Contract Advertising comes out on top at Effies 2002

MUMBAI: In the end it was a straight to the heart direct mailer campaign that saw Contract Advertising steal a march over rival ad agencies at the second Indian edition of the Effies.

The event held last evening was organised by the Advertising Club of Bombay. Contract's campaign for ICICI Children's Growth bond called the 'Childrens Growth Bond Programme' won the coveted Grand Effie, Gold in the Services category as well as the all important 'People's Choice Award'.

Chairperson Effie committee Kaushik Roy said that the event nicely complimented the Abbys. While the latter recognises creativity, the former judges the effectiveness of advertising campaigns in terms of generating awareness and interest amongst consumers.

MC for the evening Brian Tellis pointed out that the award is held in 21 countries and that India is the first Asian country whose talent is recognised. There were two rounds. The first one saw effectiveness being judged on the basis of crystallisation of the brief. 19 campaigns made it into the second round out of the 46 entries.

For the winning ICICI campaign, Contract zoomed in on the target - parents having a high investible surplus. Through the direct mail pack, the company was remarkably effective in sending out the message that one day the son or daughter would be able to start making his/her dream into reality. Out of the 21,008 mailers sent, 66 per cent bought into the product. What helped was the personalised effect created through a painting, a letter. This ensured that no two mailers looked identical.

Other winners included Lowe, which won Gold in the Consumer Products category. This was for the Dhishoom Dhishoom campaign used for HLL's Pepsodent toothpaste. Through the humourous punch at the end of the TVC, the message adroitly conveyed was that instead of struggling to persuade the child not to eat sweets, chocolates, which harm the teeth parents, should let Pepsodent take on the battle.

The silver again went to Contract for its 'too good to share campaign' for Cadbury Temptations. Through the ad the chocolate manufacturer was able to bring out the point that the product connects emotionally with the consumer to the extent that he/she does not want to share it even with his/her beloved.

Meanwhile, Mudra was rewarded with a Silver in the Consumer Durables category for its funny spot for the brand Kinetic Style. This showed two twins fighting to be able to take a comfortable ride in a swing. The bike, introduced later, showed that there was plenty of space for both of them to have fun and chill out.

The big loser this time round though was Leo Burnett. The agency, which did well in the inaugural edition of the awards, went home empty handed despite being nominated for campaigns for Thums Up and Hitachi.

The jury members for the event included Sony Entertainment Television's Sunil Lulla, MTV India CEO Alex Kuruvilla, adman Bharat Dabolkar and Starcom MD Andrey Purushottam.

The title sponsor was Yahoo India and here it is worth applauding the ad aired which spoofed Jackie Chan's film Shanghai Noon. With the body count mounting by the second, the point was that by using the portal one is able to ensure less wastage.

Even funnier were tongue in cheek snippets praising the effectiveness of ad campaigns in a sarcastic manner. It is a kick to watch a ceremony, which has the spunk to laugh at itself without looking stupid. For instance, the award for most effective use of the Stethoscope went to the ad where a BPL mobile phone customer can hear the sound of the baby kicking inside his wife's stomach despite the horrendous traffic noise and the sound of the road being dug up.

The award for effective safe driving saw a car careering wildly down a road. Finally the front looks bent and one sees a photo of that dear old wild child of Bollywood Salman Khan being escorted by the police. The fixation that soap opera factory Balaji has with the letter K was also lampooned.

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