AdAsia 2011 Diary: Alok Agrawal - My AdAsia 2011 wish list

AdAsia is not about the shows. It’s about thought. And action, states Alok Agrawal, COO - SW Asia, Cheil Worldwide. Writing exclusively for e4m Agrawal emphasises on what need to be the main takeaways from this congress…

e4m by Alok Agrawal
Updated: Nov 2, 2011 9:09 AM
AdAsia 2011 Diary: Alok Agrawal - My AdAsia 2011 wish list

What a run up it has been to AdAsia 2011! Fiasco of an abandoned rock show. Euphoria of the first Indian F1. And Lady Gaga was actually here…

With this backdrop, the theme of AdAsia 2011 is most apt and most aptly demonstrated. Shillong Choir, a product of the Internet age, was an amazing example of how the world is getting mashed up. But the I&B Minister didn’t disappoint either, showing surprising vision in an evolving landscape. SRK, the flag fiasco, the musical show and the one-door policy – all kept the event theme alive in an otherwise spectacular event.

But AdAsia is not about the shows. It’s about thought. And action. So let me get down to my perspective. The common theme across all sessions clearly recognises the change in the global order. And different speakers laid emphasis on particular aspects based on learning from their areas of expertise. However, as the sessions roll on, I am developing a list of wishes in my mind.

First, I wish there is more focus on what to do than what is. With due apologies, this isn’t the Asian statistical congress. And I am sure it’s not meant to just ‘remember the good times’.

Secondly, I wish some of these speakers could sort of work together. Find a way to mash up their thoughts into new age action. They all seem to look at the same future with different filters. Imagine brand and consumer orientation of FMCG married to the innovative spirit of the tech boys mentored by soothsayers like Prof Charan, put into bite sized action plans by some of the most creative minds up on the stage. Isn’t that what we came here for?

Third wish – more mavericks. Crazy ideas. Uncertainty can’t just be dealt with method. It needs some madness as well.

Everybody talked about the rise, the complexity, the poverty, the creativity of Asia. But that brings me to my next wish. Can we use the forum to set the agenda for Asian advertising and marketing for the next decade? After all, the people highly capable of setting the agenda are all here under one roof.

And the final wish for the day – better traffic management. Too much time wasted in getting people in and out of the halls.

AdAsia 2011 is yet another example of India’s ability to create world class events and lead with world shaping thoughts. All we need is more actionables. Not just a heady concoction of music and numbers.

(Alok Agrawal is Chief Operating Officer – South West Asia, Cheil Worldwide.)


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