465 entries, 214 judges… it’s Effie time!

15 Jan,2015


By Ajay Kakar


It has now been 24 years since I joined Ogilvy and Mather. And a decade since I left the agency. And yet, while writing this article I remember something I heard during my Ogilvy stint – the spirit David Ogilvy believed in – the spirit of Divine Discontent.


Now how’s that for “effectiveness”!



Effie 2014 in Numbers

14th Year of Effies in India

465 Entries

60 Participating Agencies

214 Judges

Rs 25,900 Entry Fee


Today, I write this article not only as a client, but as the chairman and custodian of Effie India. And I do believe that the spirit of Divine Discontent best describes the journey and jihaad undertaken by The Advertising Club‎, to promote the cause of effectiveness in Indian marketing.


As you may well know, Effie 2014 will be the 14th year ‎of our hosting this unique recognition, in India. Effie is a worldwide franchise.  It is the only award that recognises and rewards work that works in the market place. Effie is the only award that recognises and rewards both the client and agency. Effie is the only award in India judged by clients and agency representatives; not the creative leaders, but the thought leaders and business leaders.


We celebrated Effie 2013 with great pomp and glory, in the presence of over 1,200 members of the advertising, media and marketing fraternity. We had received an all-time high number of entries, 419, from 52 participating agencies.


And just when we thought that we have reached the peak, the response this year has overwhelmed us even further. We have received 465 entries, representing work from over 60 agencies. And the number of entries must be seen in the context of the Rs 25,900 entry fee, which is higher than the fee charged last year ie Rs 23,000.


It is so gratifying to see the industry’s growing interest and commitment to effectiveness. Guess the Effies are a response to the now famous quote‎, “I know that 50% of my advertising works. But the problem is that I don’t know which 50%”.


Our Effie judging process is worthy a mention. It is entirely paperless. And is conducted in Mumbai and Delhi, across two rounds. With such large number of entries, we like to ensure that each entry gets its due time and attention. I remember the days ‎when each jury member had to wade through 80-odd entries. And now we try to cap it at less than half that number. We aim to have at least 10 jury members go through every entry, comprising of at least 50 per cent clients.


To give a sense of the magnitude, the Round 1 judging in Mumbai, this year, witnessed approx 63 judges, divided in 6 groups, screening 240-odd entries. While 52 judges did the same in Delhi, for 170-odd entries.


So what differentiated this year’s Effie from the years gone by? A lot of the new facets were introduced to bring Effie India closer to the norms of the worldwide Effie franchise:

– the campaign period for which entrie‎s were accepted, was increased to 15 months, to make it similar to that of Effie APAC

– in keeping with recent trends in campaign creation, the provision to attribute entries to a Primary Agency and a Secondary Agency was introduced

– this year, recognition will not only be given in the form of metals; Gold, Silver or Bronze, but also Finalists ie. those entries that move to Round 2, but do not win a metal


On the eve of the 2014 Awards night, I look back with joy and pride. We do seem to have come a long way! So, is this the peak? The end of the road?


The spirit of Divine Discontent assures me that the best has yet to come. Yes, it is true that the Effie is a marquee event from The Advertising Club of India. It has become the gold standard of awards in India. It has become the most credible and sought after award. Supported and respected by clients and agencies‎.


But looking ahead, I am confident that the need and hunger for effectiveness will keep propelling this property‎ to greater highs, year after year. Budgets are scarce. And as against the spray and pray approach of the past, it is the sniper approach that we now look out for, where every bullet counts. And every bullet is expected to hit the bull’s eye, no less. Creativity is good. But creatives and campaigns that work, well that’s where any marketer will always prefer to put his buck.


Ajay Kakar is CMO – Financial Services, Aditya Birla Group


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