N. Shatrujeet

<FONT COLOR="#FF0033"><B>Triple A Awards 2003-04:</B></FONT> Burnett, Lowe, McCann rule the roost

Leo Burnett India, Lowe and McCann Erickson India stamped their authority over this year's Triple A Awards by claiming a sizeable number of metals at the award ceremony

Leo Burnett India, Lowe and McCann Erickson India stamped their authority over this year's Triple A Awards by claiming a sizeable number of metals at the award ceremony that was held at the Taj Lands End, Juhu, Mumbai, last Friday. Not only did the three agencies account for nearly 50 per cent of the awards that were given away, the trio also claimed the four Best of the Best honours that were at stake. And even though Ambience Publicis, Contract Advertising, Rediffusion | DYR and Enterprise Nexus also made their presence felt with regular trips to the podium, the evening clearly belonged to Burnett, Lowe and McCann.

This year's Triple A Awards were held after a hiatus of one year (the Awards were not given away last year, it may be recalled), and according to Madhukar Kamath, managing director & CEO of Mudra Communications, and chairman of the AAAI Awards Committee, the ?revived and reformatted' Awards have been well accepted by the industry. Bolstering his claim, Kamath revealed that the number of entries that this year's Awards received was up nearly three-fold over the last Awards (held in 2002). To the credit of the AAAI, the fact that agencies such as Lowe, Ambience, Burnett and Contract participated in this year's Awards (none of these agencies participated in the 2002 Awards) bears testimony to the fact that the Triple A Awards has regained a fair amount of credibility within the industry.

Returning to the high points of the awards ceremony, while Burnett, Lowe and McCann dominated the Awards, Ambience, Contract, Rediff and Enterprise also put up a good show. In all, 16 agencies picked up 117 pieces of metal, and these included Mudra Communications, JWT India, Saatchi & Saatchi India, Quadrant Communications, Everest Integrated Communications, Bates India, Interface, Lemon and Madison Communications.

Clearly, Burnett was the toast of the evening, picking up 23 awards. These included eight golds, four silvers and 11 bronzes. And of the eight golds it won, two were for the Showcase of the Year (one each for Press and Outdoor). The agency also won the Best of the Best in the Press category ? for the ?tiger stripe graph' entry for Sanctuary magazine. And to cap it all, Burnett's Executive Creative Director Agnello Dias was named the Copywriter of the Year.

If Burnett was the obvious No 1 in terms of awards and golds won, Lowe and McCann closely contested for the second spot ? with neither emerging as the clear No 2. Lowe picked up 17 awards in total (three golds, seven silvers and seven bronzes), while McCann won 15 awards (three golds, seven silvers and five bronzes). While one of Lowe's golds was for the Showcase of the Year (TV), the agency also won the Best of the Best in the TV category ? for the Cannes Lion-winning Saint-Gobain commercial. McCann may not have won any golds for the Showcase of the Year (it picked up three silver Showcases, for the record), but it claimed two Best of the Best honours ? one each in the Radio (for Coca-Cola) and Outdoor (Sweetex) categories. McCann also won a silver for the Campaign of the Year (Coca-Cola), thus squaring the deal with Lowe.

Ambience accounted for 12 awards (one gold, four silvers, seven bronzes), which included a silver Showcase of the Year, while Contract claimed 10 awards (one gold, four silvers, five bronzes), including one silver Showcase of the Year. Enterprise (one gold, four silvers, four bronzes) and Rediff (one gold, five silvers, three bronzes) won nine awards each, with the Mohammed Khan-headed agency winning a gold for the Showcase of the Year (Press). Rediff, on the other hand, claimed a silver award for the Campaign of the Year (Airtel).

JWT was the only other agency to win a gold; it also claimed one silver and one bronze award ? for the Campaign of the Year for UB Export ? to end up with three pieces of metal. While Mudra didn't claim any golds, its haul of nine awards (one silver and eight bronzes) saw it take a place fairly high in the final awards tally. Interface (one silver), Quadrant (one silver, one bronze), Saatchi, Everest (two bronzes each), Bates, Lemon and Madison (one bronze each) rounded off the list of award winners this year.

Among the other prestigious awards that were given away on the evening of Friday last were the STAR Advertiser of the Year award and the Brand Equity Brand Performance Awards. While the former was awarded to Saint-Gobain, the latter was awarded jointly to Fair & Lovely (fairness cream), All Out (mosquito repellant) and Ghari (washing powder). All three brands won gold awards.

While the level of participation and enthusiasm in year's Awards successfully demonstrated that the Triple A Awards are still a considerable force in the advertising industry, the one point that the Awards Committee would do well to note is the absence of an Agency of the Year award. Considering every agency vigorously competes for these awards, it won't be such a bad idea constituting an award that actually goes the last mile in crowning the best agency in the country.

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