The awards ceremony for the seventh Mirchi Kaan Awards was held on September 3 at the Grand Hyatt in suburban Mumbai. Initiated in 2004 by Radio Mirchi, these awards reward breakthrough creativity in radio advertising. This year, a whopping 250 entries that poured in from all over India were judged across 14 categories. Mirchi Kaan Awards happen to be the only recognition of its kind to honour brilliance in this challenging and purely auditory medium.
Mudra Communications was adjudged the Agency of the Year and was also honoured with the Best Radio Creative of the Year - Client's Choice award for its Countdown commercial, created for The Cancer Foundation of India; the category has been introduced this year.
The agency won a total of five metals, out of which two were gold. Both golds were in the Media category (HBO) for the innovations 'M12' and 'Subtitles'. Besides these, the agency bagged one silver for Moov and two bronzes for HBO and The Cancer Foundation of India.
The M12 commercial for HBO also brought the agency the prestigious Crystal award.
Other agencies which also won metals included Ogilvy India (6), Leo Burnett (5) TapRoot India (4), Ogilvy Dakshin (3), JWT (3), Cheil Worldwide (3), Mudra DDB (2), Contract Advertising (1), Orchard India (1), Radio Mango (1) and Interface Communications (1).
TapRoot India won the gold for the Gargle campaign (for Nirma Shudh Salt) and Leo Burnett won a special gold for its Filmy commercial (Bajaj Mixer).
The silver and bronze special awards were also grabbed by Leo Burnett for its innovation for brands Reliance Big TV and 1298 Women's Helpline, respectively.
Lintas Media Group and Leo Burnett were jointly felicitated with the Best Use of Radio as a Medium award for their innovation for Bajaj Hand Blenders; the winning ad was The Pleasure of Mixing. Lingo India won the Excellence in Production award and Cadbury India was deemed Client of the Year.
As far as individual awards were concerned, a jubilant Shreyas Jain picked up the award for Most Outstanding Voice of the Year; and the Radio Writer of the Year award went to an equally ecstatic Pranav Harihar Sharma.
This year, the jury comprised names such as Prasoon Joshi, executive chairperson (India) and regional executive creative director, McCann Erickson, Asia Pacific; Piyush Pandey, executive chairperson and creative director, Ogilvy South Asia; R Balakrishnan, chairperson and chief creative officer, Lowe Lintas; Agnello Dias, co-founder and chief creative officer, TapRoot India; KV Sridhar, national creative director, Leo Burnett India; Bobby Pawar, chief creative officer, Mudra Group; Josy Paul, chairperson and chief creative officer, BBDO India; KS Chakravarthi, national creative director, Draft FCB Ulka; Ramanuj Shastry, national creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi; Ashish Khazanchi, national creative director, Publicis Ambience; and Pratap Suthan, national creative director, Cheil Worldwide, amongst several others.
It may be noted that radio is one of the most challenging of the media for brand communication as it targets only one of consumers' five senses. Addressing the point, Prashant Panday, executive director and chief executive officer, Radio Mirchi, in a conversation with afaqs! at the event, said that the art of advertising on radio is a fascinating one.
"Though innovation in the medium has grown a lot since its inception and creative individuals are beginning to churn out some great work, in general, there is still a long way to go before the power of this medium is exploited in its entirety," he concluded.