“77 entries short-listed and 12 categories to be judged” sounded as difficult as trying to reach Opera House at 9:30 am from Lokhandwala (for those who know Mumbai traffic, I don’t need to elaborate more). But having attained that feat successfully, then process to celebrate the right-brained approach to media. For media practitioners who have always been left-brain champions, that is, being logical, and analytical and linear, judging the right-brain ability was quite a task indeed.
All entries short-listed in the TV category competed neck-and-neck in the scoring average and hence, led to a longish debate on the scores. Some of the work in this category was truly outstanding, with innovations that were quite a “first-time ever” – (a word used very often in the written submissions!).
Though a booming industry and with a scope for using a lot of creativity, the short-listed entries in Cinema were quite disappointing. Maybe the over-pricing of options by Bollywood has restricted the stretch of right-brains in any direction.
Print had a long list rather than a short-list, however, not too many were appealing. They either did not score on scale or were an easy implement as it was a case of ‘Money speaks’. There were some incredible executions in Outdoor, but surely no top-class ones. Many of the entries, in fact, overlapped with Live Stunt, which did have some outstanding concepts.
With the advent of FM radio, and thereby the flexibility of the medium, there were some highly engaging innovations. However, it would have been interesting to see how an innovation could have been carried out in a restricted environment.
Internet and New Media needs a special mention. No other form of new media could compete with the Internet given its engaging format and high potential to innovate. By far, the best entries at an overall level were in the digital space and it was a huge debate to narrow down the winners. Maybe for next year, new media should be placed in a separate category, because here is the creation of a medium that did not exist before that needs to be viewed with that perspective.
Best use of sponsorship was restricted largely to the on-air space, there were few cases of good integration between on-air and on-ground leverages. Branded content was again a mix-up between in-serial placements and actual branded programming, hence the comparison sometimes seemed unfair.
Mixed media – many entries was a case of good use of multiple touchpoints rather than an integrated play-out between different media. A better titling would have been “Best integrated campaign”.
In the special categories – youth was well represented, however, barring one, no outstanding entries were seen, given that this category has great potential to display in unique marketing strategies. Vertical marketing, too, had few short-lists and again a mis-interpretation of the title of the category. Pro-Bono leaned towards smart creative implementation and the role of the media agency was not very clear.
(Divya Radhakrishnan is President, TME.)