Campaign India Team
Dec 05, 2008

The effectiveness versus creativity debate

Campaign India asks agency and marketing heads on what matters more: winning an Effie or an Abby award?Creativity versus Effectiveness may not be the most original debate in the history of the advertising industry but it’s an interesting one, every time. What would agency heads value more on their shelves: An Effie or an Abby? Ask a client that question and the answer is fairly obvious though many would not like to put that on record. For them, winning an Effie is more valuable, because it shows that the campaign worked and was able to turn around tangible results.

The effectiveness versus creativity debate

Campaign India asks agency and marketing heads on what matters more: winning an Effie or an Abby award?Creativity versus Effectiveness may not be the most original debate in the history of the advertising industry but it’s an interesting one, every time. What would agency heads value more on their shelves: An Effie or an Abby? Ask a client that question and the answer is fairly obvious though many would not like to put that on record. For them, winning an Effie is more valuable, because it shows that the campaign worked and was able to turn around tangible results.
 
Max New York Life’s Anisha Motwani says it’s a tough question to answer but admits that she’s biased towards the Effies. “For me, the Effies is a wider canvas because it doesn’t just narrow itself to creative excellence. I would much rather have both because one is all about creative excellence and the other is all about effectiveness. From a marketer’s perspective, a campaign which has been effective and has delivered results and at the same point of time, been able to connect with a customer would be ideal. But that’s not very common. If you see the number of campaigns which win at both the award shows, there is a very small percentage that overlaps.”

O&M’s Piyush Pandey reiterates that his agency has consistently proved that their track record has worked in both shows. “The greatest level of satisfaction for me has been the fact that the work that we win at Abbys, is the same that we win at Effies for. We do not differentiate between the two. At the end of the day, good work should translate into good results. Clients obviously prefer the work that wins at the Effies, but it’s great if you can demonstrate to the client that you can win for the same work against different criterion,” he adds.

Lowe Lintas, which has been staying away from the Abbys, on the grounds that they do not agree with the rules that define the eligibility of the entries, have consistently reiterated their faith in the Effies. Charles Cadell, CEO, Lowe Lintas, when asked what he feels contributes more value towards an agency’s bottomline comments, “Perhaps neither. Some very rich US and UK agencies refuse to enter into any type of awards at all and have not seen the slightest dent to their profits or growth. The real answer is also probably both - depending on the client point of view. Some clients want an agency for pure creative (believing that that drives results) and some for pure results (caring less about how it was achieved).”

McCann’s Prasoon Joshi feels that perhaps the one area that the Effies scores over the Abbys lies in the fact that the former involves more consensus within the industry. He says, “Unlike the Abbys, where there is confusion because of which agency is entering/ not entering, the issue of scam ads, etc, there is some confusion about the whole process, the Effies does not have such controversies surrounding it.”

He further adds that the only thing that contributes to an agency’s bottomline is the work which resonates with people and fulfils the communication objectives. He concludes saying, “In our profession not having an award show does not make an iota of a difference to our lives. That’s not the reason for our existence, its just the pat on the back. All award shows, in a sense, are important, you could also say that all of them are unimportant.”

Charles Cadell, CEO, Lowe Lintas
“Which one contributes to the bottomline of an agency?The real answer is probably both. It depends on the client point of view. Some clients want an agency for pure creative (believing that that drives results) and some for pure results (caring less about how it was achieved). We believe the idea and the execution of that idea is the most important job an agency can do for a client. it is the bedrock upon which great brands are built. But, that idea can only resonate with its target and maximize both its potential and the client’s budget when it is delivered in the correct context. That’s why this year we have brought in ‘Channel Planning’ as the centre piece of our agency.”

Piyush Pandey, NCD & chairman (India and South Asia), O&M
“The greatest level of satisfaction for me, has been the fact that the work that O&M wins at the Abbys, is the same that we win at the Effies for. We do not differentiate between the two. At the end of the day, good work should translate into good results and if you look at our work over the last four to five years, the same work has won at the Effies as well as at the Abbys.

Clients obviously prefer that their campaigns win at the Effies, but it is great when you can demonstrate to the client that you can win for the same work against both award criterion.”

Prasoon Joshi, chairman, McCann WorldGroup India
“In a sense, the Effies is more complete as an award show, as it has a wider consensus and it has clearly defined rules, without any confusion. At the same time, you cannot undermine the significance of creative award shows. With the issues about entering/not entering the show, the issue of scam ads etc, creative award shows have gone haywire. The Abbys has to find its own sense of identity, in terms of its ideology. Earlier, the Abbys were consistent. The issue with creative award shows in India has to do with consensus. What contributes to an agency’s bottomline is the work that resonates with people, which fulfils the communication objectives.”

Anisha Motwani, exec VP- Mktg & CMO - New Mkts, Max New York Life
“I would much rather have both. One is all about creative excellence and the other is all about effectiveness. For me, the Effies is a wider canvas because it doesn’t just narrow itself to creative excellence. From a marketer’s perspective, we would, of course, prefer a campaign which has been effective and has delivered results and at the same point of time, been able to connect with a customer. The fact remains that there aren’t too many common campaigns which have won both at the Effies and the Abbys. The overlap is small. Do creative campaigns also necessarily deliver for clients? That still remains a question mark.”

Mahesh Chauhan, group CEO, Rediffusion Y&R
“I think that’s an unfair question, It’s like comparing apples to oranges. Both the award shows have their significance and their reasons for why they exist.
So while the Effies is about greater effectiveness in the market place, the Abbys is all about greater creativity and then we get into the logic of whether they are linked or not.

In my opinion, it is very closely linked. Look at the Lead India campaign, it won both at the Abbys as well as the Effies. I feel there is an equal amount of satisfaction derived from winning an Effie as well as an Abby.”

 

Source:
Campaign India