Goafest 2011: Parting words from Goa

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Goa | In Advertising | April 11, 2011
This was yet another year of debates and discussions, sun-and-sand, partying and fun, and the sitting up and taking notice of the best of Indian advertising.

After all the controversies that Goafest events have been plagued with in the past, Goafest 2011, held at Zuri White Sands, Goa, saw the organising committee go that extra mile to keep the awards clean, with newer and more stringent rules on the judging procedure, and the association with auditors KPMG for putting in place a more transparent process.

On the final night, as the awards were given away, there were the usual celebrations all around. Ogilvy India shone, bagging the only Grand Prix that was awarded this year -- winning it for the integrated marketing communication for Cadbury Dairy Milk.

Leo Burnett, McCann Worldgroup and Mudra Communications, among others, had a good run, too.

afaqs! spoke to some key people at the festival, including the honchos at the winning agencies for their reaction post the awards:

& #VIDEO7 & #Abhijit Avasthi, national creative director, Ogilvy India

I am very satisfied winning the Grand Prix, the biggest award of the show.

It comes on the back of what was arguably the biggest campaign India saw last year. This is one of our dearest clients. It is a brand that has helped us do lots of fabulous things.

I think all of us knew we were on to a very powerful insight when we came up with the thought of 'Shubh Aarambh'.

Our client was very driven, as we were not just pushed to make nice films, but were also motivated to think of media innovations, across media.

There were lots of awards that were given out. Some were for nice individual pieces of work, while some were for ads that made a difference in the market place. I am really glad that ours won the biggest prize for something that really made a difference to everyone.

Prasoon Joshi, executive chairperson, McCann Worldgroup India

The organisers have done a very good job. They have tried to keep a tight control and keep everything in procedure. I have no complaints.

& #VIDEO6 & #I only feel that probably reaching a state where strict policing starts happening, where you feel that you reach a point where you can't trust each other and can't even say what you want to say - the jury was very stifled -- is not a healthy atmosphere for the present generation.

I remember when I started out, I was in a place where we looked up to the jury so much that we never doubted what they rewarded, and I think we need to reach that stage again in our industry where we really start respecting each other's point of view and not criticise each other.

I am being poetic; well I am a poet. I feel we should reach that stage and can't help but think like that.

As much as I wish there were no old age homes, I wish there would be no KPMGs.

I have nothing against them (organisers). It is just that it needs to be more free because this is a creative world. There is music, there is art, there is poetry. Creativity needs a free atmosphere.

For us, awards are celebrations. We feel good about the wins, but we are basically a serious agency. We believe in brand building.

For me, the biggest appreciation is appreciation received from the people for whom I have made the films. That is our mantra! At the same time, we respect the accolades our peer group gives. It is an honour, the icing on the cake, but not the cake!

& #VIDEO3 & #KV Sridhar, national creative director, Leo Burnett India

I think what matters is when people appreciate what you have won for and when people tell you, 'Hey! You should have won a better metal for that.' That is much more gratifying.

It is good! What we have won is good. You feel disappointed for what was missed out on, of course. When you are applauded for your win, like today, for every piece of work, it is tremendous.

Our work on KBC, Gandhijifont and Tide deserved better metals, I think. It does not matter, though. What matters is our popularity, and what people feel about us.

Bobby Pawar, chief creative officer, Mudra Group

& #VIDEO2 & #Hats off to Shashi (Sinha) and his team. The guys did a really good job in such a short time. Some things can still be tightened, but perfection is not an easily achieved thing.

About Mudra, it has been a four-year journey and we stand among the top. We cannot forget, though, that it is not a permanent space. We can keep on pushing. We have a body of good work and will try to create the same next year.

On the quality of work this year, craft is definitely getting better. The ideas are getting sharper and broader. We do need to explore more and I am pretty sure that will happen.

Ajay Chandwani, executive director, Percept (Member of the Goafest 2011 Awards Governing Council)

There were four big changes this year, not earth shattering but they fine-tuned the procedure. It is not as if everything we were doing was wrong.

& #VIDEO4 & #Last year, for the first time, self-voting became a big issue. It was never such a big problem. I have seen this happen in the last seven years but because it is such a big issue, the first thing we did was to block the entry of the judge's agency when we gave him the form. He therefore did not have to think, 'Is this my work?'. This was done to eliminate lack of knowledge and intentional lack of admission.

We changed the judging procedure, breaking it into two rounds. Earlier, every thing was happening in a day, with little time to check back. So, we brought in a gap of five days to ensure there was adequate time to check on important things such as year of release, release of entered campaigns, etc.

The third change we made was silent voting. We allowed discussion, but no show of hands. This helped remove the pressure and bias, and allowed people to vote, as per their conscience. '

Lastly, we felt that we should reduce the shortlist ticks. This does not mean standards have dropped. In fact, there were more shortlists, but eventually, it made the metal comparison almost the same as last year.

There were fewer golds last year, but more bronzes and more Grand Prix awards. This year, there are more silvers. So we evened out.

Most of the changes we brought in have been appreciated. Yes, there is never a perfect system. There are people who are opposing.

With regard to quality of work this year, there has been a significant improvement in art direction, print, film execution and craft. Ambient got better entries this year, which might just go all the way, internationally.

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