J Walter Thompson (JWT) is not the first agency one would equate with sweeping the Abbys. Atleast, not till last year. It was possibly the presence of its Worldwide Creative Chief, Craig Davis, at the third Goafest that tipped the balance in the agency’s favor. Two campaigns: “Traffic”, the film it made for Nike and the “Lead India” campaign for The Times of India, saw JWT’s young and highly enthusiastic team climb the podium in almost every category of awards presented at the Abby ’08 advertising awards, including two of the most coveted Grand Prixs, in the Integrated Category as well as the Film segment.
“It’s only since the last two years that we have changed the way we look at our creative work and have actively improved it,” said Colvyn Harris, CEO, JWT India, “ It is a pleasure to see the strategy working both with the clients and our peers.”
Other Grand Prix winners include Nirvana Films for Neo Sport’s “Gas” in the Film Craft category and Mudra for Cycle Agarbatti’s “Jai Dev Jai Dev” campaign in the radio category. Leo Burnett bagged two for Luxor Highlighter’s “Che”, “Charlie” and “Hitler” in the print category and “Che” again in the OOH category, which showed sketches of Che Guevera, Charlie Chaplin and Hitler with a highlighter.
With the coming together of the Ad Club of Bombay and the Advertising Agencies Association of India to host one single award for the entire industry, the Abbys has done away with the Creative agency of the year award, something Ogilvy & Mather have dominated over the years, as well as tally of the results. The agency (O&M), surprisingly, did not win any Grand Prix at the Goafest this year. It did, however, win the most medals: five Golds, 14 silvers and 39 bronze medals.
There were just two Golds in the Film segment bagged by JWT for its “Nike Cricket” film and O&M, Mumbai for Neo Sports “Gas” commercial. Radio and radio craft were dominated by Mudra with the agency winning all the four Golds for spots, Jai Dev Jai Dev and Jai Jagdish Hare, for Cycle Agarbattis.
Print category saw an even distribution of medals with four agencies bagging the four Golds handed out including:
O&M for Vodafone’s “Debate” (telecom); Leo Burnett for Luxor’s “Che”, “Charlie” and “Hitler” and JWT for Reynold’s “Twins” (house hold products and maintenance) as well as Saatchi & Saatchi for Cox & King’s “Statue of Liberty”, London Bridge and Eiffel Tower campaigns (travel).
Rediffusion DY&R won its only Gold in the Direct Category for Kaya Skin Clinic’s “Hairfree” flat mail campaign. The other Gold went to Ogilvy One for its dimensional mail “Roamers’ kit” work for Vodafone. Integrated advertising saw just one Gold for JWT’s Lead India campaign (corporate). Tribal DDB bagged its sole Gold for MTV’s “MTV Roadies 5.0” campaign. The arena on the final night had all the ingredients necessary for celebration. Party hoots, confetti, drums, cymbals….and most of all a sportsman spirit.
While the audience cheered its own wins, they also stood up for a standing ovation for JWT’s 'Lead India' campaign.
It was an evening that truly celebrated the undying spirit of Indian advertising. It is patent that Abbys at Goafest is a success. Perhaps next year we will see the involvement of McCann and Lowe.