Gokul Krishnamoorthy
Sep 15, 2016

Opinion: It’s time for IndIAA

Stage set to celebrate category-elevating creative advertising, again

Opinion: It’s time for IndIAA
Critics of linking agency fee for creative work to sales results point out that even the best creative cannot save a lousy product. The more rational approach is to define ‘success’ prior, not restricted to sales spikes. Those measures and methods aside, should fantastic, real creative work go unrewarded? 
Every award has its place. Creative awards are necessary to raise the creative bar. Effectiveness awards deserve the spotlight for proven creativity that meets marketing objectives. And then there is the IndIAA Awards, also for creative advertising – creative advertising that raises the bar for communication in its category.
In the words of D Shivakumar, PepsiCo India chairman and head of IndIAA Awards 2016 jury, there were three parameters that the eminent business leaders looked at while judging the work. Did it make one think on the brand and the category in a fresh way? Was the benefit visualised brilliantly? And lastly, campaign-ability of the idea.
The IndIAA Awards has a special place for several reasons, the first of which is its reason for existence. The work that is awarded had already helped the brand impress the market it was created for, before it could impress the jury. That remains a necessary condition.
True to its premise of celebrating category-elevating work, only one piece of work in a category is awarded.
It is also an award show that calls on stage the marketing team at the client end, and all agency partners involved with the campaign. It is already the age of collaboration. The IndIAA Awards is pointing to the future that is upon us, where the big idea could truly come from anywhere.
There are global award shows that do a great job of nurturing and celebrating creativity like the Cannes Lions. But if one looks at the winners of IndIAA Awards 2015, it is evident that a lot of the winners picked by a jury helmed by Unilever’s Harish Manwani, would not even have been among shortlists at an award centred on ‘creativity’. IndIAA Awards is about popular creativity, often rooted in great insight, with Indian sensibility. 
If one looks at the shortlists this year, yes, there are pieces of work that have impressed the Cannes Lions jury, among others. But there is also work from Banjara, a brand that has taken the fight against India’s obsession with fair skin to another level with #ProudofMyColour. True to its campaign, it has even stopped production of fairness creams. Will an international jury get the intensity of that issue? 
This recognition is even more special because it is judged by an all-star client-only jury. By ensuing this, IAA has not only avoided the complications involved with agencies judging each others’ work. It has put creativity firmly in focus for leaders of some of the country’s biggest brands. In my view, IndIAA Awards has done the world of marketing a world of good, with this move. 
When the awards were launched last year, I suggested we borrow a quote DDB Group’s global CCO Amir Kassaei often uses, to establish the premise of the awards. He has often said, “Winning awards means only one thing – that you are good at winning awards.” 
“Not anymore,” said the IAA. Enter IndIAA Awards.
This year, website partner for the awards, Rage Communications, came up with a lovely thought. 
They said, the IndIAA Awards are for the ‘Asli Champions’. 
(The author is managing editor, Campaign India.)
Also read:
(Disclosure: Campaign India is knowledge partner for IndIAA Awards 2016, responsible for screening nominations invited from the industry, and scanning all work that appeared during the eligibility period, to arrive at the shortlist.) 
Campaign India

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