While it was certainly Indian performance at Cannes that had drowned all advertising news in recent times, what had really got the awards flowing in for India was its performance at the New York Festival.
Consider this. Close on the heels of several national awards and the Finalist Certificate at The New York Festivals 2002, the Spice Telecom Go Slow Campaign, by HTA, Bangalore, reached a natural conclusion by going on to win the prestigious World Medal in its category (telecommunication service/equipment). But then it had company from other Indian agencies in various other categories as well.
The very same event recognised McCann-Erickson, Bangalore's work too. The agency bagged a Gold World Medal for PRO FX Speakers in the Home Entertainment category and its three-ad print campaign for Levi Strauss won a Finalist certificate in the Apparel category.
SSC&B, meanwhile, consolidated its position as one of the most awarded agencies from India by bagging a Gold World Medal for Strand Book Stall print ad titled Krauts (English to German dictionary). At the same function, the agency picked up The Grand Gold award (Best of Gold) for the Strand Book Stall print ad. "This is the first time an Indian advertising agency has won the Grand Award in a major international festival," claims Ajay Chandwani, president, SSC&B.
Besides these, SSC&B also found itself in the Finalist category on three different counts - for Prothiaden Antidepressant (Knoll Pharma) in the Print Pharmaceuticals Category, for Brufen (Knoll Pharma) in the Print Pharmaceutical Category and for Tata Housing Corporate Campaign in the professional services category. For the record, SSC&B has won over 66 awards in the last four years in major international festivals like Cannes, New York, One show, Clio and Montreax among others. Of these, 12 came its way this year alone.
Apart from this, from Chennai, Maitri and HTA found themselves in the Finalist category for their work on MRF Wall Coat paint and Ford Ikon respectively. While there is this feeling that winning awards at the New York Festival is not 'that hot' compared to Cannes, most winners were naturally elated.
Incidentally, Ogilvy & Mather, which has rocked the industry with its wins at Cannes, had given the New York Festival a pass, much in the manner it has eschewed most of the Indian award ceremonies. "The fact that Indian agencies have won many acknowledgements internationally means that our quality of work is going up. It also means O&M no longer sees the New York Fest as a biggie," says Suguna Swamy, creative director, O&M, Chennai. Earlier the agency had taken a decision to focus on Cannes, Clio, One-Show and the Asia-Pacific Events.
Nonetheless, Swamy says for Indian agencies looking to pitch their talent to an international audience, New York Festival is a good way of 'testing international waters'." Agrees GS Shridhar, senior creative director, Mudra, Chennai, "It is a good thing that Indian agencies are learning the language that cuts across borders."
Dhunji Wadia, vice-president & general manager, HTA, Bangalore, puts the issue in perspective. "This branch (HTA, Bangalore) is acknowledged as the creative turnaround office. We have won 17 national and international awards in 2001, and 25 so far this year. This recognition increases our confidence in our work and reaffirms our philosophy to create the most effective communication in the marketplace."
And for a small shop recognition at an international forum is a big thing in itself. As Sajan Abraham, managing director, Maitri Advertising Works, puts it, "We are a small agency and in our reckoning, New York Festival is certainly rated among the biggies. This win means a lot as we were able to prove our merit on a international forum in the face of big agencies." © 2002 agencyfaqs!