Indian Ad Awards and the missing Social Media factor

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Aside from all the drama of scam ads and controversies surrounding returned awards, there is one other aspect of Indian ad awards that hasn’t been debated much: the total local lack is social media smarts around the event. One might argue that given the larger issues, it’s a trivial matter, but its not.

For years now, the global ad awards – Cannes, Clio, Lynx, Effies, AME, AdAsia and so many others have marketed their events well using new media tools. It’s not just about creating a mobile app for the event. It’s much more than that. A modern, responsive website is common across most major ad awards. We live in an ’80s style flash website which will not open on an iPad. What if a foreign delegate or a client wanted to check on the show, while on the go? Nada.

Then the issue of mobile friendly, responsive design come into play at all. Opportunity lost to show the world that the industry folks know how people consume news & media on the go.

In fact for most events, live social media presence is de rigueur. Look at the fantastic job Oscars did on Twitter – live updates, pics, official hashtags, trivia and so much more. With ad awards, it can be even more fun with trivia, quizzes, blasts from the past and so on. But sadly what we got was updates from enthusiastic individuals and next day articles and the customary photo gallery. It’s the same story for years now.

Other major awards like Clio and Cannes showcase entries, short lists and winners. Sometimes with the winning entry explained as a PDF or video. All this goes a long way in giving a professional look. And then there’s the mobile factor: app with venue guides, speaker bios, schedules, city info are all too common. We seem leagues behind.

If done well, it sends out a strong signal to the client community that the industry understands new media and tech. Fallon, the US based agency started its own Adobe AIR based social media network a few years ago – just to prove to themselves and the world that they too ‘get it’.

Will things change? Do comment in with your thoughts.

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