GOAFEST 2008 – Madan Mohan, Senior
Vice President West , TBWA India
Well, it is that time of the year again, the
excitement of GoaFest!
Not many years’ back, I vividly recollect
asking a colleague of mine “how many award
ceremonies are there?” and we counted
quite a few. I am not sure if we remember many
of them now, but GoaFest now stands like a beacon.
I think the choice of the place is integral
to its success. After all, we needed to create
an Indian version of the Cannes and what better
place than Goa, India’s answer to the
French Riviera. Goa has everything – the
heady mix of sun, sand, surf and spirit; it
just becomes such a great place to hold the
premier event of the Indian advertising fraternity.
And its success is evident in such a short time
– already India’s premier advertising
event and is continuing to grow in stature year
on year. I think the organising team deserves
I am sure the choice of the location lends
the scale. GoaFest is organised on a scale that
was unthinkable a few years ago. The ceremony,
the people, the speakers, and the non-stop party,
all to my mind are the right ingredients for
that great cocktail.
Add to this the fact that it encourages young
talent and allows them to observe and absorb
would only auger well for the industry in the
future. The fact that they can interact with
the best in the industry from not just India
but abroad as well is admirable.
It is an important event and provides a perfect
atmosphere to celebrate the best in the craft,
exchange ideas and learn from the gurus. I suspect
in the years to come it could be a significant
event in the international calendar. I guess,
with India as a nation growing in stature and
power, it would be only logical that its premier
advertising event would grow in prestige.
Though we must be careful and not get overexcited,
it must be ensured that the same level of excitement
is retained over the years and, more importantly,
ensure that excellence in every aspect, viz.,
the standard of work, people, scale, etc., is
improved each year.
As we are aware, everything successful is incomplete
without controversies. The most important one
was the open war seen on the last few years
between GoaFest (AAAI) and Abby’s. I guess
so much was said about it last year when it
was at its pinnacle and I am certain many of
us enjoyed it. But that is now a thing of the
past, great to hear that the differences have
been buried and they have finally come on the
same platform (so, I guess the black brigade
would be there in Goa). This will ensure that
there is finally a single platform and everybody
would be there with the best work that has been
done last year, truly the only national advertising
Though I have now learnt that that truce is not
complete and the cold war will continue. Again
two significant names would be conspicuous by
their absence. I only wish that these ‘issues’
were sorted out.