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Growing demand for Indians on international advertising awards juries

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Growing demand for Indians on international advertising awards juries

Whether or not Indian agencies bring in awards by the droves in the international arena, Indian advertising professionals are being increasingly feted to be part of international advertising awards juries. exchange4media looks at the trend in recent times and speaks with the admen on what it means for the Indian advertising industry.

Well-known names like Piyush Pandey (Ogilvy & Mather), Prasoon Joshi (McCann Erickson), Ravi Deshpande (Contract Advertising), KV Sridhar (Leo Burnett), and Agnello Dias (TapRoot India) are among the many Indian admen who have been on juries of international awards like Cannes, AdFest, New York Festival, D&AD, Dubai Lynx and many other renowned advertising festivals.

This year, Ravi Deshpande, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Contract Advertising, and Abhinay Deo from Ramesh Deo Productions, would be part of the jury for the D&AD Awards. While Deshpande will judge the Radio category, Deo will judge the TV and Cinema Crafts category. This is not the first such experience for Deshpande, who has been part of awards juries at Cannes, The One Show, Dubai Lynx Awards and Asia Outdoor Advertising Awards. For Deo, this will be his first stint at an international awards jury.

D&AD is a not-for-profit organisation that represents the international design, advertising and creative communities. The judging for D&AD 2009 will take place from April 21-24 in London.

Joining the increasing numbers is Karl Gomes, National Creative Director – Digital, Rediffusion Y&R, who has been invited to be a member of the Cyber Lotus Jury at AdFest 2009, which will be held from March 19-21 at Pattaya. Gomes had judged the Cyber Lions category at Cannes in 2008.

India on the world map asks Indian advertising professionals, who have been part of international juries in the past, if India’s presence at international awards was a matter of protocol or it signified a growing clout of Indian admen.

Ravi Deshpande explained that when a professional was invited to be on the jury at an award of the stature of One Show or D&AD, the particular professional had waited for quite a long time for this kind of an opportunity. “Definitely, it is protocol to be a part of One Show, D&AD or a Cannes. It’s not an easy task to participate as these international forums. One does rigorous homework and a background check before deciding on whom to invite.”

Commenting on the reason of increasing number of participation by Indians at the jury level, Deshpande said that over the years, India had been consistently winning accolades and metals at international awards, which was a testimony in itself. “Thus, if Indians can create great ideas, it is understood that the creator can judge as well. However, going forward, if we have an increase in the rate in participation, it becomes important for us to justify our participation by consistently bringing metals home.”

KV ‘Pops’ Sridhar, NCD, Leo Burnett, had similar views. He said, “The world has changed. Twenty years’ back, it used to be a big thing for any advertising professional to even travel internationally. But now, things are different. The way India is progressing and gaining importance in advertising, opportunities are growing. Hence, it is not surprising that participation as jury members at international level is also increasing. Along with the contribution of the work increasing, the quality of work has been also improving. Thus, it makes sense that an Indian professional is increasingly becoming a regular part of juries at international ad awards.”

Pops further noted that the number metals had been registering a steady growth rate, and moreover, the rate of participation and good work coming from India had also been tremendous. “In 2008, there were about 200 ad professionals present at Cannes, who celebrated India’s win,” Pops pointed out, adding, “The way India is going, I would only wish to have every sixth Indian as a jury member.”


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