We’re already No 1: Gautam Kiyawat

05 Sep,2012


By Johnson Napier


While 2012 will be remembered as another familiar year at the Emvies given the absence of a new winner, what it will also be remembered for is the emergence of new challenger brand. Madison Media Pinnacle – the agency that emerged a close runner-up with 135 points – was a surprise entrant at the top having beaten other notable agencies by quite some margin.


While it was the campaigns for big-spending client Cadbury that did the trick for the Pinnacle, CEO of Madison Media, Gautam Kiyawat offers other facets of the agency that he believes made it race its way to the top. According to Mr Kiyawat, what has worked for all of Madison’s various media agencies is to create the right structures for the right clients and to enable the team to drive results. In fact, without sounding too pompous, he even goes on to state that if Pinnacle and Infinity are combined (as the teams operate under a single roof), then Madison is the No 1 agency at the Emvies this year.


In conversation with Johnson Napier, Kiyawat throws light on the factors that worked well for the network this year, on Madison Infinity bagging the Grand Emvie, on how clients are reacting to their newfound success and what to expect from Madison on the awards front for 2013. Excerpts:


Q: A brilliant performance by Madison at Emvies this year. What according to you were the factors that worked in your favour?

I would term our performance at Emvies this year as fantastic. It’s a result of all the hard work that the team has put in over the last year. We’ve put in a structure that creates excellence by design and not by accident. The fact that the wins have been so emphatic and across the board is testimony to the above statement. That’s the way forward for Madison which is to create the right structures for the right clients and to enable the team to drive results.


Q: Personally, did you have any favourites from across the units under Madison Media that you had pinned your hopes on?

All the entries were truly deserving of the awards that they received; I wouldn’t want to single out any one of them. In some cases there were other agencies in some categories which had potentially more deserving work. So I wouldn’t want to take the credit away from the other winners. But at the same time the entries that went from Madison were equally deserving of the awards. Let’s not miss the point that if you look at the agencies under Madison (Pinnacle and Infinity) and add up the tally, we beat leader Mindshare by quite some margin. The way we work at Madison is that we put dedicated teams for each client but they all sit under Madison Media.


Q: You will also be remembered this year for edging out several other big agencies to emerge a worthy runner-up at the Emvies. Would it be a good re-invention accolade to move forward with?

Madison has always been a force to reckon with. The philosophy at Madison has always been to be the best agency that it has the potential of becoming. We’ve been fortunate to do what we think is right for the client’s business and we keep our eye on that ball and then everything else follows from there. It’s clearly a question of achieving our own potential as opposed to comparing versus other agencies.


The Madison Media winning team at Emvies 2012 A jubilant Madison Media team



Q: It looks like the decision to float an agency for a large client like Cadbury has paid off… at least on the awards front. Do you see this as an encouraging move, one that may find more followers going forward?

I think every decision has to be taken in its own merit and its own context. So I am not a big fan of blindly re-applying the way teams are set up; I think teams should be set up in context of what the client’s needs are and then everything else moves on from there. We’ve done what is right for Madison and our clients and that’s what working in the context of the objective that we’ve set out with.


Q: What has been the response from Cadbury over your performance at the Emvies?

Cadbury is over the moon. They are a fantastic client to be working with. They treat the Madison team as an extension of their own organization and the results are there for all to see. Apart from the fact that we have capable teams to handle all of our clients, it really makes a difference when the client makes an environment for driving excellence. And we all know that it takes two hands to a clap and that’s what’s driving both Madison and Cadbury.


Q: Do you see Cadbury upping marketing spends on the back of a super showing at the Emvies this year?

Marketing budgets will always be a function of the business priorities so an award win as emphatic as the Emvies doesn’t necessarily mean more market budgets would come in, going forward. That continues to be a separate parameter that gets decided by the business priorities of the client.


Q: How would you rate the judging task that was set out for the jury members at the Emvies?

I would say the judging process was very well done. It deserves to be added that it was judged by a jury of peers in the first round and a jury of clients in the second round, so how much more rigorous can it get? Among the other parameters the judging process that was done online this year was good. The results are for all to see. People had a chance to go and have a look at the entries and case studies, and it was clear that there were a few that stood head and shoulders above the rest, which showed in the results.


Q: Also, Madison Media Infinity won the Grand Emvie award for Saffolalife-Saving Private Heart campaign. Surprised at the win, or was it expected?

This again was a fantastic piece of work and an example of a great team working very seamlessly with the client towards a common objective. We were quietly sure that Infinity would do well and convert shortlists into sure-shot winners. The client too is extremely thrilled at the outcome.


Q: Are you looking at a better showing in 2013? What would it take for a new winner to emerge at the Emvies 2013?

Like I said we are going to keep our eye on the ball, do fantastic work in line with the business priorities of our clients and the results will be there to show for it. In my mind, Madison is already No 1 because Pinnacle and Infinity sit under the same roof and are part of one Madison Media entity. If you add that we are already at the top. But yes, if you continue to do good work in line with driving client’s business the results will be there to show for it.


Post a Comment 

One response to “We’re already No 1: Gautam Kiyawat”

  1. sandesh narkar says:

    Half-wit Gautam has no clue that he is giving away his cheat codes. By claiming to all and sundry that Madison is actually No 1 he is admitting that all the judges from each of his companies that qualified to be on the jury by virtue of Pinnacle, Infinity etc being entered as separate agencies and treated as such by Emvie Awards Committee actually could have voted for each other since, as their top supremo claims, they are all one company. In which case Madison had an illegal quantity of representation on the jury and therefore all his awards are fraudulent.

Today's Top Stories