The Pakistan Advertisers Society (PAS) held the fifth edition of its Awards in April. The event, held at the Karachi Expo Centre, attracted over 800 guests from the advertising and marketing profession and made it one of the biggest events of the industry.
The Awards began on a sombre note, with tributes paid to agency professionals who passed away in 2014-15. They included Agha Azfar Ali, CEO, O&M Pakistan (2014), Mohammed Abdullah, Account Head, Starcom Mediavest (2014), Imran Mir, CEO, The CircuitDraft FCB (2014), Syed Munir Qadri, Senior Media Buyer, GroupM Pakistan (2014), Anwer Ali Siddiqui, Media Manager, Bond Advertising (2014), Fawad Akhter Ali, Partner, The Brand Crew (2015), Raza Khattack, Creative Manager, Manhattan Communications (2015) and Masood Hamid, Director Marketing, The Dawn Media Group (2015). A minute of silence was observed and then Rachel Viccaji paid a musical tribute by dedicating Over the Rainbow to their memory.
Then in true Pakistani spirit the show went on to recognise the best and the brightest in the country’s advertising.
The big winner in terms of numbers was JWT Pakistan once again, with top awards going to Cornetto – Telenor, with Mindshare (Ice Cream & Desserts), HBL Football (Banking & Financial Services and Passion for Pakistan), Lux (Cosmetics & Personal Care) and Olper’s Ecolean Mini Jug (Breakfast, Food & Dairy).
According to Tahir Yousuf, Group Account Director, JWT Pakistan, winning awards requires complete synchronisation with the client and “within JWT, from the CEO down to the junior most staff, everyone contributed wholeheartedly.”
Another big winner was BBDO Pakistan, which bagged four awards for their Not a Bug Splat campaign, in the Public Service/CSR, Media Innovation, Best in Outdoor and Best in Digital categories. The campaign has already won a series of international awards, including Pakistan’s first Gold Effie, a Cannes Lion (Bronze) and seven Bronze and three Silver at Spikes Asia. However, Assam Khalid, Strategic Planning Director, BBDO Pakistan did say that “there is a certain pleasure in winning on home ground, especially because of the issue [drone strikes] the campaign was addressing.”
However the star of the show was not a big agency, but Arey Wah, a hot shop that has had the industry in thrall since it released the Kenwood Khush raho campaign last year and which won the Campaign of the Year Award, The campaign also won in the Telecommunications Hardware & Consumer Electronics category, Best in TV and Best Nationally Originated Campaign.
Kamran Sarfraz, Director Operations, Arey Wah proudly said, “We launched last year and of the two campaigns we released, one has won four awards.” He added that the media spent on the Kenwood campaign was Rs 40 million, which was much less than what most clients usually spend; yet sales increased by 35%.
Lowe & Rauf bagged two awards for Brooke Bond Pearl Dust Hik Piyali Pyaar (Beverages – Hot) and with Bullseye Communications for Surf Excel Iconic (Fabric Care). According to Kiran Murad, Creative Consultant at Lowe & Rauf, “It was a proud moment for us; we bagged awards for all our businesses, ATL, digital and PR and each award is extremely precious.”
Adcom did equally well with awards going to Meezan Naimat-e-Ramazan (Culinary) and British Council IELTS’ Hello World (Education).
Kudos to GolinHarris; they launched in Pakistan a year ago and yet won the Best in Print Award for Pond’s Miracle Journey. “Pond’s Miracle Journey was the first project for our new communications agency, and we are delighted we made our mark on the national scene,” says Fareshteh Aslam, Country Head, GolinHarris Pakistan.
|Pond's Miracle Journey won the Best in Print Award for the overall campaign.|
Other winners were Barely Average Design for Espresso Cookie Check In, (Fastfood & Restaurants), Creative Unit for the 10th Dawn in Education National Spelling Bee A Spelling Bee Saga of Bee-licious Proportions! (Media), Farigh Four for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital Five Rupee Daily (Hospitals, Healthcare & Hygiene), Interflow with Gameover Productions and Tadpole Films for Ufone Voice Quality (Telecommunications), GroupM, Manhattan Leo Burnett for Chilli Milli Chilli and Milli Went Up the Hill (Confectionary & Snacks), Manhattan International for Corolla Simply Wow (Automotive & Transportation), Red Communication Arts for Servis Winter Campaign (Fashion & Accessories), Soho Square for Coca Cola Coke Studio + Project Connect (BTL Activation) and Walter Pakistan for Pepsi Better Together (Beverages Cold).
|(Top) JWT Pakistan bagged the highest number of awards. (Bottom left) BBDO Pakistan took four awards for its ‘Not a Bug Splat’ campaign, while (right) Arey Wah also won four awards for the Kenwood Khush raho campaign – Photographs provided by the PAS.|
This year the PAS introduced a Lifetime Achievement Award, which was very befittingly presented to advertising supremo Javed Jabbar, whose contribution to the communications industry has been immense.
The show was punctuated by entertainment by Zia Moyehuddin reading poetry by Faiz Ahmed Faiz and satire by Younus Butt, accompanied by Ustad Nafees; Bushra Ansari recounting anecdotes of her voiceover stints and musical performances by Jawad Ahmed and Fuzon. These interludes, necessary as they are should have been shorter and better scripted to mirror the topic of the occasion. Perhaps the weakest link of the show was the MC. The PAS should consider delivering a better and more relevant script in future in terms of the introduction of segments, presenters and brands.
The 2015 edition came with further improvements from last year. The number of jurors was increased and included a higher number of big agencies heads, among whom, Faraz Maqsood Hamidi (D’Hamidi Partnership), Mansoor Karim (JWT), Taher Anwar Khan (Interflow) and Shahnoor Ahmed (Spectrum Y&R) were counted.
In the opinion of Qamar Abbas, ED, PAS, “Agency heads as practitioners know the work inside out and their input is extremely valuable.” About maintaining fairness, Abbas says that the PAS was at great pains to ensure that no agency personnel were part of a jury panel that was required to judge that particular’s agency submission. Furthermore, the jury members were very ethical and ‘recused’ themselves from judging any category where there could have been a potential conflict of interest. Ernst & Young also served as the monitoring body to further increase the credibility of the Awards.
There also was a significant increase in the number of entries submitted, going from 198 in 2014 to 263 this year. Abbas attributes this firstly to the fact that the level of confidence in the Awards has increased. Secondly, many smaller agencies participated this time, including brands such as Espresso, Gourmet and Leisure Club which are not mainstream advertisers. Thirdly, there were changes in the fee structure; previously there was a flat fee of Rs 25,000 and if a campaign was submitted in multiple categories the flat fee applied irrespective. This time the fee was revised to Rs 15,000 for each subsequent category entered. Fourthly, the inclusion of the Platform Award, which did not require submitting the results of an entry encouraged clients which did not wish to share results of their campaigns to enter.
According to Abbas, there are still some clients who remain unwilling to share campaign data, yet at the end of the day the PAS Awards are Effectiveness Awards, and the objective, apart from recognising good work, is to encourage brands and agencies to focus on the pre and post evaluation of the campaign. “For the industry to grow and contribute to the economy, it is important to encourage a mindset whereby any money invested must provide ROI.”