Dance, masti, knowledge, awards

31 May,2014


By Shobhana Nair


Picture this: A rain dance, instant caricature, foot massage, a cycling competition with a co-worker… all this and more in Goa happened on Day 2 of Goafest 2014, the annual congregation of ad and media professionals. Apart from the knowledge seminars which witnessed marketing gurus doling out gyaan, there were enough opportunities for delegates to unwind. Andthen there were the Abby Awards presented for eight categories. The Grand Prix were awarded to JWT India for Bay beat Collective in Direct Abby (pictured above) and Alok Nanda Company for India Bulls Group in the Design Abby.


The second day kickstarted with Preethi Mariappan, Executive Creative Director at Razorfish Germany’s session where she spoke about how it wasn’t about getting more ‘likes’ for your brands but it was about building an engagement with people. “You need to connect with people for engagement. Talk to them. There is no magic formula,” she said. Melanie Varley, Chief Strategy Officer – Global, MEC said “Social is the new TV’ during her knowledge seminar.The afternoon saw a session by Ashish Mehrotra, Business Head, Vubites & Senior Vice President, Rediff India who emphasised on the usage of internet technology to turbo-charge a TV ad campaign.


But the highlight of the day was clearly the Advertising Conclave with top-notch marketers on the panel. Sanjay Warke, Country Head–DS Division, Toshiba India presented the keynote. Deepika Warrier, VP, Pepsico, Sanjay Tripathy, EVP, HDFC Standard Life; Sameer Satpathy, EVP and Business Head, Marico; Anuradha Narasimhan, Director – Marketing, Britannia Industries presented their views on the relationship that clients and advertising agencies share. This ‘high on thought’ session was moderated by Karthi Marshan, Head, Marketing, Kotak Mahindra Group and it evoked a mixed response from the packed hall.


Anupriya Acharya, Group CEO, ZenithOptimedia confessed that this session was very interesting as there were clear contextual points relevant to today’s problems. Do ‘integrated’ agencies work in today’s age and time was one of the most discussed topics at the session. Warrier clearly was in favour of hiring the best people to get work done but it was met with a differing viewpoint from Shekhar Swamy, Group CEO, R K Swamy Hansa in the audience. “The speakers were well-prepared and engaging. We are delighted to have them. But it’s not necessary to agree with them. The whole point of such forums is to get a debate going and sometimes you ask a question to get the debate going,” Swamy said.


Acharya though agreed with what Warrier said. “You do need the best talent in every shop. Just because an agency has set up an integrated operation doesn’t mean that they do have the best talent in each of their verticals. I think more than integrated, time has come for agencies as well marketers to be comfortable in working in an environment which thrives on extended eco-systems. It’s more about working in eco-systems which help you succeed rather than one stop shop which means everyone should be under one agency.”


Sanjay Tripathy pointed out some key issues that concern the clients and the agencies. “Agencies have issues with the remuneration part of it and how it has to be structured. Agencies don’t think they are getting enough remuneration for the work they are doing. Sometimes, they are unfairly judged. The client has bigger problems – accountability and capability of the team.”


If the session got the audience charged, what it ended in had many in the audience with goosebumps: Starting with Deepika Warrier all the marketers on stage sang in chorus ‘Humein Tumse Pyar Kitna Yeh Hum Nahin Jaante’, a song from the 1981 film Kudrat, echoing their sentiments for the ad agencies.


So if Day 2 went off well with energizing seminars, did any one miss the top guns from the fraternity? Said Manish Bhatt, Founder Director, Scarecrow: “Goafest had lot of challenges as the media made it look like it was a boycott by the agencies. Actually it is not! Goafest is for the young talent and it’s not the question whether honchos are participating or not. These young talented people keep floating from one agency to another. It is here that they get recognised by these very ad agencies who are not here.”


Hmmm. With just  a day to go, guess there are many more fun and invigorating times in store.


Photographs: Shailesh Mule/Fotocorp


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