Today while driving to office I came across a billboard about OAC – Outdoor Advertising Convention. OAC claims on how the awards are ridiculously competitive. I quite liked the concept – how most award entries land up on a panipuri stall – all credit to taproot and team OAC.
After a chance meeting with Nimisha Shah from OAC in my office I learned that the awards this time are in Goa.
I pondered for a while. Why so many changes ?
Fresh memories of Goa fest are still in my mind & honestly speaking, apart from one session on creative v/s media debate in which Vikram Sakhuja, Prasoon Joshi, Partha Sinha & Anupriya Acharya there is hardly anything which I take back home on Goa fest. (Unless you want to write about the rain dance and other frivolous sessions).
So are award functions loosing their significance or am I loosing my sense of what to gain from an award function.
I still believe the former is correct. With no specific bias to OAC or Goa Fest (I respect both).
There are three broad concerns I have with Award functions, and believe if addressed awards would be truly what they are meant to be – recognition of good work and encouragement.
A) People : I think as communication professional we should stop chasing awards but chase good work. The vicious cycle of you get award – client is happy- gets you more work is wrong and need to stop. No harm is chasing award, but doing work for award is a wrong intention and wont help any.
B) Finance : Award functions are sponsored by whom ? Organizations who compete for awards ? How do you profess a honest judgement of awards without the allegations of them being rigged or biased towards sponsor. Its like Mumbai Indian sponsoring IPL and competing with CSK/RCB/RR to win the trophy. I think there should be at best 1 or 2 award functions – one awarding media work and other creative. Both the awards should be managed by AAAI and should not be seeking sponsorship from any. While it may cut done some frills like exotic locations like Goa and 5 or 7 star properties, but it will for sure add the more important frills like seriousness of intent and quality of judging awards.
C) Judges : So what it takes to become a judge at such award ceremonies. I have attended a few and had serious reservations about the quality of judging process and at times my fitment for the job (without being modest). The process is more relaxed and fun, with little or no involvement on factors like market results and a third party assessment of claims by award nominees.
Awards are good to have, but not necessarily a must to have. We must leave our fixation with Must to have and stick to good to have. The good part will come when we focus on doing good things which may not necessarily mean – exotic locales, bragging rights, show offs but mean business results, measurable engagement between consumer and brands & really innovative piece of work.
Awards by definition are recognizing good work and encouraging it