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A conversation with Agnello Dias on the eve of his Singapore Advertising Lecture keynote

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A conversation with Agnello Dias on the eve of his Singapore Advertising Lecture keynote

After addressing the Brand Festival at Budapest in October 2010, Agnello Dias, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Taproot India, is addressing the gathering at The Singapore Advertising Lecture as the keynote speaker on November 16, 2010. The Lecture will precede The Singapore Hall of Fame Awards ceremony, which will be held later in the day. This is Dias’ third international forum this year.

On what made him chose to attend the event, Dias told exchange4media, “I do not normally pick and choose an event to go to. I just try and be pragmatic about whether I will be able to give enough time and be able to do justice to what I am being sought out for. In no way do I let it compromise my commitments to the partners I work with. I was recommended for The Singapore Hall of Fame Keynote speech by Bipin Pandit of the Advertising Club of Bombay.”

When asked about what he would be speaking on at the event, Dias replied, “I will largely draw from my own life and experience as a professional communicator, working with brands and organisations in the Indian market over the last two decades. Professionals of my generation are fortunate to have been active while the world’s largest democracy was going through probably its biggest catharsis since inception. And to have been a fly on the wall during this period is both a privilege and an incredible stroke of luck.”

He further said that his talk would largely revolve around the role of brands beyond their immediate material and tangible ends to larger benefits for the society that may not be directly connected their core functionality.

Speaking about the Brand Festival at Budapest in October 2010, Dias said, “It was fascinating because advertising as we know it was only a small part of the event. Speaking after me was Kate Galbraith, renowned writer at The Economist and The New York Times, while immediately preceding me was Istvan Stumpf, well-known Hungarian Minister, Politico and Constitutional Judge. To be honest, it was quite intimidating to be in such an august panel that has had Nobel Prize winning economists, heads of state and pioneering innovators in the past.”

Continuing further he said the Festival was at the impressive Ludwig Museum and tickets were quite steeply priced so that it attracted only those serious about attending the event. “But once I met the people, who were so warm and welcoming and so well-versed with our country and with all my work, it went off quite smoothly,” he reminisced.

He, however, played down the presence of creative independents or smaller agencies at global events such as these, adding that one shouldn’t read too much into it. “I suppose they take some kind of collective call and go by word of mouth. But I don’t think it’s got anything to do with a small agency or a big agency,” Dias added.

When asked whether attending events such as these helped in his overall work or ate into his time, Dias replied, “It could become difficult to accept more of these as Singapore will be my third international forum this year. But spending time with other speakers across various walks of life is hugely stimulating as long as it does not interrupt real work.”


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