Anil Thakraney: Cag awards: Need to be revived

11 Apr,2012

By Anil Thakraney


Interesting story on Cag awards in mxmindia. Here’s the link in case you missed it:


To be quite honest, till I read this particular article, I wasn’t even aware that Cag awards still exist. They’ve become so low profile and unhappening in recent years, I imagined they had shut shop some years ago. In fact, I often used to wonder what went wrong.


Once upon a time, Cag awards were the most respected and the most wanted in the ad world. Creatives used to value them hugely. Unlike the Abbies which were perceived to be commercial in nature, and therefore lacked the value of Cag awards.


The difference between the two was essentially what happens with film awards. Those in the popular categories and those awarded by the critics. The latter is more valued by the film frat. According to the story in mxmindia, what led to the de-valuing of Cag awards is that scam ads slipped in, and the scamsters robbed the awards of the credibility they possessed. A pity, really. Because in my books, Cag had the opportunity to be that ONE awards competition which most ad people would continue to covet and which would truly reflect their skills.


Surely the entry of scamsters could have been controlled. It’s not so difficult to do.

All you need is a copy of the media plan and a letter from the client. To kill the whole idea because of that makes little sense to me. Also, GoaFest charges heavy fees per entry. And therefore its revenues are dependent on the ad frat. This makes the organizers powerless.


In my interview with Shashi Sinha, he mentioned that given a choice he’d invite clients to the jury team, but the creative directors won’t allow it. What Sinha didn’t say openly is that the real control lies with the creative directors so there’s nothing he can do. They pay for the festival, right?


Cag could have been that organization where there are no entries. Or the entries aren’t paid for. Like the film awards. Where the jury members select the winners on their own. And this allows the organizers to run the show in their way, on their terms. Minus all the scams and controversies that have been known to dog GoaFest.


And Cag could so easily have found sponsors who desire to be associated with a clean, respected ship.


In fact, I believe this can still be done. It needs just one entity/organization to revive the awards and make them the most valued in the Indian ad world.


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PS: Brilliant commercial from Land Rover. What a refreshing way to advertise a powerful SUV. Says so much about the brand without having to pack the ad with the usual, tired, vehicle-in-action shots.


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