In some instances, the category has been mature for quite some time, but there is no credible body that the aspirants trust to bestow the award.
Close to home, PrintWeek India, just a year old, had established enough credibility to institute the first PrintWeek India Awards.
The first indicator of credibility – will a major brand targeting printers be willing to sponsor such an award? The answer was yes, as Canon signed on the dotted line to have the brand in the arc lights.
The second indicator of credibility – could PrintWeek India put together a jury of the printers’ peers and users of printing? The answer was yes. With a little help from us at Campaign India, four professionals from our community (Mudra’s Bobby Pawar, Publicis Ambience’s Ashish Khazanchi, Reliance Capital’s Sanjay Jain and HDFC Standard Life’s Sanjay Tripathy) were among 23 judges to decide the fate of the entries, sacrificing half a working day.
The sponsor is in, the entries came in thick and fast, the jury was composed and judging is done.
Sometime in October, at an Awards ceremony to be held at the Grand Hyatt in Mumbai, winners will be revealed,and all at PrintWeek India will heave a sigh of relief.
It’s a tricky call – when is the right time to institute an award? When does it matter? Why should someone care enough to enter, to win, to lose?
The first reason for an award is that it is recognition of the discipline in itself. It marks the importance of the discipline, it underlines that the discipline boasts enough players with the ability to compete with each other.
The second is that the institution of an award serves to periodically monitor the quality of the discipline.
The third is that the award forces players in the industry to keep tabs of industry best practices and new developments – and urges players to innovate and do research that keeps them ahead of their players.
All together, this results in the industry offering their users improved products and services – which in turn results in more business for those who invest in themselves and attempt to push the envelope.
The Abbys taught Indian advertising agencies (and clients) the benefits of excellence in the craft; winning an Abby could win one’s agency new clients, attract and retain better talent and gain stature in the international arena. This led to Indian agencies pushing themselves and setting themselves a new goal: winning at Cannes. Now, merely winning at Cannes is passe– what you win has begun to matter. Winning at Cannes has given Indian offices and their managers and key professionals more respect – and clout – in global markets.
But scam doesn’t work quite as well in reaping the benefits that I’ve outlined.
Which is why I spent a bit of time looking at the entries to the PrintWeek India Awards. No scam here, ladies and gentlemen. All the entries were absolutely kosher work done for kosher clients.
Which means, come judgment day, the losers will accept that they have lost to a better entry from a deserving winner and that makes the organization and running of the awards a far easier task than running the Abbys.
But perhaps I’m ahead of myself here. This is the first PrintWeek India Awards. When the winners and losers realise the gains and losses of winning and losing, perhaps the non-kosher entries would start creeping in.
I hope not.