The year has been particularly good for Saatchi & Saatchi India as far as international awards are concerned. Roughly 10 days after it picked up a silver Pencil at this year's One Show awards, the agency has won a silver 'Statue' at the Clio Awards 2003, which were given away at Miami Beach, Florida, earlier last week.
Saatchi's Clio-winning entry was in the Outdoor/Billboards category, and was for the 'clips/clothesline' hoarding for Ariel (in the Home Products category). It may be recalled that the hoarding - the work of Ramesh Ramanathan, Sean Colaco, Kalpesh Patankar and Makarand Patil - had earlier won a gold at this year's Abby Awards, and had also bagged a bronze award at the Asia-Pacific Advertising Festival (AP AdFest) 2003.
"Yes, that hoarding worked very well for us this year," smiles Sean Colaco, creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi India. The award-winning hoarding, Colaco informs, is the first in a series of outdoor activities that the agency has in mind for Ariel. "It's something different that we're trying for the brand," he says. He adds that the reason the hoarding clicked is because "it has a simple idea, and we are using the outdoor medium for what it is. It's not a press ad that has been blown into a vinyl." Crediting the team that came up with the idea, Colaco says that it's the young talent at Saatchi that "keeps the agency on its toes". Needless to say, he is looking forward to Cannes. "It sounds greedy, but we're hoping we can get a few more metals at Cannes," he grins. "We're keeping all fingers crossed."
In all, the silver Clio is Saatchi India's third international award this year. And Ramesh Ramanathan, national creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi India, is pretty pleased. "It's been a significant year for Saatchi India… much better than ever before," he says. Ramanathan attributes the revival in the agency's fortunes to a decision that the agency took a year-and-a-half ago. "The decision was a collective one taken by Shanta (V Shantakumar, managing director), Anil (Vohra, CFO), Kamal (Basu, executive vice-president, Mumbai), Anand Narasimha (head, Delhi), Vineet (Singh Hukmani, executive vice-president, Bangalore) and myself. We decided to make Saatchi a great place to work in, a place where the best advertising minds in this country desire to work."
He adds that it has nothing to do with creating cult personalities. "It's all about great ideas, which is why we want an honest, transparent setup where everyone can be questioned in the process of producing great advertising. This is a church where we worship at the altar of the idea, and no one is too small or too big to contribute to the idea." Ramanathan too believes that the young talent that has come into the agency has made a difference. "A lot of new talent is coming in, and that is showing. We have a great team, which is getting better all the time. We are building an agency the likes of which hasn't been around in a long time."
Of course, Ramanathan makes it clear that this won't be an agency motivated only by awards. "Winning a Clio and a Pencil is great, and next year I want a bundle of both," he says. "But I also want my guys to create great ads that sell tea in rural Andhra Pradesh. I want ads that are hits everywhere, not just among juries." With this year's wins, the big question is: has the hour of Saatchi India dawned? "It has. This team is formidable, and we will do it. Watch out for us," Ramanathan issues a warning. Â© 2003 agencyfaqs!