Nehru Centre in Mumbai was witness to intense conversations and loud laughs as ad guys from around the world congregated to judge Kyoorius Advertising and Digital Award 2015 entries. Just like last year, the jury session is open to the audience - much like the jury sessions in international awards such as D&AD.
The final tally for the Kyoorius Advertising & Digital Awards 2015 stands at 1419 entries. This is a jump of 40 per cent over last year's total of 988 entries. In the second year, the awards seem to have gained more popularity.
Judging these works were a mix of international, national and local ad executives. Andy Greenaway, ECD, SapientNitro APAC; Arun Iyer, NCD, Lowe Lintas & Partners; Bobby Pawar, director & CCO, Publicis South Asia; Joji Jacob, group ECD, DDB Group Singapore; Juhi Kalia, ECD, JWT Singapore; Malvika Mehra, former NCD and EVP, Grey India; Farrokh Madon, creative director, Independent Singapore and Rajiv Rao, NCD, Ogilvy & Mather India, made up the advertising jury.
According to Arun Iyer and Bobby Pawar, the quality of work left something to be desired. Both were of the opinion that there has been an overdose of emotional ads.
"As I see the trend, work has to get a whole lot better. There are bright spots, but on an average it's falling short. There is also a lot of melodrama, very highly-charged emo stuff," observed Pawar.
But, working with an international jury to judge domestic work has its perks.
According to Iyer, "The international jurors have nothing at stake. Their agencies are not in it, so it kind of neutralises everything. Additionally, they bring a new perspective; so, you might like something, but when you see from their point of view, you realise it isn't actually reaching out to the global audience."
Rao added, "There aren't many challenges while deciding with an international jury. Most of the work is self-explanatory. There are subtitles and when that doesn't help, we are there to explain the context. So, once we have done our shortlists, we start discussing - if we have some doubts, or have to explain something. But, the unbiased view from them really does help."
The digital jury comprised Andy Sandoz, creative partner, Havas Work Club / deputy president of D&AD; Kunal Jeswani, CEO, Ogilvy & Mather India; Melanie Clancy, creative director, BBDO Proximity Singapore; Tim Doherty, CCO, Isobar China and Tim Malbon, co-founder, Made By Many.
Talking about the entries, Jeswani said, "I think the volume of entry stands out. It is great to see so much work coming in, in digital. So, clearly, there is a shift. And it isn't just YouTube videos. There are 28-30 categories - lot of room for something much more than video. Videos are obviously quite engaging, but the categories allow you to enter work outside videos. Like social, website creatives, some apps and games."
Meanwhile, several new categories have been added this year. These include Tactical Advertising (Press & Film), Branded Film Content & Entertainment, Show Programme Promotion, Direct - Mail, Direct Response - Radio & Film Advertising, Innovative Use of Radio, TV & Cinema Title Sequences. Direct Response and Advertising for Good are two other categories that have been included this year.