N. Shatrujeet

<font color="#FF0033"><b>Abby 2004 Countdown:</b></font> rmg can make a mark this year: Josy Paul

What chance does a small agency such as rmg david, which failed to open its Abby account last year, stand at this year’s Abby Awards?

rmg david, in its very first year, created a tiny ripple at the 2001 Abby Awards by winning a silver Abby for an ad for therapeutic hair formulation, Mediker. Being what they are, critics instantly ascribed the achievement to plain good fortune, the less charitable among them dismissing it as a flash in the pan. As if on cue, the agency promptly landed a gold Abby (for the ‘rang barse' radio spot for Benetton) the very next year, sending a bigger ripple within the industry. Deep down inside, the question being asked in some quarters was, how long before the tidal wave happened?

Come Abby 2003, and it appeared as if the agency's critics were finally vindicated - rmg did not manage picking up a single Abby at last year's awards. For the critics, it was almost as if the upstart agency had been dealt its comeuppance. So what chance does an agency that failed to open its Abby account last year stand at this year's Awards?

A decent chance, one can safely say, going by some the work that rmg produced (and has undoubtedly entered for the coming Awards) last year. Four entries that stand could make an impact at the awards immediately come to mind. The Alpenliebe Lollipop campaign (‘Lagey raho'), the Bullet Electra film (‘road crossing'), the ‘See more' campaign for Asahi and the ‘holes' press ads for Cox & Kings. To that, Josy Paul, country head & national creative director, rmg david, adds a few more. "Apart from Alpenliebe, Bullet, Cox & Kings and Asahi, we have a nice print campaign for Daawat Basmati Rice, which was released in Gujarat," he says. "Then there was this hoarding that we did in Delhi promoting tree conservation for the WWF, which was innovative, yet simple. I also think our film (‘cycle bar') for virility capsule brand OnePlus Gold was good. I personally feel the hoarding for the WWF and the Alpenliebe campaign can win, but it all depends on the final results, which none of us know." We at agencyfaqs! also don't know for sure, but something tells us the Cox & Kings ads will also claim metal of some denomination.

The one thing that Paul knows is that the agency's chances of making an impression at the Abbys have improved hugely. "We didn't send in a lot of entries, and we picked only that work which we thought had the potential to win," he says. He adds that the agency entered just 12 pieces of work for the Abbys. " I feel we stand a good chance of getting noticed," he says, weighing rmg's prospects. "rmg can make a mark this year with a significant presence at the Abbys, which is in line with our objective of being seen and talked about by our third year of existence. One can't say such things with a lot of surety, but this Abby could well be a turning point for this agency. Let me put it this way - if things go well, we will not be taken lightly hereafter."

Like McCann's Prasoon Joshi and Mudra's Rensil D'Silva before him, Paul too believes that the Hutch campaign will win hands down. "Hutch is up there," he observes, looking back at the work from last year. "After that, I am not very sure… I think the (Tata) Safari campaign has a chance, and I quite liked the Child Adoption campaign done by O&M." Paul is certain that the Coke campaign will do well in the Beverages and Tobacco category, but isn't willing to wager on its chances in the overall Campaign category. Close-up too, he believes, made a mark, but he isn't sure how it'll fare at the awards. "The Times of India film (‘hundred rupee note') is brilliant. And, of course, AirTel is a large and brave 360-degree campaign. AirTel, however, has the disadvantage of being in the shadow of Hutch. It is a lovely campaign, but I think Hutch's innocence could score over AirTel's intensity." © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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