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Envies: Goafest's envy, Ogilvy's pride?

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Envies: Goafest's envy, Ogilvy's pride?

There is one more addition to awards shows after the Effies and the Emvies – the Envies. What makes the Envies stand out is that it is not an industry awards show like the others, but Ogilvy India’s very own awards. Envies is based on work that makes other people hold their head in frustration and say ‘I wish I had done it’.

Close on the heels of Lowe Lintas & Partners, which held the second edition of its own awards earlier this year, called ‘True Show’, Ogilvy India is now all set to have the first edition of its Envies, which is being held in Mumbai on December 16, 2013.

Will True Show, Envies, impact the Abbys?
Ogilvy, which has typically done well at the Abbys, gave it a miss this year and was conspicuous by its absence for a multitude of reasons. Ogilvy India Chief Piyush Pandey has expressed his dissatisfaction with the manner in which awards are handled.

So, are the True Show and Envies a sign of things to come, with larger agencies such as Ogilvy and Lowe not participating at the Abbys?

“We all know why Lowe did not participate in the local awards a few years back (not interested in opening the chapter), but O&M is one of the reputed creative agencies in the India today. I have a huge respect for what they and Piyush have done for the last decade or so in India, they stayed out of the Abbys last year, and if they continue to stay out, it will be sad for the creative industry. It was a great feeling when Taproot won 34 metals, while O&M got 52 metals in 2012, it wasn’t the same feeling last year without O&M,” remarked Santosh Padhi, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Taproot India.

Earlier this year, Lowe Lintas & Partners, who has stayed away from awards shows for the past 10 years, made a clear statement with the second edition of its very own ‘True Awards’, which saw a good turn-out of clients as well as select creative leaders. The first edition of True Awards was held in 2008. The awards aim to recognise in-house work. In its second edition, the awards also celebrated 10 years of Lowe Lintas staying away from any industry award functions, including the Abby Awards.

“My stance on Goafest and ABBYS has been very public. My stance on scams has been pretty clear. It is good to see more and more people support, encourage and choose the path of real work. The long term effect of this would mean a little more respect and dignity to this fraternity. And fewer misled young talent,” observed Sajan Raj Kurup, Founder & Creative Chairman, Creativeland Asia and a Jury member for the Envies.

However, Padhi maintains that agencies need to forget their differences and come together for the greater good. “I think we all are mature and grownups. It is our industry and we should all come together to solve any difference and that’s what the committee tries to do every year before the awards, and it does fix loop holes as well,” he added.

Padhi further said, “Even we (Taproot) did not participate in the 2011 Abbys as it was very shabbily handled in 2010. I was very upset with the way things were handled that year, but the way it was audited in 2011 was quite impressive (thanks to Shashi Sinha and gang). I could have decided to stay out of the Abbys, but at times the senior creative egos are not good for the industry and more so for their agencies. Moreover, we also saw a few other agencies not participating for selfish reasons. We got our share of glory when we were young, so why can the youngsters of today too not get a change to flex their creative muscles; whatever we say, creative awards are the only way to judge a creative person.”

In an earlier report carried in exchange4media, Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman & National Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather, had clearly stated that “the free-for-all” nature of the Goafest Abbys and frustration over the way in which the industry awards are handled are the reasons that led the agency to institute the Envies.

“Obviously, with Lowe and Ogilvy not participating, a huge chunk of brand work is not present. It is up to the Abbys how they handle this, with the biggest brands and clients not being part of the awards. Moreover, our clients are obviously not feeling the difference, as they never asked us to participate; it means Abbys don’t matter to them,” said Arun Iyer, National Creative Director, Lowe Lintas & Partners and a Jury member for the Envies.

More unhappy agencies to follow suit?
In light of the bigger agencies and brands being conspicuous by their absence, will other agencies follow suit and lead to a lack of chutzpah at the fest?

“While internal awards can’t replace the joy of competing and winning at big, reputed and fair awards, it is only good if organisations large or small to realise the hollowness of some of the less credible awards that openly encourage scams. Such internal events may turn out to be better investments – both money wise and emotionally,” believes Kurup.

On the other hand, Iyer felt that there wouldn’t be any other agency fall-outs from the fest, with a large number of agencies being more or less happy with the awards.

Will Ogilvy’s Envies become the cause of Goafest’s envy? Only time will tell…


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