JWT Mumbai bags India's only gold at the inaugural year of APPIES

By Biprorshee Das , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | June 15, 2010
While 17 entries were submitted from India; JWT won the award for the Street to School campaign for Maharashtra Jana Vikas Kendra's Balwadi Night School

JWT Mumbai made its mark in the inaugural year of APPIES (Asia Pacific Advertising and Marketing Congress), organised by The Institute of Advertising, Singapore (IAS). The agency won India's only gold for its much-acclaimed Street to School campaign, for Maharashtra Jana Vikas Kendra's Balwadi Night School.

A total of 17 entries were submitted from India by creative and media agencies, which included JWT (Mumbai and Delhi), Grey Worldwide, Ogilvy India, Lowe Lintas, Mudra, Arc Worldwide and OMD India.

APPIES, a two-day advertising and marketing congress in Asia Pacific, was held to provide a platform for continuous education and development of the marketing industry in the region. Professionals representing various agencies showcased four-minute videos of their marketing campaigns; conducted an oral presentation of campaign objective, strategic thought and execution, before participating in a question-and-answer session.

To qualify, campaigns had to have reached finalists' status in any international or regional effective-campaign award programme, which is recognised by IAS for its reputation and sound judging. Besides, the IAS also selected specific international, Asia-Pacific based marketing organisations to submit campaigns directly.

A total of 105 campaigns were presented across categories such as Pro bono/Government/Cultural, Consumer Services, Automobile, Food (FMCG), Food (non FMCG), Financials, Beverages (non alcoholic), Beverages (alcoholic), Education, Consumer Durables, Consumer Services and Telecom.

JWT's winning entry was entered under the Pro bono/Government/Cultural category. The campaign was aimed at helping illiterate child labourers in Mumbai to attend Maharashtra Jana Vikas Kendra's Balwadi Night School.

For 12 nights, a projector was used to flash a unique A-Z picture book across Mumbai -- for each letter of the alphabet, a corresponding picture of a real object, place or structure in the city was shown. The innovation thus brought together the idea of the English alphabet, the night and the community.

Commenting on the win, Dhunji Wadia, managing partner, JWT Mumbai says, "This win proves JWT's prowess at creating work that touches hearts and minds. The Street to School campaign touched hearts at Cannes, where it won gold. It has now touched minds, in winning gold."

"To be the only gold winner from India is immensely satisfying for us, given that we had contenders like Jaago Re and Vodafone. To be among the top 10 in Asia in the inaugural edition means we are part of history," adds Sushobhan Mukherjee, vice-president and strategic planning director, JWT Mumbai.

Besides JWT, nine other marketing campaigns in the Asia-Pacific region won gold medals. Campaigns from Singapore bagged four gold medals, while China won two. Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Australia also won a gold each.

For the complete list of winners, click here.

On the JWT campaign, the chief judge in the category, Richard Kok Tong Tan, director communications and international relations, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, Singapore says, "The use of a simple slide projector, the use of walls around the city and a low cost of US $2,000 were a few of the most striking and impressive features of the entry."

According to Tan, the use of the alphabet as a communication strategy seemed most apt, in view of the campaign message, which is exceptionally simple for anyone to understand.

The Street to School campaign also won gold at last year's Goafest and at Spikes Asia 2009.

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