GoaFest 2011: Finally it’s raining - creativity, digital & youth - Dheeraj Sinha

“Looking beyond ourselves is the key to new inspirations that all of us are so desperately trying to squeeze out of these sessions,” says Dheeraj Sinha, Regional Planning Director, Bates141.

e4m by Dheeraj Sinha
Updated: Apr 11, 2011 9:20 AM
GoaFest 2011:  Finally it’s raining - creativity, digital & youth - Dheeraj Sinha

So, this is about the good things at Goa. The rain dance tops my list currently. Not so much for the people who were actually increasing the temperature of the venue by being in the water, but more because it has become one of the biggest spectator sports. The number of people hanging around at the deck with an eye on the water (what else?) and pretending to strike deep conversations was high this time at the GoaFest. But somehow, despite being the butt of all the jokes, rain dance ushers in festivity at the fest like nothing else.

The Media Awards gave a glimpse of creativity that is sweeping through the media thinking in this country. It appears that the media companies are having more fun thinking digital and other ideas than some of the advertising agencies are. The use of digital as a platform is finally becoming a reality for many brands in the country, and as I had said yesterday, finally digital seems to be crossing the chasm from being a subject of conferences to testing reality on the ground.

One of the star attractions for me has been the installation art by the young. This is a fantastic platform for the GoaFest to involve and include the youth in its programme. The opportunity, if I may underline, is for us to engage them and not the other way round. The effort and ideas that have gone into putting these installations together is absolutely praiseworthy.

I did manage to see some of the television work today. Fortunately, most of the work here has been seen before, hence it was more about jogging your memory. The quality of storytelling in television makes apparent the amount of work and focus that has gone in crafting the stories and producing the films. Overall, the stories are very real, very well produced and enjoyable. There were many favourites in this section, including the Tata Sky language; KBC launch campaign and MTV Stay Raw.

On the seminar front, it might be worthwhile to consider speakers who may not have a direct correlation with our work and the industry. If I were to draw up a wish list, I would love to hear an Aamir Khan on directorial and filmmaking experiences, someone like Dhoni on actionable leadership, may be Anna Hazare on cultural movements and engaging a community, and Mayawati on marketing to rural and small town India. Well, while some of this is in jest, may be looking beyond ourselves is the key to new inspirations that all of us are so desperately trying to squeeze out of these sessions.

Looking at the constant queue outside its restaurant, Martins may actually consider opening a branch in Lower Parel may be. The fun at GoaFest is also spilling out. The festival is not only at the venue; it’s all over in Goa. The festival is in the spirit of all the folks who burn the midnight oil everyday for the pitches that we do, in making sure that the best ideas make the campaign, that the artworks go on time, that the bottom-lines are met. Three days of beer overflow is perhaps too little to compensate for all the gallons of midnight oil. So, to everybody who is jealous of the ad fraternity’s yearly soiree at the GoaFest, guys this comes after a lot of hard work!

(Dheeraj Sinha is Regional Planning Director, Bates141 and author of ‘Consumer India – Inside the Indian Mind and Wallet’.)

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It's India, we expect more - Dheeraj Sinha

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