The Clio Awards, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, has announced the shortlists for the year 2009. India has managed a total tally of nine shortlisted entries this year, with agencies such as Publicis Ambience, O&M, Leo Burnett and Contract figuring in the final tally. Publicis Ambience leads the pack with three shortlists, whereas the others have two each.
This tally, however, does not include the Radio shortlists, which are yet to be announced. Unfortunately, the number of shortlists from India has reduced to half the number it had last year - 18 in all.
The film, which took about six months to take shape, was also amongst the big budget films of 2008 - it was shot with a whopping budget of Rs 1.8 crore. A bank of 200 people - mainly dancers and 'malkhamb' performers - was put in place for this film.
The other two shortlists are for its work for Cancer Patients Aid Association in the Design - Single category and for Wespro Digital Cameras, titled Sports Capture, in the Innovative - Single category.
O&M has two shortlists to its credit. These are for its work for Corporate Chhattisgarh, titled Peace Initiative in the Poster - Campaign category and for IBM, titled Verb Dictionary, in the Print: Direct Mail - Single category. The latter has also won a bronze in the Direct - Dimensional Mail category in Goafest this year.
Leo Burnett continues to make headlines with its Luxor campaigns and this time it has managed shortlists in the Integrated - Single category for its work, titled Luxor Highlighters, on Luxor Highlighter Pens. In the Design - Single category, its work on Luxor Pre-Highlighted Stationary has been shortlisted.
Contract Advertising, too, has two shortlists to its credit. Its work on Aadhar Association, titled Family Name, has been shortlisted in the Poster - Single category. In 2008, this campaign won multiple awards such as a gold in the Press Lion category in Cannes 2008, a bronze in AdFest 2008, as well as a couple of Bullets in the YoungGuns Awards 2008, apart from featuring in the 2008 edition of The Work.
The other shortlist for the agency was for Design Sutra's work on Chocolate Box - Corporate Social Responsibility in the Design - Single category.
Most creative heads maintain that one of the main reasons why the number of entries have taken a dip, resulting in fewer number of shortlists, is the state of the industry and the troubled times being faced by the economy. The Clio Awards, being one of the most expensive awards, makes the decision even tougher when agencies are playing it safe.
A senior creative professional adds that an agency would rather save up and channel its efforts and monies towards awards such as the Cannes, One Show and D&AD.
"Last year was a particularly great year for Indian creativity, wherein we had a lot of integrated campaigns and work like Lead India and Luxor, but not so this year. Things have been a little lean on the creativity front," say Ashish Khazanchi and Prasanna Sankhe, national creative directors, Publicis Ambience.
As for jury members from India, this year only two have made it to the list, compared to four members in last year's panel. This year, Senthil Kumar, executive creative director, JWT India will judge the Radio category, whereas Ravi Deshpande, chairperson and chief creative officer, Contract Advertising, will judge the TV/Cinema/digital category.
The awards ceremony is scheduled to take place at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on May 12-14, with awards being given out for 13 categories.