Storyboard18 | Is Goafest still relevant?

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Goafest and the Abby Awards are back after a gap of three years. (Image: Lance Asper via Unsplash)

Yes, Goafest Is Back: Ajay Kakar, chief marketing officer, Aditya Birla Capital, who is among the handful of clients present at Goafest, writes about why Goafest matters. 

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

The Goafest has been the melting pot for the Indian advertising, media and marketing industry for a generation of the professionals associated with the industry. The place to meet, hear, see, learn, inspire and get inspired. To review the year gone by. And look forward to the emerging world ahead.

It is also the forum where the Oscars of the Indian ad world are held; the Abby Awards. The award show has been the gold standard for decades. To see, celebrate and recognise the best among the best of work done by the industry.

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The Goafest and the Abby Awards are brands built over the years, by the industry that builds brands for the world, for a living.

But then, Covid struck. And after 2019, the industry has assembled at Goa, to relive and recreate the magic, once again, in 2022.

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As brand builders know, brands need to evolve constantly, with changing times and changing consumers. But in these three years the entire universe changed, to a new norm, at an unprecedented pace and in an unpredictable direction.

An opportunity for the two iconic brands to reinvent themselves, just as the industry does for the client-brands this industry represents.

Have they succeeded? These brands have attracted a record number of delegates, with nearly 70% being under 30. And some eclectic speakers ranging from the torch bearers of the current journey, to the flag bearers of tomorrow.

At the end of day one, I sense a hunger for a lineup of speakers that fill the halls. Speakers that also fill the need and appetite for a debate and direction for the industry and professionals in the room.

A key pillar and draw for the Goafest, is the Abby Awards. This year, the Abby Awards have presented a new and refreshed face to the industry. As the Abby One Show Awards. It has opened its doors to the world standards that come with the partnership of the One Show.

This avatar of the awards has attracted a record number of entries. Over 25% growth since the last Abby Awards. It has attracted an international jury. 20% of the Jury Chairs. Diversity is well represented. Nearly 50% of the Jury Chair are women. And nearly 40% of the Jury members. It has been a ghar waapsi for many agencies that chose not to participate, in the recent past.

So what does the future hold for the Goafest and the Abby One Show Awards?

Time will tell. But personally I am looking forward to the chosen direction and excitement continuing. And a key barometer of its success being the presence of many more marketers at the Goafest, as part of the deliberations and celebrations.

And while some agencies have chosen to abstain from sending entries, this year, their participation as Jury and Jury Chair makes me believe that they have bought into and invested in the new avatar. Which should lead to their ghar waapsi for the Abby One Show Awards, next year.

Lastly, overall, I look forward to a packed audience that returns to work inspired and more enlightened than before, about what can actually make an impact on them as professionals, and their profession.

Get real, Goafest: Ad industry veteran and independent consultant Pratap Bose writes that celebrating the joy of creativity is a thing of the past and we need to get real in today’s age. Here’s why: 

In a post pandemic world, we have been made to rethink what our priorities really are, and rightly so.

Clients are increasingly asking agencies to deep dive into their businesses and create relevant and targeted communications to achieve business results. Questions are being asked as to what value they are creating or how positively they are impacting the lives of their consumers.

Hence, the relevance of advertising award shows is also being questioned more than ever. The quality of advertising work being entered and whether it has solved any real world problems for its clients is also being assessed more critically.

Honestly, in my view Goafest is not taking that view and not awarding work that we are genuinely proud of! Celebrating the joy of creativity is a thing of the past and we need to get real in today’s age.

We have seen certain types of creative work winning accolades at award shows which may have not necessarily added value to the brand or solve any real world problem for the company.

This does not sit well with a majority of clients anymore. In a post pandemic world marketers are looking for high returns on investment (RoI) and business solutions from their ad agency partners.

They expect agencies to be accountable for every dollar that they are spending. The expectations to win advertising awards for a campaign or marketing promotions, is way lower in comparison to assessing whether brand advertising is solving key problems, connecting better with consumers and achieving targets.

In such a scenario, award shows like Goafest are increasingly losing their relevance in the communications industry, and even more so as a vast majority of our clients are struggling on the economic and business recovery front.

Views expressed are personal.

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