‘We had a great idea, but we had a better client’

21 Dec,2016


Rajdeepak Das, CCO, The Leo Group India


Grand Effie is huge… what does this win mean to you?

We had an idea but we had a better client. The client had a vision on marketing team, Rajiv Bajaj and everyone bettered the vision. Not every time in your life you create a brand from an iconic historic thing from Ground Zero and make it one of the biggest brands in the country. A brand which is going to be $5million brand. I think it’s close to my client. People have ideas but it’s the client who give she to those ideas. So cheers to the client, Sumit, Saumya, Rajiv, Eric and everyone. It’s a massive team behind the client. We are just the creative team, you think we are glamorous but there is a massive team behind this that has made it happen. It’s (Grand Effie trophy) is black because it has gone through a massive amount of fire to be black.


Did you think the client would accept your (Bajaj V) idea?

In Burnett, we believe in one thing: human kind. Every piece of work that comes out is human kind. We don’t believe if it’s not human kind we are going to sell it, when you have human kind we make sure people buy it and thats what we did.


This year Leo Burnett has done very well on the back on Bajaj V and HDFC Life. You are Agency #5 which is a dramatic leap from last year. What do you attribute the success of this to?

As an agency we are one of the youngest agency in the country. If you look at my team, the people who work on it, have one goal in life, do the best piece of work for client and believe in one thing, human kind.


And you are one of the youngest CCOs in the country!

A CCO is as good as the team you work with. Guys like Projo, Kevin, Sachin and there are 750 creatives people in the agency that make what we are.


Jitender Dabas, Chief Strategy Officer – McCann Worldgroup India


McCann did very well this year compared to the last few years. You had some great work. Your views on the overall performance of the agency?

Very happy because as you rightly said we had some big campaigns which were very dear to us and not just in terms of the work you saw on Maggi which brought the brand back from dead but even on behaviour change campaigns like the one on open defecation because that gives a special joy because then you are working towards trying to change behaviour of Indians and I do believe that the kind of work you do for behaviour change, that’s the real work because that is not just selling products but actually moving a nation towards newer habits. So I am particularly proud of that and if you look at our other clients that have won like IDFC which is a completely new entrant. We won Effie for Dabur Odomos, again a fairly big campaign in terms of trying to change people’s behaviour and to fight dengue. Nescafe again is a campaign that we have always loved and built a campaign over years. Yes, of course, there we other misses, we thought Dettol and Paytm campaigns which we were very proud of.


Regrets on not winning the grand Effie for Maggi or Dettol?

Well, if we are competing there should always be regrets because that will bring you back much stronger. Yes, I did expect that both Dettol and Maggi were massive campaigns and the results are quite evident but it’s the jury’s prerogative to decide what deserves the award.


You were in three figures this year, one of your best performance ever in the Effies over the last 16 years. How do you ensure you get to #1 next year?

We have the breadth of brands. We have big brands right from global clients like Nestle, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Perfetti and there are Indian biggies like Britannia, which are currently under presented in the list we have. So what it takes is to focus more on producing good work.


Your takeouts from the awardwinners this year?

Lowe are worthy and deserving winners of this year. They have a spread of work which is just not concentrated on certain brands but across the brands. Also, a lot of work that is not just about the brand but impacting stuff outside the brand, changing what the society does, having a point of view on the society. Lowe has always done excellent work around that.


Bajaj again a big idea and not the conventional way you look at a brand campaign or advertising. What I am happy about is that the kind of work which is winning is not straightforward work though from a pure planner perspective, Effies were about what moves the needles on sales. That’s something I would love to perhaps bring the focus back more on that but because the ideas are bigger they are winning but bringing it back to the needle of saying simple work that really increases market share even if it is one poster or a film should also get rewarded.


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