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Lowe Lintas' Balki shows how to do an advertising award

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MUMBAI: Trust the man with the beard to do it differently. 10 years ago, the creative guru and the current Lowe Lintas chairman & chief creative officer R. Balki took a decision to put a full stop to his agency‘s participation in the advertising industry awards. But even he knows creatives have this innate desire to be patted on their backs for good creatives and advertising that they have slogged to create over zillions of cups of chai, ciggies and sometimes rum and coke or single malt scotch.

Hence, to keep those in his agency in good cheer he created his own internal awards gig calling it ‘The True Show‘ way back in 2003. And the agency has been putting it together randomly once every few years; whenever it thinks the time is right. The first was in 2003, the next in 2005, the third in 2008 and finally the last one which was held last night at the Shangri La Hotel in Central Mumbai.

At the fourth True Show, Balki made an appearance with his lovely and talented wife Gauri Shinde accompanying him as he entered the venue. And he quickly got down to the business for the evening.

R Balki chairman and CCO of Lowe Lintas strikes a pose

He was pretty blunt when he spoke: "I don‘t give a damn for awards shows. Awards are just an excuse to drink and have fun and they change no one‘s lives. True Show is not about awarding our self it‘s about awarding good work."

And indeed it was time to down a pint or two. Instead of the usual trophies, Balki handed out bottles of wine to each of the winners onstage. He even went as far as forcing them to down a few shots before letting them go. Post their pumping their fists in the air, they returned their bottles back, for each to be handed over to the next winner.

Balki obviously was in good spirits and hence it was strange to see some vets like DDB Mudra chairman & CCO Sonal Dabral shying away from receiving their bottle of wine. Ditto with ‘Vicky Donor‘ director Shoojit Sircar, who was recognised for his film for Gujarat Tourism with Amitabh Bachchan. Both had to be pushed by their former colleagues on to the stage. They were not from Lowe, but from other agencies, and there only to have a good time.

Prasoon Joshi and R Balki - ‘The True Showmen‘

Of course, old friends like Bang-Bang Films‘ Roopak Saluja, BBDO India‘s Josy Paul, Lodestar‘s Shashi Sinha, Axis Bank‘s Shikha Sharma, Leo Burnett‘s K.V. Sridhar, McCann Erickson‘s Prasoon Joshi, O&M‘s Madhukar Sabnavis and Abhijit Avasthi, Taproot‘s Agnello Dias, Draft FCBUka‘s KC Chakravarthy ‘Chax‘ were all there to take part in the party. And clients like Rajiv Bajaj of Bajaj Auto, HUL‘s Nitin Paranjpe, among others.

Rajeev Bajaj and K V Sridhar in conversation

Leo Burnett India CCO K.V. Sridhar was full of praise for Balki‘s effort. Speaking to indiantelevision.com he said: "True Show is true to the personality of Lintas and Balki. At the end of the day, it is all about celebrating good work. Unless you care about the work done by you the world will not."

Way to go Balki!

Here‘s a list of those who got a chance to take home a bottle wine and were forced to down shots by Balki:-

True Craft Awards
Voice - Ad : Coke (Cricket ki Khushi) - Dev
Design - Ad: Fastrack - Akash Lyod & Karl
Cinematography - Ad: Lifebuoy - Tapan

Lyrics - Ad: Idea Honey Bunny campaign - Amitabh Bhattacharya/Subodh Menon/Ashwin Varkey  

Music - Ad: Idea Honey Bunny campaign - Amit Trivedi
True Show Talent Anupam & Urfee
True Show Best Editor Ad: Axis Bank - Shekhar
Work that we truly envy Ogilvy and Mather - The Hindu
Work that we truly envy for craft

Shoojit Sircar for directing the TVCs for Gujarat Tourism

Work that we truly envy Ad: Big Bazaar - Mudra
True Simplicity Ad: Havells Idli - Sriram Iyer & Team
True Activation Idea Ad: Tata Tea Jaago re campaign, Chotti Shuruvat
Best Continuing campaign

Ad: Surf Excel

True Brand Portfolio

Ad: Tanishq

Blockbuster of the year Ad: Idea Honey Bunny campaign
True Idea
Bronze - Ad: ET Half Knowledge campaign

Silver 01 - Ad: ICICI Prudential (Bandhe Ache Hai)

Silver 02 - Ad: Havells Fans (Sriram & Team)

Gold - Ad: Idea Exchange (Telephone Exchange campaign - Himanshu & Team)

Truly Special Award Ad: Lifebuoy Gondappa

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