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Kyoorius Creative Awards - Jury Speak: Originality & execution work best

The judging process for Kyoorius Creative Awards 2016 concluded in Mumbai on Friday. Held over three days – May 4 to 6 – the Awards followed the open jury system. As reported earlier, in its third year, the Awards have received 1,863 entries across the Advertising, Digital and Media categories, which is a jump of over 31 per cent from last year’s total 1,419 entries.

AdGully caught up with some of the judges during the busy jury sessions to get an idea of the kind of entries received, the X-factor that they were looking for in the work submitted, the cultural diversity, whether there was a case-study fatigue, and more.

The entries

 R Balki, Group Chairman, Mullen Lowe Lintas Group, who is the Jury Foreman for the Advertising Awards, remarked, “Whenever you ask a jury member of any awards show at the shortlisting stage, you’ll never get the correct answer because they are always sifting through a lot of insignificant entries to come to the good ones; you should always ask this question once the jury process is fully over because then they will discuss the good stuff.” He added that while it was a “very tiresome process” to sift through a lot of work to come to the good stuff, there had been a lot of interesting pieces among the entries.

Mike Florence, Head of Planning, PHD Media, who is the Jury Foreman for the Media Awards this year found the entries to be impressive. He said, “We have a fairly tough job this year. We need to be tough and ensure that the most inspiring and original works win. Overall, I’ve been really impressed with the standard of the entries.”

Kartik Sharma, Managing Director, Maxus, who is part of the jury for the Media Awards, called it a mixed bag in that he had seen some very clear standout work as well as quite a few letdowns. “I have also seen a lot of digital-focussed work this time,” he said, adding, “Some are really good work, very sharp creative, while some have just missed the mark.”

On the other hand, Ralph Barnett, National Creative Director, SapientNitro, Jury Foreman for the Digital Awards, was excited to see a wide spectrum of calibre of work. “Some of the works are culturally very significant and very unique in solving creative problems that’s really interesting and it is exciting to see how the work steeped in Indian culture helps solve problems over digital channels available,” he remarked.

Barnett was also surprised at the edginess of some of the online branded content video work in tackling sensitive subjects. He added, “It was really refreshing, and I think the braveness of some of the work to tackle major social issues was great to see.”

The X-Factor

When it came to the kind of work that stood out for the judges, they were unanimous in their replies – originality of the idea and the creative execution scored above all else.

“It is something that surprises you, firstly. Secondly, it must be ‘Oh what a lovely solution to a problem’. I don’t mean just a clever piece, once you notice it, sometimes it can be really relevant to what the task was it was trying to solve. I think the great pieces of work are those that just grab your attention and are a great way to solve a problem,” felt Balki.

He added that he was looking forward to recognise some great work and  hoping to pick at least one or two really big pieces of ideas which could be flagged as the big wins from India.

For Florence, the main thing was how original and inspiring the idea was. “It should make you feel really good when you see it. Second is how well it has been executed. Sometimes it can be a good idea, but badly executed. Also, the insight itself that led to the idea. Any entry that can combine all of these things together should have a very good chance of winning,” he added.

Sharma informed that there was a very clear criteria given to the judges, which was confidential. At the same time, he said, “For me, if it solves the client, business or a brand’s problem, those entries are always worth looking at. I also look for creativity in how the solution is worked out. So it’s a mix of definitely effective and creative work that I am looking for, because finally it’s a lot of dollars that the client is spending, so they should get the best bang for the buck.”

Barnett remarked, “I think it always comes down to the purity of the idea that drives a real response or action and so it doesn’t really change when appraising great work. But I was really looking for the work or the ideas that truely resonated with people in a meaningful way.”

Case-Study Burnout

Both Balki and Sharma agreed that a fatigue factor was setting in with so many awards shows and seeing the same set of clients and agencies entering the same set of work. But while, Sharma felt that this was partially correct, Balki said that the problem was “huge”.

According to Sharma, “If it is the same set of agencies and clients that have entered, then it is not good. But what I was happy to see in Kyoorius was that there are many new agencies that have participated, hence it was refreshing to see not just the usual suspects. It is a function of how many awards that the industry is opening up and what are the ones that really stand out. The onus is on the agency and the client to ensure that good, credible work gets entered; it brings about a bit of healthy competition across stakeholders in the industry and the overall quality of work improves. That fact that we are even speaking about this makes sure that nobody takes things for granted and they are doing the best for the clients.”

Balki noted that it cost a lot of money for agencies to enter all these awards, therefore, the industry should get together and to address this issue... to save everyone a lot of money.

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