Effies '05: O&M wins big; McCann pockets Grand Effie

MUMBAI: If last year it was the boy and dog pair of Hutch that brought glory to Oglivy & Mather (O&M) at the industry's advertising effectiveness awards (the Effies), this year it was SBI Life Insurance's 'young at heart' old couple celebrating Valentine's Day that did the agency proud.


The Effies, held in Mumbai today (24 October), witnessed O&M romp away with the most number of Effies (four) - a Gold for Titan Watches (What's your style) in the consumer durables category, two slivers - one for Perfetti Van Melle (Air Action Centre Fresh) in the consumer products category and one for SBI Life Insurance in the services category - and a bronze for IBM Global Services India (Hot Pack Mailer) in the integrated marketing communications category.


However, it was McCann Erickson, which walked away with the coveted Grand Effie for Saffola Gold (Kal Se) in the consumer products category.

Interestingly, of all the campaigns that O&M had entered for the Effies, the Sumo Victa campaign was the only one that did not bag any award.


"Yahoooooo!" goes O&M chairman and national creative director Piyush Pandey on reciving the Yahoo! Big Idea Chair Award. Also seen in the pic Yahoo! India country head Neville Taraporewalla, Yahoo! India sales director Pearl Uppal and O&M senior creative director Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar

Effies Committee chairperson Kalpana Rao said, "This year we received 79 entries from 12 agencies. It was certainly a tough call for the judges as the quality of work done by the agencies has really gone up. This year Yahoo! India also introduced the Yahoo! Big Idea Chair Award."

It was the first time that Yahoo! introduced the honour outside the US and guess who clinched it - well you are right it was none other than O&M for the SBI Life Insurance ad featuring the old couple. The ad also won the Effies People's Choice Award.

The other agencies too had their share of limelight at the Effies. In the consumer products category, Lowe and McCann Erickson shared the Gold for the Surf Excel (Save two buckets water) campaign and Saffola Gold (Kal Se) campaign respectively. McCann also won the bronze in the category for Perfetti Van Melle (Happydent White).

In the consumer durables category, the silver and bronze were bagged by Contract Advertising for Asian Paints Royale (Birthday - Saif) and Asian Paints Tractor Emulsion (Saheb) respectively.

While no Gold was awarded in the services category; Contract shared the silver for its work on Domino's Pizza (30 minutes or free) with O&M.

In the corporate advertising category, Leo Burnett was awarded the bronze for Indian National Congress (Congress Ka Haath Aam Aadmi Ke Saath). No gold or silver was awarded in this category.

Three new Effie categories were introduced this year -- the Integrated Marketing Communications, the Internet and the Mobile category, which were incidentally sponsored by the Internet and Mobile Association of India.

The highlight of the evening was no doubt the Yahoo! Big Chair Idea Award. This Award is in the form of an actual purple coloured chair, which the winning agency gets to take to their office! Yahoo! India country head Neville Taraporewalla informed that this special chair was imported from the US as it was a patented one and no other company had the rights to make one like it. According to the buzz doing the round at the Effies, this chair is estimated to cost approximately Rs 150,000 (add more or less Rs 50,000 for the import charges)!!

Taraporewalla added, "We thought that the time was right for us to bring the Yahoo! Big Idea Chair Award to India. Yahoo! has always been associated with innovation and big ideas and this award is in recognition of that fact."

When queried as to whether apart from India, the award was being taken to other countries as well; Taraporewalla says that Yahoo! was looking at taking the award to Australia and Taiwan very soon.

Speaking about winning the first ever Yahoo! Big Idea Chair Award in a country outside of the United States, an elated O&M chairman and national creative director Piyush Pandey said, "It is a great indescribable feeling. It's a feeling that I associate with when I was the first Asian to be selected to the jury of the international Cannes festival in 51 years of the festival's history. We, at O&M, must be doing something right for all the recognition we have received."

"I was sure that SBI Life Insurance was going to win something at tonight's awards but I did not think that it was going to be something as big as the Yahoo! award. If I ponder over my advertising career, this was one ad that I felt good about and hence it's awesome that it gained recognition," Pandey added.

Pandey was surprised that the Sumo Victa did not win an Effie but "one has to respect the decision of the jury."

The evening marked the first public performance - albeit for the advertising and marketing trade - of the Fame Gurukul jodi Qazi and Rooprekha, who sang a duet, followed by a solo each and then ended it with the Fame Gurukul song.

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