The team at OMD Worldwide is thrilled given the 10 Media Lions that it has won at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Six of those have been awarded to OMD APAC and in the words of Steve Blakeman, CEO – OMD APAC, “the world had just stopped”, when OMD Australia was announced ‘Media Agency of the Year’.
With six Lions – one Gold for Media Agency of the Year, two Golds and one Silver for OMD Australia, one Bronze each for OMD China and OMD New Zealand – 2013 has been OMD APAC’s best ever haul of Lions.
In a conversation with DMA, on what a win such as this means from an agency viewpoint, Blakeman said, “Cannes Lions is the most revered award and the one that everyone wants to win. One of our existing clients saw the news in the trade press about us winning Agency of the Year, and they said that they were thrilled. They said they want to be associated with winners themselves and hopefully next year, it would be them up on the stage winning something collectively.”
While some may believe that agency clients who do not win may not have a very positive view seeing their agencies win on other businesses, Blakeman is of the opinion that the award is a motivation. He observed, “Clients genuinely want to win and for those who don’t win, it just means we would be working harder, and they would be working harder, to be recognised. We have a client with us that had traditionally not done very well at the awards. But they had focus, and we had focus, and now they win.”
From an agency viewpoint, while a win such as this is a huge boost, the challenge is whether the shine sometimes takes the focus away from real work. “No,” Blakeman replied firmly, and added, “You would not get the accolade in the first place if you were not doing the day-to-day right. It is the hard yards that count. I would liken it to an athlete training for something. They go to the Olympics and win a Gold but it is not the two weeks of the Olympics but what you did in the previous four years that count. That is what we do on a daily basis.”
Blakeman was candid enough to admit that he had never imagined two years back, when he had joined the agency, that he would be receiving the prestigious Lions at the Cannes stage. “I was shocked when we were in the audience, and they read our name out for the Agency of the Year – the world had just stopped,” he said.