Envies 2013 | Industry’s Envy. Ogilvy’s Pride

18 Dec,2013

By A Correspondent


When Ogilvy backed out of the Abby last year, the Oscars for the Indian advertising fraternity, the awards show had surely lost some sheen. But then Lowe, the agency headed by R Balki, had been skipping the Creative Abby for some years and the show had continued without a break.


In June this year, Mr Balki held an internal awards called the True Show, celebrating 10 years of “not giving a damn about awards”. On Monday, Piyush Pandey and his core team of Abhijit Avasthi and Rajiv Rao played host to the Envies. Billed as Ogilvy’s finest, the entries were judged by a cross-section of industry seniors. The underlying message was clear: the winning commercials were not just the agency’s best, but also that of the entire Indian advertising industry.


If Goafest had the seawaves, the Envies were held in a hotel overlooking the calm Powai Lake waters. The event started at 3pm and went on till past midnight. Adpersons-turned-artists Jiten and Sumer from the label ‘BoseDK’ showcase their works and rise to superstardom, followed by awardwinning journalist and radio storyteller Neelesh Mishra. There was fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukjerjee who was in his element in a Q&A. “Travel in the 3-tier compartment of a train to get a feel of India,” he said. Or this: “Convince large corporates to make Friday Dressing into wearing Indian woven clothes.” There was a stand-up comedy act by Tanmay Bhat and Rohan which had the audience in splits. After the bulk of the awards were done, Chief Guest Amitabh Bachchan made an appearance and was interviewed by former Storyboard anchor Anuradha Sengupta. Mr Bachchan was felicitated with a ‘Beyond Envies’ award.


The Envies were internal awards of Ogilvy India, but the jury comprised biggies like DDB Mudra’s Sonal Dabral, BBDO’s Josy Paul, Taproot India’s Agnello Dias, CreativeLand Asia’s Sajan RaJ Kurup, Wieden+Kennedy’s V Sunil, McCann’s Akshay Kapnadak, Lowe Lintas’ Arun Iyer, Contract’s Ashish Chakravarty, Grey’s Malvika Mehra and Strawberry Frog’s Raj Kamble.


Said Mr Pandey: ” I think Envies have to be interpreted in two different ways: the dictionary meaning of it is jealousy, which sounds a bit negative. In my mind, the Envies are about appreciating what others are doing and saying I wish I had done that kind of work.”


And he added: “Normally in the industry awards you end up winning 60 or more trophies but at the Envies, we have confined  them to 25 per year. We are kind of being harsh on you but that is only to being in the spirit of self-improvement and raising our creative bar further.”  But this year, the organizers were more accommodative. Thirty-five awards awards were given away, but from next year, it will only be 25. The ceremony happened briskly, sans any speeches. Google’s Reunion ad won the Grand Prix or ‘Most Envied’ honour.


The highlight of the evening was the presence of several industry veterans. When asked about internal versus external awards, Sam Balsara, CMD, Madison World said: “It’s a good thing to have them, but according to me it should not preclude them from participating in other industry awards.” Said Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands: “They are not mutually exclusive. There is an internal awards that Group M does but they still participate in industry awards. So it’s an internal call but according to me they are two different things.” Sonal Dabral, Group CEO & MD, DDB Mudra too was of the view that external and internal awards are mutually exclusive. “Why an agency does not enter an external industry award is a decision that’s best taken by the agency itself.”


When he announced Ogilvy’s decision to not participate in the Abby last year, Mr Avasthi, Ogilvy’s National Creative Director, had said the Abbys weren’t energizing his team as they would earlier.


So does the conduct of the Envies mean that Ogilvy will not participate in the Abby at next year’s Goafest? Said Mr Avasthi: “There are certain changes that we are looking for at the Abbys and till the time they do not happen, we definitely would not be thinking about it.” And should the changes happen? “We will think about it then.”



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