Don’t compare Goafest & Melt..

19 May,2015

 

Media agency heads have always played a key role in India’s growing media services industry. GroupM, the holding arm of a clutch of agencies owned by WPP, has been on the forefront over the years, with CVL Srinivas, CEO – South Asia, now doing that in a quiet, definitive way. So while we were not surprised when Mr Srinivas was actively associated with Goafest, we wondered whether all was well in the AAAI when we first heard that he had virtually turned co-organiser of Melt, a two-day festival of creativity being organised by Kyoorius on May 21 and 22. Here, in an interview with Pradyuman Maheshwari, Mr Srinivas talks about why GroupM supports multiple trade events and the ‘tu tu, main main’ between the supporters of Goafest and Kyoorius…

 

You answered this question when Melt was being announced, but given that it is happening now, one would like to hear it from you again: How is it that GroupM and you personally are as actively involved with Goafest and the Abby as you are with Kyoorius Melt?

 

At GroupM, we try to support as many initiatives as our bandwidth permits. Apart from Goafest over the years, and Melt2015, we have been supporting a host of events, be it MMA, Social Media Week or supporting organisations such as IAA. We believe in doing our bit to shape the market and help the industry evolve. One of our biggest challenges as an industry is to attract talent. We see all these events as having a role to play in keeping our industry exciting and attractive for young talent. For us, it has never been a case of either/or (with regard to the events). Having said that, I must confess that if at all we do not support any particular event, it will be more because of time and bandwidth constraints than anything else.

 

When we first heard that GroupM was actively associated with Melt, our response was one of disbelief. Did this [Kyoorius] in any way impact your association with that [Goafest]?

 

We have supported Goafest over the years and even this year, be it with speakers, designing the event, or with sponsorships. We continue to send the maximum number of award entries and among the highest number of delegates. When Melt came to us as an opportunity, we found the format interesting. Coincidentally, it came at a time we ourselves were driving a few programmes internally and externally around creativity in technology and media. We felt this would be a great platform for us to energise our teams and learn from the experts who will be taking part.

 

I know it’s early for you to make a forecast, but what’s your sense on how Melt will turn out?

 

We have a great line up of speakers and good buzz around the event. Considering it’s the first such event being held in Mumbai, I am sure it will pick up momentum as we go along.

 

You were at the Kyoorius Awards last year giving away some of the awards, and you were also present at the Goafest Abbys both last year and this year. What, according to you, would be the key differentiators?

 

Each awards event has its own flavour. There isn’t any need to compare the two and get worked up. Goafest is clearly an industry event, since industry bodies are behind it. Kyoorius awards is run independently. Just to clarify, GroupM has no role in the awards; we are only partnering on Melt.

 

A slew of media agencies seem to have no problem with any of the awards shows, or even with each other. Why do you think creative agencies have problems with participating in awards shows?

 

I am not very sure!!

 

Even agencies from the WPP group have stayed away.

Well, GroupM hasn’t.

 

We may not hear it said out loud, but there is a clear ‘tu tu main main’ between Goafest and Melt/Kyoorius Awards. What would you say to the naysayers from either camp?

 

It’s better to live and let live and not criticise either of them.

 

And to all those in the industry who may not have made up their minds yet: Since you are one of the co-organisers, why should they register and attend Melt?

 

It’s an event that combines advertising, media, digital, marketing and technology. In the real world, each of these areas is merging into the other. Melt is bringing alive this phenomenon in a very interesting way.

 

A version of this first appeared in dna of brands dated May 18, 2015

 

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