Shamni Pande

JWT, Chennai, hogs limelight at SPARK 2003; McCann, Bangalore, gives it run for money

JWT, Chennai, walked away with 10 awards, including the Agency of the Year Award

JWT, Chennai, completely dominated Advertising Club Madras' SPARK 2003 awards ceremony held in the city on Friday, March 7. The ceremony was swamped not just by ad entries from its Chennai and Bangalore offices, but also witnessed to a strong turnout by its employees who cheered their way to the sweep the ceremony.

In all, JWT, Chennai, walked away with 10 awards, including the Art Director of the Year award that went to Jaju Krishnankutty, Copywriter of the Year Award that was picked up by Chokkalingam, as well as the Agency of the Year Award. JWT, Bangalore, came a close second with nine awards besides sharing the Agency of the Year Award with its Chennai counterpart.

However, an equally strong contender was McCann-Erickson, Bangalore, that bagged 10 awards, including a Gold, while its Chennai branch bagged two more. Of course, its performance was completely eclipsed by the huge gang of cheerleaders from JWT who wore blue ribbons in a show of solidarity and received the most praise for Ford IKON and Spice Telecom. But of course, many who were present during the balmy Chennai evening missed Lowe and O&M that stuck to their decision of steering clear of local affairs.

Like last year, the chairman of the awards jury was KS Chakravarthy (Chax), founder, Persistence of Vision. He observed that the committee awarded very few Golds this year; they were given out only when the committee found a piece of work truly outstanding. In fact, there were only four Golds this year. One Gold went to Rajiv Menon Productions for Hero Cycles in TVC (vernacular) - more than 30 seconds - category. Two other Golds went to McCann-Erickson and JWT, Bangalore, for Levi Sykes and Kingfisher respectively in the POP category. Sharad Haksar got the fourth Gold for Perri Alley in Calender category.

As evident, for McCann, Bangalore, the bulk of the honour came in for its work on Levi's and Dockers brands. The other highlight of the evening was the performance of Sharad Haksar who stood out for his performance as an independent entrant. In all, he bagged seven awards, although most were for non-traditional media - such as photography, packaging, multimedia and typography. Also noteworthy was the fact that Bangalore agencies dominated the ceremony rather than their Chennai counterparts. Interestingly, TBWAAnthem, Kochi, put up a fair fight and bagged three awards. But highly acknowledged Chennai agencies Fountainhead and rubecon were conspicuous by their lackadaisical performance.

In all, at SPARK there were 670 entries from 72 agencies, which represents a rise of 25 per cent over last year. At the end of the evening, everybody agreed that the spirit and the spark were slowly going out of local events with everyone looking at international awards. © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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