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Effies 2009: Recessions result in new ideas

By Savia Jane Pinto , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | December 16, 2009
The Economic Times launched the 'Power of Ideas' campaign bang in the middle of economic turmoil, with the objective of tapping the hidden and latent talent in the country

The world was hit with its worst news when in October 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. The world and its economies were not spared by the ripple effect that this created. It was, however, only the strong hearted who chose to make the most of the mess.

Towards the end of 2008, The Economic Times announced its consumer initiative, called 'Power of Ideas'. The crux of the campaign was to inspire enterprising thought, by epitomising the strength of ideas. Mudra was brought in to create the advertising for this initiative. With a largely print led campaign, Mudra created the initial buzz that was necessary to announce the contest. Television ads, too, were released on a timely basis.

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The initiative was aimed at finding young, budding entrepreneurs; explore their strengths; coach them on how to best pitch their business ideas; and finally, help convert the idea into a thriving business.

The communication was accordingly released in a phase-wise manner. In the initial phase, the print ads spoke about how the recession was the best time to be an entrepreneur. Being anti-recession was a stance that the initiative consciously took up.

Examples of greats, who were unknown before they invented simple yet necessary items of daily use, comprised another set of print ads. One of the ads spoke of how Walt and Roy started making cartoons and grew that into a great business venture, during the great Depression of the 1920s.

Online interactions and conversations were carried out on the website, ideas.economictimes.com, which was created specially for the initiative. Blogs also discussed the initiative and social networking sites acted as a medium to pull in more participation. Application ads and countdown ads comprised the next phase.

The next phase was to mentor the participants, followed by one-on-one mentoring. Subsequently, the participants were brought face-to-face with decision makers to pitch their ideas.

The Economic Times had aimed at reaching about 2,000-3,000 readers, but received more than 11,500 entries, greatly surpassing the quantified objective. Applications came from a diverse set of people - young people, men, women and students, ranging from the age of 17 to 73 years.

The final awards for Effies 2009 will be given away tonight at the Mahalaxmi Race Course, Mumbai.