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Short circuit

The verdict from a panel of three eminent industry experts is finally in. We bring you the winners of Brand Equity’s Think Small contest - to create an ad promoting the use of smaller-sized condoms.

Feb 14, 2007, 12.00 AM IST

When we came up with the idea for this ad contest, we thought the brief was a creative’s dream: create a piece of public service communication, which doesn’t have a single brand as a client, for a category that actually is all about selling sex.

And we were gratified by the response to our call for entries — over the last month, over 70 entries flooded our mailboxes, from creative directors, junior copywriters, students, marketing people and designers from across the country.

We took a fun afternoon out to shortlist 21 of these entries, and presented them to our panel of judges — all of whom have years of experience in advertising, as well as in judging advertising. They took time out from their busy schedules to do a bit of pre-award season judging, and here’s what they came up with: AMO Communications sweeps our contest, with first, second and fourth places.

The top ad was created by Rahul Mahajan,second place goes to Ramakrushna, in third place is Naresh Jishnani. Our runners up: in fourth place is Minoti Shetye, and in fifth place is Suneel. Get in touch with us guys — we’d like to feature your pictures and profiles.

On the whole, our entries veered towards the genre known as “awards advertising”. Says Madhukar Sabnavis, country head - discovery & planning, O&M, “It is interesting to note how most of the creative work in such contests gravitates towards western benchmarks — minimalism, white spaces, understated typography and English.” He points out that in ads like these, Indianisation seems to mean a very simple solution — cricket and Sachin!

While some of the best ads on Indian television are very Indian in grammar, look and feel and idiom, he feels its time to produce our own look and feel in the print medium. MG Parameswaran, executive director & CEO, FCB Ulka, agrees, “All the ideas are visually dominated with copy contributing very little.” Is that an indication that the current generation doesn’t read very much, wonders the author of three books on advertising and marketing, including Understanding Consumers and Building Brand Value.

Josy Paul, NCD, david, seemed like he’d prefer a shot at creating an entry instead of judging them. “Given the amazing category and the new findings, I expected a greater explosion of ideas,” he says, feeling that the work wasn’t too exciting. “This was a chance to authenticate scams but many of these ads look scammier than scams.”

So there you have it — straight from the heart. We congratulate all our winners, and to the rest of our contestants, all we can say is better luck next time. Write in to brand.equity@timesgroup.com.
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