Listening intently to the cross section of entries, the 13-member jury of the 10th edition of Mirchi Kaan Awards gathered on Thursday afternoon at the same venue as last year, to decide on the best radio works of 2012. This year, the awards received 250 entries (50 less than what it recorded last year) from 30 agencies across 15 categories.
G G Jayanta, national head, marketing, Radio Mirchi, said that the quality of entries has gone up. "Some of the ads this year stick in your mind. I didn't feel that way last year. Even the length of ads has gone up," he added.
However, what was lacking was more regional and retail client work. "We have been consistently trying to get smaller agencies and clients such as the neighbourhood saree shops or saloons, who have tight budgets and can't hire big agencies. We are also trying to get more regional ads, considering most of the entries are either in Hindi or English," he said.
However, unlike the previous year, many jury members seemed disappointed by many of the audio works. Quality of entries, content and execution of ideas seemed to be major sore points for many jury members.
Joshi said, "What I would love to see is more regional language radio ads. I have been a radio fan all these years and have done a lot of radio ads." Joshi believed that radio is the test of a writer and to communicate through the medium is no mean feat. "It's is not everyone's cup of tea. As compared to creative works in other media, radio requires a good idea and well written work," he opined. He also said agencies should be careful in entering their works in proper categories, alluding to the example of Sound Design category, which had many entries that were rather voice modulation.
Echoing a similar concern, Meera Sharat Chandra said that the Sound Design category was "completely off". The reason for this, she said, was that agencies believe that good voice is equivalent to good sound, which it is not.
According to Saraban, there was a feeling that radio is a low hanging fruit. As a result, there is no filtration process in the works, as compared to other media, resulting in reduction in quality.
Agreeing with this, Akali added that while internationally, radio as a medium has moved forward with lot of innovation, there is not much of experimentation happening here.
Nigam of Vihaan felt many of the Abby entries seemed to be missing. "The public service ads have been pathetic, particularly one that gives a step to step description of how to commit suicide. It was disturbing and worrying," she felt. She added that the entries also lacked representation from regional languages, with the exception of three Marathi ads. "Maybe, agencies making regional language ads are not getting encouragement or do not feel they can win," Nigam ventured.
Nayak, who was a jury member last year as well, said that the entries fell short in terms of craft and execution, this year. While there were several great ideas, they were massacred in execution. "In radio, the execution can make or break the ad. It's a light hearted medium, which converses with listeners," he said.
The award ceremony will take place on July 5 at Comedy Store, Phoenix Mills, Mumbai, on July 5. Some of the categories include Food, Beverages, Health & Cosmetic Care, Media, Retail outlets, Fast food stores, and Restaurants, among others.