Spark, the annual advertising award show of Ad Club Madras, which was not held for the past couple of years due to lack of entries, is all set to return in a brand new format. According to R Seshadri, Managing Director, Anugrah Madison Advertising, and newly elected President of the Advertising Club Madras, the Club, after a series of brainstorming sessions, had zeroed in on a unique format that would celebrate Tamil creativity across the world.
“Yes, we have plans to re-invent the Ad Club awards this year. After a series of ‘brainstorming’ sessions, the Executive Committee came to the conclusion that the Ad Club Madras awards needs to be unique in order to attract participation from not only local agencies, but also some national and international agencies who have stayed away during the last couple of years. Hence, we felt that the need of the hour was a change in format – a format so unique to Ad Club Madras that it cannot be replicated by other Clubs. Thus, the concept of ‘Tamil Advertising Awards’ was frozen,” Seshadri explained.
“There is a huge body of work created in Tamil, not just by agencies but by radio / TV / Internet and feature film companies that is unique and deserves to be celebrated and awarded. Currently, there is no forum which identifies and recognises this kind of work. The Ad Club Madras, with its roots in Chennai, is in a unique position to implement this concept, which the Club hopes will appeal to even other national and international agencies (especially in Sri Lanka and South East Asia), who target Tamilians,” Seshadri added.
The committee in charge of Awards has already started work on this format and the show is expected sometime in August 2008.
The year 2006-07 was Advertising Club Madras’ Golden Jubilee year when the Club recognised some eminent creative personalities in the country, who have made a difference to the advertising industry, through ‘Living Legends Nite’. The Club also conducted the ‘Future Shock’ series of seminar on the topic ‘Integrated Communication, Disintegrated Agencies’. However 2007-08 was not as active as the Golden Jubilee year.
Though the Club conducted all its regular activities like Tea Meetings, PGDA Course, Sports, Businessline Quiz, launched its first ever Football Tournament, and re-packaged its Cricket Tournament into the T20 format, the Club’s annual awards show Spark was missing, which made the advertising fraternity in Chennai wonder whether the show would ever be back.
The Ad Club President candidly accepted that it was lack of entries that forced them to call off Spark after announcing the event. “Yes, the Club has not been able to conduct Spark, our annual advertising awards in the last two years. This has been mainly because of poor participation by agencies, since the larger agencies as a matter of policy were focussing only on national awards like the Abbys and GoaFest, and stayed away from Spark. The low level of entries made the entire event unviable and we were forced to call off the Awards after announcing the event,” Seshadri further said.
This year, the new committee plans to rejuvenate the Club, and to begin with, the Club has inducted some new members into the Executive Committee who, Seshadri felt, would bring in fresh thinking into the way the club functions with their position and enthusiasm.
“I have drawn up an activity calendar for the year, which not only attempts to ensure that all the regular events of the Club are held on schedule, but also provides space for some new activities during the year,”' he said.
Advertising Club Madras recently held its first Tea Meeting with the screening of ‘SHOTS’. The Tea Meetings have been re-christened as ‘Gyan Series’. “We hope to rope in some eminent speakers from across the country to come and share their knowledge and experience with our members as a part of this series,” Seshadri said.
The Club is also planning to conduct at least two workshops / seminars during the year on topics of current interest to its members, besides reviving ‘Deadline’, a popular event of the Club where participants can actually create campaigns for an NGO, to be identified soon. The Club is also planning to launch its own website and proposes to bring out at least three issues of its e-magazine ‘Headline’ this year.