Day two of the Outdoor Advertising Convention (OAC) that was held in Mumbai on June 27-28 saw the Outdoor Advertising Awards (OAA) 2008 being given away. In its fourth year, the Awards saw the inclusion of a new category, ‘Best Use of Posters’, which took the number of categories to 24. However, this year saw some of the major main line agencies staying away, as a result it was somewhat overshadowed by last year’s Awards.
O&M took home a total of 20 metals, including two Golds of which one was in the Media Plan of the Year category for Axis Bank. Nine Silvers and nine Merit Awards made up the rest of O&M’s metals tally.
Coming in a distant second was Saatchi & Saatchi, which bagged five metals, including two Golds, one Silver and two Merit Awards. The agency bagged a Gold for the new category, Best Use of Posters.
EncycloMedia Networks Pvt Ltd completed the list of Gold winners by bagging a Gold in the Best Format Innovation category for Vaseline.
Rediffusion DY&R and Wall Street bagged three metals each, while Ambience Publicis bagged two Merit Awards.
KD Maheshwari, CEO, NS Publicity, was adjudged Media Owner of Year for the second time in succession, while Macromedia bagged the Printer of the Year award.
The entries were judged by a jury comprising senior advertising, marketing and media professionals such as Josy Paul, Chairman and CEO, BBDO; Bobby Pawar, Chief Creative Officer, Mudra Communications; Nikhil Rao, Group Creative Director, Lowe; Juju Basu, Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi; Sajan Raj Kurup, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Creativeland Asia; Vikram Gaikwad, Partner and Executive Creative Director, Creativeland Asia; Siddhartha Bindra, Creative Director, Euro RSCG; Brijesh Jacob, Executive Creative Director, Grey Mumbai; and JWT’s Nandita Chalam.
All the jury members were of the view that this year’s entries for the Outdoor Advertising Awards were lackluster in creativity, but good in art direction. Josy Paul felt, “We seem to have hit a plateau over the last three years. We are waiting for the next big thing to happen.”
Commenting on the creative quality, Nikhil Rao said, “I think the work was just okay, there was nothing to blow my head off.” Showing his dissatisfaction with the use of technology in outdoor advertising was Bobby Pawar, who noted, “The technology absorption levels are never low, it is the output levels that are low.”
Juju Basu best summed up the jury’s collective views about the quality of entries for 2008 when he said, “Last year was future, this year is past.”
Brijesh Jacob and Siddhartha Bindra were the only two who had something positive to say about this year’s entries. Jacob said, “Overall, art direction has drastically improved, which is a good sign.” Bindra expressed his happiness over the inclusion of poster category, and said, “The poster category was pretty good. There were some good ideas, backed by good execution.”
Vikram Gaikwad added, “We need to think more as a lot can be done with outdoor.”