Ogilvy flag flies high as India’s Most Effective

19 Jan,2015


By A Correspondent


It was a victory that was sweeter than ever before. For, after having been beaten by Lowe Lintas last year, taking away the ‘Agency of the Year’ title at Effie 2014 was a huge morale-booster. While Ogilvy has always prided itself as one of the most creative advertising agencies in this part of the world, awards for effective advertising that are the most coveted. For, while good advertising by definition ought to be effective, creativity has traditionally been regarded as more cool.



Creativity v/s Effectiveness… what’s more important?


Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and Creative Director, Ogilvy:

I ‘ve said this many times, we aren’t artists, we are commercial artists. We’re paid by somebody to do a certain job for them . We use creativity to make them look better. I’ve never forgotten that in my life and I never will. The day I want to mash mangoes and stick then on my wall because I love them, I will do that but I’ll do that in my house, but not on someone else’s money.


My creativity is meant to make someone attain that objective that I’m being paid for. My creativity is useless if the person’s job doesn’t get done. Someone is paying and they must get the result. That’s the business I chose to be in. 


Rohit Bhasin, Vice President (Skin Care) – South Asia: 

If creativity is not effective, it ‘s not great. I have never seen a great creative which is not effective because I don’t define advertising as that. Advertising – if effective – is very creative, not the other way round.


Historically , Unilever has been a company that has made iconic advertising. Whether it is the Lalitaji of Surf or Bhala Uski Sari Meri Sari Se Safed Kaise for Rin to the work we’re doing now it has always been based on a strong human insight. What I’m trying to say is that if advertising is based on strong human insight, it would be creative and effective. 


“The Effies are the gold standard in effective communication. This year’s judging was extremely stringent in accordance with the global Effie standard set by our counterparts in New York,” said Pratap Bose, President, The Advertising Club on the awards as he kicked off the event’s proceedings.


“I think creativity is extremely important but the importance of ideas is paramount – and that is what Effie stands for,” said Ajay Kakar, Chairman of the Effie Committee. When asked what is it that makes both Lowe and Ogilvy participate in the Effie given that they been staying away from the Abby creative awards, Kakar, who has been heading the award for four years, said matter-of-factly: “Effectiveness has won, so therefore Effie has won.”


Added a senior industryperson requesting anonymity, “The fact that there is no controversy and it sees participation from 60-plus agencies with all the big ones participating and the clients themselves in attendance at the award speaks a lot about the awards. One only hopes that the Creative Abby too sees an equally enthusiastic participation.”


The Effie is not just for the agencies alone and advertisers are also awarded jointly. Said Samir Singh, Executive Director, Personal Care, Hindustan Unilever Ltd: “It feels good to be the Client of the Year because this is the second time for Unilever in succession.”



Effie 2014 has indeed been big for Ogilvy given that the parent Ogilvy & Mather India has come up tops with 173 points and younger sibling Soho Square was #5 with 34 points including the Grand Effie for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) election campaign.


Last year, in Effie 2013, Lowe Lintas was ahead of Ogilvy by 35 points, and this year the difference was similar: 31 points as Lowe Lintas generated 142 points (See Table). This year, in line with international Effie standards and in discussion with all participating agencies, marks were added for Finalist and Contributing Agency The heartening news for Lowe Lintas is that it won seven of the total 11 golds awarded at the Effie.



What next? Hindustan Unilever and Singh in particular are looking forward to a hat-trick of wins next year. Ogilvy should be hoping that the top slot will also see the global rankings go up.


Meanwhile, all eyes are on the Abby Awards hosted by the Advertising Club which are part of the Goafest to be held in April this year. Will Ogilvy and Lowe participate in that? As of today, the answer is “unlikely”, but, then, you never know.


Big Story main image and all photographs by Abhinav Kocharekar/Courtesy DNA


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