OOBY awards announced, Mudra in the pink

By Savia Jane Pinto , afaqs!, Mumbai | In OOH News | June 02, 2008
The awards that were announced in association with afaqs! in February saw a good number of entries

The first

ever OOBY (out of the box) awards have been announced. Ambar Prakash of Mudra Communications has won the Pink OOBY (the first prize). His work, called Eraser, dealt with the issue of HIV/AIDS in a very simple, yet hard-hitting, manner. The Yellow OOBY (second prize) went to Kaustubh Arjunwadkar, a creative director from The Works, an agency in Pune. His entry, Protect Yourself, also dealt with HIV/AIDS. The Blue OOBY (third prize) went to a freelancer from idream. Sachin Vishram Pawar, who is also a member of the Jeevan Vidya Mission, submitted a 20 second creative on female illiteracy.

OOH Media has set up the OOBY awards to encourage creative thinking in the digital realm. The call for entries was made in February. A prerequisite was that the creative be created specifically for the digital medium and that it address a social cause. OOH Media received more than 120 entries from creative agencies, big and small, and from freelancers.

A bunch of creative directors judged the entries and the final call was taken by Ishan Raina, chief executive officer, OOH Media.

"The most important thing that I was looking for in the entries was simplicity, not execution in particular," says Raina. "All three winners have depicted extreme simplicity in driving home the message."

The three winners say they kept in mind the fact that they had to prepare an ad for a target that did not have the time to interpret hidden and underlying meanings.

Arjunwadkar says, "It's been observed that people aren't interested in a particular health issue until you scare them a little bit." Protect Yourself highlights the HIV/AIDS statistics in the country and the need to act soon. He stumbled upon the idea while reading through huge chunks of data on HIV/AIDS and decided to use the statistics for children because it is eventually the children who will suffer for the deeds of their parents.

Prakash says, "The idea seemed very basic to me." To check the effectiveness of his thought, he created a scratch shoot and first showed it to his canteen boy. The canteen boy understood the message. "From there, I went ahead and showed it to a few more people in the office who understood the message and didn't see a problem with it," he says.

Pawar heard of the saying, 'Educating a woman is educating a nation', at the Jeevan Vidya Mission, where he works. On the basis of this thought, he decided to focus on the issue of women's illiteracy. He says, "A fingerprint denotes identity in the world. But in India, a fingerprint also means illiteracy ('angootha chaap')."

The ads will run across all OOH Media screens for about two weeks, beginning today. The other agencies that participated include Meridian Communications, Cell18, HDFC and Euro RSCG jointly, and a number of freelancers.

Raina is confident that the awards will help to build up the digital medium and to produce creatives that are specific to the medium.

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