#JurySpeak #WOWAwardsAsia2020: Kausik Sinha, Ayaaz Khan, Tarun Jha, Ravi Makwana

Business Events | August 6, 2020 | Feature

WOW Awards Asia JurySpeak

The 12th edition of WOW Awards Asia 2020, the region’s largest business and recognition platform for the experiential marketing, MICE, live entertainment and wedding industries, is scheduled on Friday, 14th August 2020. The Extended Reality Awards Ceremony can be viewed on EVENTFAQS Media YouTube Channel from 05:00 pm onwards. 
In this #JurySpeak series, we bring you perspectives of the esteemed jury members who evaluated the very best work from not just last year, but also in the last decade. We asked them about the categories they judged, prominent features/ trends amongst the work and their biggest takeout/learning from the judging process.
“The biggest takeaway is that the customer is still the king” 
Kaushik Sinha, VP– Marketing & Communication, CSR & Admin, Magma FinCorp 
I judged a wide array of entries in the categories such as Rural Activation, Corporate Conference, Corporate Training, Luxury Brand Activation, On-Ground Promotion for Brand Awareness and Sales Volume Drive, Contact Programme of the Year as well as Corporate Team Building Activities etc. I had a lot of fun judging each of them.
I am happy to see such a wide variety of entries from large Indian and international brands. I was particularly happy to see entries in rural brand activation and corporate conferences. The entries were detailed and included the idea, execution plan, deliverables, implementation and results achieved. Photo and video as shared helped understand the scale and quality of the implementation. We often say the devil lies in the details. Most of the shortlisted entries were detailed and scanning them took a lot of time. But it was time well spent. It also helped me understand the current trends and what works in today’s market for various segments.
The biggest takeaway is that the customer is still the king and the brands must think of the customer at the time of planning for an event/ activation/ promotion. At the same time, there is a lot of competition for grabbing a pie of -- in what I feel is the costliest real estate -- the consumer's mind space. Hence, fresh ideas, originality of thought, a research-backed concept and finally, engaging with the customers will continue to be key. Brands must plan long-term and should never let the guard drop. Project what you offer and not exaggerate. Consistency of purpose and ability to connect with customers repeatedly and use the feedback to upgrade the offerings is key to success. One must also realise that the customer is smart and he has a lot of exposure and options, hence keep the communication very nuanced and straight. Finally, treat the customer as you would like to be treated. Keep the local sentiments in mind as well when you plan.
“Attendees respond best to simplicity and convenience.”
Ayaaz Khan, Assistant Vice President Marketing, Max Life Insurance 
At WOW Awards Asia 2020 I have judged Experiential Brand and Category Marketing. There are three prominent features/trends amongst work I scored which needs to be highlighted:
1.       Storytelling to Story living - Make it feel personal. Making experiences feel personal at every touchpoint. Don’t just tell a story, help attendees to live it.
2.       Staging as messaging - Say it with a show. A stage presentation that works double-time; style is important but with a sense of purpose and substance is what stands out the most.
3.       Sensorial immersion - Multi-sensory experiences help brands break through the clutter and make an impact that is felt and retained at a deeper human level. That is most likely to be shared ahead.
Seamless content experience: Events keep getting bigger and more complex, requiring larger content development teams that are frequently structured into disconnected silos. What's more, attendees are overwhelmed by the complexity and the vast event environments, when they will respond best to simplicity and convenience. This basic human attribute tends to be forgotten. Building for increased understanding via holistic content and improved path-making makes experiences more seamless, easier to consume and more deeply engaging.
“The best entries were those that created a unique identity for themselves.” 
Tarun Jha, Head of Marketing and Product, ŠKODA AUTO India
I have judged multiple categories, most notably Special Event of the Decade, IP of the Decade, Wedding of the Decade, etc. 
The best entries were those that created a unique identity for themselves and are remembered for many years. It is important to note that size is not always a criteria for winning but the novelty of the idea and thoughtful execution separates the good work from the ordinary. 
Good experiential work and ideas help brands massively by bringing them close to the intended audience. A live experience, whether good or bad, remains etched in memories for years.
“Entries which were cut-above-the-rest seamlessly integrated varied touchpoints to bring the experience alive.”
Ravi Makwana, Brand Head, Tata Chemicals 
I have judged the  Experiential Marketing Award segment at WOW Awards Asia 2020.  
Experiential marketing is no longer an ‘on-ground’ touch base with consumers. It is evolving to include all facets including but not limited to AR/VR, digital amplification and even traditional media. The entries which were cut-above-the-rest, seamlessly integrated these varied touchpoints to bring out the experience alive.
Experiential touchpoints l marketing has moved from a mere product demonstration to a deeper emotional otional connect with the target segment. Almost all the brand work in the experiential marketing category had a strong emotional hook for the consumers to get excited and thereby lay their product experience.

In this #JurySpeak series, we bring you perspectives of the esteemed jury members who evaluated the very best work from not just last year, but also in the last decade.

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