“ABBYs has surpassed the 2019 number of entries by a significant margin”

Over the years, the ABBY Awards have come to be considered the Oscars of Indian advertising awards to honour creative excellence in advertising. Undoubtedly, the biggest and the most prestigious ad awards show in the country, the ABBYs are attended by more than 2,500 professionals from the marketing, advertising, media, research and PR fraternity.

Being held from May 5 to 7 this year in Goa during the three days of Goafest 2022 in physical form after two years of Covid disruptions, the excitement in the industry is palpable as the date with ABBYs 2022 nears. ABBY South Asia 2022 at Goafest is special this year as it joins hands with The One Show. The association creates a new gold standard in recognising and awarding the region’s best creativity by bringing global standards of judging, jury selection and transparency to the already revered and established Indian Awards brand.

Speaking to Adgully on what is new for ABBYs this year, Partha Sinha, President, The Ad Club, remarked, “The biggest news is that ABBYs and One Show have tied up and ABBYs is on the One Show, this is a long term tie-up. One Show is possibly the most credible of all awards platforms. One Show is considered to be more credible than most of the global award platforms. So, the most credible global awards platform is now our partner. That’s the biggest change.”

Continuing further, Sinha said, “The history of ABBYs is quite chequered; many times people have cast aspersions, and a lot of controversies have broken. We wanted to end it once and for all. Now, it is on an international platform and it is completely transparent. People who are judging the award entries, have already judged on the global platform. The jury is a mix of international big stars, and Indian big stars together. This is the first step that we have taken to make ABBYs a global standard award.”

On what to expect at ABBYs this year, Rana Barua, Chairman, Abby Awards Governing Council 2022 & Vice President, The Ad Club, commented, “I think very simply put, we used to always have a challenge or an issue about what is the benchmark of the best advertising awards in India, and there were debates, challenges and issues. But I think now it has all been put to rest. If you are the One Show and the ABBYs, this is a whole new standard of Indian awards, starting this year. I think we managed to do a fabulous job, given the short time that we had post the Omicron wave. There is definitely a very strong, positive confidence in the environment.”

Elaborating on how the ABBYs are going to further strengthen itself to be at par with Cannes Lions, Adfest and the New York Festival, Sinha said, “Some of the juries have told us that this is a kind of shortlist for the global awards. Because works that win here, have a very good chance of getting picked up in the larger space. There are two parts to an award. One is the standard of judging, and another is the gamut of participation. So, the fact is that ABBYs are a South Asia awards event, and that can’t be changed. However, the standard can go up to global levels. To enter in those global awards is expensive, so you might as well test your mettle here and then enter. Hence, this is something which we are targeting, and we have taken a very strong step towards it and standard wise we are there, but gimmick wise we are still in South Asia.”

Barua added here, “This is a commitment from the Ad Club and all of us have come together. Now with One Show, actually what is also going to happen is that they are inspiring all the creative advertising people, the media folks, everybody to stand up and take notice that this will give them very big recognition. The jury is world class and we’ve got some good names this year to watch out for. So, I think a lot is going to be a reverse pressure on a lot of people, because the standard and quality of the works will automatically improve.”

When asked about the entries and interest from the industry, Barua said, “We are far ahead in both creative and media. I think it’s staggering that we have got such great participation in terms of pure numbers from both creative and media. A lot of agencies have come back, and we have pretty much got a full house. We are extremely happy with the participation.”

“We have surpassed the 2019 number of entries by a significant margin,” SInha said about the awards entries, while adding, “We don’t want to mention the exact numbers because we haven’t put up the shortlists yet. It will start creating a lot of second guessing, which we want to avoid. Secondly, most of the agencies are back, and we must say that the only problem we faced was that this was the first time we have integrated the system and we had very little time. So, it was really difficult. But we have managed to successfully pull it off. This is the year, we have got the event off the ground and have generated a lot of interest. From next year on, it will be onwards and upwards, but we are extremely happy with where we are.”


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