As the date for the first ever exchange4media Radio Advertising Awards (ERAA) ceremony approaches on October 7, 2010 at in Sahara Star Mumbai, the radio industry and advertisers are all excited to find out which ads have impressed the most and surpassed all expectations. Oye! FM is sponsoring ERAA 2010.
The distinguished Jury panel has had an important role in making a success of the Awards and has highly appreciated the quality of entries received. The distinguished Jury members include Lynn de Souza, Chairman and CEO, Lintas Media Group; KV Sridhar, NCD, Leo Burnett; Agnello Dias, Co-Founder and CCO, Taproot India; Anupam Vasudev, EVP, Marketing and Communications, STAR India Pvt Ltd; Piyush Mishra, Actor, Music Director, Lyricist and Writer; Anup Jain, Head, Marketing, Pizza Hut; Sidharth Rao, Founder and CEO, Webchutney; Gopinath Menon, Strategic Media Consultant; Titus Upputuru, ECD, Saatchi & Saatchi; Harish Bhimani, well-known voiceover talent and voice actor; Vinay Bhatia, VP, Marketing and Loyalty, Shoppers Stop; Nitin Mathur, Senior Director, Marketing, Yahoo India; Rameet Arora, Senior Director, Marketing, McDonalds; Loveleen Tandan, Film Director; Actor Purab Kohli; and Yuri, RJ and Actor.
exchange4media spoke to some of the Jury members, fresh after the two meetings in Delhi and Mumbai, to gauge their reactions to ERAA and what they look forward to the most.
Lynn de Souza, Chairman and CEO, Lintas Media Group and Chairperson for ERAA, said, “exchange4media has decided to do its own, special radio awards event and that too focuses lot on media as used by creative agencies, media agencies and broadcasters. I am happy this has happened and it will definitely encourage the use of the medium in its own way and using it well. It will encourage more integration and craft. The jury process was fair and quite rigorous. Firstly, the identification of what kind of work to award and how to draw up the categories has been done very well by exchange4media. It will encourage both creative and media agencies to put up their good work. The transparency and rigor with which entries have been judged is quite commendable.”
She further said, “The overall standard is mixed – some are very good entries, but a few are really outstanding. However, the overall reaction is that there can be better work. We need to encourage more transparency and better quality of entries.”
On a similar vein, Agnello Dias, Co-Founder and CCO, Taproot India, said, “I think it is good that the radio medium has an award show of its own. Normally, we have radio awards for the advertising industry; but this is a show for the actual radio industry and that’s a refreshing change. It was an interesting experience serving on this jury as there were people from a wide array of fields. Probably the most diverse jury I have ever been a part of. Right now, it’s detailed and thorough. I think the entries were very, very good. Some were a little raw about which category to enter in, but most were very good.”
Mona Jain, COO, VivaKi Exchange, remarked, “One of the experiences of judging the exchange4media Radio Advertising Awards was the category I was judging, which was CSR initiative. I didn’t know radio stations were putting so much investment and time and that it was so relevant to the audience. The kind of 360 degree that they do around an initiative is amazing. It’s a great initiative by exchange4media to have something like this.”
Calling a pioneering step in an industry that had seen different kinds of advertising awards, where most of it was inclined towards TV advertising, Anup Jain, Head, Marketing, Pizza Hut, said, “This will give space to our creative folks and for brands which are using this channel effectively and with creative executions year after year to get recognised. I was really impressed by the vast number of entries we got from diverse sectors and I was equally impressed by so many good creative executions.”
Titus Upputuru, ECD, Saatchi & Saatchi, found the judging process a “fabulous experience” and added, “At the end of it, if there was one who should receive all the applause, it is radio. Radio is like Odysseus. It braved a long ordeal journey and survived time, black and white TV, colour TV, 75 mm, multiplexes, Internet, YouTube, Facebook, and coffee shops without any gashes. Also, as was evident in the entries, radio is clearly ahead of TV and print. It is rewarding people for listening, by having conversations. There were a number of stunning conversations that were part of the nominations. One idea that stood out for me was this engagement programme done by Radio Mirchi. They actually re-edited movies like ‘Taare Zameen Par’ and ‘Munnabhai MBBS’ for visually impaired children with extra dialogues and audio descriptions so that these children could ‘see’ the films. What a lovely idea that used the power of sound so well.”
“The judging process was like glass, transparent and honest. All in all, there will be some winners, but I feel the real winner is radio,” Upputuru added.
On similar lines, KV Sridhar, NCD, Leo Burnett, said, “It’s a great thing to really encourage radio, which, I think, as a medium needs to be still exploited in our country. Radio is very vocal medium and people love radio in our country, where a lot of people are uneducated. Radio is a huge solution for providing entertainment to people and also reach to everyone. This really helps people think in an innovative way and come with new benchmarks year after year. I think it’s a commendable job that exchange4media is doing. The jury process is pretty cool, standard and very good. The composition of jury is from radio stations, advertising as well as from the media field. Here, the concentration is on delivering a good media plan and creating spots in an innovative way.”
Vinay Bhatia, Customer Care Associate and VP Marketing and Loyalty, Shopper’s Stop Ltd, added here, “Radio as an industry has often been wrongly perceived as a ‘Support or Surround Medium’. I believe platforms like the exchange4media Radio Advertising Awards help demonstrate what this medium can really single-handedly deliver for our brands. e4m is doing a great job in highlighting how effectively radio can deliver this.”
He further said, “I liked the fact that the jury was from very different backgrounds. Apart from leaders from media, marketing and creative, we were privileged to have industry experts (in their field) like Purab Kohli, Harish Bhimani and Piyush Mishra. They added a unique and important dimension to the judging process. To me, this gave a really well rounded opinion on each of the entries and an important personal learning for me.”
Taking about the quality of the entries, Bhatia said, “Most entries were interesting and unique, which gave us a lot of food for thought to take back from this event. The entries were fabulous. I come from retail. A lot of location based marketing activity, which radio is an obvious medium, came across nicely. I think it was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I believe in thoughts and ideas where radio can be used more effectively and not only through traditional mediums.”
Sidharth Rao, Founder and CEO, Webchutney, said, “ I am delighted with the initiatives taken by exchange4media with specialist categories and creating recognition for emerging or relatively smaller mediums such as digital (with the Indian Digital Media Awards held recently) and now for radio with ERAA. We’ve always applauded great work showcased in print and television, which have dominated generic advertising awards, and it is a novel initiative to bring equally fantastic work done in other mediums to the fore.”
He further said, “Well to start off, it’s trying to stay as authentic as possible and it’s a good sign and a good start for anyone to start an award ceremony of any kind. It’s fair to have something on neutral grounds and it’s fair to be judged completely neutrally for awards from a company that is not involved in this business. The jury process was one of the worries – I knew that there would be lot of content to listen to and I like the way they segregated everything. So, it boils down to you, and you’re listening to a few categories and then judging the top three. It’s not only one person judging, it’s about 2-3 people judging the categories, which is good. Since it’s the first year, one will find flaws in it. It’s very difficult being a judge, there’s a lot of hope and desire to win some of the awards. I really liked some of the stuff, like Rocket Singh, but you are entrusted with a job to really like or dislike the creative radio spot. It has been a unique experience to witness a lot of interesting work done in this field, and I would love to continue to be a part of such initiatives.”
Rameet Arora, Senior Director, Marketing, McDonalds, “I find ERAA very exciting. Radio is coming up very well and exchange4media has picked up on just the right thing on what tomorrow is the right future. The jury process was clean, transparent and fun. The process was elaborate enough, but not tedious. We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Hopefully, the best entries will win – many great ideas and some great execution. It’s a long way to go. I am sure everybody together will travel the long way. This is the first step towards something to be a part of the jury and the responsibility of this jury to give the right message.”
Anupam Vasudev, EVP, Marketing and Communications, STAR India Pvt Ltd, said, “I think it’s a great thing that exchange4media is doing. Radio is a young medium in this country. Recognising quality work will go long way in promoting great creative and as well as brand excitement in radio. Entries have been good. There has been huge scope of lot of work which hasn’t come in for certain entries. We see a lot of creative work happening in radio. Work that had come in had been very interesting and some that were not that interesting. The good thing is, a start has been made and as more these work gets recognised, quality of entries will get better. It has been a great experience, things been organised well, we got different and a wide variety list of clients; it has been an interesting experience so far.”
According to Gopinath Menon, a strategic media consultant, “Radio has always been a historical reminder medium and forever in the background. Initiatives like these will bring them to the forefront, bring more potential of radio as a medium and will tell advertisers and marketers how to use it innovatively.”
Nitin Mathur, Senior Director, Marketing, Yahoo India, said, “I am delighted that there have been very interesting sessions in the first round of judging. And I am particularly amazed at the quality of inputs that we received for these Awards and the phenomenal outpour on entries. These have been amazing. Innovation is part of the radio industry.”
Suneet Tandon, Director, IIMC, said, “Being on the jury is an interesting experience. A lot of hard work went into setting up categories and the rules of judging. The level of entries was quite high, in some cases it was very high. It was a big energy boost and the kind of creativity that exist in radio. I wish exchange4media all the best for the Awards.”
Terming the Awards as a wonderful initiative by exchange4media, film director Loveleen Tandon noted, “Radio is very dynamic, far-reaching, robust and energising. This is a huge opportunity for players who work hard and to reach out to so many people. I have been through 40 entries. It’s an intense process, but it’s very exciting. The quality of entries has been vivacious and multi-dimensional in categories and talking about social issues, radio stations promotions, etc. This is just the first and it’s going to great guns and brings in more creative ideas and challenges.”
Harish Bhimani, well-known voiceover talent and voice actor, had an interesting take on ERAA. He started by asking, “How are the exchange4media Radio Advertising Awards different from others? My answer is a question. How are the Oscars different from other awards all over the world? And why? The Oscars are not film producers, distributors, exhibitors, writers or association or a media company. The Oscars are different as their sole propose is to create archive of the best material produced every year, similarly the ERAA is neither of these. It is only deciders and judges of these Awards. These Awards are in its first year. I feel, that 10 years down the line, I think these are going to one of best respected awards.”
Commenting on the jury process, Bhimani added, “I have been in some juries and I must say that this must be truly, technically the most impartial judging process. Here, the judges did not even know before the actual process began what he was going to judge till the last moment and did not even know with whom he was going to judge. There are chits. You are working on a theory of probability. The categories are contemporary; they reflect today’s radio ethos, which is very important if we are going to archive some of the best awards. This being the first year, I am afraid some participants didn’t understand the entries for the Awards. They weren’t up to the standard comprehension of categories. They were a little complicated as they are up to world standard. I’ve had the most extraordinary judging experience.”
The multi-faceted Piyush Mishra, actor, music director, lyricist and writer, remarked, “Radio has become very mysterious. We use to hear Amir Sayani’s voice and we used to imagine how he may look. With the advent of the visual medium the mystery is gone. This is my first experience of being in a jury for radio awards. The two hours that were given to us was a very interesting process and I think curiosity is there and it’s almost extempore decisions. You can’t be biased when you are part of a jury. Some of the entries I had heard of, some I hadn’t. It was a new kind of experience. The entries were also good.”
Yuri, RJ and actor, said, “Having been one of early jockeys on FM radio, when it was first launched in early 1995-96, I have seen a sea change coming over radio and programming has improved tremendously. We have learnt from our experiences and we have come a long way. I must say that they have done a thorough job of it and every little aspect was considered before we gave points and winners were selected for ERAA. I know these Awards will raise the standards more and raise the bar higher in years in come, and I hope to hear much better programming on radio.”
Actor Purab Kohli, said, “Well, the process, I must say, was very fair and interesting as it was the first for me. Also, the Jury panel had some accomplished people. Three or four pieces were amazing. The entries, too, were fun and creative. Be inspired… and inspire.”
All eyes on October 7, 2010
With the judging process over, everyone is waiting for the declaration of the winners on October 7, 2010. The exchange4media Radio Advertising Awards have been established to recognise work done in the field of radio advertising in the period July 2009 to June 2010. Awards will be given away in 22 categories for the inaugural ERAA, which have been divided into four broad categories – media, creative, broadcaster and excellence awards.
The media category includes Best Brand Integration on Radio – Corporate/ Retail, Best Radio Media Innovation – Corporate/ Retail, Best Unique Use of Multiple Stations, Best Use of Radio in a Media Plan – Corporate/ Retail, Best Use of Radio in a Media Plan – Retail, Best On Ground Activation for a Client – Corporate, Best On Ground Activation for a Client – Retail. The creative category includes Best Radio Creative – Telecom Services/ Retail, Best Radio Creative – Media (all media and related products and services)/ products, Best Radio Creative – Services (excluding telecom, retail and media), and Best Use of Craft in Radio.
The broadcaster category includes Best CSR Initiative and Best Client Sponsored on Ground Activation done by a Radio station for self. In the Excellence Awards category there are the Radio Media Agency of the Year, Campaign of the Year – Corporate, and Campaign of the year – Retail, Radio Advertiser of the Year.
The exchange4media Group team is not participating in the jury process.