Amidst excitement and vigour, Goafest 2019 – presented by Viacom18 and powered by MX Player was flagged off today in Goa’s Grand Hyatt. The first half of the day began with lighting of the lamp, followed by the industry conclave and Publisher & Media ABBYs.
Speaking about Goafest 2019, Ashish Bhasin, President of Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) said: “Over the last few years we have seen the growth in participation with lines blurring between media and creative. At Goafest 2019 on the back of an exclusive list of speakers and artists, we have seen a sustained registration of about 2000 delegates, while ABBY Awards have seen 2700 entries this year.”
Speaking on participation in the ABBY awards, Shashi Sinha, Chair of the Awards Governing Council, ABBY Awards 2019 said: “ABBY Awards continues to be the gold standard in creative and media awards. In today’s scenario, creativity is no longer limited to creative agencies only. We are also increasingly seeing it coming from other industries such as digital, PR, analytics, etc. This trend is evident in the diversity of participants and winners witnessed in ABBYs.”
Nakul Chopra, Chairman - Goafest 2019 added: “Democratization is a trend sweeping through the industry and we are proud of Goafest 2019 being an integral part of this change. It has been our endeavour to drive inclusivity irrespective of size and without the limitation of cost and opportunity.”
Vikram Sakhuja, President, The Advertising Club, said: “At ABBY awards both this and last year, we looked at rationalizing categories and getting an eminent jury. This has led to a higher participation with around 15% more agencies entering their work this year.”
Day 1 at Goafest 2019 kicked off true to tradition with the lighting of the inaugural lamp by Group CEO & MD - Viacom18, Sudhanshu Vats, Mr. Ashish Bhasin - President of Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI), Mr. Nakul Chopra, Chairman - Goafest 2019, Shashi Sinha - Chair of the Awards Governing Council, ABBY Awards 2019, Vikram Sakhuja - President, The Advertising Club, and Jaideep Gandhi - Chairman Industry Conclave.
Welcoming everyone to #Goafest2019, Ashish Bhasin declared happily that Goafest has become the most premiere and anticipated creative festival in the year. He further highlighted how it has become more democratized over the years, wherein it is no longer the purview of a few major cities of India, but now has attendance from across cities, small and big, international and from within India, whether in the form of delegates or entries for awards.
Vikram Tanna went to on to say that all of us are in the business of storytelling, and we are all here to learn how to tell our stories better. How our content can get more love and not just likes.
Setting the ‘tune’ for Goafest 2019 was popular singer Shaan, who wooed the audience with soulful and nostalgic songs, as well as quick-witted anecdotes from his jingle-singing days, letting everyone in on his advertising connection.
The Unplugged session was followed by four powerhouse speakers at the Industry Conclave with Disruptors In The Indian Digital Ecosystem. First up was Dr. A. Velumani - Creator & Managing Director, Thyrocare. In his trademark way of delivering meaningful insights through humorous anecdotes from his life, Dr. Velumani said, “English is a language. English is not knowledge.”
While recounting how he disrupted the pharmaceutical space he advises young entrepreneurs with a famous Tamil saying, “Tie a knot on a strand of hair and try to pull a mountain. If it doesn’t work, you lose one hair, but if it does then you have the mountain at the expense of one strand of hair!”
From believing that if everyone tells you you’re an idiot, you are actually a visionary, to sharing the tenets of living a frugal life even after amassing wealth, he regaled the audience with his story. The visionary entrepreneur ended his session with the valuable insight, “People think business needs money, business actually needs stamina. Mumbai is a city which doesn’t let people with money to make more money, it allows people with stamina to make a ton of money.”
Following the venerable doctor was Ravi Desai - Director, Mass & Brand Marketing, Amazon who talked about the shift in trends of marketing to consumers today. He highlighted how perception drove usage, but today usage drives perception.
There’s a paradigm shift in targeting – previously a pen-portrait of broad clusters were made to characterize the consumer, but now it is the process of creating specific unique customization for individual customers. Customer touchpoints are old-school, now it is all about product experience, which is what maximizes impact.
He summed it up by saying, “In order to become disruptors one has to analyze and understand demonstrated behavior, democratize benefits and anticipate the needs of your customer. The essence of customer obsession.”
Next up was Vijay Sharma - Associate Director, Brand Marketing & Heads Digital Media, Flipkart who explained that for a brand to be relevant it has to not only be a brand of today’s age but a brand for tomorrow. He went on to say, “A brand is the sum of all the experience the customer has across various touchpoints. Customers are no longer buying products and services but experiences that the brand provides.”
The biggest drawback of large industries is the ‘Agency Apocalypse’, which dilutes the customer experience for brands. Calling upon the example of Flipkart’s Hagglebot, he highlighted that technology is not a deterrent but a means to optimize customer experience.
The industry conclave’s final session saw Achint Setia - Vice President Marketing, Myntra, talked about the difference between Fashion and E-Commerce. He shed light on Myntra’s vision of being involved in the customer’s life in their journey of what to wear, when to wear and how to wear. Fashion is an experiential category where the conundrum is that you always have to be authentic. The disruption point of Myntra comes from the four focus areas of aspiration curation, distinctive imagery, cutting edge technology, inspiring experiences.
As the first day of Goafest 2019 wraps up, here’s to a fabulous next two days of interesting sessions, great music and a whole lotta fun!