SL Delivers Asia's First Win at Global Effies, Grey Colombo becomes Asia's first agency to bag the global award

Holding onto Sri Lanka’s (and Asia's) first-ever win at the Global Effies with Grey Colombo's 'Garments without Guilt' campaign, the agency’s country manager noted with pride that “there is no better feeling than to win a Global Effie for it".


The apparel advertising campaign has now become one of the country's most awarded campaigns internationally. This is an incredible feat for the country as these awards are dominated by global brands, where three of the most effective brand marketing campaigns on average are selected. This year only two were adjudicated as the best in the world - IBM's 'Stop Talking, Start Doing' and Sri Lanka Apparel's 'Garments without Guilt' for 2009. The two campaigns will enter the Global Effie Hall of Fame in New York. The Effie Awards identify the most significant achievement in marketing communications: ideas that work.


The winners were awarded at the North America Effie Awards Gala at the prestigious Cipriani in New York on June 3. Mr. Ajai V. Singh, Vice President and Country Head, along with Mr. Sailesh Wadhwa, Director of Strategic Planning and Brand Services of Grey Colombo received the international award.


The Global Effie Awards honour marketing campaigns that have a combination of effectiveness and creativity, with all submissions having to go through two rigorous rounds of judging, with the final round being judged by over 15 global marketing leaders. This year's panel consisted of Mr. Greg Andersen, Managing Director, BBH, Ms. Minda Gralnek, Vice President and Creative Director, Target Corporation, Mr. Gerry Graf, Chief Creative Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi, New York and Mr. Jonathan Mildenhall, Vice President - Global Advertising Strategy and Creative Excellence, Coca Cola, among others.


Commenting on the significance of the win, Mr. Ajai V. Singh, Vice President and Country Head, Grey Colombo said "this is a milestone win for Sri Lanka and we are tremendously honored to be globally lauded as the creators of one of the most effective case studies in marketing communications. The campaign 'Garments without Guilt’ had to deliver results for the relatively new brand of Sri Lanka Apparel. Hence, creative effectiveness was of paramount importance, and we pushed the envelope by using the strategic combination of new-age marketing tools. And there is no better feeling than to get awarded a Global Effie for it".


"Winning a Global Effie becomes harder and harder each year, and this year was no exception. The final round judges were notably impressed by IBM and Sri Lanka Apparel, which in turn have been deemed the most effective global marketing communications effort of the past year. Kudos to these teams on the success of their ideas," Mary Lee Keane, President, Effie Worldwide said.


Sri Lanka Apparel is the first apparel industry body to be positioned on an ethical platform. Grey Colombo's ‘Garments Without Guilt’ campaign stood strong in the face of a very challenging category. It’s positioning of Sri Lanka as the global ethical apparel manufacturing and sourcing destination was successfully achieved, thereby helping exports reach an all time high of US$ 3 .2bn in 2007/2008 from US$ 2.9bn in 2006/2007.


Grey Colombo developed 'Garments without Guilt' as a people-based movement using digital and new-age marketing techniques, to increase awareness as well as preference for Sri Lanka's apparel industry. Through the promotion of its ethical manufacturing and sourcing positioning to top fashion and retail apparel brands, the campaign leveraged local communities in more than 10 countries and attracted global attention with web-based PR programmes.


These include blogs, online newsgroups, news distribution networks and social networking websites.