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GroupM steals the show yet again; no Grand Prix awarded in the Media Abbys

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VARCA: Once again, WPP‘s media agency network GroupM India came out on top of the list as the Media Abbys 2013 were announced at the Goafest 2013 taking place at Zuri White Sands, Varca, Goa. The group won 16 metals of the 46 awarded this year (10 for Mindshare and six for Maxus). Mindshare Sri Lanka also walked away with one metal (bronze) taking the total tally to 17.

Mindshare India won three gold, six silver and one bronze trophy in its tally of 10 metals at this year‘s Media Abbys. The gold metals came in for the agency‘s work on the 30 seconder to 3 hour campaign for Fair and Lovely (in the best use of cinema category), 5.2 years of Brand Content Interactions in 6 months for Axe Deodorant (in the best use of branded content category) and Kissanpur - where Tomato Ketchup grew Tomato Farmers for Kissan Ketchup (in the best use of mixed media category).

Maxus took home one silver and five bronze Abbys while Madison Pinacle and IPG Mediabrands‘ Lodestar UM both took five metals each (Madison Media Pinnacle - one silver and four bronze; Lodestar UM - two silver and three bronze Abbys). Apart from Mindhsare, Interface Business Solutions (best use of digital display advertising for Tata Docomo), Mliestone Brandcom (best use of ambient and outdoor media for McDonalds) and Starcom Mediavest (best use of display advertising for Samsung) won a gold Abby each.

Of the 46 metals awarded this year, six were gold Abbys, 16 were silver Abbys and 24 were Bronze Abbys. This year, the jury did not find any entry exceptional enough to award a grand prix and thus, that metal remained unclaimed this year. Last year, Mindshare had walked away with the Media Grand Prix. The Media Abbys category received a total of 660 entries from as many as 50 different big and small agencies.

IPG Mediabrands CEO Shashi Sinha said on the occasion, "The highlight of this year‘s Media Abbys is that till last year we saw participation by some 25 agencies and the metals were distributed among some six to seven of them. This year, the number of agencies participating was almost double at 50 while the final award list features 16 agencies. This means that we are seeing more participation from the industry and is very encouraging."

This year saw two major changes in the Media Abbys judging process. Firstly, the entire process was made digital. The participating agencies were asked to submit their entries/case studies in digital format on a pen drive. The judges were given the entries on a laptop and were asked to judge them individually in the first round. "The 52 judges of the first round entered their choice without any sort of discussion onto a common server. This made the process efficient and transparent. In the second round too, the shortlisted entries were graded individually by the judges. The discussion happened only while deciding the metal allocation," informed Media Abby Jury chairman Ashish Bhasin.

The second major change made in the Media Abbys this year was the fragmentation of the Digital category into best use of digital search (SEO and/or SEM), best use of social media, best use of digital display advertising, best digital content creation strategy, best use of digital as a medium and best use of mobile as a medium.

"This way, we wanted to enable fair comparison so that we do not end up comparing apples to oranges which was the case when you consider digital as one category only. It is not fair to compare a website layout with a mobile marketing campaign and then adjudge which is better. The segmentation has helped attract more targeted entries to the medium," explains Bhasin.

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