We'll add PR to Kyoorius Creative Awards next year: Rajesh Kejriwal

With the entries now closed for Kyoorius Creative Awards 2016, stage is set for the Jury sessions, which will be held from May 4 to 7 in Mumbai. The awards show will be held on Friday, June 3, 2016 in Mumbai.

In this interaction with AdGully, Rajesh Kejriwal, Founder and CEO, Kyoorius, sheds light on what makes Kyoorius Awards such an important event for the industry, the state of design today, growth drivers for the design industry and more. Excerpts:

AdGully (AG): How and why have the Kyoorius Awards been able to gain the stature that it has today in just three years of its launch?
Rajesh Kejriwal (RK): The industry has given us the stature, we just invested in integrity, transparency and impartiality of our awards. Kyoorius set high benchmarks and our jury panel refuses to give out Elephants unless the work meets the stringent standards.

Many awards compromise their standards to ensure every category has a winner or they include various categories to ensure that a larger sect of people win awards and are happy. But it is a paradox, we think that we need to ensure that winning an award is not easy – Kyoorius, since inception, has set the bar really, really high. Not only is winning a Blue Elephant very tough, your work has to be really good to even win a Baby Elephant at Kyoorius. It should be a matter of pride to win an award and if you are able to establish that, then the stature is automatically achieved.

AG: What was the idea behind incorporating the Media Awards category?
RK: Disruption is all around us. Media agencies are slowly becoming the home for marketing innovation. Media agencies are reinventing themselves to become integrators and now consistently devise innovative and effective solutions for brands. A creative communication award cannot ignore media any longer and I must add, in many ways, PR also. Next year, we will add PR to Kyoorius Creative Awards.

AG: What can we look forward to at this year’s edition of the Kyoorius Awards?
RK: We are not big fans of bigger and better, those words have been done to death. What we do is challenge ourselves every year to better ourselves and create better experiences and to do that we make sure that we listen to feedback and address as many of those that we can. Once you start working through the lens of your audience, you start re-inventing yourself to deliver something really powerful.

AG: Where do companies and brands go wrong when it comes to design?
RK: A dear friend and mentor, the late Wally Olins stressed on this – Make it simple, make it clear, let it be original and brilliant, but above all ensure that it works. Many times companies and brands are so close to the project that they either lose sight of consumers or concentrate so much on consumers that they lose sight of all the other stake-holders.

AG: What would you consider as the key growth drivers for the design and creative industry?
RK: First of all, let’s understand that design is going to be the growth driver in the future for not only the creative industry, but also for the knowledge economy.

AG: What are the top emerging technologies that marketers should watch out for?
RK: The basic but obvious ones are Smartphones (mobile) and Social Media. While these are known to marketers, the full capabilities of how they can be used is still evolving.

Beyond this would be:

  • Big Data (Big Insights) and Internet of Things
  • Wearable Technology
  • Location-based marketing and the fusion with wearable technology
  • Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

AG: What are the new trends that will impact the advertising, digital and media space in the next 4-5 years?
RK: In this fast changing world, this is a question that one can answer for an immediate future, but never for a longer period. What is more important to answer here is probably what people should be wary of in the near future are. The convergence economy is here to stay and brands have to embrace technology without losing their humanity. How do consumers interact with your communication and digital landscape and how emerging technologies are impacting this.

In the cluttered world where every brand is reaching out to the consumer, what are you doing to differentiate through customer experience? How are you using the tools available today to reach out to them differently? How are you using Big Data to get Big Insights – the good thing about digital is that it is track-able and measurable, but this is good only if you gather insights, develop learnings and understand consumer preferences.

AG: Please share some examples of use of design by brands in recent times that have impressed you and why.
RK: Fastrack and Indigo in India are other brands that have consistently used design very effectively to build their business.

The future is returning to AUTHENTICITY. Which also means localisation. Brands that have impressed me in the recent past are Paperboat in India.

AG: According to you, which brands have been consistent in the effective use of design over the years?
RK: Actually it’s a tricky question to answer. Apple is the one that immediately comes to mind, but in the recent past has it effectively used design is something that I keep wondering. Design and innovation go hand in hand, companies and products need to consistently innovate and keep consumers wanting to know what’s next. Apple had this earlier, but missing now. Recent examples would probably be for services – AirBnB, Uber, Cleartrip; for products – Tesla. They have used design very effectively.


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