Some weeks after Leo Burnett’s Luxor Highlighter ad won the Grand Prix, and attracted allegations that it was a “legal scam” ad with one release in The Free Press Journal, Indore edition, K.V. “Pops” Sridhar, national creative director at the agency, picks out low media visibility ads from various agencies that have won all-round.
Ninety-nine per cent of award winning ads are specially created for awards.
There have been many voices raised after the last GoaFest about authenticity of award-winning “single-release ads”. A few ads have been chosen for closer scrutiny than others. But let’s look at most of the winners and apply the same yardstick.
Calculated: Luxor Highlighter (above) and the adoption campaign (right) ads.
I did not see the Marbles campaign plastered all over this city. I did not see the Luxor Highlighter, or the Reynolds Permanent Marker (Twins) in every magazine or newspaper. Or the adoption campaign that won everywhere last year, or the Ponds Age Miracle’s “men pause” ad that won a Grand Prix at the Abbys last year. Likewise, I did not see the Red Cross work, the Coca-Cola press ad (man sleeping in shadow), CPAA’s “Cancer cures smoking”, Levi’s slim fit jeans (stick figures), or the Senso ad (Italian food festival)—all Cannes winners— flooding the marketplace. And what I want to say is that there is no reason that I should. These ads have been created keeping an eye on the award juries and they have succeeded in making an impression on them. These ads that have such low media visibility have still done our country proud and made stars of the people who created them and won the agencies that entered them even more fame.
And here’s how. With one ad, the client has been able to get much more PR on their brands than most of us can conceive. For little or in some cases no money at all, big brands are in the news for all the right reasons. In fact, more mature clients in India and abroad actively encourage their agencies to exercise their creative minds to win awards on their brands. After all, if a batsman can score a triple ton in one match, surely he can be depended on to score a 50 when needed. Now with regard to Luxor, which the critics are saying is not even Leo Burnett’s client, I would like to contend that there are many such clients in existence, clients who welcome path-breaking ideas from agencies even if those agencies aren’t initially on their roster. Who wins? The idea wins and, therefore, the brand wins and, therefore, the creators of the ideas win and, therefore, the agencies they represent win. And only those not used to winning will have a problem with that.