Any award programme with gold, silver and lead (sorry, bronze) awards reminds me of the casket test in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, in which Portia’s father, in his will, states that her potential suitors will have to undergo a test: they will have to choose among three caskets containing gold, silver and lead; whoever picks the right casket will win her hand.
In the advertising world, agencies go through a similar test every year at the Effies, as they compete for gold, silver and bronze awards. It was no different this year at the third edition of the Effie Pakistan Awards, organised by the Pakistan Advertisers Society (PAS) that took place on July 9 virtually. The PAS team, including Asif Aziz, Chairman, PAS and CCO Jazz, Qamar Abbas, Executive Director, PAS and Afsheen Rizavi, General Manager, PAS, were present at the Samaa Channel Studio from where the awards ceremony was streamed on YouTube and Facebook, in addition to Faizan Haqqee who compered the event and members of the industry who ‘presented’ the awards.
Despite the hurdles in organising the Effies virtually, Abbas is happy with how the event turned out. “It makes me proud that this year too, in the spirit of ‘the show must go on’, we pulled off a hybrid event… it was a team effort, be it Samaa’s team who collaborated with us in streaming it live, and of course our sponsors. What is also worth mentioning is that that this year, despite the pandemic, we saw a record breaking increase in the number of entries and this shows the confidence of the industry in the Effies."
This year 357 entries were received by PAS across 42 categories, registering an increase of 67% compared to the previous year's 214 entries. Two new categories were introduced: E-commerce, Marketing Disruptors and Marketing innovations. The Jury comprised 125 industry members and Nadeem Hussain, CEO, Planet N Group, presided as chairperson.
Ogilvy Pakistan was awarded the highest number of points based on the 16 awards they won – they received 143 points. (Points are awarded in the following manner: Grand Effie: 12 points, Gold: eight points, Silver: six points and Bronze: four points). Consequently, they were awarded The Effie Pakistan 2021 Agency Network of the Year Award – for the third time in a row.
Ogilvy Pakistan was followed by MullenLowe Rauf (10 awards); BBDO Pakistan (five awards including The Grand Effie for Shalamar Hospital/Babar Ali Foundation’s “The Hot Tea Stain” campaign); Adcom (seven awards) and Manhattan Communications (five awards). Other notable mentions include Unilever Pakistan which won the Marketer of the Year Award and Sarmad Ali, Group Managing Director Marketing, Jang Media Group, who received the PAS Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the industry.
In the future, Abbas wants to see the Effies become “learning platform for the industry – that is our ultimate goal.”