Radio Advertising emerged as an independent mould, with the first ever awards for excellence in radio advertising ‘Mirchi Kaan Awards’ held on April 23rd 2004 at the Grand Hyatt, Mumbai. The evening saw stalwarts from the media and advertising fraternity, coming together on a common platform in order to back the Kaan awards initiative, which aimed at recognizing hidden talent within the sphere of radio advertising. The event was hosted by Javed Jaffery and Neha Dhupai, who had all the creative hotshots competing for honours in fifteen categories, for the best in radio advertisements, along with special awards for the radio writer of the year, radio voice, excellence in sound design, client and agency of the year 2003. A crystal award for the best work across categories was also presented as a part of the Kaan awards, which will be extended as an annual event in all of the coming years!
In the very first year of its existence, Mirchi claims to have received 245 entries from advertising agencies across cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Indore and Ahmedabad. The jury consisted of prized members from the advertising and media community, such as Deepa Kakkar (Creative consultant), Elsie Nanji (Vice Chairperson & Chief Creative Officer, Ambience Publicis), K Sridar (National Creative Director, Leo Burnett), Mohammed Khan (Chairman, Enterprise Nexus), R Balakrishnan (National Creative Director, Lowe), Prasoon Joshi (National Creative Director and Executive Vice President, McCann Erickson) and Ravi Deshpande (Founder, Lemon Communications.)
Within the category of Foods, the entry ‘Types of Tea’ for Parle Marie Choice created by
Everest Integrated Communications won the single bronze. Another entry that qualified for the bronze was the Jignesh Bhai entry, created by Saatchi&Saatchi for Pillsbury Masala Pizza. No silver or gold was merited to this particular category. As far as the campaign finalists are concerned, Everest Integrated Communications won silver for their work on Parle Marie choice while Euro RSCG won a bronze for their work on Shagun. Another bronze was awarded to McCann Erickson for the work on Alpenlibe.
In the Beverages category, the single finalists were J Walther Thompson for the radio commercial ‘ Church’ incorporated for Smirnoff Twist and McCann Erickson for the radio commercial ‘Gabbar’ for the client Coca Cola. The campaign finalist was Bates for the client Thums Up. No silver or gold was awarded for this particular category.
Within the category of ‘ Toiletries & Household Care’, Euro RSCG was picked as the single finalist for the radio commercial titled ‘Paltu Macchhar’, the client being Mortein. Yet another single finalist was Mudra Communications for the radio commercial ‘Wife 1’ undertaken for the client Ezee. Euro RSCG also qualified for the radio commercial ‘Pravachan’, incorporated for Mortein. Meanwhile the category of Business Products and Services did not see single finalists. But J Walther Thompson qualified as a campaign finalist for its work on Spice. The campaign had been created by Senthil Kumar, Dayanand Sheelavantar, Navin Ram Mohan, Harsha Shankar and Parimala George.
The category of Consumer Durables saw a single bronze being awarded to Rediffusion, for their work on Daikin air conditioners. The radio commercial, was titled ‘Five finalists.’ Rediffusion was also the campaign finalist and was awarded a bronze within the same category. The team behind the creative effort included Adrian Mendonza, Roy Abraham and Bijoy Dowerah.
Amongst the special categories, the title for ‘Excellence in Sound design of the year’ went to Harshvardhan from Audiotrax, Bangalore. Prasoon Joshi was hailed as the ‘Radio Writer of the year’ while the ‘Radio Voice of the year’ title was bestowed on Amitabh Bachchan. The ‘Radio Client of the year’ title went to Dabur India Ltd while the ‘Radio Agency of the year’ title went to McCann Erickson. The Crystal award was presented to McCann Erickson for Dabur Chayawnprash.
Undoubtedly, the Mirchi Kaan awards ceremony was geared towards the task of giving due recognition to creativity in radio. But the conspicuous absence of silver and gold, in most categories put a question mark, on the validity and availability of talent within the radio scene. Perhaps with the evolution of radio as a category, and a paradigm shift on behalf of the clients, we would see more of creative talent being felicitated, within this sphere.