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Kyoorius ‘Open’ jury process begins

Kyoorius takes a significant step in rooting out scams and controversies as jury members scrutinise works in the presence of visitors

Sohini Sen | Mumbai | May 14, 2014


An open jury process is not something we have seen before in any Indian advertising awards. But last year's scams, plagiarisms and controversies seemed to have hit a raw nerve with quite a lot of creative minds. Now, one award show – Kyoorius – has decided to do its bit to root out the problem as far as possible.

Rajesh Kejriwal started the Kyoorius Advertising Awards to recognise and encourage exemplary work done in Indian advertising. But to make sure the awards are not riddled by controversies, Kyoorius has partnered D&AD. D&AD's global experience together with Kyoorius' local knowledge have been galvanised to organise the first-ever 'open' jury process for an ad award in India.

Rajesh Kejriwal Rajesh Kejriwal

“We are aware that it may happen that an ad may not have been published or released by the client. That's why we are being very careful. We have gone back to clients or to the agencies wherever we were not sure and have asked them for proof that the work has been published. And the whole process has been designed in such a way that there cannot be any biased voting. And certainly no manipulating,” Kejriwal explained.

The jury session of Kyoorius Awards 2014 started in Mumbai yesterday, May 13. The innovative 'open' jury process saw both national and international judges looking at the work submitted. Abhijit Avasthi of Ogilvy & Mather; Graham Kelly of Isobar; Neil Dawson of Dawson Pickering; Senthil Kumar of JWT; Sonal Dabral of DBB Mudra Group; Woon Siew Hoh of Hakuhudo; Sajan RajKurup of Creativeland Asia; and Carlos Anuncibay of Saatchi & Saatchi Sri Lanka will meet over the next three days to decide the best work done this year in TV, Print, Radio, Digital, Outdoor and more.

Day 1 saw the jury looking at the works submitted in the categories of Art Direction, Press Advertising, Outdoor and Craft for Advertising. Shortlisted works were again scrutinised before being named as 'Nominated' entries. The nominated entries will all get a token Elephant award from Kyoorius and be printed in the Kyoorius Design Magazine. This would be followed by a discussion and the final judging round. The same steps will be followed for television and digital advertising as well. The final award show will be on June 12, 2014.

“What stands out for me in all the work is that some of them have been crafted in a very interesting way. Some of the iconic products are very interesting. And even branding campaigns that we saw seem to be something that would touch the heart. When I say it touches the heart, it is about something that makes you laugh or makes you sad or even makes you feel angry. That is the kind of remarkable ads we are looking for,” said Woon Siew Hoh, Regional Executive Creative Director, Hakuhudo Asia Pacific.

The open jury process meant that anyone who feels like it can come and view the work, watch the jury as they judge and get an idea about the basic craft of advertising. According to Kejriwal, “More than just the whole transparency issue, the open process lets young creatives and students come in and take a look. We are encouraging them to take pictures and talk about the work submitted. They will learn what the industry expects through such exposure.”

But while there were good ads to learn from, most jury members felt that some of the entries were not at par.

Neil Dawson Neil Dawson

“Some of them I have already seen in international shows and I remember them. Some are really good while others were a bit optimistic in entering them,” said Neil Dawson, Partner at Dawson Pickering.

A similar sentiment was expressed by Graham Kelly, Regional Executive Creative Director of Isobar. But he also felt that humour stands out this year. “Maybe because I am from the copy background, that's what I miss the most – the absence of good copy. Not just a long copy but a witty copy. People in the ad industry tend to go very visual nowadays. Hopefully we will see some more copy-based ads soon.”

There are nine categories and 35 sub-categories in the awards but there won’t be any winning tier structure like Gold, Silver, Bronze, etc. The award winners will get the Blue Elephant trophy and along with that a free entry to the D&AD Awards next year. The winning entries will also be featured in the Kyoorius Awards Annual.

Senthil Kumar Senthil Kumar

The fact that Kyoorius has decided to award only the best work, even if it means letting a category go without an award if it does not stand up to the mark, makes the judging process even more difficult. JWT's National Creative Director, Senthil Kumar, commented, “It is really challenging to narrow it down to just one award. Because there will be only one Blue Elephant per category, unless there is some exceptional work done in the category, in which case there will be the Black Elephant. It is therefore really difficult for the jury, but at the same time it ensures that only the best get awarded.”

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