afaqs!

Delhi judged the finalists for Effie award 2012

By Rashmi Menon , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | November 27, 2012
Of the record 357 entries, the Round 1 of the awards eliminated 229 entries based on effectiveness. Ogilvy & Mather has the highest number of shortlisted entries at 30.

In a first, the final round to select the best entries for 12th Effie awards was held on Monday, November 26 in Delhi. About 17 Delhi-based judges representing ad agencies and clients critically examined the case studies and videos submitted by 20 shortlisted agencies and 128 entries. And, a majority of the 17 panellists were first-time judges at Effie. In fact, the judging panel comprised an equal number of marketers, another first this year.

To make life easier for the judges, the Effie award organisers have also taken the judging process completely online. The idea was to allow the judges to work at their own paces and not tax their attention span by loading them with entries. The second part of Round 2 will be held in Mumbai on November 29. About 37 entries, chosen randomly, were circulated among the judges in Delhi.

afaqs! caught up with some of the judges to know their personal criteria in marking the entries, and their opinions regarding Delhi being included in the judging process.

Amitesh Rao

Bindu Sethi

Satbir Singh

Amitesh Rao, director, brand and media, MTS says that the content of the entries show wide fluctuations. "Writing for the entries is an art and some seem to have cracked it. The quality of case study presentations and putting together the campaign vary a lot," he adds. He explains that he looked at a campaign's business perspective and whether it had identified communication, positioning and challenges of the brand, and the campaign results.

Bindu Sethi, chief strategy officer, JWT India observes that the entries were a mixed bag, with some campaigns being very good. Her parameter for selection of the best campaign was to assess the quality of data. "If a campaign says there was a 10 per cent growth, I want to know how much the competition grew by. So, seniority of judges makes a lot of difference," Sethi explains.

According to Alok Lall, executive director, McCann Worldgroup, entries were analysed on the basis of the challenges the brands faced, the solutions agencies offered and their impact on the brand. "People are now leveraging other media. But what interests me is the amount of money spent on the campaign. Some have been fairly innovative and bold in the medium they chose and this was heartening to see," he reveals.

While the primary criterion for selection was effectiveness, since Satbir Singh, managing partner and chief creative officer, Havas Worldwide India had a creative background, he observed the creative support of the campaigns a bit more critically. As for having a paperless judging process, Singh 'loved it'. Considering the nature of the elimination process, the judges had to keep referring to case studies and online access made it easier, he adds.

Some judges believe that the move to include Delhi in the decision making process was due for some time. "Mumbai has limitations in terms of growth. Even spend split-wise, Delhi would be significant considering all telecom, automobile and other industry giants are here. If Effie has to look like a national award, Delhi needs to be included in the process. So, Delhi has got its fair share," says Prashant Mathur, executive vice-president, Contract Advertising (India).

While Mathur discloses that he had only gone through half of the case studies, most had chosen ATL campaigns. "Given the kind of business today, how you define the success parameter makes the difference. Different ways of looking at defining objectives always helps. Lead (digital) is just an add-on and does not define the campaign. Adaptation in methods are happening but innovation has not happened yet," Mathur concludes.

Meanwhile, Lall opines, "I think even the award ceremony should be in Delhi, given that most advertisers are in Delhi. But this is a good first step."

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