feels great that Lowe is enjoying their win. Of course, being second is not a great feeling. You need to try harder.” The Aadat campaign for Cadbury’s Bournvita and the Ear Muffs activation and Made for You campaign for Vodafone helped Ogilvy win its three golds.
The other three agencies in the Top 5 were McCann Worldgroup, JWT and Publicis Communications at 60, 40 and 35 points respectively. Nakul Chopra, CEO, South Asia, Publicis, admitted his agency could have done better but he’s bullish on the year ahead.
“I am not happy and I think the kind of work that we will do in 2014 is what I am excited about. I think in the years to come, Publicis is going to be a brand which will be known for quality work.”
From the client side, Hindustan Lever bagged the ‘Effie Client of the year’ after the total points came to 95. The campaigns for its brands Kissan and Lifebuoy were clear favourites of both the jury and the crowd at the awards. “Well, I think these awards are for effectiveness and we are quite delighted and proud to have received these awards,” said Hemant Bakshi, executive director, home & personal care, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) and chairman of the Indian Society of Advertisers or ISA.
Cadbury India which emerged the Client of the Year in 2011 and 2012 came second with 55 points. “It is always a joy to win a few awards because it is recognition by the industry of the work that we have done,” said V Chandrmouli, executive director, chocolates and biscuits, Cadbury India.
“Over the last few years, we have been getting recognition which pushes us to do better work.”
Siddhartha Mukherjee, director, chocolate category & media, said, “We have had a long-standing partnership with our agencies like Contract and Ogilvy who have produced excellent work over the years. And to get any award is a great reward to that partnership.”
This year, the number of entries leapfrogged 20% to 419 from 52 agencies, while 1,200 tickets were sold for the awards night.
Ajay Kakar, chief marketing officer, financial services, Aditya Birla Group, and chairperson of the Effie 2013 committee, said: “Effie has grown in participation in stature and respect which is gratifying. This is an awards show which is beyond question and controversy. Both agency and client happily participate at various stages.”
Underscoring the role of the advertising effectiveness awards, K V Sridhar, chief creative officer, India subcontinent, Leo Burnett, said: “Creativity will not matter without effectiveness and effectiveness doesn’t exist without creativity. The combination is what really works. This is why, Effie is the most coveted award in India. Also, the fact is that there are no controversies attached to it.”