Encouraging people to wash their hands before eating did a wee bit more than help the nation combat life-threatening diseases like diarrhea. It fetched Ogilvy & Mather India the Grand Effie Award.
At India's annual mega-pilgrimage at Allahabad, the famous Kumbh Mela (2013), Lifebuoy tied up with over 100 local eateries to execute an innovative and now, award-winning, plan. The team gave out 'branded rotis', with the message, 'Lifebuoy se haath dhoey kya?' (Hindi for 'Did you wash hands with Lifebuoy?') burned into each roti.
The campaign began on January 31, 2013 and went on for a month. It was executed by OgilvyAction India, the activation arm of the Ogilvy network. The agency developed its own heating stamp (sans ink) to brand the rotis and did so on a grand scale; in all, 2.5 million branded rotis were distributed at the event.
The effort was part of Lifebuoy's plan to reduce child deaths caused by infectious, and easily preventable, diseases like diarrhea. On October 15, 2013, to mark 'Global Handwashing Day', the brand expanded its 'Help a Child Reach 5' campaign (promoted in India by Lowe's famous Gondappa film) to communities and villages, across 17 countries. Over the past three years, Lifebuoy has taught healthy handwashing habits to 130 million people globally, of which 47 million are in India.
The Effie Client of the Year this time is Hindustan Unilever. In addition to the Grand Effie award fetched by Lifebuoy's roti campaign, the company received three Gold, two Silver and two Bronze awards; this added up to a total of 95 points (see table). Cadbury India finished second with 55 points, followed by Idea Cellular which got 45 points.
Recall that last year too Ogilvy won the Grand Effie Award, for its Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye campaign for Cadbury Dairy Milk. And Cadbury India was Client of the Year at Effies 2012.
This time's Effie Agency of the Year Award went to Lowe Lintas & Partners. The agency also deserves special mention for hooting the loudest at last night's awards ceremony, which was held at Mumbai's Taj Land's End, at Bandra.
The event was streamed live on the Ad Club website, courtesy 24 Frames Digital, a live webcasting service provider.
The table above is a replica of the one printed in the official Effie result booklet, issued by the Ad Club. A Nestle employee contacted afaqs! saying the company has won three Silver awards. The Ad Club secretariat confirms that Nestle has received three Silvers, thus taking its final score to 40. afaqs! notes that consequently, Nestle displaces one company to gain a rank.
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