In its fourth edition this year, the Goa Adfest —an industry forum for the advertising industry —is gradually gaining global recognition.
Consider this. Global speakers like Sir John Hegarty, chairman & worldwide creative director of Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), Jean-Marie Dru, chairman, TBWA, Sean Finnegan, president and chief digital officer at Starcom MediaVest Group, and Dan Wieden, founder, Wieden+Kennedy, will address the fest this year.
Known as an event that celebrates the creativity of the ad industry, besides providing a platform for learning and sharing knowledge, the Goa Adfest is a three-day event with a conclave, awards — Media Abbys and Creative Abbys — and seminars. It is organised by the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and the Advertising Club Bombay. This year, the event will be helf from April 2 to 4.
“India, with its large domestic market and favourable demographics, is already home to most large global brands and businesses and is now becoming the home for global advertising agencies, whose global clients are here,” said Colvyn Harris, chief executive officer, JWT. Last year, international agency BBDO set up its own operations here (it earlier partnered with R K Swamy). Later, UK agency BBH launched its operations.
The next step for the festival, say prominent admen, is to attract global entries. “As it grows bigger, it will get international entries. However, the festival still has to work towards attracting international entries,” said Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and national creative director, Ogilvy & Mather India.
However, the relatively new festival still has some way to go. “If in the first year, it was more of a celebration, the next year there was more emphasis on issues. As we go along, I am positive that a balance will be struck between festivity and core industry aspects,” said Prasoon Joshi, executive chairman, McCann Worldgroup India, and regional creative director, McCann Asia Pacific.
For instance, the event, whilst on a conceptually strong ground, still needs to maintain its surprise element, the recipients of the awards. For the second year in a row, the jury members have been leaking news to media before the event. Taking cognisance of the problem, Bobby Pawar, chief creative director, DDB Mudra, says, “As the event is judging only domestic work, the number of jury members can be reduced from 108 to 10-15 top industry people who are internationally acclaimed. This will ensure that the sacrosanctness of being a jury member is maintained.”