“Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine this when we started out 23 years ago. Our tiny scrappy little agency from 1999 has just been named the Global Agency of the Year on the biggest stage of them all at Cannes Lions? Let me edit that slightly. Not in my wildest dreams, until the last few years, could I have imagined this,” wrote Sidharth Rao, Founder of Webchutney in a LinkedIn post. The agency was blended into Dentsu Creative India earlier this month and it became India’s first agency to win the coveted ‘Agency of the Year’ Award at Cannes Lions 2022.
The incredible performance of "The unfiltered history tour" created by erstwhile Dentsu Webchutney made Dentsu Creative Bengaluru the Agency of the Year.
Dentsu Creative India was on a winning spree from day 1 of the Cannes Lions. In total, the agency won three Grand Prix, one Titanium, one Gold, four Silver and three Bronze Lions.
Rao further wrote, “I don't say it loud much but I'm so incredibly proud of this institution that I've had the chance to nurture over these last 23 years. What a finale! The brand might be called something else soon but there's no doubt that the legacy remains in more ways than one. No better motivation for me personally than this right here.”
While the brainchild behind the campaign, PG Aditiya, Webchutney Founder Rao and Gautam Reghunath, CEO, Dentsu Webchutney were not there to receive the award on the stage as they left the agency earlier this year, Dentsu Creative India's current leadership team including Ajay Gahlaut and Amit Wadhwa kept their fingers crossed until Thursday for the biggest ever accolade any Indian agency would have got at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity - Agency of the Year.
And finally, on the night of June 24, 2022, it became a reality as the agency officials took a trip to the stage to accept the Agency of the Year award.
Rao went on to write, “Today I want to say our biggest thanks to the two guys who made the rest of us believe. Gautam and PG Aditiya, I can safely say that the most pivotal moment in our company's history was when we decided to give you two the top jobs. You lifted us, you put in the hard work and you've now taken us to uncharted territory. Your teams adore you. Your clients respect the heck out of you. And it's evidently clear that the rest of advertising is coming together and cheering you on in your new journey. Everyone wants the good guys to succeed. Thank you for taking Webchutney all the way.
Rao’s LinkedIn post on the big win:
Earlier in May, after successfully running Webchutney for over 23 years, the Group CEO of Dentsu MB Group, Rao quit the company and decided to test the entrepreneurial waters again.
Rao had founded Webchutney along with Sudesh Samaria in 1999. The agency was then acquired by Dentsu in 2013 after buying out Network 18's stake in the agency.
In October 2021, PG Aditiya and Gautham Reghunath also quit Webchutney and launched their own agency Talented in April 2022.
Aditiya expressed his feeling on social media. He wrote, “I am crying. Literally crying. Like no with tears in my eyes, wiping them off level crying.”
Reghunath too took to social media to share, “I know we're soon going by other names but this is all you, Webchutney. My 300-something group of champions. What an amazing finale to our 23 years. And what a moment to celebrate the man who shies away from the spotlight, Sidharth Rao in his last few weeks! We did it, Sid!”
I know we're soon going by other names but this is all you, @webchutney! My 300-something group of champions. What an amazing finale to our 23 years.— Gautam (@gautxm) June 25, 2022
And what a moment to celebrate the man who shies away from the spotlight, @sidharthrao on his last few weeks! We did it, Sid! https://t.co/mrxhe9Fxus
Aditiya also shared the full credit list of the people involved in the making of the campaign on social media and wrote, “One of the tiny things we decided when we published the credit list for ‘The Unfiltered History Tour’ - is for it to not run-in order of seniority or project involvement, but simply alphabetically. It's also how every credit list from Talented agency reads.”
One of the tiny things we decided when we published the credit list for The Unfiltered History Tour - is for it to not run in order of seniority or project involvement, but simply alphabetically.— PG (@PGAditiya) June 26, 2022
It's also how every credit list from @TalentedAgency reads.
Equality Ownership https://t.co/Vp8XTh1FnP