N. Shatrujeet

<font color="#FF0033"><b>Abby 2004 Countdown:</b></font> This is Rediff's best work in five years - Adrian Mendonza

The work for Colgate, Daikin, the Taj, and Thomson television, together with AirTel, make Rediffusion | DYR one of this year’s particularly strong Abby contenders

If one were to conduct a snap poll to predict any one agency that is most likely to take a few big strides forward at this year's Abby Awards, the outcome of the poll, in all probability, would throw up one name. Rediffusion | DYR. The opinion across most agencies is that the work produced by Rediff in 2003 packs enough punch to impress a jury, and, as a consequence, the agency would fare quite well at the Abbys, with a possibility of even making it to the top three in the awards tally.

On the face of it, this widely held opinion is rooted in one remarkable piece of communication that the agency created last year - the ‘Express Yourself' campaign for AirTel. However, to Rediffusion's credit, it does not have to fall back on just an AirTel to make a splash at the Awards. The work for Colgate, Daikin, the Taj, and Thomson television, together with AirTel, make the agency one of this year's particularly strong contenders.

Of course, Rediff has always had a steady presence at local award ceremonies. For instance, the agency picked up four silver Abbys (two for Colgate Fresh Energy Gel, and one each for Daikin air-conditioners and Thomson Widescreen televisions) last year, which, in itself, was an improvement over Abby 2002. The agency also won 12 trophies at last year's Triple A Awards, where it also claimed the silver Showcase of the Year in the Press category. Nonetheless, Rediffusion's performance has always been seen as steady, not spectacular.

The agency is clearly hoping correct perceptions by bettering its Abby record this year. "From what one has heard and been told about our work, Rediff should do well at this Abby," says Adrian Mendonza, vice-president & executive creative director, Rediffusion | DYR, anticipation rippling under his skin. Judging by the work that has been entered, Mendonza knows his agency stands a fair chance this year. "I really think the AirTel campaign will do well. Then there is the print work for the Taj that should work for us. And Daikin, Colgate and Thomson are the other good entries. I would say this body of work is Rediff's best in the last five years or so, and we are hoping we can outdo our showing from last year."

Mendonza attributes the improvement in the quality of Rediffusion's output to a variety of reasons. "Over the years, Rediffusion has acquired the image of an agency that is very sound on strategy," he says. "In the process, the creative image of the agency took a bit of a backseat. But if we've been improving in creative over the past few years, it is because there is a strong desire to prove ourselves in creative. And that is showing." Mendonza also credits the agency's clients for allowing the agency to produce good work. "In the past, there has been enough good work created in the agency, but a lot of it never saw the light of day. Last year, the good work actually happened in the media, and our clients must get the credit for that."

AirTel maybe one of the prime contenders for the prestigious Campaign of the Year, but Mendonza knows there is one giant-seized obstacle in the agency's way - the Hutch campaign. "Hutch is the industry favourite… and I think it is a genuinely fabulous campaign," he lavishes praise. "It is the kind of work you look at and say, ‘I wish I had done it.' More importantly, Hutch showed a way of appealing to consumers across age and socio-economic groups, and it made clients believe you can do great work that will also work in the market. The Hutch work deserves awards."

The other pieces of work that Mendonza finds praiseworthy are Coke, Close-up ("it is a simple thought, beautifully executed using an old-fashioned song to target the youth"), the Godrej Shaving Cream commercial (‘toothpaste'), and the ‘sadhu' film for Ranipal ("it is completely wild, I thought"). However, of the big ones, he places his bets on Hutch, Coke and, of course, AirTel. "There is a happy feeling in the agency. We're hoping for the Abbys. And we're also hoping it will not stop at the Abbys, but go on to the international scene. Let's see…" © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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