This time around, the Abbys' judging committee has had a lot on its plate with a final tally of 4,395 as against last year's 3,128 entries. With approximately 20 nominations this year, Enterprise Nexus has listed its stellar entries like The Times of India (Ascent and Times Matrimonial), Killer Jeans, AIWA, General Motors and Femina. Ambience Publicis on the other hand has around 29 nominations with the second highest number of entries.
Said Anil Sanjivan, Executive Director, Enterprise Nexus, "The Abbys stands for recognition of the highest kind, for any ad agency. Over the years, the Abbys awards have pushed the envelope for effective and original advertising. Enterprise has managed to remain in and around the top three over the years. We made quite an impression in 2001. We went home with the gold for Best Continuing Campaign of the Year and the silver for Best Campaign of the Year for our work in TOI."
Sanjivan added, "For me, Abbys is a learning experience of the kind of talent that exists in India. I am sure that it would be a good showing for Enterprise Nexus since we have some strong nominations in the fold, and a great team to back our creative endeavours."
Meanwhile, Elsie Nanji, Vice-Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Ambience Publicis, believed that the number of nominations from the agency aptly describe the range of work that's been done on various brands. In the list of nominations, the stronger ones are Parachute Sampoorna, Hit's print campaign, Western Union Money Transfer, Tata Press Yellow Pages, Sil Chilli Sauce and Lakme.
Nanji said, "The Abbys is really an equivalent of the Oscar's for the ad industry. With a stringent judging procedure, there is an element of credibility attached to these awards. The framework of rules and regulations is comparable to any prized advertising awards ceremony, across the globe. We think that we have accomplished some great creative work for our clients and since this ceremony is about awarding the best in creativity, we hope to stand out. However it's too early to make any forecasts on the surefire winners."
McCann is also pretty buoyant about the Abbys proceedings. It has 20 nominations across categories, which includes work done for NDTV, Mastercard and Hanes. But Prasoon Joshi, Regional Creative Director (South & South East Asia), McCann, said, "The Abbys is a tribute to all those who love advertising, and the opportunities that the industry has to offer. It's not really about the number of awards you win, but about the stature of work that you are presenting. We have sent in some of our best work and we are pretty buoyant about the quality of work that we are presenting. Whether we win or not, that is immaterial."
Meanwhile, Shantakumar, Head, Saatchi & Saatchi, said, "The judging process is stringent and extremely credible. It involves some senior members of the advertising fraternity and the element of anonymity adds to the quality of the judging process. Abbys were conceived as the Ad Club Bombay's Awards for Creative Excellence almost four decades ago. Since they were the first such awards in the country, they got positioned as the pre-eminent awards and started attracting entries from all over India. Today, it's the most revered awards ceremony in the agency circles. No doubt, we would be seeing some of the industry's best work on Saturday night. I certainly am looking forward to it."
The INS Think Print category this year is around the theme Fevicol Suicide. An initiative of the INS’ Project Press, this is the fourth year of the award and as per Bharat Kapadia, the increase seen in this category, has been very encouraging. Says he, “Last year we had 875 entries but this year the number has grown to 1069 and that is an achievement.”
The theme of the print creatives that have to be presented this year is ‘Fevicol Suicide’ and this itself is the brief to the creative teams. The judges consist of Geeta Rao, Perveiz Shiekh and Pidilitie’s Sanjay Pangini. “This year just by looking at all the works that have been submitted, Sanjay expressed that Pidilite would hold an internal exhibition of these works for the benefit of their brand managers,” shared Kapadia.
The winners this year get an all-paid trip for two to Cannes. The second prize is Rs 1 lakh cash and the third is Rs 50,000 cash.
After a painful one day gap, all suspense would come to an end as the winners celebrate with the wine bottle and the unlucky aspirants would vow to get even the next time around. Either way, the Abbys is about upmanship and pushing the envelope further within the arena of original advertising. Creativity is just an excuse.