The I-Day eve at the City of Joy had an altogether different tone this time. It was an evening to honour the creative excellence in Bengali. A galore of advertising glitterati of Kolkata got together as the leading Bengali daily Sambad Pratidin hosted the fifth edition of Srijon Samman – the most popular recognition in Bengali advertising. This year’s Srijon Samman reckoned Bates Kolkata as the Agency of the Year – Kolkata, while JWT Delhi romped home with the honour of the Indian Agency of the Year.
Complimenting his contributions to Indian advertising, Srijon Samman honoured JWT chief executive Mike Khanna with the Life Time Achievement Award. The international award ceremony, attracting entries from across the country and also from the neighbouring state of Bangladesh, adjudged Grey Advertising, Bangladesh as the Agency of the Year – Bangladesh.
A panel of judges, comprising some of the most acclaimed faces from different professional arena, after two days of hair-splitting analysis, selected 29 agencies for 25 categories. With seven gold and five silver awards, Bates Kolkata made it to the top. Among the works that clinched the highest recognition for the agency, there were campaigns done for ABP and a radio spot created for Thums Up.
Bengali advertisements, done in other parts of India, made a mark with the overwhelming success of JWT Delhi. Racing ahead with five gold and three silver trophies, JWT Delhi bagged the top honour as the Agency of the Year – India. The prize-winning creatives from the agency included works done for Glaxo SmithKline Beecham and ESPN-Star Sports.
Talking to this correspondent, a fortnight ago, Srinjoy Bose, Managing Director, Pratidin Group, made an observation on the advertising industry in Bangladesh. “Bengali, as a language of advertising, is researched greatly in Bangladesh. Last year we saw some great work from there. This inspired us to invite creative agencies from Bangladesh this time as well,” Bose said. Proving true to his observation, Bangladesh dazzled with a bunch of wonderful creatives. The seven finalist agencies from the country bagged three gold, two silver and three bronze awards. The Bangladesh wing of Grey Advertising glittered with two gold and one each of silver and bronze laurels.
As hundreds of creatives battled for the top honour, the intellectual nerve-centre of Kolkata once again proved its gusto for creativity. “Kolkata has a flair for advertising,” acknowledging the creative spark the city treasures, Mike Khanna recalled, “It is the city of legendary Subhash Ghosal – my mentor, who taught me a lot.”