Go-Goafest!: Ajay Chandwani on why the Abby this year is special

19 Apr,2012

By Ajay Chandwani


The Creative Abby has evolved in many ways and this year is no exception. With the 9 verticals, the Abby is not just a creative advertising award any more, though it had started that way more than 40 years ago. Direct, Design, Digital and Film Craft have all created new communication communities with companies participating from these functional areas. The Abby is sought after by film directors, through the line stalwarts, mobile and digital companies and others.


New categories like Environment Design, Online Integrated Digital andMobile, Augmented Reality, Direct response inMobileand so on added a new dimension to entry opportunities. No wonder we saw 4,253 entries this year, a significant increase over last year.


The combination of discussion with secret ballot seems to have been welcomed by most creatives for the second year running. This is a departure from the open hands vote of 3 years that Goafest 2008-10 used, with endorsement from the creative community. Also new rules on multi-category entering and discretionary clubbing on winners with similarity has gone down well with the creative folks.


Jury composition has also evolved with younger and recent award winning contemporary judges being added from several agencies. At least 15 per cent of the judges were first time jury members at Abbys. Also we saw 3 new Jury Chairmen at Goafest Abby this year … Sonal Dabral of Mudra DDB, Ashish Khazanchi of Publicis and Abhijit Awasti of Ogilvy.


Another added feature this year has been that judges from advertising mainstream agencies are rubbing shoulders with specialist judges in Direct, Design, Digital and Film Craft juries. The lines between specialists are blurring as convergence and creativity becomes a child of the 360 degree touch point era.


The healthiest debates in discussion have been on ‘Are we honouring best in local Indian standards or benchmarking against international winners?’ With so many Indian entries chasing International awards and Indian judges at global festivals, it’s not surprising that most juries have worked out their balance on this subject.


Let’s hope the audience likes the winners picked on April 21!


Ajay Chandwani is Director at Percept Limited and is member of Award Governing Council in charge of Jury selection, judging process and conducting of Creative Abby

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