Maxus, also a GroupM agency, chipped in with one silver and five bronze, the runner-up. Clearly, the evening belonged to the largest media group in the country.
Smaller rivals did do their bit to stay in the race, with Lodestar UM and Madison Media-Pinnacle tied at five metals each. Lodestar UM walked away with two silver and three bronze and Madison Media took home one silver and four bronze, respectively. Ironically, no Grand Prix was given in the media awards this evening, indicating the judging standards were getting tough.
Of the 660 valid entries in the Media Abbys this year, only 140 made it to the first shortlist, eventually whittled to 46 winners. Ashish Bhasin, chairperson of the Media Abbys, admitted the bar had indeed been raised this year, to ensure it was a celebration of truly creative media work. "The jurors, quite frankly, found nothing worth giving in terms of a Grand Prix," he added.
The gold winners included Mindshare's work for Fair & Lovely (in the category of cinema), Kissan Ketchup (in mixed media) and Axe Deodarant (in branded content). Starcom Mediavest bagged a gold for its campaign for Samsung, while Interface Business Solutions walked away with a gold for Tata Docomo, both winners in the digital display category. Milestone Brandcom landed a gold for its use of outdoor and ambient media for McDonald's.
Bhasin said the spread of winners this year was better than earlier editions, with 16 agencies walking away with a metal or the other, in comparison to the six or seven which would walk home with a trophy each year.
"In that sense, the democratisation of awards is beginning to happen in media as well, as it has in creative. It's no more about a few agencies walking away with metals. More agencies and companies are participating and putting in good work, reflecting in the awards they are taking home," he said.
In all, there were 18 media categories where agencies entered their work.
Certain categories such as digital saw significant reorganisation. "For instance, social media and digital display were taken as separate categories and not bunched into one umbrella called digital. As media evolves, verticals will get sharper and the media awards will have to reflect this shift," Bhasin added.