With the tagline ‘Let’s talk magic’, GoaFest 2012 has lined up an impressive list of speakers this year, including five international speakers – Jonathan Mildenhall, Global Advertising Strategy and Content Excellence Vice President, The Coca-Cola Company; Jean Yves Naouri, Chief Operating Officer & Member of Management Board, Publicis Groupe SA; Tim Love, Vice Chairman, Omnicom Group; Steve King, CEO, ZenithOptimedia; and Jayant Murty, Director of Strategy, Media & Integrated Marketing, Asia Pacific, Intel Corporation.
Calling the event a “celebration of excellence and inspiration”, Arvind Sharma, Chairman, GoaFest 2012 said, “We look forward to GoaFest celebrating excellence and to move forward.” In conversation with exchange4media, Sharma reminisced, “Having attended the fest myself as a young man, a middle level and senior executive, I have seen this being repeatedly emphasised.” Commenting on the ad industry, he observed, “Advertising is a constantly evolving practice. It’s not where we have reached, but where you need to be tomorrow and the day after. That’s why festivals like this help.”
Commenting on the speaker line-up for this year’s festival, Sharma said, “The list of speakers addressing the Conclave have the width of vision and experience to make us think about ‘Ideas for impacting the full circle’ – the theme of the Conclave. We will announce the names of Seminar speakers soon. I am certain that these incredible speakers will undoubtedly present to delegates a rich future-facing perspective.”
One of the key changes this year is the participation of South Asian countries. “It’s not just about making the festival bigger, it also gives all of us an opportunity to know our work better. It’s good for the brands and for individuals too,” Sharma remarked, noting that a good number of clients too would be present at the festival. “We want to accelerate the process of clients coming to the Conclave. If clients are not there, then there’ll be no advertising.” He further said that at Cannes, clients were a large contingent.
When asked whether such events brought creativity to the forefront, but was forgotten afterwards, he reiterated, “Certainly not. There are awards, the best works are displayed and if you are an ad person, you can’t help but be influenced by it.”
“Historically, we depended on 3-4 Grand Prix, but this year, we have taken it to nine,” informed Sharma. Over the years, specialist areas like Out of Home & Ambient, Design, Digital & Mobile Advertising, Direct, and Integrated Advertising have been growing in importance. In recognition of this phenomenon, in 2012, the Abbys at GoaFest will have the provision for Grand Prix in all the nine verticals. Grand Prix is being introduced in Media Awards as well.
Marketing Wizards was another aspect that Sharma touched upon, as he said, “Marketing Wizards was created as an initiative to drive young advertisers’ participation. I must share that our efforts in getting more clients participation through the Marketing Wizards initiative are delivering rich dividends. We have received a very enthusiastic response from young clients.”
He further said, “The goal was to have 50 organisations and 100 marketing professionals participating at the Festival. We believe, this number will be well exceeded.” This is an initiative in association with the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA), wherein each member of the ISA can nominate up to two rising stars from their marketing teams under the age of 30 years to GoaFest 2012.
The Advertising Conclave at GoaFest 2012 commences on April 19 at the Zuri White Sands in South Goa; this will be followed by two days of GoaFest at the same venue on April 20 and 21. Goafest 2012 is being organised by the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and Ad Club Bombay in partnership for the 5th year. The event will be streamed live for the first time this year.