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GoaFest 2010: The heady mix of sea, sand and seminars begins today

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GoaFest 2010: The heady mix of sea, sand and seminars begins today

Stage is set for India’s biggest advertising festival, GoaFest 2010, that kicks off today. Already the Cavelossim Beach is brimming with the media, advertising and marketing fraternity ready for yet another festival season under the sun. Meanwhile, as a precursor to the event, an Industry Leadership Conclave is being organised on April 8. This year’s session will be on ‘2010: Time to Grow’. The business conclave will commence at 3 pm and will see industry opinion leaders discuss strategies on the development of brands.

The advertising market is underdeveloped in India, as compared to many developed and developing countries, despite high growth rates in the last five years. It is not growing at a fast enough pace to drive consumption. India contributes to 17 per cent of the world population but is only 0.7 per cent of the world advertising market. Do we need to re-visit the old advertising business model? What do agencies or media owners have to do to accelerate growth of the advertising market? The Industry Leadership Conclave will discuss and debate on various issues that a developing market like India faces and how creativity will help accelerate the brands’ growth.

Sam Balsara, Chairman of the Discovery Channel India Leadership Conclave, spoke on the theme this year. He said, “After growing at nearly 20 per cent year-on-year for five years, the advertising market dipped in 2009 by as much as 10 per cent. It is time to grow now and make up for lost time with sharp strategies and plans to develop brands, markets, creativity, media markets and research. The Conclave is a must-attend event for CEOs with growth and profit responsibility.”

An excited Colvyn Harris, President, AAAI and Chairman, GoaFest 2010, said, “The day is looking great and things are going very well. I am excited to see a great line-up of speakers and am sure the sessions will be very stimulating, which aptly goes with the theme ‘Time to Grow’. GoaFest is all about surprises and we shall all witness this at the venue. So wait and watch for what’s in store.”

The Conclave will commence with Tom Doctoroff, CEO, JWT China and author of the bestseller ‘Billions’ giving tips on what India can learn from China in his address on ‘How to use advertising for growth and in turn how to grow advertising market’.

In the second session, Piyush Mathur, MD, Nielsen South-Asia; Shiv Moulee, Chief Client Officer & Director Global Solutions Board, Millward Brown; Rajaram Narayan, VP (Hair Care & Lakme Event) Hindustan Unilever; O&M’s Piyush Pandey and Arun Tadanki, CEO, Yahoo, will come together to discuss whether brands are growing fast enough in a developing market like India. The panellists will also mull over questions like – Is creativity rising to the occasion to drive and grow brands? Given the increasing noise and clutter in Indian media, has creativity risen far enough to make brands stand out and make an impact? If one were to go by awards, then it has. But what do the figures from markets and brand tracks reveal? And what do advertisers say based on what is happening in the market place?

Shashi Sinha, Lodestar Universal; Bhaskar Das, Times of India; Uday Shankar, Star; Ronnie Screwvala, UTV; Minnie Menon, Bloomerberg UTV; and Ajit Balakrishnan, will discuss the issue of media spends. According to the Pitch-Madison Advertising Outlook 2009, for the first time the advertising pie had shrunk in 2009 from Rs 20,717 crore in 2008 to Rs 18,670 crore in 2009, a steep drop of 10 per cent. This is after growing by 100 per cent in the last four years up to 2008. Is the Indian media under-priced? How do Indian media CPTs compare with other BRIC countries, neighbouring countries and the West? Can the advertising pie ever grow without corresponding growth of sales of products and services it promotes?

Srinivasan Swamy of RK Swamy BBDO; LK Gupta, CMO, LG; and Shireesh Joshi of Airtel will present a case study on building agency capabilities. The only way advertisers can reap benefits of higher returns on advertising investment is if agencies invest in resources and systems, substantially raising the bar on their capabilities through innovation and investment. Are agencies doing enough? What stops them from doing more? Are agencies getting distracted from their core function of creativity by going into different verticals that make more money than basic creativity? Is this because clients are not paying adequately for creativity? These are some of the issues that this panel would take up.

LV Krishnan of TAM; Ashok Das of Hansa Research; and Mahmood Ahmed of ITC, will throw light on media research. Most media owners complain that media research tends to underplay their numbers and that the numbers reported by research are much lower than what exists in the market place. What is the truth? What is holding research back? Who should pay for research? Whose responsibility is better media research? These are some questions that the panellists would seek to answer.


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