Radio Mirchi to fete Kaan award winners

MUMBAI: Lights, camera, music.... Entertainment Network India Limited's radio station is all set to celebrate and honour the best of Indian radio advertising at the first ever Radio Mirchi Kaan Awards. The event is to be held today, 23 April 2004 at Mumbai's Grand Hyatt hotel.

Hosted by Javed Jaffery and Bollywood actor Neha Dhupia, the event is based on the theme Voices. Besides an line up of live performances, the event will also have eminent personalities' talking about the event and the present and the future of radio.

Being first of its kind in India, the main problem that the organisers faced was about the promotions and establishing its identity. But Radio Mirchi national marketing head Gautam Gulati dismisses the issue stating that, "Compared to movies and music awards, the ones on advertising are never advertised very heavily. When it comes to movies and music, the audience is much larger. But ad awards are restricted to a small but highly creative set of people."

As for the suitability of timing, Gulati offered, "I personally feel that we have made the right amount of noise with the right kind of people. And it was the right time, not too late and not too soon."

With 39 agencies across India entering the fray, the contest received a total of 245 entries. While the participation may seem a trifle thin, it can be attributed to the initial inertia. When asked, Gulati said, "Creative quality and not quantity plays a very important role. We have personally instilled the 'wow' factor, a pinch of humour, in our entire approach, right from the ads, to the entry docket, to the second round of creative and even the invites."

The advertising awards are instituted in 15 categories including foods, beverages, toileteries, household care, business products and services. In addition to the 15 categories, there will also be special awards for the radio writer of the year, radio voice of the year, excellence in sound design, client and agency of the year 2003. Each of the 15 categories have gold, silver and bronze awards. Also, a crystal award for the best work across the categories has been instituted.

The awards for the radio writer, voice of the year and sound design took into account the execution skills and the diversity displayed, while the client and agency of the year is based on the various works that have come in across categories from the agencies.

Commenting on the selection process Gulati offered, "The jury has been very fair and has stuck to creative quality. All the jury members have been on the jury of other awards also and so, in all fairness, they have stuck to the benchmarks of TV/press judgement."

Speaking about the difficulties faced by the organisers Gulati said, "Difficulties have been very few. Interestingly, when I first started calling people in early November 2003, I was very surprised that it did not take long to convince the jury members on this initiative. They were more than keen and an overwhelming response has been maintained throughout."

As for the actual events, the organisers have invited about 800 from the advertising fraternity and a seizeable number from Bollywood.

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