Mediaah! Was Brand Equity unfair in damning Goafest?

27 Apr,2015

By Pradyuman Maheshwari


Last week, Brand Equity in The Economic Times did a hatchet job on Goafest. Unfair for a publication which comes from a group that ought to have lost all reason to point fingers at people. Remember it’s the same media conglomerate that pioneered the concept of paid content for brands and lifestyle companies and individuals in its publication. Economic Times is the same publication which published the leaked results of the Abby at two or three successive Goafests not too long ago. The Times of India is the same group which has been a major benefactor of the event and allowed its top executives to give the Ad Club quality time as its President.


The Times of India’s television arm, Times Now, was the presenting sponsor of Goafest 2015 and the channel’s Editor-in-Chief and Editorial Director Arnab Goswami was allowed to defend his act at a leadership session. Goswami, being one of the most sought after names in Indian news media, was a huge hit.


That it’s time to take Goa out of the Goafest has been discussed for a few years now, perhaps the author of the article – Priyanka Nair – would do well to ask her senior colleagues (albeit on the business side) why they put in such huge monies on the event and also sent their mascot Arnab Goswami to deliver a keynote. If the event is indeed a damp squib as the article tries to suggest, then why do all of this? Why unveil your channel’s new identity to a group of people who may seem uninterested in the content of the event.


I agree that not all is well with Goafest. It needs an overhaul. There are several things going wrong with it. Regrettably, the bosses at the AAAI and Ad Club haven’t been able to think too laterally on this one. They fashion themselves as out-of-the-box ideawallahs, but have done precious little in the formatting. Adding on broadcast/ publisher and PR categories last year was of course an out-of-the-box idea.


The 2015 edition was more efficient than the last one, and the Abby Awards have indeed been cleansed, but the format is predictable. Many speakers were great and Jaideep Gandhi put in his bestest. But organizers AAAI and Ad Club weren’t able to pull in all their members to attend.


Ironically, Goafest head priest and organising committee chairman Nakul Chopra and some in his team may swear at Economic Times (and its glossy pull-out Brand Equity) for now, but they can’t do without the paper when it comes to giving leads on important news.


There are some adpersons who are aware of this unpredictability of Brand Equity and have been at the receiving end of the frequent reverse sweeps.


Trying to force-present an event’s ugly face often exposes your own, and this is what the Brand Equity report has done.


As for the Goafest bosses, they should use this article to clean up their act. Professionalise the set up… if necessary bring in professionals to curate the event for you.


PS: A tip for those who read the B’Equity story with glee: remember, the same weekly could do the same to you with a Bekaar!


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