Effies 2019: Prasoon Joshi, Partha Sinha, HUL, The Womb, FCB Ulka on their wins

Starting off the Awards calendar for this year, the Effie Awards India 2019 was hosted by The Advertising Club (TAC) last night (January 11) in Mumbai. Among the major winners were Hindustan Unilever Limited, who adjudged as the Effie Client of the Year. McCann Worldgroup India was named Effie India Agency of the Year. The coveted Grand Effie was won by the Ogilvy India Group for the Fevikwik campaign – “Getting the fixer at home to fix more”. 

Adgully caught up with some of the key winners to share their moment of joy and pride on winning at the Effies 2019. 

Prasoon Joshi :

“This win is very special. I am very happy with the kind of work that we are doing and the width. We are also winning with the clients which people think we have fatigued on them; but we have been working on Coca-Cola for so long and we’ve again won on Coke as well as on Nestle. If you look at our work for Ikea, it is unconventional work – like taking you on a virtual experience – and not regular advertising. So, I feel the kind of work that we are doing shows there is a movement. It is very important for any agency to move with the times and not be repetitive. Therefore, I’m very happy with the nature of work. 

The year 2018 has been very good for McCann. Financially, the performance has been very good. My being on the Board has also made a difference in that you can always convince your people at the headquarters with what should be the strategy for the year. I think India is a very dynamic country, as what worked for you a few years ago will not suffice now, so I think we need to keep reinventing ourselves. 

2019 is an election year for India. But people are very guarded when it comes to the elections; and we can always see that it churns the economy as well. On the one hand, people have waited with great expectations, while on the other hand, there is a lot of excitement and celebration. So, I see some mixed feelings. Elections are a celebration of democracy in this country, so it is a very positive feeling, because that also tells you the mood of the nation. For us, in the communications business, elections are also a time to study what the people are thinking about and in which direction they are thinking; hence, it is kind of a crash course in consumer behaviour for us.” 

Partha Sinha, MD & Vice-Chairman, McCann World Group:

“It feels very great to win at the Effies, more so since we have won this accolade twice in a row now. This just goes on to prove that we are a great team. 

The year 2018 has been very, very good for us at McCann – both in terms of creative and strategy – with great business results. 

My vision for 2019 is to do even better.” 

Priyanka Nair, Vice President – Homecare, Hindustan Unilever Ltd:

“We are of course very happy on our win and that our work has been recognised. What makes it even better is that it is a repeat success. Though I kept count of all our wins, HUL has won multiple times before at the Effies. 

What makes us the best client in this cauldron in India? I think it is the fact that we are blessed with beautiful brands and I think we really focussed on working with consumers on really what matters to them. I think in the end that is what it’s about.” 

The Womb and Saregama Carvaan 

The Womb won 4 Gold, 2 Silver and 2 Bronze Effies for its work done for Saregama Carvaan. The Golds were won in the Durables: Electronic goods, Experiential Marketing / Brand Experience, Integrated Advertising Campaign and Best Use Of Data categories. The Silvers were won in the David v/s Goliath and New Product or Service categories, while the Bronze awards were won in the B2B and Positive Change: Social Good – Brands categories. 

Kawal Shoor, Co-founder, The Womb:

“I think it’s in a way what one consumer told us in Lucknow, “It is God’s gift to us.” And in a way we feel the same way about Saregama Carvaan. We were an agency in our initial stages when we got a brief like this from a client like Vikram Mehra, who was an ex-client of ours. He had a lot of songs, but there was no way to take those songs to the people who wanted to listen to them. In today’s age, radio no longer plays these kinds of songs, because they mostly cater to the young audience. The earlier format of music available in cassettes and CDs are no longer there. Thus, there’s no way to buy those songs. People don’t want to watch the songs, they want to listen to the songs while they’re working and doing other things; that’s just how we used to listen to the radio in the older days. 

For us, it was a journey from understanding who would want to listen to these songs to how we would reach these songs to them. And this is a great partnership between a client who trusted the thinking that we have and our people who could imagine things they had never done before. Thankfully, we’re not an ad agency, because then we would have thought like an ad agency. This allowed us to think not in terms of a campaign, but focus on what the issue was and solve the client’s problem.” 

Navin Talreja, Co-founder, The Womb:

“Obviously, it’s a great feeling winning at the Effies 2019. Saregama Carvaan has been winning at various award shows. At the Effies again, it was great for the client where he ended up being the runner-up with one brand, one product, compared to HUL with multiple brands and products. So, he went away very excited on winning 4 Golds, 2 Silvers and 2 Bronzes. 

We are a three-year old agency, with around 25-26 people and we have ended up being placed 4th among the top 6 agencies. At times it feels surreal, we are deliriously happy about it.” 

Vikram Mehra, Managing Director, RP Sanjeev Goenka Group:

“Saregama Carvaan is not a campaign, it’s a product idea which is winning us awards all around. When a marketer starts getting lazy, they start to think that the entire world is an extension of themselves. At times it is necessary to go out and meet the real customer and understand what he/she wants and convert it into a product or an idea, I think Carvaan is all about that. Thus, Carvaan is getting a lot of accolades all around, but the basic thing is that it is all born from consumer insights. When they go home, they want to listen to music at the press of a button. They want their life to be simple and Carvaan is winning awards for that. 

The brief that we had given to the agency was that Carvaan should be positioned as the ultimate gifting option for a 25-year old to be given to his parents, uncle, aunt, teacher, or boss. Carvaan sales have cross the 1-million mark. It is the only product of its kind globally.” 

FCB Ulka Advertising and The Times of India 

FCB Ulka Advertising has won 2 Gold and 1 Bronze Effie for its socially relevant campaign done for The Times of India – ‘Sindoor Khela – No Conditions Apply”, which promotes inclusivity. The Golds were won in the Positive Change: Social Good – Brands and Regional categories, while the Bronze was won in the David v/s Goliath category.

Sandeep Bhargava, Director, Brand TOI & Mirror:

“The entire campaign was conceived by FCB Ulka. When Swati called me and shared the idea with us, it resonated so well with our requirements in the market in Kolkata and I just saw the connect that it would help us build with the Bengali population in Kolkata. I saw the great scope that it offered me to be able to better connect my paper and my brand with the people there. Just that thought propelled me to support the idea wholeheartedly and the rest is history. To be able to demonstrate to the citizens of Kolkata that we understood their culture and, more importantly, their ability to be progressive regarding their own age old traditions – that is what I wanted to demonstrate in our paper, and I think we did that very effectively and till date I think we are leveraging that when we go out and reach out to the reading public of Kolkata."

Swati Bhattacharya, Chief Creative Officer, FCB Ulka Advertising:

“What happened at ground for the Sindoor Khela campaign was our biggest award, because we saw what a difference it is making in people’s lives and this just validates that feeling officially. 

It is also very personal for me, and I have spoken about it a lot. I got divorced around 10 years back and I felt that pang of not being invited for the Sindoor Khela events during Durga Puja celebrations. That was the only time when I felt bad for myself. I then realised that there are so many of us on the fringes of the festival and this is like sweet revenge.”



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