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Goafest 2023: Leo Burnett takes Creative, Digital Agency of the Year titles; FCB and Mindshare are also among the big winners



Goafest 2023, the leading advertising, media, and marketing festival, marks its highly anticipated comeback to honor outstanding achievements and raise a toast to ‘The Future of Creativity’. Co-hosted by The Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and The Advertising Club (TAC), the festival commenced with renowned speakers and industry veterans taking the stage.

The esteemed ABBY One Show Awards 2023, which took place on the second day of Goafest, revealed the winners in various categories including Design, Digital, Mobile, Technology, Direct, PR, and Broadcast.

Notable achievements included Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited being honored as the Broadcaster of the Year, along with Mindshare and FCB Group India securing victories in multiple categories. Mindshare was recognized as the Mobile Specialist Agency of the Year and Technology Specialist Agency of the Year, while FCB Group India emerged as the Direct Specialist Agency of the Year and Public Relations Specialist Agency of the Year.

Leo Burnett – Creative Agency of the Year

Leo Burnett India emerged as the undeniable victor at the 16th edition of Goafest 2023, concluding on a triumphant note. The agency romped home with the Creative Agency of the Year title with five Gold and 24 Abbys on day three of the Abby One Show at Goafest 2023, adding up to a tally of 122 points.

L&K Saatchi & Saatchi claimed the second spot with 4 Gold, 14 Abbys, and 78 points, closely followed by FCB Group with 74 points from 2 Gold and 14 Abbys. Noteworthy winners included Leo Burnett, who triumphed as the Brand Activation & Promotions Specialist Agency of the Year, receiving two gold awards and one Grand Prix – under the ‘FMCG – Foods & Beverages’ sub-category for Oreo #BringBack2011 – adding to their earlier recognition as the Digital Agency of the Year during the three-day festival, which concluded on May 26th.

Rajdeepak Das, CEO & CCO, Leo Burnett South Asia, said, “It’s been a long journey to this point and each piece of work which has won today is uniquely Burnett – impactful, creative, and new age. As we say at Burnett: Epic Brands, Epic Work! And to see so many of our brands winning across categories is truly what makes this special.”

Dheeraj Sinha, CEO, Leo Burnett South Asia & Chairman, BBH India, said, “The most gratifying part of this win is that it proves we’ve built a culture of creativity at Leo Burnett. The ambition always was to build success at scale and with global impact. Agency of the Year across two years in a row along with the Digital agency of the year and two Grand Prix, that too across multiple clients and campaigns is a testimony to the everyday, relentless push for excellence at the agency. This moment belongs to all the Leo Burnetters, their loved ones who let us keep them away for long hours, to all our clients who put their unflinching trust in us and our partners in production and technology who left no stone unturned to give shape to our ambitious ideas. This is also a moment of gratitude and humility, to stay hungry, and work hard to be the best in the world, bar none.”

EssenceMediacom- Media Agency of the Year

In the Media Abbys, EssenceMediacom was crowned the Media Agency of the Year, Essence Mediacom showcased their exceptional performance by winning a Grand Prix, 4 Golds and 20 metals to earn 122 points and earning the esteemed title of Media Agency of The Year.

The agency won the lone Grand Prix awarded for ‘The Missing Chapter’ for Whisper India, in the category of Innovative Use of OOH.

Mindshare won six of the 25 Gold Media Abbys awarded on the night, the most by an entrant, to end up in second place with 106 points. Madison Media had as many Gold Abbys as EssenceMediacom, at four.

Mindshare- Technology and Mobile Specialist Agency of the Year

Mindshare also took home the Specialist Technology and Mobile Agency of the Year titles awarded on the day. In the Technology Abbys, Mindshare won a Gold, two Silvers and a Bronze, adding up to 24 points, to inch ahead of Leo Burnett’s 22-point haul from a Gold, a Silver and two Bronze Abbys and Madison’s 20 points from a Gold, a Silver, a Bronze and one merit certification.

In the Mobile Abbys, Mindshare won a Gold and two Silvers to net 20 points, followed by Enormous with 12 points from two Silvers and Leo Burnett also with 12 points from a Silver, Bronze and merit certificate. Ibs Fulcro was the only other agency to win Gold.

Mindshare won golds for Bru’s ‘Aanandam Aarambam’ – Happiness starts with a cup of Bru!’, Star Sports’ ‘RJ Off-Air, IPL On-Air’, Shikhar’s ‘Unilever’s B2B app reaches a new Shikhar (Peak)!!!’, Dove’s ‘Thumbstopping Beauty Biases’ and ‘Stop The Beauty Test’ and Kwality Walls’ ‘Trixy Cinegame – 3 Layers of Fun’. Mindshare Bangladesh won gold for Rin’s ‘Rin: My Name My Identity’.

FCB India- PR, Direct Agency of the Year

FCB Group India won the Direct and PR Specialist Agency of the Year titles. In the Direct Abby competition, FCB Group India won two Golds, four Silvers, a Bronze and three merit certificates to earn 50 points, ahead of Leo Burnett India’s 32. Mindshare was the only other agency to win Gold in the Direct Specialist category.

Good Morning Films bagged five Gold and 20 Abbys to emerge as the Video Craft Specialist of the Year. Four of the production house’s five Golds were for Cadbury Bournville’s #TrulyIntense film.

In the Direct Abby competition, FCB Group India won two Golds, four Silvers, a Bronze and three merit certificates to earn 50 points, ahead of Leo Burnett India’s 32. Mindshare was the only other agency to win Gold in the Direct Specialist category.

In the PR Abby competition, FCB Group won four Golds in a tally of eight metals. Leo Burnett and VMLY&R won a Gold Abby each.

In the Design Abby competition, COG Culture won five Silver, eight Bronze and three merit certificates to earn 68 points, earning it the Design Specialist Agency of the Year title.

McCann WorldGroup India- Young Maverick Awards

McCann WorldGroup India won big in the newly introduced “Young Maverick Awards”, which aims to celebrate outstanding work done by executives under 30 years of age. The category witnessed 22 entries and 14 shortlists. McCann Worldgroup India’s Vasudha Roy, Abhijith SS, and Amaljith P picked up the Gold Young Maverick. The executives won the award for Ujjivan Small Finance Bank’s Shagun Ka Lifafa campaign.

Cheil Worldwide’s Nakita Niyogi picked a Silver Young Abby, a category which encourages young advertising talent to work on theoretical brief. This year’s brief was on Metaverse.

McCann Worldgroup, one of the comeback agencies, surprisingly did not enter work in any category except the ‘Young Maverick Abby Award’, a category exclusive to those under 30 professionals.

“We entered work in the Young Maverick Abby Award category so that our youngsters gain exposure and we are here at the festival to honour it because it is an industry event,” says Prasoon Joshi, Chairman, McCann Worldgroup Asia Pacific, and CEO and CCO, McCann Worldgroup India.

The decision, as per Joshi, to stay away from the other categories comes from the agency’s creative council Manthan which decides the awards to enter be it regional, national, or international.

 Zee Entertainment- Broadcaster of the Year

In the respective category, the announcement comprised six Gold, eight Silver, four Bronze, and nine merits. The broadcaster category witnessed a total of 18 victorious entries.

Zee Entertainment Enterprises secured the prestigious Broadcaster of the Year Award. The network’s remarkable achievement included a Gold win for Dance Karnataka Dance – S6 in the sub-category of ‘Best TV reality show promo.’

Sony Entertainment Television also shone brightly with Gold medals for Kaun Banega Crorepati Season 14 (launch), Kaun Banega Crorepati Season 14 (launch-sanju), and Dance Karnataka Dance – S6.

Let’s stay tuned for the awe-inspiring spectacle that awaits us at Goafest 2024, for an extraordinary display of innovation, boundless creativity, and unmatched grandeur.