Karl Gomes in Cyber Lotus Jury at AdFest 2009

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | February 05, 2009
After Cannes 2008, this is Gomes' second stint in judging

Karl Gomes, national creative director, Digital, Rediffusion - Y&R has been invited to be a member of the Cyber Lotus Jury at AdFest 2009. The award show, which is the only regional advertising festival for the recognition and celebration of the diversity of Asian creativity, will be held from March 19 to 21 at Pattaya.

In 2008, Gomes had judged the Cyber Lions category at Cannes. He also brought home a bronze Cyber Lion in that year, a first for India.

On the & #BANNER1 & # invitation, Gomes remarks in an official release, "While in India, we are beginning to see a lot of integrated campaigns with digital playing an important role, Asia clearly emerges as the pace-setter in digital creativity, with work like Uniqlock and NIKEiD carving new territories in the medium. This is not just because of the sheer size of the online population in the Asia Pacific region, but also the most advanced and exploratory when it comes to participating in digital brand engagements and communities."

afaqs! caught up with Gomes, seeking his views on the Indian digital and new media scenario. He says, "Even after numerous people have registered with various networking sites and other portals, the Indian marketer still eyes digital as a medium that is measurable and one that yields good ROIs for him. This is highly disheartening. Surely, digital as a medium has its benefit; but once you get addicted to this benefit part, you forget about the creativity and the interactivity that can be harnessed."

He adds, "We have to use the medium as something that engages people; that helps them spread a message and start something new. The content part is also a big issue. Simple examples are the day-to-day messages that we are bombarded with on our mobiles or the EDMs that clutter our inboxes. The language, composition and the entire content in this case is very generic and boring. If these things can be customised and packaged nicely, they will make a world of difference to the consumer. These collaterals need to constantly engage the consumer to maximise benefits for the brand."

However, Gomes maintains that the way advertising agencies view the digital medium is undergoing a transformation, which is quite encouraging. Instead of being looked at as one of the arms of a 360-degree marketing plan, digital is increasingly coming into its own.

About India's chances at the awards, where digital is concerned, a pensive Gomes says that there has been some good work recently, but nothing that is particularly amazing or ground-breaking. "We still have to work hard. In the next two to three months, there will be some good work pouring in," he adds.

Gomes has more than 12 years of experience in the ad industry. Prior to Rediffusion Y&R, at Arc Worldwide, his mandate was to leverage Web 2.0 and new media across big, campaign-worthy ideas. He has also worked with Tribal DDB as national creative director, where he won awards at events such as the Asia Pacific Adfest, the Abbys, the AAAIs, the Webbys, the New York Festival, the One Show and at Cannes.