Starcom, MediaCom and Madison Media win at the Festival of Media

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Planning & Buying | April 24, 2009
The three agencies from India won one award each for their respective works on P&G, Gillette and BBC World Service Trust

The Festival of Media Awards, which was held in Valencia, Spain on April 19-21, has announced the winners. From India, Starcom MediaVest, MediaCom and Madison Media have secured places in the winners list.

The Starcom MediaVest Group picked up the award for the Effectiveness category for its work on how rural India grew to love Tide and Head & Shoulders. The campaign was executed by Xpanse Asia, the rural marketing arm of Starcom. The Effectiveness Award is given to the campaign that delivered the most value to the client.

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In this case, the brand owner, Procter & Gamble, wanted to increase penetration of the hygiene essentials of shampoo and detergent in the villages. P&G created a character the women could trust, called Sangeeta Bhabhi, who was positioned as an educated sister-in-law from a nearby village. A group of people, armed with a kit that included games, signage and product, went to the villages engaging rural homemakers group by group.

MediaCom got the Peoples Award for its work on Gillette Mach3, which was called India Votes: To shave or not. In this case, the challenge facing Gillette was that although Gillette Mach3 was liked as a product, Indian men found shaving to be a chore and hence did not prefer to buy this product as it is more expensive than regular razors. To tackle this, Gillette, armed by a research done by AC Neilsen, started a national debate on whether clean shaven men were more successful or whether the nation preferred clean shaven celebrities.

Madison Media picked up the Peoples Award for its work on BBC World Service Trust's Condom campaign for the Best Communication Strategy category. For this particular campaign, the problem was that anything associated with sex is taboo in public and the word condom connotes negative associations. The aim was to get people to say the word 'condom' aloud in public, without taboo, and make them comfortable with the use of the word.

Starcom MediaVest Group was named the Media Agency Network of the Year, while Mindshare and MediaCom were the runners up.

The Festival of Media is in its third year and aims to recognise creative use of media and effectiveness, as well as media owner innovations. Entries are accepted in 29 categories (19 Campaign categories and 10 Media Vendor categories). The Campaign categories include awards for Best Communications/Entertainment Platform, Best Communications Strategy, Consumer Benefit / Advertising as Service Award and Best Research / Insight. The Media Vendor categories include awards for Newspaper of the Year, Magazine of the Year and TV Broadcaster of the Year, among others.