Alokananda Chakraborty

Spotlight shifts to radio advertising with Mirchi Kaan Awards

The Mirchi Kaan Awards – instituted by private FM player Radio Mirchi to recognize excellence in radio advertising – are to be given away on April 23 in Mumbai

The 2004 edition of the Abby Awards may have concluded a month ago, but the excitement of contesting for metal has hardly diminished within the local advertising community. And the opportunity to cart home a few more awards once again presents itself in the form of the Mirchi Kaan Awards - instituted by private FM player, Radio Mirchi - which are to be given away on April 23 in Mumbai.

According to Gautam Gulati, national marketing head, Radio Mirchi, the Mirchi Kaan Awards is a category initiative to push the importance of radio, as a medium, among creatives in agencies, apart from serving as a platform that recognizes excellence in radio advertising. "Even the Abbys have just one category for radio," he says, commenting on the dearth of awards dedicated exclusively to radio advertising. The only other award of merit that recognizes creative excellence in radio is the RAPA Awards, instituted by the Radio and TV Practitioners of India way back in the 1970s.

Although primarily targeted at the advertising community, the Mirchi Kaan Awards are also open to production houses that create radio spots. This year, in all, the organizers received 245 entries from 39 ad agencies. The judging for the Mirchi Kaan Awards concluded on April 3, and this year's 13-member jury panel comprised Gangadharan Menon (of Oxygen Healthcare Communications), ad filmmaker Abhijeet Choudhary (of Black Magic Pictures), creative consultant Deepa Kakkar, KV Sridhar (of Burnett India), McCann's Prasoon Joshi, R Balakrishnan (of Lowe), Elsie Nanji (of Ambience Publicis), Enterprise's honcho Mohammed Khan, Ravi Deshpande (of Ravi Deshpande Pictures), Mudra's new creative head Ramesh Ramanathan, music director Rajat Dholakia, ad filmmaker Ram Madhvani (of Equinox Films) and Rekha Nigam (of Vihaan Communications).

The product categories open for competition this year number 15, with a separate set of five awards deemed as Special Awards, which would also be given away on April 23. The Special Awards include the Voice of the Year, Sound of the Year, Radio Writer of the Year, Client of the Year and Ad Agency of the Year. The most outstanding piece of creative among the 15 product categories will be given a special Crystal Award.

Gulati maintains that work on the Mirchi Kaan Awards commenced in November last year, with the investment in the property being "substantial". He adds, "We hope to see an increase in the number of advertisers on account of the positive disposition we intend creating in the minds of advertising professionals for the medium through the Awards."

On an average, Radio Mirchi reaches 11.3 million people on a daily basis, with the addressable population being 160 million. The private FM brand has seven stations across Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Indore, Pune and Ahmedabad, with the total number of advertisers exceeding 1,500. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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