In conversation with Qamar Abbas, Executive Director of PAS.
On Saturday, December 15, 2018, the Pakistan Advertisers Society (PAS) announced their partnership with Effie Worldwide, one of the most prestigious marketing award programmes in the world, at the Marriott, Karachi. As a result of this partnership, the PAS Awards will now be called the Effie Awards Pakistan.
Mamun M. Adil: How did the affiliation between the PAS and Effie Worldwide come about?
Qamar Abbas: Given the fact that it has been eight years since we initiated the PAS Awards (in 2011), an affiliation with Effie Worldwide was a natural progression in order to take our awards programme to the next level and thus become part of one of the most prestigious global networks. We initiated the discussion with them earlier this year and as the PAS Awards were structured on the Effie model, it did not take too much time for the affiliation to take place. In fact, after reviewing our award programme, they were quite keen to include Pakistan as one of their national programmes.
MMA: As a result of this affiliation, the PAS Awards will now become the Effies; how will the judging criteria change?
QA: When we started in 2011, Effie helped us in structuring our programme and we followed their model at every step. So essentially, the judging criteria will remain the same. For instance, all submissions will be evaluated on four criteria: Challenge and Objectives (23.33%), the Big Idea (23.33%), How the Idea was Executed (23.33%) and the Results (30%); each with their specific weightage. However, the process will become more robust in terms of the evaluation of the entries as well as our requirements when it comes to processing them. Furthermore, there will be a higher minimum qualifying score in place when it comes to short-listing entries or choosing a finalist. This means that there is a probability that there will be no winners in a certain category (if they do not receive the minimum number of points), or in some cases there may be a silver and bronze winner but no gold.
MMA: Will you be dropping any categories?
QA: As Effie acknowledges marketing effectiveness, we will be dropping all the categories that were judged on the basis of only creativity, as well as those that were medium-centric, such as Best in Digital or OOH etc. However, there are other specialty categories that have been introduced that will recognise innovation and creativity in specific mediums and their results will play an integral role when it comes to choosing the winners.
We will also be able to provide companies, brands and agencies with the opportunity to be part of Effie Global Index, which is one of the most recognised global rankings of the effective marketers, brands, independent agencies, agency networks and holding companies in the world. Every Gold, Silver, Bronze and Effie Grand Prix winner will be awarded points via this system which will be compiled by Effie Worldwide and this will enable them to be part of Effies’ global index.
MMA: What about the Passion for Pakistan category?
QA: We will retain it; however, it will also be judged on the basis of its effectiveness. We have also added several new categories; of these, two warrant a mention: Effie Pakistan 2019 Agency Network of the Year and Effie Pakistan 2019 Marketer of the Year.
MMA: What role will Effie Worldwide play in the judging process?
QA: We will have participation from Effie Worldwide as well as their regional teams during the judging process. As we are now part of Effie, tapping into more international jury members will also be relatively easier.
MMA: What value, in your opinion, does the affiliation with the Effies bring when compared to the PAS Awards?
QA: We will now have the chance to showcase noteworthy efforts from Pakistan to the rest of the world and further raise the overall standard of marketing communications in Pakistan. We will also be able to provide companies, brands and agencies with the opportunity to be part of Effie Global Index, which is one of the most recognised global rankings of the effective marketers, brands, independent agencies, agency networks and holding companies in the world. Every Gold, Silver, Bronze and Effie Grand Prix winner will be awarded points via this system which will be compiled by Effie Worldwide and this will enable them to be part of Effies’ global index. Furthermore, being part of the Effies will provide access to global learning and sharing of practices through Effie Worldwide’s extensive case study database. I also feel that with Effie Pakistan, more clients and agencies, especially our winners, will be encouraged to participate in other international awards that will give place Pakistan on the map for the right reasons.