On March 19, when the winners take the stage at the Abby 2005 awards, they'll be in good company. Sharing the limelight for the first time will be their peers from across the borders. & #BANNER1 & #
The Abby, as a significant move, has invited entries from South Asian countries, and the response, to quote Bipin Pandit, general manager, Ad Club, has been "tremendous." A grand total of 198 entries have come in from the neighbouring countries.
There were 76 entries from Sri Lanka (Press 18, Film 11, Campaigns 47), 65 from Pakistan (Press 5, Film 8, Campaigns 52), 38 from Nepal (Press10, Film 11, Campaigns 17) and 19 from Bangladesh (Press 6, Films 3 and Campaigns 10).
"Since this is our 50th year and we have grown from strength to strength over time, we decided to spread our wings a little further," says Pandit. What is encouraging about the foreign entries is not only the number, but also the fact that besides global agencies, there has also been a healthy response from local ones.
"This is the first step in giving the Abby a more global feel and turn it into as big an event internationally, as it is in India," says Pandit. Though the South Asian entries have been confined to only three categories this year, the Ad Club is keen to extend the participation platform further in future. "All our good work for Ad Asia came in handy here," explains Pandit. "We met many industry people from these countries during that event, and thanks to the goodwill generated, they were only too keen to be a part of the Abby," he adds.
Judging for the South Asian entries will take place at the end of this week, informs Pandit. Expect the Indian advertising fraternity to play the perfect hosts at the event, as requests for visas have already started to trickle in from the participating countries.
On the home ground too, the judging committee has had its hands full. "There has been a record number of entries this year," points out Pandit. The final tally is 4,395, as against 3,128 last year.
Bigger, better and more razzmatazz, is the promise from the Ad Club. We are waiting.
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