As the D-Day approaches, activities around the Abbys are intensifying. Bombay Ad Club President Kalpana Rao is excited about the forthcoming award, and with over 2,500 entries, there is every reason to be. Rao said that as in the previous years, expectations from Abbys 2006 are high. The Abby Awards will be held in Mumbai on March 31.
Though Rao has been associated with the Ad Club and its events for quite some time now, this is her first Abby as President. Commenting on the experience, she said, “I don’t think very many Ad Club Presidents have gone through the kind of experiences we’ve had this year, but the point is that it is all done and only the event remains, and we are very charged about it.”
A reason why she has high expectations from the Abby this year is the changes made in the format of the awards. She said, “Unlike the last few years, when the same kinds of categories and corresponding participation and competition was seen, the Awards this year have been taken to the next level by introducing the recognition of craftsmanship and taking the South East Asia connect higher as well.”
In regards to the “South East Asia connect”, Rao said, “The participation is large already, but I want to make the event one of the biggest in the South East Asian region. We relate with the creatives done in many of these markets and with the regions getting closer in terms of work every day, it makes sense to even celebrate our creative spirits together.”
Another area that has added a new level of enthusiasm to the event is the introduction of categories like directing, editing and so on. “That is also the big thing this year. Recognising the work of the crafts people, who are so intrinsic in our daily jobs and yet get no mention, was a logical addition to the Abbys and it has worked as well. That has opened a great door,” Rao added.
Regarding the decision of big agencies to stay away from the Awards, Rao said, “I personally am very disappointed and more than anything else, I think they have done a great disservice to the young and upcoming professionals in the organisations. Most of these agency heads had their chance and have won their awards, but the young people are now suffering and I am sure they would be feeling disappointed too. This is something that finds mention in their resumés and people are taking away that chance from them. But the show must go on and there are many others, who are looking forward to the Abbys.”