Radio Mirchi launches Kaan awards

MUMBAI: Taking an inspiration from the Cannes awards, Radio Mirchi will be launching the Kaan awards. While the Times Group's radio station has already started inviting entries, the awards will be held in mid-February, probably in Mumbai.


Says Radio Mirchi national marketing head Gautam Gulati, "During the Radio lecture series called Radio Works that we have recently started conducting, we realised that category building is an important aspect of Radio advertising. With a visible lack of any awards instituted to laud excellence in radio advertising, we decide to institute these awards."

Currently, with Abby's having a small radio section and the Rapa awards not being publiced too well, there was an obvious need to recognise the talent in radio advertising. "Although not in the interiors, private FM radio has a great reach in the four metros. While people are slowly awakening to the pester power of radio, it is still by and large, a medium used by the advertisers, in addition to the traditional press and television. Besides lauding the talent, the awards will also help educate the media planner about radio," Gulati explains.

In its debut year the awards will be divided broadly into three clusters, the radical path breaking ads, the creative ads and the radio ads that filliped the ad sales/revenue. While the Radio Mirchi officials are still in the process of drafting the categories, there is a likelyhood of almost 12 categories being announced in each cluster.

With entries invited from all the private radio stations and national broadcaster Prasar Bharati, the awards aim to educate the ad fraternity and the masses, alike, on the creativity and reach of the awards.

While MaCann's Prasoon Joshi is on the panel to judge the awards, the names thrown for the other six panelists include Vineet Singh Hookmani and Lowe's Balki. The jury will be a mix of ad men and media planners.

The radio station has invited entries for the calendar year 2003 January to December. "Earlier ads that were aired on the radio were either an audio of the TV ad or a slap shoddy gimmick, but the ads today are far more superior and definitely more creative," says Gulati. According to Gulati, the target audience is slowly growing from passive listeners to an active audience. With both the housewives and the corporate bigwigs tuning in, the 160 million urban markets are waiting to be trapped.

"In the western market, the radio ad spend forms a chunk of the revenue. We aren't quite in their league, but I think there is an enough potential," he added. The FM being still in its nascent stage, the awards will definitely create an awakening of sorts claims Gulati.

Based on the western Pencil awards, One Show awards, Kaan awards aim to become radio equivalent of Cannes.

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