The judges for the Effie Awards 2007, organised by the Advertising Club of Bombay, had their task cut out as they convened to scrutinise and shortlist the entries received during the first round of judging. In all, the judges had mixed reactions on the entries, with most of them appreciating the hike both in quality and quantity as compared to the previous years. Of the total 101 entries received by the Ad Club, FMCG / packaged products were clearly dominant, while surprisingly the number of entries in telecom and consumer durables had dipped.
Commenting on the judging process and the quality of entries, Pranesh Misra, Vice-President, Ad Club of Bombay, said, “The Effie Awards are the most thorough and holistic awards in terms of judging. Focus here is more on effectiveness – the brief and the strategy are given more importance than anything else. About the quality of entries this year, I think it is far better than the previous year’s entries, and I am not surprised that the number of entries has gone up to an all-time high of 101.”
Sunil Lulla, Treasurer, Ad Club, and the jury member, Effie Awards 2007, said that this year the standards achieved by the entries were much higher in terms of quality. “The entries this year are comparatively of higher standards. Many of the cases are very expressive in terms of their marketing campaigns, be it on the Internet, mobile, OOH or any other medium,” Lulla said, adding that a lot more products and brands had participated under much broader categories.
Expressing his views on the most effective advertising awards in India, Lulla said that the Effie Awards was a platform to create interest among marketers as well as agencies as they dealt with the subject of effectiveness. “It is an international process with the standard of judging on the same line for all entries. All entries and cases that are nominated or awarded at the Effies are obviously of a quality that could be compared to any award in the world.”
Nitin Bhagwat of Interface Communication also lauded the quality of entries for Effie Awards 2007. He said, “I think there is a huge shift or improvement in the level of detailing in the entries, as well as the quality of information being provided in terms of the results. Five years ago, or may be four years ago, the quality of results data would be sketchy, where people would turn around and talk about increase in sales; but today apart from brilliant sales figures, we also have panel data, the Nielsen data, and scores on awareness, which are decently documented and well articulated.”
Bhagwat compared the Indian Effies with that of the US. “I think the Effie Awards in India are up to the mark as compared to the US, as I believe that the process that is followed in India is identical to the global standards of the Effies. Moreover, we have a Proctor in the business to ensure that all the rules are followed,” he said.
Bhagwat further explained that the only difference between the US and the Indian Effies was that the US market was data rich as compared to India, and that data for any product, any category was readily available in the US.
However, Suman Srivatsav, CEO, Euro RSCG, and a jury member of Effie Awards 2007, had different views. He said, “I think the industry has a cue towards MNCs, large companies, and bigger brands, and these are more scientific in their evaluation. These big companies and brands have pre-enforced research activities that earn them an Effie entry on most occasions. I suspect that there are many other brands where I feel the quality in strategy and idea is better, but maybe they have not entered because of lack of rigorous research. So, I am not sure that it exceeds to the extent that it could be called as the representative of the most effective work in India.”
This notwithstanding, most media professionals across India are looking forward to the Effie Awards 2007. Not to forget that Effies also honour the clients as they are the ones who brief the agencies prior to crystallising the advertising strategy. The Proctor for Effie Awards 2007 is Dora Sopariwala, a respected name in the field of research, and who was Proctor for last year’s Effie Awards as well.