Stage set for Goafest 2013 @ Zuri

04 Apr,2013


By Johnson Napier


Most flights headed towards the sunny state of Goa in the morning of April 4 are sure to be filled with execs and honchos from the ad and media world. Camaraderie, bonhomie and banter are travelling companions, as conversations surrounding Goafest take precedence.


The eighth edition of Goafest 2013 will kick off with an Advertising Conclave at the Zuri White Sands post noon on April 4. This year the theme of the Goafest Advertising Conclave is ‘Time to Listen’. The Conclave will highlight the shortcomings of media and creative agencies, as perceived by major advertisers. Much like the last few years, the Conclave, sponsored by Discovery Channel, will see over 200 industry leaders drawn from Marketing, Advertising and Media.


The Conclave will have some of India’s biggest marketers identify the areas that both creative and media agencies need to focus on, and make suggestions to get served better.


Srinivasan Swamy

Srinivasan Swamy, Chairman of the Goafest Advertising Conclave, who has chaired it in the past few years as well, said, “Our Conclaves always focus on issues of relevance to us. In the past we have talked about how to grow the advertising industry, or on the changing agency structure or how advertising is more than creative and media etc. In the same vein, this year we will get advertisers to tell us how we can be more relevant to their needs. The theme ‘Time to Listen’ captures this essence.”


Nitin Paranjpe, MD and CEO Hindustan Unilever, will deliver the keynote address, and other industry stalwarts will share experiences and insights. Other big names include Harit Nagpal, MD and CEO Tata Sky, Arundhati Bhattacharya, MD SBI Capital Marketers and Arunabh Das Sharma, President, Bennett Coleman & Co. Sunil Alagh, Founder and Chairman of SKA Advisors and former MD of Britannia, will moderate a lively panel discussion.


Nitin Paranjpe

The real deal of the festival will kick off from April 5, with seminars and keynote addresses that begin at 2pm in the afternoon. Roger Mulchandani of WARC is to kick off the afternoon session with an address on ‘Seriously Social’. He will be followed by Ray Velez of Razorfish who will talk on ‘Transfroming Business at the intersection of Marketing & Technology’. Graham Fink of O&M is to speak next, followed by David Alberts of Mo Films. The Media Abbys followed by the awards gala will conclude the evening.


Day 2 of the creative festival will see a rather unconventional start to proceedings as Swami Sukhabodhananda, Founder Chairman of Prasanna Trust will speak on ‘Uncertainty is also a part of life.’ This will be followed by a keynote by Mark Tutssel and Tom Bernardin of Leo Burnett. Following next is Shiv Singh of Pepsi who will talk on ‘No one cares about marketing. Do what matters’, and Nick Vale of Maxus Worldwide speaking about ‘What does great work look like in our changing world’. Director Abhishek Kapoor is expected to add a dash of Bollywood as he will speak on ‘Do what your heart says’. Amir Kassaei of DDB Worldwide will follow next with the topic ‘New creative revolution.’ The Creative Abby awards will bring the day to a close.


MG Parameswaran

Goafest 2013 Knowledge Seminars Chairman M G Parameswaran said, “We have lined up a great list of speakers this year. We have Graham coming from China, the hottest consumer market in the world today. We also have two speakers from very different domain, and you can’t get any more different than this. Swamiji was the only speaker at AdAsia 2011 to get a standing ovation. I am sure he will bring a lot of new thought to the seminars. And who said ad awards cannot get a bit of stardust. Abhishek who delivered a super hit last month is sure to deliver a super hit talk in Goa!”


Also, last year Goafest saw the introduction of Marketing Wizards, an initiative whereby young client delegates could not only avail of the special under 30 delegate fees, but were also provided free accommodation – over 70 delegates from client organizations availed of this offer. This year Goafest is targeting a base of 150. In addition, Goafest will continue to have strong participation from senior clients in the Knowledge seminars as was the case in 2012. “Clients are our equal partners in creating ideas – we naturally strive to have their equal participation in Goafest both as speakers and delegates. This year we aim to attract participation from over 75 client organizations and hopefully over 250 people,” said Nakul Chopra.


Nakul Chopra

One of the biggest things to have happened or rather not happened is the participation of Ogilvy. This has paved the way for other creative agencies to prove their mettle at the grand stage. Despite the absence of Ogilvy, the organisers are claiming to have received a participation of over 4,200 entries. This will definitely prove to be a good year for some unknown stars who could prove their strengths here.


Says KS Chakravarthy, NCD, Draftfcb Ulka, “It’s an open field this year as there is no frontrunner or contender this year. All of the campaigns so far are good and deserve an equal chance of winning. There has been a good amount of work done by various agencies and it would be great to see it together. Also, to hear what the speakers have to share with others is always an interesting part of the event.”


Naresh Gupta

According to Naresh Gupta, managing partner, Bang In The Middle, “This year hasn’t seen one landmark campaign that is the favourite. I would like to see a lot of challenger brands’ work to win. I would like to see more real work. Work that is mainstream. Work that the brands did to solve a marketing problem. I would also like to see greater integration of real and digital world.”





Vivek Srivastava

Adding his perspective, Vivek Srivastava, Jt MD, Innocean Worldwide said, “It’s a platform to interact and observe. There should be some interesting seminars. The Goafest committee has worked rather hard to get an interesting line up of speakers. And the Industry Conclave is being done in a manner which makes the business leaders deliberate and argue about issues that are affecting our businesses in the immediate term. I am surely looking forward to these. Our agency Innocean has had some shortlists. I would be happy to see those win for sure. In my view campaigns that genuinely impact consumer behaviour, make an impact on the brands’ future and ensure their relevance in this dynamic are the ones that deserve to win.”


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