afaqs! news bureau

ABBY One Show Awards 2023 sees increased participation in its second year

Some of the agencies like McCann Worldgroup, MullenLowe Lintas Group and Wunderman Thompson, which had refrained from participating in the awards, are also participating.

From 3221 entries last year, ABBY One Show Awards 2023 has received 3301 entries. The entries from creative agencies has increased from 2207 last year to 2282 and entries from media agencies have increased from 1014 to 1019 this year. Meanwhile, the number of participating creative agencies have increased from 140 to 181 this year and the number of participating media agencies have increased from 54 to 63 this year.

In an interview with afaqs!, Partha Sinha, president, Times of India Group and The Advertising Club, says the increased interest in the awards is due to the changes they have brought in basis feedback from the creative fraternity. Last year, it partnered with The One Show, a premier global awards program. The partnership has yielded three dividends - bringing in global standards, improving the credibility and the process, and making it universal.

"Globally all awards are owned by commercial organisations. But this is the only one run by the industry, for the industry and belongs to the industry. This means that it should reflect the voice of the industry and include the entire industry and not be a playground of the select few. Further, excellence needs to be a global standard. There can't be a different standard for India," he says.

Rana Barua, group CEO, Havas Group India & Chairman, The ABBYs Award Governing Council, says that these participating numbers are even more impressive when you consider the fact that last year the entries were for three years, as the Awards could not be conducted for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That is, 3221 entries were for three years, as compared to 3301 entries for just this year. In fact, some of the agencies like McCann Worldgroup, MullenLowe Lintas Group and Wunderman Thompson, which had refrained from participating in the awards, have returned after many years.

Speaking on how they convinced these agencies to return, Barua says they have been persistent on getting them back. "We've had multiple calls with them to bring them back. Moreover, the Awards Committee members are all industry and we doing this pro bono. When they see the effort we are putting into it, it makes a big difference," he says.

Sinha desires that the executives from these agencies that had stayed away "should run it eventually in the next one or two years."

The jury comprises seasoned professionals, young performers and members from the international fraternity

"Its a diverse jury chair, from seasoned professionals to young performing stars of the industry. We were not shy about it. We have invited people who are good in their domain to be jury chairs, irrespective of whether they were young or old," said Barua.

Based on the feedback from the industry, the Awards has brought in new categories and sharpened certain categories to make them more relevant. For example, it has renamed the radio category as audio to include newer categories like podcasts. It has introduced a new category called 'Young Maverick Abby' to bring the spotlight on the new generation of talent. It will recognise and reward the work created by talent under 30 years of age.

For the agencies that still refrain from participating, Barua asks, "Everyone wants to participate in India's most coveted awards. When everyone's here, what could be holding you back?"

List of jury chairs announced until now:
Nick Law
Wesley ter Haar
Prajato Guha Thakurta
Avinash Pandey
Valerie Pinto
Ahmed Aftab Naqvi
Ashwini Deshpande
Emmanuel Upputuru
Sabyasachi Mitter
Bobby Pawar
P G Aditiya
Guneet Monga
Mangesh Rane
Russell Barrett
Mandie van der Merwe
Pallavi Chakravarti
Rajdeepak Das

Ajay Kakar, managing committee member, The Advertising Club & Co-chair, The ABBYs Award Governing Council says, "McCann, MullenLowe Lintas Group, Wunderman Thompson, Creativeland Asia, etc have returned. They choose to enter the ABBY One Show because, as the president rightly noted, winning here will be a great stepping stone to winning at Cannes or One Show or other international forums."

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