Sanjeev Kotnala: Mini-AdAsia, only much better!

07 Sep,2015

By Sanjeev Kotnala   The International Advertising Association India Chapter’s Silver Jubilee Summit ended at Kochi with a bang. It was almost like a mini-AdAsia, but with much better content. All sessions were rich in content and context. They referred often to global examples, but the talks were tailored to the Indian experience and relevance.   The tempo was set on the inaugural day by a much-appreciated session by Amitabh Kant, on Branding India. The format — banking on keynote speakers to deliver precise and focussed content, rather than have a panel discussion — was a huge success. A 50:50 mix of Indian and foreign speakers delivered engaging messages on ‘What’s coming next’, which was the theme of the summit.   The presentations that brought the house to attention were ‘Make your own change- designing the future you want’ by Cindy Gallop, founder of MakeLoveNotPorn; ‘Technology as an Aggregator’, by Parminder Singh, MD Twitter (SE Asia/India/MENA); ‘How programmatic works’ by Michel de Rjik, CEO Xasis Asia pacific and ‘Meet the Champion Disruptor’, a conversation with Ritesh Agarwal, Founder of OYO Rooms.   One must make special mention of Ralph Simon, Chairman and CEO, Mobilium Global Group who incorporated local nuances and current Indian topics (even delivered in Hindi) while speaking on ‘What’s coming next to brands and products through Mobile’.   In India, three things work the best: Cinema, cricket and politics/religion. The summit had elements of all three with sessions by Shah Rukh Khan, Sachin Tendulkar and Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev.   Not to forget the mega-evening at Bolgatty Palace by Mathrabhumi. It was a provided a rich experience of Kerala culture, street cuisine and hospitality. Kudos to the IAA team for arranging lovely hotel packages and a reasonable delegation fee structure that ensured a lot of regular people – including students from Kerala — could attend. It was a pleasant surprise to find most of the sessions sticking to the time limit.   If I rank the summit a nine out of 10, rather than give it full marks, there are three reasons for it. First, because of the lack of effective Wifi access. Second, for cutting short many talks on Day 3 only to allow Arnab Goswami a lengthy session on ‘Why I chose to disrupt TV News’, which was already covered at Goafest. And third, for not inviting me to the Chill Room! 🙂   Sanjeev Kotnala is a senior media and marketing/brand strategy consultant. This article first appeared in dna of brands dated September 7, 2015

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