Tale of Two Awards: Abby & Kyoorius

16 Jun,2014


By Pradyuman Maheshwari


It’s perhaps unfair to write this comment after the Kyoorius Awards are held. For, one can’t help comparing the Abby awards which were held at Goafest 2014 earlier this month with Kyoorius which happened last Friday.


To compare the Abby with Kyoorius would be as incorrect as comparing the experience of a multicuisine restaurant in the neighbourhood with that of a five star hotel.


However, I was happy to see that Goafest 2014 happened. It proved all naysayers wrong. Given that the event had an all-new organising committee head as late as February, what we saw achieved was indeed a herculean task. And it required the collective charm of Srinivasan Swamy and all of the Goafest and Advertising Club biggies to pull it off.


It speaks a lot about the solidarity and the desire to keep the Goafest flag flying high that many major and small agency heads were present.  Almost all media agency captains were in attendance, and they possibly ensured that the sponsorship monies came in.


However,  as Goafest celebrates its tenth year of existence next year, it will need to do loads more to ensure it doesn’t lose relevance.


One, get a better set of speakers.Curate the conference well. Ensure speakers don’t promote their own organisations/ brands/ work.


Two, ensure all agencies participate. Iron out the differences, give in a bit if necessary but get everyone on board


Three, consider organising it in a season that’s not so sunny and sweaty. Announce the dates well in advance


Four, raise the bar on the awards production. It’s not going to be easy to match the standards set by Kyoorius, but it’s got to be done. Outsource the organising, professionalise it.


And lastly, Five: Agreed advertising is not about Creatives any longer. But to see the absence of many (most?) creative whizkids was unfortunate. Puhleez get them back!


But I think the most important thing is: Don’t live in denial. I have heard some unverified stories about agencies not participating in Kyoorius as they didn’t want to upset the AAAI. A few potential sponsors of Kyoorius reportedly said they were intimidated. One agency biggie is said to have even threatened to speak in the negative about Kyoorius to a pink paper if the dates weren’t moved.


Advertising is about being edgy and stylish. But being cocky and arrogant will take Goafest and the Abby nowhere.


As for Kyoorius, Friday’s event was not an awards show. It was an extravaganza. Rajesh and I were speaking about the need for a credible alternative to the Abby some months back. But buoyed by some active encouragement from various industry friends, he walked the talk and got D&AD to back the advertising and digital awards. I must confess I wasn’t too impressed by the design awards presentation last year.  Although the D&AD judging process was excellent, one of the emcees goofed awfully. The production values were very Abby-like, one could say.  In fact that was the only downer in an otherwise super Designyatra.


So even as MxMIndia wrote about all the good stuff that was scheduled to happen at the awards night, I wasn’t sure about how it would be.  Rajesh gave me a sneak peek of what to expect, but no preview can capture the real thing.


Of the various awards ceremonies I have attended over the years – especially in advertising and marketing, this was by far the best.


But it was just not about slick production or good food and drink or taking care of lesser stuff like offering food to drivers and arranging for Meru cabs so that people can drink away. Or ensuring there is more veg than non-veg, as the non-veggies have the option to consume veg, but not the other way around. It was about the Awards itself. The process was excellent. I heard murmurs that there were certain scams here too, but there was much care taken to weed them out.


Having produced a winner, here are five suggestions for Kyoorius and Rajesh for next year:

1. Ensure the message is sent out to all and sundry in the creative world that they must participate. Lowe included.
2. Factor in effectiveness and include more categories, but stick to the D&AD credo and values
3. Announce dates for next year early
4. Am sure there aren’t profits from Year 1, but it would be good to see some of the monies being ploughed back for the trade
5. Just be yourself.  And start thinking of how you are going to better the show next year!


But , of course, there’s a Designyatra (and Digiyatra) scheduled from September 11 to 13. For those who haven’t been there, and for those who’ve seen the Kyoorius extravaganza on Friday, it’s got the same style. And the good thing is that you wouldn’t want to head to the bar through the day. The content will ensure the high.


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