Goafest was intended to be a two-day event where the advertising, media and marketing professionals gathered each year to celebrate the best work of the year gone by.
Traditionally, and it is no different this year, the festival has had an invitees-only sub-event on the afternoon preceding the two days, when the seniormost professionals from advertising, media and marketing met at a conclave to take stock of the state of the industry and the way forward.
So the Conclave was held yesterday with the focus being on ‘Ideas that impact the full circle’; speakers included Jean-Yves Naouri, COO, Publicis Groupe, Tim Love, CEO, APIMA, Vice Chairman, Omnicom Group, Jayant Murty, Director of Strategy, Media and Integrated Marketing, Asia Pacific Region, Intel Corp and Jonathan Mildenhall, VP of Global Advertising Strategy and Creative Excellence, Coca-Cola.
That’s a stellar line up of speakers, and delegates present gained an understanding of the challenges that face communications professionals with the complexities of new media and the multiple ways to reach, and talk to, the consumer.
To appreciate how complicated ‘advertising’ is becoming, take a look at this video clip, a case rgar Publicis’ Naouri presented.
To me, this single case described best an idea that impacted the ’full circle’. Many in the industry would already have seen it on Youtube, as it has made the rounds on twitter and facebook, but it was seeing it in the context of the challenges in the business of advertising that made it a showpiece yesterday.
Advertising, in the traditional sense, has been about a marketer briefing an ad agency on a business problem, the agency creating communication which seeked to address the problem and then placing the communication in relevant media.
Where is the ‘ad’ in the Contrex experience? What is the medium? And this case, certainly, is a pointer to the way things are headed.
Which is why the attendance at the Conclave is a worry. The biggest names from the creative discipline from advertising agencies were missing – there was no Piyush Pandey, Balki, Prasoon Joshi, Agnello Dias, Josy Paul, Sonal Dabral, to name just a few. As far as media professionals are concerned, there was no representation from LMG, including Lynn de Souza, none from OMD including Jasmin Sohrabji.
Perhaps the notable absentees will come in today, in time for the media awards to be held tonight and the creative Abbys to be held tomorrow night.
But will the media be here today? Unlike the case of the last few years, media houses have chosen to stay away from Goafest. There was no one from STAR TV, none from Network 18, none from Zee, none from UTV, none from Times of India group barring Bhaskar Das, none from Hindustan Times, none from Living Media barring Joy Chakraborty, none from any radio channel. With media being such an important element in the communication ecosystem, the absence is something Goafest organisers have to think about.
And then we come to marketers, a critical element in the ecosystem. Without the marketer, we have no advertising. And the marketer, too, is missing from Goafest, save for a few exceptions.
AAAI, the organisers of Goafest, have a lot to chew on.