Little People Win Big Gold for Phoenix Ogilvy

“Before we began judging I told the other Outdoor judges that the important thing we’re doing here today isn’t to decide the winners, it should also be to direct next year’s winners. Essentially we’re sending a message to the rest of the industry about the progression and the direction of advertising,” said Victor Ng, the former Chief Creative Officer at Euro RSCG South East Asia & Singapore, who was this year’s Jury President for Outdoor at the Adfest 2010 Lotus Awards last week in Tokyo. “When all is said and done, we can now say that this year’s Lotus winners … Continue reading Little People Win Big Gold for Phoenix Ogilvy

Court Orders Chillies to Lift Ban on Phoenix Ogilvy

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A District Court today ordered the Trustees of the Chillies — Sri Lanka’s only advertising creativity awards show — to allow Phoenix Ogilvy to submit entries for the 2010 awards, scheduled to be held later in May. Judge Mohammed Lafar Thahir passed down an enjoining order that would prevent the Chillies from scheduling any activities connected to the 2010 awards without first accepting entries from the Colombo ad agency.

This followed a hasty attempt by the Chillies Blueprint Committee to change the rules in March — a scant two months before the awards show — thereby making the event exclusive to members of the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies (4A’s) and the International Advertising Association (IAA), which jointly organise and run the one-week annual event. This was a change from previous regulations which allowed any registered ad agency to nominate entries, and at first seemed merely a piece of pettiness that didn’t hold true to the Chillies stated vision of raising the bar of Sri Lankan creativity. Another year, another controversy. Perhaps an attempt to unionize the industry and exclude those that didn’t toe the party line.

However, on closer examination, a more sinister motive seemed to reveal itself. The fact is that 99% of Colombo ad agencies are members of either the 4A’s or the IAA, and in most cases, of both. The few exceptions are usually minnows or newcomers who haven’t paid much attention to either body. Except for one — Phoenix Ogilvy, one of Colombo’s heavyweights, and the local shop of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. In spite of the fact that the ad agency is a founder member of both the 4A’s and the Sri Lankan chapter of the IAA, Phoenix Ogilvy’s chairman, Irvin Weerackody, pulled out of both bodies in 1999, claiming “disagreements with other members over their private agendas”.

This enmity between Weerackody and the organisers of the Chillies has led to several conflicts over the past years, including the exclusion of Phoenix Ogilvy staff from many 4A’s- and IAA-conducted events. This cold war broke into open flames in 2010, with the Chillies appointing a Blueprint Committee consisting almost exclusively of senior members of rival ad agencies — Rohan Rajaratnam (CEO, Words), Laila Gunasekara-Martenstyn (COO, Grant McCann-Erickson), Chalaka Gajabahu (CEO, Lowe LDB), and Ranil de Silva (MD, Leo Burnett Solutions). The fifth member of the committe, Adrian Ferdinands, is a marketing consultant. Continue reading “Court Orders Chillies to Lift Ban on Phoenix Ogilvy”

Toilet Art

This is an exhibition we did on behalf of one of our clients, Mega Life Sciences, who are launching Goezy, a brand of laxative. We decided to avoid the usual conventional above-the-line campaign, something the client couldn’t really afford, and instead advertise the brand through an art exhibition. Several artists were asked to interpret the theme of ‘struggle’ using toilet paper as a medium. Half a dozen artists worked on the project over a period of several months, and this was the result. The exhibition was held two weekends ago at the Artway Gallery in Nugegoda. Here are a selection of the pieces:

Breathless
Breathless
Burden
Burden

Clutches
Clutches
Continue reading “Toilet Art”