Abhinav Anand
Advertising

Coping with an awards-free world…

How are advertising agencies coping with the absence of creative awards? Not a big deal, they say…

Creative awards, local and global, have been shelved for the foreseeable future. What impact will this have on the way advertising agencies work and appraise their creative efforts? Sure the awards aren’t a priority right now, but there’s no denying that they have, over the decades, played a significant role in the lives of senior agency executives and young CDs alike.

Saying careers and reputations have been built on the back of awards would be a bit of a stretch. But, saying awards don’t matter at all would be just as inaccurate. So, how will the absence of metals, trophies and the adulation that comes along with creative awards impact the morale and resumé of our creative folk?

Kainaz Karmakar and Harshad Rajadhyaksha, chief creative officers, Ogilvy India

Let us understand very clearly that we exist to create great ideas for our clients. No doubt, it is a matter of pride for all when that work goes on to win awards. But if there are no awards, we will still continue to create high-quality work for our clients. We will continue to enjoy ourselves while creating that work. Our commitment remains unshaken. Our desire to do what has never been done before, for our clients, remains intact.

Kainaz Karmakar (L) and Harshad Rajadhyaksha
Kainaz Karmakar (L) and Harshad Rajadhyaksha

We are staring at, possibly, the greatest crisis to face humankind in recent years. Everyone, and I mean the entire world, is united in fighting this. While awards are exciting and motivating, you can only be excited and motivated if you are alive!

The ‘no awards’ decision is the right one. There is no debate about this. This will not impact agencies at all.

The ‘no awards’ decision is the right one. There is no debate about this. This will not impact agencies at all. The impact we have to worry about is the one on our clients’ businesses. We have to be there 100 per cent, with our rolled up sleeves, to fight alongside them.

There will be other years to win awards and climb onto the stage. This year, we need to join hands and win the battle against this mad virus. Frontline workers are giving up their lives. No agency should think twice about giving up awards.

Manish Bhatt, founder director, Scarecrow Communications

Awards are technically the supporting element that is important for young agencies. In the bigger picture, awards are more of a ‘number game’ to big agencies. I also believe that the hunger for awards is not as acute as it used to be before, and the curve has not been going up. The reason for this is the growing usage of social media taking over the element of recognition that agencies seek.

Manish Bhatt
Manish Bhatt
Awards are technically the supporting element that is important for young agencies.

Previously, when the profession itself was passion and the other way around, awards were not among the critical stuff. But, the current scenario sees the need for craft and ideas being fulfilled by the system called awards. Rather than focusing on the crucial and primary aspects of craft and ideas, it is the rat race and the number game that get focus.

Rahul Jauhari, joint president and chief creative officer, Rediffusion

This lockdown is not going to be around forever and, hopefully, we will all be back to normalcy soon. In the meantime, all of us, advertising folk, have our jobs of supporting our clients and our own people in these tough times. Difficult times often provoke the smartest and most out-of-the-box creative solutions – so, next year’s award shows might reflect some of the work. I, of course, would like to believe that this work will be real, sensitive and motivating as opposed to work that treats this terrible time, facing all of us, as a topic to be milked for metal.

Rahul Jauhari
Rahul Jauhari
Difficult times often provoke the smartest and most out-of-the-box creative solutions – so, next year’s award shows might reflect some of the work.

One will miss the opportunity to meet, interact and exchange ideas with the best in the world. I, myself, was to judge the London International Awards that were to be held in LA later this year, but that stands pushed to 2021. We have tough, challenging times ahead, and I am sure we will all have our hands full for the moment. Awards are not the most important thing in our lives and we can get back to them when the time is right.

Jagdish Acharya, founder - creative head, Cut The Crap

Awards would be the last thing that we have on our mind, given the way the brands are suffering in the current situation. I don't think that not having the awards is a real loss, considering the issues that lay in front of us are much larger. The realities are much grimmer and it's important to come back on track. In this case, even for those youngsters and others, who have done good work that is award-worthy, I am sure they will get included in next year’s awards by simply extending the eligibility criteria, but that is still a small ritual. Right now, we don’t even know when this is ending, I don’t think award is on anybody’s mind, apart from the point of view of saving cost.

Jagdish Acharya
Jagdish Acharya
Even for those youngsters and others, who have done good work that is award-worthy, I am sure they will get included in next year’s awards by simply extending the eligibility criteria, but that is still a small ritual.

Today, you have to be creative to make creatives work. Gone are the days when the so-called “hardworking creatives” and the “formula-led creatives” used to work. In order to stand out and make the brand work, the same old things are there. It's just that the objectives have become a lot more competitive today. Even from a business or client’s point of view, I would say, at least in my experience, not a single person coming in for business has ever inquired, or asked us about awards.