Rural marketing specialist company Rural Communication & Marketing (RC&M) stole the show at the first ever RMAAI (Rural Marketing Agencies Association of India) Awards, held in Mumbai on November 29, 2006. Ogilvy Outreach, too, put up a good fight at the Awards, which also showcased the progress made in rural marketing and communication.
A total 52 entries were received for seven categories from 13 agencies and five clients. Initiatives in diverse domains like automobiles, FMCG and banking were presented and awarded. There were clear signs that the corporate sector was taking the rural markets seriously as considerable time and money was being invested there.
Several interesting concepts like having a village fair that brought corporates together, promoting low priced LPGs through ‘community kitchens’, etc, were hugely appreciated at the Awards ceremony. ICICI Bank’s initiative to spread awareness and business with lesser branches but intense on-ground work was also lauded. The work that Ogilvy Outreach did for Clinic Plus, Lifebuoy, Fair and Lovely as well as Wheel got recognised as well.
RC&M won Golds in the ‘Best innovative rural marketing initiative’, ‘Most effective use of event marketing’, and ‘Implementation of the year’ categories. Its entry titled ‘Toofan- Mahindra & Mahindra’ struck Gold in two of these categories.
RC&M bagged both Gold and Silver in the ‘Implementation of the year’ category.
MART won Gold in the ‘Best long-term rural marketing initiative’ category for its entry titled ‘HPCL Rasoi Ghar’, while Tata Steel and Ogilvy Outreach won Silvers in the same category for their entries titled ‘Revolutionising GC Sheet Market’ and ‘Lifebuoy Swasthya Chetana Campaign’, respectively. MART also won the Special Jury Award for its initiative for HPCL.
ICICI Bank won a Gold for its ‘No White Spaces Strategy’ campaign in the ‘Best integrated rural marketing campaign’ category, while Ogilvy Outreach and Rallis India Ltd won Silvers for their entries ‘Clinic Plus Rural’ and 4 S campaign, respectively.
Ogilvy Outreach won its solo Gold for the ‘Most effective use of sales promotion and point of purchase’ category for its entry ‘Samajhdar Wheelawati’, while ICICI Bank won its solo Gold in the ‘Best integrated rural marketing campaign’ category for its entry ‘No White Spaces Strategy’.
The trio of Rama Bijapurkar, Harish Bijoor and Sunil Alagh judged the entries.
RMAAI is serious about its efforts in the rural markets, which is evident from the fact that it is proposing to bring out a book of case studies on rural marketing in association with MICA. The book will also feature the award winning case studies.
The association on rural marketing has also brought out a quarterly journal, ‘Journal of Rural Marketing’, and on the anvil is a seminar on Rural Banking, which will happen in association with IBA.
R V Rajan, President of RMAAI lauded the efforts of the corporate world in the rural areas, but also urged them to walk the talk as well and invest more time and money in future. Rajan informed that the RMAAI Awards ceremony would be a bi-annual affair.