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The Auto Award battle on biz news channels

The Auto Award battle on biz news channels

Author | Swapna Rahul Shah | Monday, Jan 12,2009 6:27 AM

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The Auto Award battle on biz news channels

If ET TV was launched by now, it may not be too difficult to imagine a Top Gear Award on the channel, considering that auto awards clearly are the flavour of the month. Business channels such as CNBC-TV18 and UTVi have chosen the same time to award the automobile industry. Result, some automobile companies were awarded by UTVi’s Autocar Award on one day, and were then awarded again by the CNBC TV-18 Overdrive Awards a few days later. NDTV too is queuing up for the Car & Bike Awards too, which is scheduled to be held next month.

While the media owners are clear that awards such as these do help the channel’s overall brand with the viewers, the media planners and buyers differ.

Harish Shriyan, Managing Partner, OMD India observed, “There are too many auto awards at present. The brands that are being awarded may differ in rankings but you end up seeing the same brands being recognised most of the times. If you had to see the consumers’ point of view though, they never go by awards. These awards just act as a feel-good factor for automobile companies.”

Chandradeep Mitra, President, Mudra Max, added, “Multiple awards create dilution. Automobile companies would quote what is suitable for them in their communication, and this can create confusion at the consumer’s end.”

Shiryan is of the opinion that the awards introduced first would always be considered more prestigious, and would be recognised by the people. He said, “The second and third awards would exist but they would have to build themselves to be recognised.”

Mitra on the other hand suggested that it was better to have one award or “one clear leader to avoid any confusion”. He said, “Typically, either the oldest one or one which has more credibility because of its association with the media houses is seen as a leader.”

I am the best

Speaking on the UTVi Autocar Awards, Sumit Gupta, COO, UTVi said, “It was a proud moment for us to host one of the biggest and most credible auto awards in the industry. The auto industry recognises the value of Autocar Awards owing to the biggest names in the business of automobile evaluation, and the time honoured judgment. Not just an industry measure but it also makes for extremely interesting content for our viewers. The most important point is that what gave the event unmatched credibility in the jury, which has remained unchanged for the past several years.”

Neel Chowdhury, Vice President, CNBC-TV18 & CNBC Awaaz, stated, “CNBC-TV18 Overdrive Awards have earned the unparalleled distinction of being the most credible awards. The theme of ‘Future is Green’ aims at highlighting the importance of adopting the environment-friendly technology. This is our eighth edition, and it’s a benchmark in the industry. I can’t talk about competition because there would always be 500 other players trying to imitate what is already a success story. We can only keep moving forward, and make sure that our award is most definitive, most preferred and most credible.”

Speaking on NDTV’s Car & Bike award, Siddharth Vinayak Patankar, Editor-Auto, NDTV Group said, “It boils down to credibility. It is acknowledged by the industry that our awards represent fairness. We are the only ones, to include the previous year’s big winners in the current year’s consideration so that the exercise is not farce and truly represents the best vehicles on our roads today. We also acknowledge the entire workings of the industry, not just products but the people behind them, through awards for exemplary work on marketing, communications, advertising and design that support a product. Our awards also pioneered recognition for work on the environmental front through our Green Award.”

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