Goafest – the word immediately combusts in an imagery of insanely inspiring ideas, rock stars of advertising from all over the world, accolades and cheering until voices go sore and riotous revelry that rivals any other.
That Goafest is just an advertising award ceremony would be an unjust thing to say. The event is way bigger than the trophies that are given out each year. The effort clearly is to bring more gravitas by way of constantly updating and upgrading the events that surround it – be it the celebrated industry speakers that come from all over the world to share their insights on what makes for great communication that goes beyond traditional advertising or the various workshops that aim to empower the attendees into sharpening their skills. The leadership summit goes a step further; inviting motivational and spiritual gurus with an aim to create a whole different prism of creativity that goes beyond ‘selling a product or a service’ to a consumer to enriching his or her life.
Every year, Goafest consciously endeavours to evaluate various categories and adds/ subtracts those it finds relevant. The inclusion of Publisher/ Broadcaster Abbys and the sub-categories of Branded Content & Entertainment Vertical/ Brand Activation & Promotion Vertical/ Public Relation Vertical to the awards is a great show of insight – that merely informing the consumers about the existence of a brand is not enough.
In these times of diminishing attention span and burgeoning choices, it is vital to create a connection with the consumer that goes beyond a one-time contact. It would mean easing into their everyday lives through the circumstances that surround them, objects, ideas and simulations that attract them. Essentially, engage with them in a way a courtship would evolve - woo, care and nurture the fragile relationship between the consumer and his/her brand into an ever-growing bond.
In my years of association with the Ad Club and the Advertising Agencies Association of India, I have seen magic reinvent itself and creativity up its ante, every year. The evolution of Goafest continues to surprise us all. And why not? As a brand, the festival needs to keep its relevance with its various stakeholders – the brilliant creative minds looking to showcase and share their inspiration and seek a much coveted commendation for their work; the stalwarts of the industry from across the world who have much to offer and share on this incredible platform; and of course the custodians of Brand Goafest themselves.
The author is Group CEO of Zee News Cluster.