With The ABBY One Show Awards scheduled to take place soon, Ajay Kakar, Managing Committee Member, The Advertising Club (TAC) and Co-chair, The Abby’s Award Governing Council, stated that the collaboration with The One Show has indeed helped TAC to bring in a world-standard perspective, processes, judging and recognition to the 54-year-old “ultimate” award for South Asia.
The industry accolade will be taking place during Goafest at Grand Hyatt, Bambolim, Goa, between May 24 and 26, this year.
Kakar told BestMediaInfo.com that while many agencies chose to wait and watch and come on board only as jury members and jury chairs last year, TAC had already started seeing early signs of people realising and recognising the change that the industry body was trying to make because when somebody lends their name as a jury, that in itself is a recognition that they want to be associated with the awards.
In fact, many Grand Prix winners of The Abby One Show in India in the previous years, have went on to win big at international forums such as Cannes Lions and The One Show.
“The ABBY One Show has always looked at change and how can the industry body try and represent today and bring in the contemporary rather than live in the past. Last year was a big change with The One Show coming on board and that has made a big difference and got us big recognition,” he said.
He then went on to point out that since The Abby One Show is possibly the only award show in India that is owned by the industry and not by a third party as a business venture, TAC, every year, invites all stakeholders for a Townhall wherein the industry’s feedback is vehemently welcomed in terms of what all can be improved in the next edition.
As an outcome of the same, the industry accolade, which earlier enlisted seven broad categories under Creative, has now undergone a change not only in terms of the nomenclature but also the essence and definition - owing to the changing times and in order to be more contemporary.
“The Print category has now changed to Still, for both print and digital, because we recognised that Still in the print medium is very different from that being used in the digital mediums. Similarly, the TV category has now changed to Audio Visual category because that allows us to not only include TV, but also Cinema, Digital and OTT. In fact, we have further split it into two subcategories depending on the duration- Audio Visual less than one minute and Audio Visual more than one minute,” he said.
Kakar went on to highlight that the other change that has been made in terms of the categories at the industry accolades is that in the Radio category which will now be known as the Audio category, to include subcategories such as podcasting and other new-age audio advertising mediums.
With this, he also went on to add that this time around, The Abby One Show Awards will also have a new category- The Young Maverick - solely to recognise the work and the people who are either 30 years of age or under, so as to bring the spotlight to the work of “unsung” heroes or the youth.
Elaborating on the agency participation for The Abby One Show Awards 2023, Kakar stated that since the industry accolades that took place last year were conducted after a hiatus of two-years, the typical expectation was that the participation this year would be one-third of that in 2022. However, this year, the numbers have even surpassed that of last year, he pointed out.
“Last year, the number of entries received from the creative agencies was 2007, whereas this year, the tally stands at 2282. Similarly, we received 1014 entries from media agencies last year, this time around, we have received 1019 entries. Therefore, while last year’s total entries summed up at 3021, this year we have received a total of 3301 entries,” he stated.
Furthermore, he also went on to add that the agency participation has also increased on a YoY basis as 63 media agencies have participated in The Abby One Show Awards 2023 as opposed to 54 last year. Similarly, the number of creative agencies participating in the awards has also gone up from 142 to 181 this year.
Moreover, The Abby One Show Awards 2023 have witnessed the return of several prominent agencies - including Mullen Lowe Lintas, Wunderman Thompson and McCann Worldgroup, even though Dentsu, Wieden+Kennedy and Ogilvy have refrained from participating in the industry accolade this time as well.
In Kakar’s knowledge, there have been 15 entries from Mullen Lowe Lintas, 16 from McCann Worldgroup and 57 from Wunderman Thompson as all three agencies didn’t want to enter big but rather participate by putting their best campaigns forward.
Since it's an industry-wide perception that any award is as good as its jury, the jury members for the upcoming awards gala include Mandie van der Merwe, Nick Law, Wesley ter Haar, Prajato Guha Thakurta, Avinash Pandey, Valerie Pinto, Ahmed Aftab Naqvi, Ashwini Deshpande, Emmanuel Upputuru, Sabyasachi Mitter, Bobby Pawar, P G Aditiya, Guneet Monga, Mangesh Rane, Russell Barrett, Pallavi Chakravarti and Rajdeepak Das.
In terms of inclusion, out of the 22 jury chairs announced for The Abby One Show Awards 2023, there are seven women members, Kakar stated.
Additionally, he also went on to point out that the industry body has joined hands with auditors such as KPMG to ensure that all the entries and the work are certified, so as to make sure that the entire judging process is fair and square.
Coming from a marketing background himself, he stated that what any brand or marketer today needs is creative excellence in order to break the clutter, even more so in today’s day and age where the budgets are under strain, as a result of which one wants to spend less and stand out more than yesteryears.
“Because creativity and its excellence are all the more important today, it is The Abby One Show Awards that celebrates creativity, as opposed to The Effies which celebrates effectiveness in a marketplace. Therefore, what we have created is the constituents which together make magic for brands and marketers,” he opined.