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Guest Times: It’s Effie time!

Kapil Arora of Ogilvy & Mather takes a tongue and cheek look at the Effies that will be held tonight in Mumbai

As ad land and indeed clients head toward the race course later today in all their finery, each would be placing their bets on and cheering for their favourite horses…err…cases.  Account managers, planners, creative folks and clients responsible for over a 100 shortlists will wait with bated breath for the results to be announced.

Divided by agency and brand loyalties, the audience, however, is united by certain shared characteristics. Look closely and voila, we have four distinctly heterogeneous groups on display.

The first set, and rightly so, are the ones whose brands are in contention. They are characterised by a sense of confident nervousness, a state reached after days of analysing every instance as a possible clue to the final result: ‘My client’s presenting an award – does that mean a gold for me?’ ‘When I called the Ad Club, I could sense the smile in the Secretary’s voice, surely that means I’m making it to the medal tally?’

Come D-Day, however, hope would take over, preparation for impending victory would have been made, after-party venues decided, predictions galore and, of course, freshly manicured nails from the nervousness (some even manage pedicures, but there is no official position out on that yet!).

The second set is that of the people in the ‘know’. They ‘know’ the winners. They ‘know’ who’s not going to make the cut. They ‘know’ who’s performing today. They ‘know’ the real reason why a certain individual will be missing today. They even ‘know’ the colour of the waiters’ briefs. You can identify this set from afar, by the beatific smile on their faces. When they shake your hand, flash that fake smile and say ‘all the best’, you’re left with the sense of reading your horoscope in the day’s paper – it could go either way, but the horoscope would always be right.

Then come the war horses who run the institution. Have seen it, done it and won it all. As the evening unfolds, this set would have converted the venue into a visual representation of a McKinsey model.  The maidan would be dotted with many concentric circles around each of these people, with the diameter and density of circles determined by a combination of factors, namely, the individual’s ability, pedigree, agency strength wielded, and if he/she is hiring.

The circles are fluid in nature with many meetings during the course of the evening and the final sizes, while influenced by the size of the day’s spoils, are ultimately determined by who is buying drinks after.

Finally, there is the fourth set. Of unabashed supporters. They are at the Effies to support their agencies, support good work, support the subsidised/sponsored entry tickets and, of course, support the unlimited booze. Not surprisingly, this is also the youngest group amongst the four and in many ways, also best characterise what advertising is all about – delivering good work that works and having a ball along the way. This group forms the heart of the party and indeed the heart of our business.

With the creative awards moving to Goa and the media effectiveness awards separated, there are not many times in Mumbai when the heart of the industry gets to come together. An evening like this helps remind us why we are in the business in the first place. Something to thank the Effies for. Something for the industry leaders to think about.

Okay, back to working on my nails now.

(The writer is Country head - Team Vodafone at Ogilvy & Mather. He has had a love affair with the Effies since 2005, with four Effie entries in contention later in the day. The views expressed here are his own.)

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Comments (4)
  • odiyatoka- 8 years ago

    kya bore hai is article, bhaiya ! taking digs at and squeezing dugs of ad agencies looking for awards has become such a tripe way of saying that ad people are actually great spiritual leaders and do not stoop to vie for earth bound awards! chal chal , aage badh, best media ! bahut ho gaya yeh inverted snobbery...or should we say perverted slobbery ?

  • bestmediain- 8 years ago

    Dear odiyatoka Why don't you reveal your identity to get your comments published here?

  • bestmediain- 8 years ago

    Sent you two emails but I didn't know that you are using fake ID - However, I'm Niraj Sharma.

  • CAN NOTPLAC- 8 years ago

    but really, why don't ad agencies simply admit that they love getting awards...what is wrong in admitting that an award or two can get them more clients ..and up their billing...or their prestige/image...that client fees and salaries and perks and sops ..are not enough incentive to work in an ad agency...that would be the honest thing to say ...and then ad types can get on with it shaking off this guilt complex they have about coveting ad awards...they are human after all ...are they not ? yes ?