I am very pleased with the way the Media Abbys have gone so far. 484 entries as against 417 last year, 51 judges in Round 1 as against 35 judges last year, 14 judges in Round 2 as against eight judges last year… but these are merely statistics. The quality of entries that have been submitted this year is truly very good and inspirational. I will not single out any specific entry – as Jury Chairman, I would be giving the game away and ET will feel cheated that probably there is a simpler way of getting the results out. However, the work in some categories like Mixed Media (our answer to Integrated) is world class.
Further, we have made immense progress in the categories of Digital and Internet. I was judging at Cannes in 2008 and was disappointed that our quality of work in the Digital category was way behind international standards, but now I can proudly state that we are fast catching up. Unfortunately, TV, which was also the largest category, saw some uninspiring work. The jury was left wondering whether the work was not up to the mark or was it that we had seen it all and, therefore, were left unmoved.
It is significant to mention that all the winners you will see and almost all the work entered, had scale and canvas, was for well known brands and was recognised by one and all.
The other key point is that the presentation boards and videos have improved dramatically. One has already got used to high quality presentations at the Emvies, but now this shows that not only are we good at ideas and strategy, but also execution and presentation.
However, the big news of the Media Abbys 2010 was that all media agencies participated. The spirit was evident when some agencies sent in a few entries unmindful of the fact that they may not win anything (in fact some of them did go on to win). It was hearting to note that lack of ‘winability’ was not a criteria in most minds.
The large turnout of judges at both rounds and the diligent scrutiny and scoring showed that the focus was on judging the best winners and nothing else.
Finally, I am proud to be part of the media industry – we compete fiercely, but are part of a ‘Biradiri’; we all participate in the awards not caring a damn whether we have any winners or not, we see no scams or even if we do so the judging process is designed to eliminate such work. We have no controversies, no leaked awards (at least till the time I write this piece) and our show is on – First Day. First Show.
(Shashi Sinha is Chairman, Media Abbys, GoaFest 2010 and CEO India, Lodestar Universal Media.)