First day: Left brain rules
Er, this was all about the right brain calling the shots, no? Sadly, on Day One, it got squashed by its left partner. The suits took over and made ultra boring presentations on their cost cutting methods. So, it was back to the usual intricate bar and pie charts to give us such gems as: control wastage and be prudent in these difficult times. Wow, never heard that one before! And when they weren’t telling us the obvious, the sassy managers made sure we watched their stunning adverts.
No wonder most creative types were missing in action (I know for a fact that quite a few had landed in Goa, but were very smartly busy doing their own thing elsewhere), and the ‘diya’ lighting ceremony was conducted in a near empty conclave. Had there not been a free supply of lip-smacking samosas and dokhlas, we would have been in big trouble. Of course, the media (print, electronic and web) was in full attendance, religiously taking in every sound byte.
So, we had the opening speeches at Asia’s biggest (allegedly) and most hyped ad fest with only the journalists in the house. May as well have held the opening ceremony inside one of ET Now’s upcoming swanky Mumbai studios. Why fly to Goa and waste so much moolah (talk of cost cutting)? I fled after two presentations (maybe things picked up later, though I have my suspicions), and decided to return for booze and food later in the evening.
Hopefully today (Friday) things will pick up, and we will hear some interesting people. Else, I am getting hold of beers, getting my skin tanned and my right brain massaged on the resplendent Cavelossim.
Poor Bhaskar Das
Well, poor isn’t exactly the right word to use for TOI’s big gun, he’s at the top of the pyramid of the nation’s richest media house. But excessive beer in the system (oof… this ‘atyachaari’ Goa heat!) has gotten me a little ‘emosanal’. Have known Das for many years now, even did an illegal (on my part) freelance assignment for him once upon a time. And I know this about the man: he is too correct and hardcore a suit to help journos in his organisation with award leaks. So, even if he is heading the Bombay Ad Club, I totally absolve him of having anything to do with the leak in the Economic Times.
Truth is, award competitions leak more than a municipal water tanker, so no one is really surprised. At least there’s one thing that can be said about ad trophies: they are not fixed and awards don’t go to contestants who have the right connections. A bit porous, sure, but by and large there is fairness in the system, something you just cannot say about Bollywood awards. Out there, every single star who graces the show is given out a metal, just so he/she doesn’t walk away feeling like a loser. Sadly, that doesn’t happen at ad fests, so don’t think I will go home with a medal.
But, ET guys need to introspect
Dudes, I know you must be gloating on this little ‘scoop’, but let me tell you, having spoken to some ad guys out here, the joke is on you. Folks come to Goa to gossip, party, drink and network. No one really gives a rat’s arse on a leak. They’d anyway know the results in some hours, so all you guys have done is make them snigger some more at the stupid sensationalism of the Indian media. As if Star News and Aaj Tak weren’t doing enough of that already.
If you have to prove your mettle on investigative journalism, expose tax ducks by our ‘netas’ and ‘bada’ stars. Or the way the middle class is cheated out by real estate daddies. Or how how corporates fudge their balance sheets. Oh, but you were caught napping when Satyam did its number! There’s not much glory in telling us who won what awards a couple of days in advance. There’s as much bravery in this deed as those urchins stealthily stealing ‘paani’ from water tankers. Dear ET, something to think about tonight over some King’s (just thirty bucks a bottle… am lovin’ it!).
The layout is cool
Must admit, the organisers have made sure the venue is decked up nicely and grandly. There are beach walk-bys to the various rooms, and the entire deco is festive and uplifting. The service is fantastic and the food and liquids inviting. Full credit to Colvyn Harris, Madhukar Kamath, Bhaskar Das, Ajay Chandwani and others for putting up a great and tasteful presentation. Now, if only the speakers on the first day complemented their work. Anyway, am sure things will improve once the right brainers come to the beach party.