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Mirchi Kaan Awards 2009: ‘Radio is a tough medium to crack’

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Mirchi Kaan Awards 2009: ‘Radio is a tough medium to crack’

The sixth Mirchi Kaan Awards attracted the best of the radio and advertising fraternity. There were 750 entries this year, which was a little more than the 700-odd entries received in 2008. Chintamani Rao of Times Global Broadcasting, Sonal Dabral of Bates 141, Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar of Redfussion Y&R, Prahlad Kakar, Rahul Jauhari of Pickle Advertising, Sandeep Lakhina of Starcom, Rajneesh Chaturvedi of MEC Access, were among the who’s who of the advertising and media industry present at the Awards ceremony held in Mumbai on May 9. The message that went out loud and clear was that agencies are beginning to take radio as a medium seriously.

This year, there were 10 Golds awarded as compared to the seven Golds awarded last year. These apart, 12 Silvers and 40 Bronzes were also given away – in both single and campaign categories.

McCann Erickson walked away with the Agency of the Year Award, bagging 21 metals, including four Golds for Chlormint Fresh Fills and Chlormint, five Silvers for Chlormint Fresh Fills and Chevrolet Aveo. Leo Burnett won 14 metals, Mudra bagged eight metals, including the ‘Crystal Award’ for the most exceptional radio commercial of the year, which was won by DDB Mudra. Bates 141 bagged three metals; Rediffusion Y&R, four metals, including one Silver; Pickle Advertising, two Golds for SAB TV; O&M, five Bronzes; and Publicis, which bagged four Bronzes.

‘Radio is a tough medium’

exchange4media mingled with some of the advertisers to seek their reactions and reflections on the Awards and the ways to improve radio advertising in India.

Prasoon Joshi, Executive Chairman - India and Regional Creative Director Asia Pacific, McCann Erickson, explained, “Radio is a tough medium. It is a true writer’s medium as there is no dependence on special effects other than what one writes. Secondly, radio is a very ‘shareef’ medium because it does not shout for attention, therefore, it is even more difficult to grab the attention as people have the tendency to ignore it. Therefore, one must actually have something very interesting to say to grab that attention. So, I believe it is a very tough medium to crack and I believe radio advertising is a gradual improvement from last year, nevertheless we are on the right track and are doing innovative work on radio.”

He further said, “I believe the quality of radio advertising can be improved only when we take radio seriously, and these Awards are taken seriously. We have to also understand how important this medium is for the country, because we do have a culture of oral tradition, and with illiteracy still widespread, listening becomes more important. I believe, we need to take this medium more seriously and the writers need to be given more respect. Radio Mirchi has done a commendable job by conducting this Award every year.”

KV Sridhar, National Creative Director, Leo Burnett India, observed, “Any award show tracks how much of fresh ideas and execution one puts in, how many new ways you communicate to people, and that’s much more important. And if one is entering a territory that no one has entered before, for instance, the trends this year where a couple of commercials are more or less like reality shows – which does not sound like radio commercials, but a conversation – is actually a new trend. So, whether people liked it or not, it actually for awarded.”

“In most of the advertising ideas heard today, none of them are big media commercials, and not many people might have heard of them or heard in a very limited sense. But if these as are as entertaining as, for instance, the Islamic Research Foundation ad, which has a fantastic message and is brilliantly done, people will enjoy it, because creativity has the power to change human perception,” Sridhar added.

According to Bobby Pawar, Chief Creative Officer, Mudra, “This year has not been a vintage year, while in some cases the commercials were good and some not so good, but on a whole, it has not been a great year. I believe that in order to improve the quality of radio advertising, what needs to be done is work the medium well. It seems we are settling into some kind of a group. What people need to do is try something different. There is no dearth in creativity in radio advertising.”

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McCann Erickson, Leo Burnett dominate Mirchi Kaan Awards


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