01st June, 2023, Goa, India: As the sun went down on Day 2, a session on the present and future of creativity in advertising kickstarted the Abby One Show Awards 2023. Partha Sinha, President of the Times of India Group and President of The Advertising Club, in conversation with leading advertising pioneers Prasoon Joshi, CEO of McCann World group India, and Chairman APAC and Kevin Swanepoel, CEO of The One Club, deep dived to understand the true essence of The One Show’s association with the ABBY Awards. The discussion shed light on the current scenario of creativity in advertising, the opportunities and challenges that come along with data, and how the industry can rebrand itself to welcome young people to become a part of it.
On One Show’s association with the ABBY Awards, Kevin said, “What One Show brings to the ABBY Awards is that everybody around the world already believes that One Show is the award that brings in the highest integrity. We have a very clear of judging and briefing. The process is anonymous and therefore there is no lobbying. Following this is a very carefully orchestrated discussion between the jury. This entire process really helps us elevate the level of creativity and helps creative agencies, entering the awards, have a firm belief in the way it is being judged. The One Show has got a world-class system, making it the second biggest award globally.
Adding to this, Prasoon said, “We are living in a time where we are the most disconnected. A congregation of this sort is helping rebuild that connection. At the end of the day, while we can endlessly talk about AI, we are still humans and that is why we are here. Being on the board of One Show has been a huge journey for me. I grew up in the world of advertising, aspiring to win a pencil one day. The tie-up with One Show brings in an aspect of nuance and craft at the ABBY awards. While data and AI might take you towards facts, One Show ensures the art remains intact.”
When asked about the future of creativity and how it will manifest and amalgamate in the advertising industry, Prasoon further said, “Today many of us present here are drifters. According to me, confusion is the most fertile state where one gets ideas. It is the liminal space where one is most fertile. People who enter the advertising industry are by nature confused. Today, the avenues are much more than before. And that is where awards like these play an important role in creating that magnetic attraction. The fact that wonderful work is being celebrated, makes one passionate to belong there. We need to consider data as an ally and not be threatened by it. The art of meandering needs to be retained.”
Further speaking on the changing ecosystem of advertising that now comprises a 7-year-old influencer to a 70-year-old writer, Kevin shared his thoughts. He said, “Many years ago we started with One Show Entertainment, followed by One Show Design and One Show Interactive. We have always looked and seen what is going on in the industry and made sure that we are at least ahead of it. This year, we awarded the first AI category in the art directors awards. Another big thing that we are doing right now is for young creators. We have started schools to get young creators of TikTok, Instagram reels, and YouTube to teach them strategy and briefs. As advertising practitioners, we look at what is going on in culture and how can we make our work relevant. We need to keep our ears and avenues open, and invite the next generation in order to be able to market to them.”
Lastly, on making the industry worthwhile for youngsters, Prasoon said that as an industry, we need to make efforts to bring in young people, while Kevin stated that if we don’t draw young people in, we might alienate them. The session concluded with a shared objective on how the industry needs to make efforts, change the environment, and encourage young talent to become a part of the industry. The industry which is known for creating brands needs a little bit of rebranding.