The weekend meant excitement for the creative fraternity. And why not, it was marked by the Abbys. The Abby Awards 2004, held at Mumbai, was organised in style. Though things did change in context to the awards themselves but the same cannot be said as far as the results are concerned. With O&M hanging on to its Agency of the Year and a continuation of various categories not been awarded, there wasn’t anything unexpected about the Abbys 2004.
As expected, O&M stays on top with 33 points. The agency claimed six gold and 16 silver Abbys in total. Following is McCann-Erickson India, which claimed six Abbys, two gold and four silver. Leo Burnett India with its two gold, two silver joined third place with rmg david. Apart from these, Enterprise Nexus, Saatchi & Saatchi India, SSC&B and Yahoo! Web Services also laid hands on Gold awards.
Once again, as expected, The Campaign of the Year was Hutch, resulting in O&M’s highest Golds coming from this campaign. In the Business Products and Services category, the ‘Network’ and ‘Photo studio’ single films and print campaign claimed gold. The other two Golds were for ‘Kathakali’ commercial for Eno, in Toiletries & Household Care category, Fevicol in the Best Continuing Campaign.
McCann won its gold for the Coca Cola ‘paanch’ film in the Beverages & Tobacco category — which once again was no surprise. The second gold was for its Sweetex banner in the Outdoor category. Enterprise, but naturally, won its gold in the Media Category for The Times of India. Burnett’s gold was for Senso Restaurant in the Services for the Household Sector category. In the New Interactive Media category, the agency was awarded for Darna Mana Hai, which was joined in by Yahoo! Web Services’ interactive innovation for Pepsi Blue. Bharat Petroleum in the Outdoor category got Saatchi its gold and Axe Deodorant gave SSC&B its gold.
The silver range has more names to show. RMG David claimed six silver Abbys and Rediffusion got five. Ambience Publicis took four silver and three for JWT India. Contract Advertising, Code Red Films and Paragon Advertising bagged two each. Getting one silver each are Orchard Advertising, Quadrant Communications, Touchstone Advertising, Euro RSCG India, Capital Advertising, Interface Communications, Grey Worldwide, hungama.com, and Morish Interactive.
And yet again, as expected, Creative Advertiser of the Year is Hutchison Telecom with 14 points. An accentuation of Abbys 2004 was the brining in of Brand India category. The award-winning entries in this category were from Grey Worldwide (silver – single press), Concept Communication (silver – single press), UBR Inc (silver – campaign), and two from O&M (one gold, one silver), both in Campaign.
Abbys 2004 comprised of Distinctive Recognition Awards also. Having a score of three, these went to filmmaker Zafar Hai, vernacular calligraphist RK Joshi and music and ad jingle composer Vanraj Bhatia.
The INS Think Print Awards had many many more entries as compared to last year - something different here at last. Ambience Publicis’ Heetal Dattani and Ranjeet Sasidharan won the Gold here, entitling them to a trip to Cannes Advertising Festival 2004. The Silver won a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh to O&M’s Amol Ghotkar and Lovella Rebello and the Bronze also went to O&M giving Priyanka Bhattacharya and Dileep Cherian a prize of Rs 50,000
As expected, the audience comprised maximum attendance from O&M. Select sections of the crowd kept the excitement of the evening high during the award ceremony otherwise the affair can be called a rather quite one, except of course when Chief Guest Sanjay Dutt made his presence felt. The jury, this year too, left many award spaces blank. If this means that the judges continue to think that Indian advertising still has some way to go as far as creative excellence is concerned, the question would be what is done about it.