The AME Awards honors campaigns that hit the bullseye for brands, triumphing in both creativity and effectiveness. AME's strategic and creative Grand Jury are repected industry pro's known for their contribution to the industry. As award-winners themselves and experts in effectiveness their ability to recognize ground-breaking results-driven work truly sets the bar for this year's competition.
2021 AME Grand Jury member Saurabh Dahliya is the question architect to clients, design junkie, self-proclaimed weekend master chef, and brings over 14 years of experience in the business across Asia and the Middle-East.
At VMLY&R as Head of Strategy and Planning he is busy harnessing creativity, technology and culture to create connected brands that drive value and growth. In an age where data is ubiquitous, attention is deficient and advertising is dead – he peddles core tenets of problem-biasness, provocation and point of views to make brands matter across moments – making thinking small, the big idea.
Over the years, stints with Mullen Lowe Lintas, Jack in the Box Worldwide and BDDO Middle-East with a roster of leading brands like PepsiCo., Kraft-Heinz, Visa, Mercedes Benz, KFC, USAID, Bajaj and Red Bull have won his work a Guinness World Record, People’s Choice Award and a Grand Effie among other international effectiveness award citations. Saurabh has also proudly been associated with the World Food Programme, Dasra Foundation and the Education For Employment chapter in the Middle-East & Asia.
In the interview below Saurabh shares his insights on stand-out award-winning work, the evolution of brand posititoning during COVID, and brand innovation and big data.
AME Awards: As a strategic creative, what stand-out attributes do you recognize in award-winning creative effective advertising?
Saurabh Dahiya: Winning ideas in my opinion are problem biased, brilliantly insightful, have creative ingenuity (that causes envy) and most importantly - provide solid evidence to show positive impact on behaviour, brand and business.
AME Awards: How has the brand’s voice changed since the pandemic confinement measures? Speak to the evolution of brand positioning, values, and tone of voice during COVID.
Saurabh Dahiya: The two most important things that re-surfaced through this period were – what really constitutes value and what is an organization’s ability to pivot?
Successful brands showcased agility, proactiveness and focused on a simple strategy that involved mass mattering, empathy and non-stop innovation. I don’t think there was an evolution or shift of any fundamentals but a time to truly demonstrate – how brands win by putting people before profits.
AME Awards: What innovations are changing the way agencies create on behalf of brands or launch new products? Does big data and AI play an even bigger role today?
Saurabh Dahiya: The ability to build a more connected brand will define the agency business of the future. We are big proponents of harnessing creativity, technology and culture to create connected brands. With the proliferation of channels, contexts and choice - Customer Experience is ever more vital for brands. Harness the forces that bring customer and brand experience together and one has the power to create meaningful value way beyond a single innovation or disruption practice.
The digital age has made data ubiquitous. If you look closely, what matters is not the data but the points of view, problem biasness, provocations and plan of action you bring to the data – 4P’s for marketing in a digital age. How we build and position our brands with a unique point of view, across moments, in an attention deficient age – makes thinking small, the big idea.