Creatives are invited to make ads that would've normally got them fired.
An invisible mask, a mysterious artificial intelligence-powered food startup, a boutique startup that sells absolutely useless items... These are the briefs that make up the latest illogical ad awards in India.
Hosted by The Voice Company, the awards are titled 'Maza Nahin Aaya' ('MNA'). The advertising industry has its share of global and local award shows, where the best work is showcased, celebrated and awarded. The MNA Awards is a first of its kind that celebrates deliberately, badly made ads.
Bodhisatwa Dasgupta, founder of The Voice Company, mentions that the whole point of creating these awards is that every creative has heard this line as feedback at one point in life or the other.
"The whole point is, to create a successful ad campaign, it has to fit a number of parameters, go by a formula, so to speak... We wanted to encourage work that doesn't play by the rules."
"The idea was to have some fun with advertising. Every single one of us in the advertising industry spend hours making an ad look perfect. The logo has to be on the top right. The picture needs to be beautifully shot. The copy has to be just right. And because of this, over a period of time, advertising has become formatted."
"I wanted to create a platform where the shackles were taken off, and creators could just have fun and make a mess of things. And at the end of it all, be rewarded for it."
The MNA Awards have a lineup of judges from not just advertising, but digital and marketing as well. These include Tista Sen (JWT), Debarpita Banerjee (FCB Ulka), Karl Gomes (Fanatics), Karan Amin (010), Samriddh Dasgupta (Heads Up For Tails), Prathap Suthan (Bang In The Middle), Neha Tulsian (NH1 Design) and Prerna Mehra (MullenLowe, Mena).
The format of MNA Awards is very simple. There are three briefs available on the platform (). A creator has to simply pick one, or all three, download the media kit that contains the logo file, and start creating. Once the creator is ready to submit, he has to pay a small entry fee. The (submitted) ad will then go through rounds of judging by the best in the business.
"The judging parameters are simple. Most award shows have three winning levels – bronze, silver, gold. The more votes an entry gets, the more chances it has of winning. We've done things a little differently. At the backend of the website - it'll have three thumbs below each entry. The maximum thumbs down wins the award - that's when you know that the entry truly does not fit the rules of advertising," mentions Dasgupta.
Creators can click on to start uploading their ads, in static or gif format. There are more specifications on the Rules tab of the website. The last entry submission date is March 25, 2022.