We are Creative Abby and not D&Ad: Ajay Chandwani

Creative Abby has come a long way from the iconic advertising award it symbolised for several decades. From the traditional print and TV excellence in creativity that it stood for a long time, Creative Abby touches a wide spectrum of fields, making it more than just an advertising award. Many a creative reputation has been built first on the Abby stage before making an impact at Cannes, Clio and One Show, says Ajay Chandwani.

e4m by Ajay Chandwani
Published: Apr 10, 2010 11:13 AM  | 3 min read
We are Creative Abby and not D&Ad: Ajay Chandwani

Creative Abby has come a long way from the iconic advertising award it symbolised for several decades. From the traditional print and TV excellence in creativity that it stood for a long time, Creative Abby today touches a wide spectrum of fields like direct marketing, design, film, print and radio craft, digital and mobile making it more than just an advertising award. Many a creative reputation has been built first on the Abby stage before making an impact at Cannes, Clio and One Show.

This year, there have been nearly 4,200 entries from 137 different companies. These include agencies, direct, design, digital, film and radio production houses. While the traditional favorites like print, film, radio and out of home and integrated remain the core of Abby, newly introduced categories in Digital, Design, Film Craft and Direct have seen a huge jump in participation.

Digital and Mobile entries have shot up nearly five-fold, registering the biggest jump in the Festival. Forty digital companies and agencies participated in such diverse new sub-categories like rich media, branded content and games, WAP sites, online video and virals, creative use of social media and applications on mobile. Surely this is an indication of the changing times.

Forty-one Design companies and agencies took part in the popular Design category with participation from global and Indian design houses. The film craft category has also grown big with 21 film production houses taking part. So, Brand Abby is not just a platform for agencies, but also a diverse range of companies.

A total of 79 judges led by nine Jury Chairpersons hammered out the winners over eight days and some nights of hard fought verdicts. As many as 56 agencies, design, digital, direct and film and radio craft companies were represented in the juries.

Some of the judging issues that came up this year concern standards of shortlisting or voting for metals. While judges felt last year saw a lot of mediocre advertising due to difficult market conditions, a lot of the jury members felt we should not be harsh in setting unrealistic standards of festivals like One Show or D&AD, since GoaFest is an Indian advertising festival that honours Indian advertising.

Some jurors felt that it is harder to get a finalist or a metal at GoaFest now than even at Cannes and other festivals. Is this because Indian judges tend to be harder on Indian creative than their international counterparts? Or is this because we apply international festival norms on judging Indian advertising even though we are judging most Indian creative work which won’t even be entered internationally for several reasons?

Come on guys, we are Abby and not D&AD! A young Hindi or Tamil writer is waiting to be recognised for work on Indian ethos, which will only happen if there is shared vision of what to look for. Thankfully, our judges have been on international juries and have selected winners at GoaFest, which have gone on to win in Cannes and other festivals. So, some soul searching and a common shared vision of what is fresh will go a long way in setting benchmarks with the jury being taken from a wide spectrum of Indian companies.

I would like to thank the jury members for all the time and passion put in by them in arriving at the results. Brand Abby has come a long way and that has only been possible due to the enthusiastic participation by companies and juries alike.

Till next year… let’s raise a toast to the best work that wins this evening!

(Ajay Chandwani is Chairman, Creative Abbys at GoaFest 2010 and Director, PerceptH.)

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