Post the tiring registrations that kept many waiting for a long time, Day 2 of GoaFest 2010 saw the event being formally inaugurated by Bhaskar Das and Sam Balsara. While the two chose to judiciously gyrate to the music alongside a bevy of beauties, it was Festival Chairman Colvyn Harris who made his presence felt in a rather adventurous way by showing up at the back of a four wheeler.
Welcoming everyone to the festive mood, Harris said, “I welcome everyone to GoaFest 2010 and we would like to thank everyone who has helped put this event together. We have a lot going on at the event, there are amazing speakers who have flown in from various parts of the world, we have a lot of booze flowing and there is food… so enjoy yourselves.”
Following Harris, both Balsara and Das welcomed the audience and urged them to gain maximum experience from the fest.
The formal welcome ended with the beginning of knowledge sessions, the first of which was presented by Will Collin, Partner, Naked Communications. Taking the presentation in stride with the theme of the festival – ‘Survival of the Freshest’ – Collin talked about what an agency should be looking at to bring about freshness in its approach.
He started by saying, “If you want freshness, you will get it not by doing different things, but by doing things differently.” He stressed on the fact that agencies should be embracing integration in a better way because according to him it is only through that will the agencies get better at communication. “We are wasting too much of time planning on how to start the process after which we go on to create some distractions by a little innovation on digital medium or something like that, and of course we will make an ad anyway. What we actually need to do is challenge the core of what we are doing.”
Collin continued further by giving the audience various points on freshness in communicating to the audiences:
• Freshness in communication means avoiding irritation: “Many marketers feel that by showing an ad and irritating the consumer, he will want to know about the brand or product. But that is not true. Consumers don’t want to be on the end of irritation. They do not appreciate it.”
• Freshness in communication means integrated communication: “We need to develop a communication strategy built around the needs of the consumers rather than the strategy. Consumers know everything that relates to a brand, especially now when there is such easy access to everything.”
• Freshness in communication means not living in a silo: “The structure of our industry has changed. We used to be full service and we were simpler then. Now we are broken in fragments and this are a lot more confusing because people from one field are completely clueless about what the other does. We have been talking about integrity and in effect, we have to piece together and integrate eventually.”
• Freshness in communication means never being compromised: “We are all experts in our particular craft and do not think beyond. We still have to find out for ourselves which strategy worked better and for what. We need collaborative methods in creativity and strategy through integration and have someone see the full picture.”
• Freshness in communication means never chasing new things: “Innovation and freshness is about doing the right thing and now, the new and latest thing. But that does not mean we fall prey to the old communication roulette plans and practices.”
• Freshness in communication does not mean you have to be sexy: “When it comes to really effective strategy, unsexy can be the new sexy.”
• Freshness in communication means understanding your audience: “We have to start thinking of our consumers differently. We should not be looking at them as target audiences, but as partners because it is a fact that a brand can no longer dictate to the consumer what they should think. When we as agency people talk about planning to put forward a brand, we use warfare language. What we need to be doing is taking the idea that we have and think about how we can take that idea and put it in people’s heads differently.”
• Freshness in communication means overcoming muscle memory: “When we walk up the stair, we don’t think, it just happens. So is the case with us. We as an industry have a muscle memory. We are trying to walk up and down an escalator, but what we don’t realise is that there are better ways of doing things. We need to change integrated marketing solutions to fit the way we think.”
• Freshness in communication is getting recognised: “Everything a brand does is communication in some way or another. We have our strengths and our weakness, but what will make us successful is recognising our weaknesses.”
Collin ended his session by saying, “Start with understanding the need of the consumers and their journey and that is how we can become fresher.”