The Media Spikes Awards 2008 got underway in Bali, Indonesia on Friday night and for the Indian advertising industry, it was a mixed bag of sorts. While there were four winning entries from India, there were a number of finalists this year from India. Among the winning Indian entries were Leo Burnett Mumbai’s campaign for Luxor Highlighters, ‘Che’, ‘Charlie’ and ‘Hitler’ which won a bronze in the print category, O&M Mumbai’s campaign for Asian Paints, ‘Cinderella’ which won a bronze in the dimensional mailing category, Leo Burnett Mumbai’s campaign for Reliance Communications, ‘Highway’ which won a bronze in the radio category, McCann Erickson Mumbai’s campaign for Anando Milk, ‘Building’ which won a bronze in the Outdoor category for Best use of ambient advertising:special build. Young Spikes 2008, which is an initiative to promote upcoming talent in the Asia Pacific region, also had an Indian connection with McCann Erickson Mumbai’s team coming in as the second runner up for the Bali Tap Water project. Given the notion that Indian advertising is not understood in the west, one would think that was reason enough for the Indian advertising industry to make their presence felt at Asia specific forums such as Spikes. Indian presence at the awards, though, was pretty dismal. Grey’s Priti Nair, McCann Erickson’s Prasoon Joshi and Future Brands’ Santosh Desai were the key Indian attendees who were seen and heard during the three day event.
As Prasoon Joshi, executive chairman McCann Worldgroup and regional executive creative director, Asia Pacific, who was also part of the craft jury put it, there was a lot of great work on display that merited attention during the three day event. Among those that stood out in his view was Leo Burnett Australia’s Earth Hour campaign, which eventually ended up winning the gold in the Integrated Marketing category and Ogilvy Thailand’s ‘Tree’ for WWF and Leo Burnett Malayasia’s campaign for Petronas. Joshi was of the view that the common trend that seemed to emerge in the shortlisted work was the fact that advertising was using real non-advertising models as the cast for the storyboard.
He said, “I would have loved to see more work from India. I think India has sent very limited work to Spikes this year and I am disappointed. It’s just one those years. Last year, was a great year for India with Happydent winning five Spikes.” Leo Burnett Australia won the gold in the Integrated Marketing category for their Earth Hour campaign, O&M Thailand won a gold in the print category for their WWF Tree campaign while Leo Burnett Malayasia’s TVC ‘Tan Hong Ming’ for Petronas, easily the campaign that generated the most aww factor among the audience, won the gold in the TV category.