‘It’s a shame that they don’t show the winning work’: Emma Wilkie, The Gunn Report

We caught up with the MD of The Gunn Report at the sidelines of this year’s Goafest 2017

Apr 12, 2017 04:50:00 AM | Article | Campaign India Team

The Gunn Report is an annual report based on performance of agencies across global, regional and national creative award competitions. We caught up with its managing director, Emma Wilkie to learn more about how the report works, her suggestion to Indian award functions and more…
Edited excerpts: 
Is this your first visit to India?
EW: This is my first visit to Goa, but my second to India. I was in Mumbai for Kyoorius’ awards last year. It’s a beautiful country and I’d like to be here for a non-work visit soon!
Any suggestions to Indian award festivals?
EW: In terms of the event in the evenings (referring to the Media and Creative Abbys), it’s a shame that they don’t actually show the winning work. From my point of view on many occasions there’s work that I really want to see. I understand there are time constraints for these things, but from the last two evenings, I’m noticing the same pieces of work winning multiple times. 
So one could show that piece of work once and get those people on stage also maybe only once for a picture. That way you’d have the time to show the work. It’s important to celebrate the piece of work as much as you celebrate the people. 
Different trends emerging across the world?
EW: We’ve seen a lot of work for not-for-profits and ‘doing good’ winning in the world. It’s an amazing thing that our industry is able to execute and do. 
Whether they are backed by real budgets, I’m not sure. We are seeing more and more work that you have to question and find out whether it’s relevant to the brand. 
But, that kind of work (for not-for-profits) seems to have peaked. Now, we’re getting back to what advertising is all about which is brand building.
How does the Gunn Report work? Which are the advertising shows from India that are taken into account?
EW: We unfortunately can’t share that. We are very open in our methodology. We take into account global, regional and national shows in the top 20 markets. India is on that list. 
Every year I go through the process of deciding to continue with award shows on the list. Since some improve, some new ones come in and some regress we have to take that call. I include whatever is correct at the time. 
We had 45 shows in the list last year.  20 of these were national shows from the top 20 ad markets.
What does The Gunn Report do to advertising?
It’s about measuring and celebrating great creative work. We don’t think one particular award show gets it right, so it’s much better to have a consensus. We want to champion creative work. According to our research creative work has better business results. So if you’re work is creative it’s more likely to be effective.
Any comments on the quality of work here at Goafest?
It’s not my position to comment on the creative. I do sit in on juries, but as a silent witness to watch the process. Being the Gunn Report we have to be neutral. 
Challenge for creativity in advertising in the mid and short term?
The industry needs to go back and remember that they have to be brand builders and stop working for the short run. We should remember that it’s.