The last three years have seen the same winners’ picture at the Emvie Awards. In fact, the top two agencies this year were the same as last year – Mindshare and Maxus, but the awards ended in a nail-biting finish, when until the end there was no clear lead between the agencies. So, while there is nothing interesting in the winners’ results, a noteworthy aspect comes in the closely fought battle between Mindshare India and sister agency Maxus – giving GroupM its own version of ‘frenemy’.
The Bombay Ad Club had celebrated excellence in media services at the Emvie Awards on August 27, 2010, in Mumbai. The evening saw agencies in full attendance and in high spirits, and not many were surprised when Mindshare India once again walked away as the Best Media Agency of the year with a score of 110 points. In all, Mindshare bagged four Gold Emvies, two Silver Emvies and six Bronze Emvies.
Maxus, staying firmly rooted in its No. 2 spot, lost to sister agency even though it had the same number of metals. Maxus was awarded three Gold Emvies, one Silver Emvie and eight Bronze Emvies, giving it 95 points.
Mindshare’s biggest threat in securing the Best Media Agency Award next year is clearly Maxus.
R Gowthaman (also known as G’man), Leader, Mindshare South Asia, is not too perturbed. In a conversation with exchange4media, he observed, “Any strong and competing agency is always good for us. Be it our own sister agency Maxus, or any other agency. If we observe the tally carefully, the difference was just between one metal, and that changed the whole game. So, at Mindshare, we treat all agencies as our competitors, and I reiterate, any agency that is competent will always be treated as our competitor.”
Ajit Varghese, MD, Maxus India, had a slightly different view. He remarked, “True Mindshare is the only competition and inspiration for us. However, the uniqueness of this competition is that we collaborate as GroupM companies to incubate new practices in the industry, share global learnings wherever appropriate, tools and techniques and gain strength in market whether it’s on people, execution and one voice trading benefits. Like any other brand, we will do all that it takes to be the best in the market.”
Can Mindshare manage the same feat next year? G’man asked, “Who would not want to repeat the feat, especially after the hat-trick?” However, he was quick to add, “That said, there are many challenges to remain on top and we shall not take the win for granted. Every year, there are new challenges, new works and new expectations with different categories. We will work hard enough and keep the momentum going.”
And what are Maxus’ views on being crowned the Media Agency of the Year? Varghese said, “Over the last few years, we have concentrated hard on focusing on our media product and used the ‘creativities’ to get brands more noticed. The last two years saw us being a consistent No. 2 at various awards functions and in 2010 managed to be No. 1 at Ad Club Bangalore Awards, at GoaFest and now No. 2 at the Emvie Awards. Both Maxus and Mindshare won 12 awards each at Emvies, but we got less Golds. The efforts now would be to move the good to excellent. So no regrets at all, and we will try even harder for a clean sweep next year.”
Both agency heads are aware of the challenges that lay ahead for the “clean sweep win”, and they have a plan of action too. For Mindshare, the agency’s approach is going to be more widespread across other categories like research, radio and cinema. G’man explained that with this approach and focus, he was determined to have his metal count go up by another 150 points at least.
For Varghese, significant efforts have already gone into building resources and in creating an attitude to think different, challenge norms and bring about processes and tools that drive the creativity agenda for brands. A consistent No. 2 had not been so bad for Maxus, said Varghese, and explained, “That gives the hunger to keep knocking for more. No. 1 would be an icing that I wouldn’t mind at all!”
The Emvie Awards is a significant platform for both these leaders as it gives a unique forum for best work to get represented. This is where industry leaders take notice and even clients are involved in the judging process. Quoting G’man: Emvies is their Oscars.