We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. If the defending champion chooses not to play, the world cup will not be known by another name. The trophies may lose some of their luster, but that’s alright.
In the Indian context, the last few years have seen some agencies stay away from the Creative Abbys. Lowe stayed away from all creative awards over a period of time and that was a stand one understood. But agencies that abstained from one award show but seemed to go out of their way to support another, befuddled us. Especially if the show they stayed away from was their own (an industry award), and the one they entered was one floated by a private enterprise.
If one tracks the global scene closely, it’s nothing new. One agency leader or another has, once in a while, threatened to pull out of one award or the other. Most often, among reasons that emerge when you scratch the surface, are sour grapes. Refraining from entering awards could be a sign of unhappiness for other reasons too; reasons that organisers must address to appease the particular agency honcho. We’d be lying if we say we haven’t been through this ourselves.
Even after organisers made every effort to have conversations and iron out differences, some agencies refused to return to the Abbys at Goafest. And they wouldn’t say why.
Thankfully, now, McCann has said it will be back at the festival, with entries in all categories, besides sending a full-strength delegation. It is significant that the agency has said it is satisfied with the efforts made by organisers to address participants’ concerns.
What is even more significant is that the agency, a joint holder of the top slot among Indian agencies in the Gunn Report for Creative 2015 (with J. Walter Thompson), is in the race for creative Abbys at Goafest again.
The rules that creative awards are defined by are very clear, be it Cannes Lions or D&AD or Creative Abbys. If it is real work, done with client approval and witnessed in the market, it does not matter how many times it was released. It does not matter if it is a poster, or a one-time activation.
Welcome back, McCann, to the industry’s only creative party in India. You have underlined your support to the industry.
From an industry perspective, the most awarded in the country at creative awards are in the reckoning at Creative Abbys 2016.
(This editorial appears in the issue of Campaign India dated 4 March 2016.)