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Published: Saturday June 15, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday June 15, 2013 MYT 12:09:41 PM

Mixed views on MMA 2013 entries

THE Malaysian Media Awards (MMA), now in its ninth year, will be held on Friday next week to honour innovative media campaigns. StarBizWeek catches up with three of the jurors − MMA 2013 chairman Juliana Chua, Vizeum Malaysia chief executive officer Andy Miller and Media Prima TV Networks general manager of strategic planning Avinash Sahu − for comments on this year’s entries, numbering over 340, and the judging process.

What is your overall impression of the quality of entries this year? Any surprises?

Chua: From an overall entry stand point, I see entries that are coming from a bigger pool of clients which shows there are more brands that are going for more innovative media buying as compared to previous year. This means that brands (clients) are recognising the need to communicate innovatively to consumers as it becomes increasingly difficult to capture the consumers with just one medium. In the 1920s, the only mass medium was radio. We have come a long way.

Miller: Not that impressed with the entries. Nothing really stood out that much and each category entry seemed quite similar. The main defining difference was the quality of the story telling and production cost of some entries.

Avinash: I feel that agencies have done commendable job in raising the quality benchmark year on year. Most of the surprises were mainly in the form of the creative usage of media platforms in addressing advertiser’s communication objective. As expected, the entries for the digital category were the highest showing a rising trend in advertiser’s interest in this medium.

What are some of the comments from fellow jurors that you find really relevant, or perhaps disagree with?

Chua: Comments from jurors which I agree - they are able to view, learn and push themselves further in their respective jobs/field of work as they see other entries that may have pushed boundaries as compared to themselves. And those who have seen these executions before, know that they have to up the stakes immediately to stay ahead as the rest are following their lead from previous years.

Miller: Not many comments as this judging is more about personal scores for each finalist’s work. I think the marketing representatives (clients) found the experience enlightening. Everyone was tired after studying over 100 cases.

Avinash: As per one of the rules in judging, we were not supposed to discuss the cases and I think each of the jurors respected and followed it. I guess we will only know on the final day (the awards night) whether we agree or disagree to the decisions of the fellow jurors in giving away the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards for various categories.

What advice would you give to media/creative agencies in terms of improving their chances with the judges?

Chua: The MMA is about media techniques, and I still find 30% of the entries still lack the technique explanation. Future entrants should also be very clear-cut when writing the entries. Entrants should stay away from using a lot of hyphens, commas and inverted commas as these are very distracting and make the entries tough to read, especially when we have a pool of over 300 entries every year.

Miller: Have strong insights, great ideas, seamless execution and a good story. Nowadays a high production budget for the award entries will help.

Avinash: I don’t think the judging gets influenced much by impactful videos or powerful presentation slides. We try to look at the uniqueness of the ideas and their impact in resolving the advertiser’s communication objective.

How clear or transparent, in your view, is the fact that the entries are media ideas, as opposed to ideas that are usually attributed to creative agencies?

Chua:: These days the lines are blurred. A long time ago, media planners stuck to media elements but the landscape has changed as clients demand that media planners go beyond just planning or buying. So in my opinion, I am glad they are going the extra mile for clients. That will make them a better brand advisor to clients as they are, after all, the key stakeholders when it comes to understanding the consumers’ media consumption these days.

Miller: This year the awards team spent extra time with the judges to ensure that everyone understood clearly the vision of this media awards and what they should be looking for. I also believe that the finalist work we judged were media-led cases.

Avinash: I believe that’s where the judge’s knowledge and experience comes into play.

In what ways can the judging process be improved?

Chua: Well, we are looking at maybe extending the jury online duration as the juries are on a volunteer basis.

Miller: More time would be good but the judges already gave so much of their time; it would be rude to ask for more.

Avinash: I feel the final round of judging should have been done over a two-day period instead of one day as going through more than 100 case studies can be really tiring. Once the mental fatigue sets in, judging gets really challenging.

Tags / Keywords: Business, Business News, mma 2013, awards, media

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