The People choose
by Rochelle Gunaratne
Pix by Srilal Gomes and Nishan S. Priyantha

The SLIM-Nielsen People's Awards 2007 held at the Waters Edge on July 5 for the second consecutive year was a prestigious event attended by the glitterati of Sri Lanka, musicians, actors, the doyens of society and many more. Fashion statements were made by many ranging from butterfly sarees to bling etc.

It was the event for the marketers of this country be it personalities, brands, insurance and baking etc, an event organised by the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing and Nielsen which is one of the largest research companies in the world. The 31 awards that were given were chosen by the people through a comprehensive research and it was divided into four main categories such as People’s Awards, peoples FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), Peoples Teen awards and Peoples Teen FMCG awards.

Members of the organising committee were not to be "unsung heroes" as they too were awarded duly for their efforts. The people's choice in actors, female/male singers, and artiste of the year were aptly awarded to Ranjan Ramanayake, Malani Fonseka, Nanda Malani, Pandith W.D. Amaradeva and Jackson Anthony. The people's choice in the social worker of the year was jointly awarded to Deshamanya Lalith Kotalawala and Dr. Soma Edirisinghe.

The people's sportsperson of the year was awarded to none other than our "master blaster" Sanath Jayasuriya who was unable to attend the function and was missed by folks who wanted to catch a glimpse of him. The people's choice in different categories of brands were awarded to brands such as Singer, Sunlight, Signal, Vim, Elephant House Cream Soda and Sri Lanka Telecom. The other winners were People's Bank, Ceylinco Insurance, Ceylinco Group, Sirasa, Shri FM, Lankadeepa, Dilmah, Damro and many more.

The People's Brand of the Year was awarded to Singer. The chief guest was Minister Dilum Perera who said that the awards should also focus on the poverty stricken people of this land and not merely the affluent, to be like a "beacon in the marketing field lighting the path for others to follow". The awards were presented in stages with a hiatus that added vibrancy and flair with entertainers such as the choristers trained by Ruwani Seimon, the El Latino Dance troupe, the Ravi Bandu drum ensemble and the dancers trained by Chandana Wickramanayake who presented a colourful version of "sea horses and mermaids". Winners, nominees and everyone present were treated to an awards presentation of class.



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