The Jury has the final word
The OAA 2017 Jury members shared their perspectives on the quality of work that they judged, the new norms that were introduced in the adjudication process, as also the way forward for OOH business in India. Read on.
Amitabh Biswas- Marketing Head - News at Times Network
- Overall experience – It was a good experience being at the Jury meet. Often times we get myopic. An exposure like this helps us to know what is happening in the outside world. The judging was fairly well organised. All of the entries that we reviewed were very consistent with the formats and that aided the judging process.
- Stringent norms to keep out spam entries: It was a great step in the right direction. There should be a clear demarcation between respecting and recognising people’s creative abilities and focusing on the core objective of the particular contest. You might want to look at having a special category that recognises creative talent beyond its outcome or its reach, etc., so that people who have the creative thought process are able to show their talent.
- Message to the industry: OOH is an excellent medium. It gives the largeness, scale and impact. As a marketer I would be very worried if I got to know that OOH is no longer an option. Having said that, more analytics and measurability would really help although various agencies and vendors do have their own individual metrics. A unified and scientific approach would do wonders.
Smritika Sharma, Head – Marketing, RAW Pressery
- Judging experience: It was my first experience as a Jury member and I felt this judging process was supremely well organised. I was pleased to see how smoothly it was executed and very well step oriented. I liked the fact that an auditing firm was in charge of the processes. Also, I could see that how all the entries had been put together under their respective categories showing thought behind the category and its related activity.
- Quality of entries: I liked the campaigns that centred on social causes. The way the TV category was using multimedia strategy to reach their viewers showed how important OOH.
- Stringent norms to keep out spam entries: This was one of the best things that I noticed. I have been in the industry for about 10 years now and I know that a lot of works get created specifically for awards. If it doesn’t have any effect on your consumer base or consumption, it is pretty pointless and an award means nothing and it doesn’t stand you in good stead. So, it was a good learning for all those who got eliminated through this process to create work not for only winning awards but to actually move the business.
- Message to the industry: The only thing I wished for was stronger metrics to gauge the impact of OOH. I do know that there are multiple 3rd party agencies that have started tracking OOH but it would be great if somebody from the industry take this project up because there are so many brands from FMCG to small brands using this as a very important multimedia medium. To have tracking and numbers will strengthen OOH as an established medium.
Bhushan Chandorkar, DGM Market Activation, Mahindra
- Stringent norms to keep out spam entries: It is very much required. I find this move benefiting both agencies and vendors.
- Changes: The participants should be given a clear template so that they should be playing within that net-frame itself.
- Message to the industry: OOH industry is doing well. I am sure that every year we will find some more new innovations. As of now innovations are seen only in the top 6 metro cities but that is not enough. Innovations should be planned for other cities too. Although innovations cost more, Honda has demonstrated that innovations need not be very expensive.
Gaurav Suri, Sr. EVP - Head marketing & Training, UTI AMC (Asset Management Company)
- Judging process: I would like to compliment the organisers for sustaining the quality standards. I have been coming to this forum for the last 3-4 years and I am delighted to say that every year I see that it is evolving. I think the norms introduced this year are phenomenally good. It is a brave move and a tremendous step to bring more credibility to the awards. However, the only issue I had this year with the entries was that the quality of entries could have been better. I think it is time that we look at the entire eco-system and see what needs to be done to fix it, if the medium has to retain its position in the marketing mix.
Rahul Pansare, Head Marketing, FCA
- Judging process: The judging process was very transparent. Also, the way the entries were presented in the iPad along with the images and videos made the judging process easy for the judges.
- Stringent norms to keep out spam entries: I appreciate the steps. At the same time I would like to see creative work. There should be a balance between a brand’s objective and the creative mind.
- Quality of entries: I would have liked to see more quality work. There should not be a mismatch between the brand objective and the work that one gets to see.
Shalini Kumar, AVP - Partnerships and Innovation, Star India
- Judging process: The major parameters were very well defined. Outdoor being a creative medium there will be some subjectivity in judging the ideas that are presented but it was a good approach to quantify them. OOH has become a very challenging medium. It has been really difficult to do something impactful on this medium as everybody seems to be focusing on the creative strategies but nothing much is being done to make the medium more impactful. There is X amount of money going into this medium but people are looking at it like a frequency medium, while this medium can bring impact locally which I think is still missing. I am sure there are some infrastructure limitations but a lot can be done in this medium.
G.G.Jayanta, National Marketing Head, Radio Mirchi
- Judging experience: I think the process is done very thoughtfully. The Jury was very well briefed.
- Parameters: The parameters defined for the judging were pretty good and it was nice to see a structure in place to for an unstructured medium like OOH. Whenever budgets are mentioned there should be more details given and it should be part of the template for presentation.
- Message to the industry: As the economy grows, so will this medium –like in the west. Likewise, there will be more professionalism and focus on aesthetics.
Girish Upadhyay, Head - Media Planning & Buying, TATA Motors
- Judging experience: It was a great process. I feel OOH has great potential which is not fully realised as such. It felt great being a part this journey.
- Parameters: It helped a lot that parameters were defined on the basis of which one could award scores to the entries.
- Quality of entries: The overall quality was good and is improving year on year. People are doing a lot of innovative stuff and I think there is a huge potential out there. We are moving in the right direction.
- Message to the industry: OOH agencies need to be involved in the outcome of the campaigns. At the moment in terms of innovation and execution they are doing fine but they should also consider if it is working for the client.
Jaikishin Chhaproo, Head Media, ITC
- Judging experience: Considering the process and approach taken this year, I think there was a significant shift in the way entries have been ranked. The entries were being given the right scores, as a result.
- Parameters: The parameters are fine but the learning would be to weigh them a bit separately from the OOH perspective and give impact a higher weightage. It is a good start.
- Quality of entries: I think the quality of entries have been far better this year. Probably the screening was sharper because there was no entry that raised a question with regard to its respective category. One bit of advice for agencies that specifically when it is about measurement or success of the campaign it would be far better to respond to the question specific to OOH rather than plugging a multimedia campaign.
- I can understand that it is difficult to measure the impact of OOH but if there are some parameters that you could lay down and there have been some campaigns that have done that successfully; then it will give a sort of an ROI twist as well.
Kumar Gaurav, Vice President & Head of Product Marketing, Jayalakshmi Financial Services
- Judging experience: The Special Categories section that we got to judge was so different from the traditional campaigns done on hoardings and billboards. I think the categories for judging were very unique and it felt good to be part of it. I really liked way the right set of Jury members were invited from different sectors and also the process of judging was very simple and easy to follow.
- Message to the industry: The entire OOH industry is perceived only as the billboard industry which is not the fact. It is an extremely effective medium. If you have the right creative and you can execute it in an innovative manner, it will give you 10 times better results than a normal one. I think we are completely on the right path. In my view, outdoor plays a big role in the success of any campaign.
Pramod Patil, AVP – Group Marketing, Kotak Bank
- Judging experience: This is the second time I am being a part of this jury. It is a responsible opportunity. I think you have made changes from last year to this year for transparency and that is appreciable.
- Best category/entry: I liked two presentations for their clarity of thought -- one was Honda and the other was the TATA Hexa campaign.
- Changes: The participants should be given a mandate that they have to state the budgets. For instance;for media planning of the year if you are not showing me the plan then how will I judge?
Rohan Padhye, VP Marketing, Axis Mutual Fund
- Judging experience: I liked the overall process which is very well documented so it becomes very easy for every Jury to go through each and every entry and judge the ideation, objective and creative.
- Stringent norms to keep out spam entries: I think for any awards it is important to weed out the entries that are specifically created for awards.
- Message to industry: There is great work happening and I think we need to keep innovating.
Isteyaq Ahmed, National Head-Digital & New Initiatives, RED FM – New Delhi
- Judging experience: I came across some really promising entries. I can see the space getting competitive.
- Stringent rules to keep out spam entries: A very good initiative indeed. The objective of any communication should be to deliver ROI. Award specific work upsets the whole eco-system.
- Message to industry: OOH is an effective tool but measurement needs to come in.
Ashish Bajaj, Media Head, Ola Cabs
- Judging experience: OAA is one of the awards contests that has evolved over the years.The whole process was streamlined so there was no pain in terms of understanding the process. The modules were self-explanatory.
- Best category/entry: ‘Pink’ activation was my favorite entry but I felt it could have been in some other category. The work was awesome and I think we as brand custodians should do path-breaking stuff like this because then it makes sense for the whole world to understand the impact that brands can actually have consumers.
- Stringent norms to keep out spam entries: It is a very good step because I know people and agencies that are doing award-specific work because for them it is not about making a difference but of just bagging some awards. That is a very wrong way of working in the industry. I applaud the organisers for the bold step; no other organization in this industry and category has taken such a step.
Bharat Kharbanda, Marketing Head, Electric Fans & Home Comfort Business, Usha International
- Judging experience: I felt that while some of the categories were well defined in terms of category and sub category, for some others the criteria should have been elaborated a little more and more stringent norms should have been applied for filtering the entries. The impact of a campaign should be one of the criteria.
- Stringent norms to keep out spam entries: It is a step in the right direction.
- Message to the industry: OOH is losing in terms of revenue growth so this medium really needs to evolve. The custodians of this medium need to present those technologies with which the efficacy of campaigns can be measured. With digital coming in everyone is talking about targeted campaigns and in that scenario I think the custodians would need to ensure measurability and greater accountability.
Kaushik Prasad, General Manager, Consumer Marketing, Ford India
- Stringent rules to weed out spam entries: I guess any step we take to bring in genuine entries is positive and welcome.
- Judging process: It was fantastic. You get to see a wide variety of work across categories. There is some outstanding work happening in the OOH business. It is revelation and tough to decide the winners because the spectrum of work available and the marriage of technology with a medium like OOH is fantastic.
- Best entry/category: There is a lot of great work happening in the FMCG sector and companies like ours which are in the automotive business can learn from them.
- Message to the industry: If we get some science and rigorous data -- whether it is about brand impact or measurement, I think that will really help to push the OOH medium.
Sarthak Seth, Head -- Brand & Marketing Communications (India & South Asia) & Head -- Sanyo Business, Panasonic India
- Judging experience: It is a very fair process from the judging perspective.
- Message to the industry: Most of the innovations these days are fantastic. Today it is not about one medium, it is about integration through different mediums and OOH is integral to the whole process. OOH businesses need to work on new ideas.
Yadvinder Singh Guleria, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India
- Judging process: All the jury members were excited to be part of this and since most of us are from across the industry, we had people from telecom, media buying, automotive, etc., which gave us deep insights into what should be done.
- Entry/ category: Being a part of the automotive industry I was looking very closely at what I could take away.
- Stringent rule to weed out spam entries: There were fewer entries in this year’s contest, but having said that we were briefed by the organisers on the key changes made in the awards criteria. We were expected to evaluate the quality of work than just look at the presentations -- which is a very good step taken by the organisers.
Vikas Singh, Associate Vice President - Brand Marketing, Dainik Bhaskar Group
- Judging process: The entries for this year’s contest were much better than last year’s entries. OAA is one of those few awards contests where the strength of innovation and execution is at the core of the judging process.
- Stringent rules to keep out spam entries: This was a very good initiative; in the past we had seen certain ideas or innovations that were there just to win awards. They neither had the scale nor the ability to positively influence the audience.
- Message to the industry: I would only say that think of ways in which you can engage with all 360 degree elements rather than saying OOH is just an extension of a print ad. There are a lot of technologies available but the only point is how you integrate the technologies to create more meaningful engagement with the audiences and deliver scale. It doesn’t make sense to execute just one innovation at Mahim Causeway; India is such a vast country and how brands would connect with 300-400 cities in what the industry should be planning for.
Jiveshdeep Singh Sandhu, Head - Marketing Communications, Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd.
- Judging process: It was organised pretty well. Kudos to the organisers.
- Noteworthy work: Some of the entries were real food for thought for us marketers. We also felt that some of the ideas showcased in the entries could be implemented across industries.
- Stringent norms: It is important to maintain the sanctity of the awards.
- Message to the industry: Measurement metrics and use of technology will spur OOH growth. With the proliferation of media and the amount of time that people are spending commuting, OOH will become a more potent media. OOH should be owner and agency driven rather than client driven.
Archana Agarwal, Vice President – Brand, Airtel
- Judging process: I love coming back to be a part of jury every year because simply it allows me to learn and to see what others are doing in the industry. The process was very seamless as it was easy to judge; we could review the entries and associated videos multiple times as per our convenience. The way entries were presented, as also the videos, I guess that could be significantly improved. In some cases the entries were not matching with their videos and vice-versa. The agencies and the industry in general need to respect the jury’s time by submitting quality work with good presentation.
- Stringent rules to weed out spam entries: A positive step as which ensures that only real campaigns get to win awards. The industry as a whole must desist from creating work aimed for awards alone.
- Message to the industry: There is good work happening and good work can be done.It is important that you showcase your work the right way and not getting into any spam work.
1. The content was too good along with the theme.
2. Speakers were good but would have preferred to have a some from an FMCG brand.
Jacob Datta - VP - Business Development - Outreach OOH
Nice collection of speakers. Sonal was good, Rajul was the best of the lot.
The service tax speaker was a masterstroke, need of the hour. Appreciated by everyone all around.
Raju Srivastav was undoubtedly a runaway success and became the best highlight of the conference.
There was stricter time management most of the time compared to the previous years
All the nominations highlighted in big size outside the venue was brilliant, created immediate excitement and anticipation for the awards
I have the same gripe as previous years. Typically if there were 5 nominations in a category, one got gold, one silver, and all the other 3 got bronze. This please-all system needs to be subverted which will only happen once the jury has good enough judgment skills so as not to have a tie for any spot. I look forward to a day when there are 6 nominations and one each get a gold, silver, and bronze. Let there be someone nominated who does not get any metal as well. It will only enhance the stature of winning.
Raju Srivastav, despite his fantastic performance, should have been given a stricter time limit. He took close to one and a half hours by which time it was too late to sustain the same interest in the 2nd half of the awards. Since a few in the audience had started feeling hungry and restless, they walked out after his performance.
The auditorium had become too small for the first half of the awards which obviously had more attendance than the conference sessions.
Some suggestions for future editions:
Apart from the quiz, how about an impromptu creative contest, wherein everyone is divided into lots of small groups and given a half hour or 45 mins to come up with the best Hoarding creative on a theme. Let the best creative group get small prizes.
A poll of suggestions for betterment of the industry to be conducted and the best 3 to be read out at the end of the conference
A session on the designing of a creative,i.e. how does the creative process take place from the initial thought to the flex on the display including software processing, designing, production, etc.
Overall, as usual, fantastic job done. Keep up the good work.
Ajaz Memon - Managing Director - Network Media Solutions