Raahil Chopra
May 11, 2015

Live Issue: Can India sustain multiple creative awards?

Will two national festivals be accepted? Or, will it lead to polarisation of entrants? We ask stakeholders

Live Issue: Can India sustain multiple creative awards?
Soon after Kyoorius announced its two-day festival in Mumbai, talks about it being a ‘Goafest rival’ surfaced. The question on whether both festivals can co-exist in the Indian market followed.
 
Stakeholders suggest this could happen, but only if they are differentiated enough.
 
Santosh Padhi, co-founder and chief creative officer, Taproot India, holds the view that like there are multiple awards like Cannes, D&AD and the One Show globally, India too can have multiple awards. He says, “Since, we are such a huge country, we can have multiple national creative awards. But, the awards need to define themselves. It’s like how Cannes (Lions) and D&AD are different – Cannes is about communication, while D&AD is more about craft. Similarly, awards in India too need that differentiator.”
 
Having said that, Padhi adds, “I always believe in one awards show. It took a lot of time for the industry to bring the Abbys and Goafest together. It was done for the welfare of the industry. Differences now need to be solved by the industry coming together. I keep telling people, we look to solve client problems, but we can’t solve the one problem for our industry.”
 
Malvika Mehra, national creative director, Grey India, concurs with Padhi in saying that India can have multiple creative awards. She adds, “It is not just about India. I believe any country can have one or more awards. Globally, there are so many shows.” She cautions though that award organisers shouldn’t take participation for granted. Participation, she underlines, would depend on the reputation and credibility of each award show.
 
Nakul Chopra, CEO, Publicis South Asia and chairman, organising committee, Goafest, says the industry has had multiple creative awards earlier too and that is no reason for concern.  He explains, “In the history of Indian advertising this has happened earlier too. Some of them (awards) have merged with the bigger festivals, while some have fallen. If around the world there are multiple awards, some carry higher weight than the others and hence they’re better participated (in). From my perspective the Abbys are the biggest and most definitive awards. Not just because of how long they’ve been around, but because of the width that they cover.”
 
He adds, “I would imagine that there should be a differentiator (for the other awards). Some of the questions asked to me during Goafest were related to the monetary angle. Yes, budgets are limited and people need to enter international awards, and agencies are feeling this pressure and don’t have unlimited accounts. But given that, both the Abby and Goafest saw a 25 per cent increase in participation. Sixty to 70 per cent of the entries came from traditional participating agencies. The constituents who haven’t participated (at Abbys at Goafest) are just five or six agencies.” 
 
Rajesh Kejriwal, founder and CEO, Kyoorius, explains the rationale behind Melt. He says, “Now, with Melt we have two big advertising festivals. We are positioned very differently and address different target groups. My intention was always to host awards of an international level or stature. That’s the positioning we want to work on. I would say our awards are more for the critique and we don’t award Gold, Silver or Bronze awards.”
 
Satbir Singh, chief creative officer, FCB Ulka, also believes multiple award shows shouldn’t be a hindrance to each other. However, he has a word of caution for the industry: “It’s a large industry and two large shows shouldn’t be a problem as long as they’re differentiated. That’s the trick. The industry and organisers will have to be careful not to turn them into camps or preferences.”
He sums up saying, “In the end, may creativity win.”
 
Both festivals will perhaps exist. But the question remains on whether every agency will enter both with equal gusto. 
 
Santosh Padhi, co-founder and CCO, Taproot India
 
“We can’t have an overlap, because agencies don’t have excess money to participate in awards. Awards need to be positioned in a specific manner, else it’s about eating into each other’s share.”
 
 
 
Nakul Chopra, CEO, Publicis South Asia
 
“I don’t think people would be interested in doing the same thing twice. Some of the questions asked at Goafest was – about the monetary angle. People need to enter international awards too. Agencies are feeling this pressure and don’t have unlimited accounts, but given that, both the Abby and Goafest saw a 25 per cent increase in participation.”
 
Rajesh Kejriwal, founder and CEO, Kyoorius
 
“Most countries have two awards. We can do that too. If you see Goafest, it’s more local (and that’s not a bad place to be) and rewards more popular work. My intention is to host awards of international stature.”
 
 
 
Malvika Mehra, NCD, Grey India
 
“India or any country can have multiple advertising awards. Participation in these awards depends on the credibility and reputation of the award.”
 
 
 
 
Satbir Singh, CCO, FCB Ulka
 
“The industry and organisers will have to be careful not to turn them into camps or preferences. In the end, may creativity win!”
 
 
 
 
(This article first appeared in the 1 May 2015 issue of Campaign India)
Source:
Campaign India

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