JWT India, Mindshare top Abby 2016 tally

11 Apr,2016


By A Correspondent


“It’s a hat-trick and we are proud of it,” said Senthil Kumar, Chief Creative Officer, JWT South Asia when he learnt that his agency had bagged the maximum number of metals. Santosh Padhi, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at Taproot Dentsu, was elated by his team’s showing. Though a not-so-distant first runner-up, Paddy, as Padhi is known in the industry, accepted the kudos and then said: “We are a small organisation with just 40 people and have won 40 awards. Imagine if we had a 2,000-member staff.” For Prasanth Kumar, CEO, Mindshare South Asia, a rich haul of 17 metals at the Media Abby is a continuation of the agency’s winning ways after last year’s Emvies Awards.


Although the knowledge sessions are big draws in every edition of Goafest, the buzz-creator is always the Abby Awards. This year has been the best ever for the Abby in terms of the number of entries. There were 4,460 entries sent in by 299 organisations for the Creative and Media Abby Awards. In 2015, this number was 3,475. But while the number of Silver metals in the Creative categories have increased from 107 last year to 134 this year, and 180 Bronzes last year to 245 this year, there has been a sharp fall in the number of Gold Abbys given out. There were 71 Gold Metals given out last year and in 2016, the number is just 38. Also, last year, there was one Grand Prix winner, but this year there have been none.


So are we saying that in a country of a billion-plus people where we pride ourselves on creative output and storytelling skills, the standards of creative work have fallen? Ajay Chandwani, a member of the Awards Governing Council, said it’s possibly not correct to say that. But added that the jury was indeed tough on what should be winning awards. “Grand Prix indicates a significant change in paradigm in a category,” he said.


A new award was instituted this year which can loosely be defined as falling between a Gold and a Grand Prix. It’s called the Best in Medium or Category, and the Ambuja Cements ad, starring WWE star Khali and created by Publicis Communication, bagged the award. There was only one Best in Category award given away this year.


Two new categories were introduced this year, one in keeping with the growing awareness that ads need to be gender-sensitive, and the other was called the Young Abby where the winners received an all-expenses paid trip to the Cannes Lions.


Interestingly, and even though all the agencies entered the awards separately, Goafest 2017 saw the emergence of Dentsu Aegis Network as a serious contender on the awards circuit with 6 Golds, 32 Silvers and 45 Bronze metals aggregating a total of 83 metals.


On Day 2 of the Abby Awards, Piyush Pandey, Ogilvy India Executive Chairman and Creative Director and Times of India group Managing Director Vineet Jain were felicitated.


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