D&AD all set to launch Indian edition this year with Kyoorius

MUMBAI: The UK’s most coveted advertising award, the D&AD, is set to launch an Indian edition this year, in association with Kyoorius, non-profit organisation for the design and creative community. D&AD and Kyoorius first came together in 2013, when they launched adesign award show. This year, they will host a creative award, and then separate design and digital awards shows.

In 2015, a media award will be launched, says Kyoorius founder and CEO Rajesh Kejriwal. There will be nine main categories and 35-37 sub-categories in the inaugural creative awards, including art direction, copy-writing and illustration. An eight-member jury will judge the awards – with a different jury foreman taking over for each main category. In what’s likely to be a much-debated move, the jury foreman will not be Indian. Kejriwal says, “D&AD is neutral. Kyoorius is neutral and we want the four jury foremen to be neutral. Indian judges judging Indian creatives are not perceived to be neutral”.

Names in the running for foreman of the jury include Dan Wieden, founder of Wieden+Kennedy, Rosie Arnold, who is deputy executive creative director at BBH London, or someone of similar stature, says Kejriwal. Michael Johnson, founder of Johnson Banks will be the foreman of the design category, and for Digital, it’ll be Laura Jordan Bambach, president of D&AD. The show will also invite entries from regional agencies.

“We have hired 10 people who are travelling across India and inviting entries”, says Kejriwal. In its maiden year the awards will include work only from Indian agencies, but he says that Kyoorius will consider roping in entries from Sri Lanka, Bangadesh and Nepal after two years. While the D&AD features high on the ad awards pecking order, there’s another factor that might work in the Indian edition’s favour: the Gunn Report. This ranking of agencies takes into account wins at the premier awards shows worldwide — and India’s top advertising award, the Bombay Ad Club’s Abby, does not figure in it.

If Kyoorius and D&AD can pull off the feat of getting their award into the Gunn Report’s list, the already beleaguered Abbies might see even more agencies opting out. While Kejriwal says the primary goal is to establish a credible national award, a source familiar with the planning at Kyoorius & D&AD says that its committee will approach the Gunn Report after the first awards show. D&AD and Kyoorius are creating a system to keep scam entries out.

An exhibition of shortlisted work will be held, “So while the creative community can come and see the shortlisted ads, they can also alert us if they find something wrong,” says Kejriwal. The event will be held in two phases between Delhi and Mumbai, with entries accepted from March 20 to April 22. The ceremony would then be held in June 2014.