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Goafest 2012 opens its doors for creativity across South Asia

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | January 25, 2012
Goafest 2012 will be held on April 19-21 at the Zuri White Sands in South Goa. This will be the first time that the festival will receive entries from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal.

At a press conference held at South Mumbai last evening, the Goafest Committee announced the highlights of Goafest 2012. The conference was addressed by Nagesh Alai, president, Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI), Arvind Sharma, chairman, Goafest 2012, and Shashi Sinha, president, Advertising Club Bombay (ACB), and chairman, Awards Governing Council (an 11-member body formed jointly by the AAAI and ACB, to run the awards).

The festival will be held on April 19-21 at the Zuri White Sands in South Goa. This year, the theme of the festival is 'Magic of ideas'.

Nagesh Alai

Arvind Sharma

Shashi Sinha

It was announced that this year, Goafest will be of relevance to all those in South Asia who are involved in creating ideas. For the first time, the festival is inviting countries across South Asia to participate as delegates and award entrants. These countries include Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The authorities believe that this cross-fertilisation of creativity and ideas will benefit clients in particular, as well as the industry at large. All South Asian agencies will participate in the main awards show and there will also be a 'The Best of Rest of South Asia' award in each of the verticals, in case there are no winners from these countries.

"We have received a very positive response from countries in South Asia. We are looking forward to our road shows to promote the festival in these markets," said Alai. The road shows -- that will serve to introduce these nations to the concept of Goafest in terms of its scale and past speakers -- are slated to start next month.

This year, the festival looks at strong client participation and senior clients are expected to be an integral part of the knowledge seminars. The Goafest Committee is also looking to attract young client delegates in large numbers. For this purpose, it is offering a special package for under-30 marketers.

"We're confident that well over 50 major client organisations will take part in the festival this year," said an enthusiastic Sharma. The authorities have been working with the ISA (Indian Society of Advertisers) to popularise this package.

Specialist areas such as out of home (OOH), ambient, design, interactive digital advertising, direct, and integrated advertising have been growing in importance over the years. In fact, last year, over 140 agencies sent their awards entries (for the Abbies at Goafest 2011), and a large number of these were specialist agencies. In recognition of this phenomenon, this year, there will be a provision for the Grand Prix in all nine verticals. Last year, the Grand Prix was given only in film, print and radio verticals. The Grand Prix is also being introduced in the media awards.

This decision is expected to encourage more specialist agencies to come forward and enter their work in the show. "Abbies are open to all those who create ideas. They do not have to be AAAI or Ad Club members," clarifies Sharma.

In sync with its growing importance, Digital will find a prominent place at Goafest 2012. The Conclave will be held on April 19, while the digital awards will be held on April 20, along with media awards, design awards and direct awards. The creative awards will be held on April 21. Sharma promises that this time, Goafest itself will be "a lot more digital" than ever before.

Like last year, this year, too, the AAAI and ACB will work together to organise the event, making it the fifth time the two groups are doing so. "Last year's awards were well-received by the industry. The Awards Governing Council will follow the same tight processes, with some fine tuning in 2012," assures Sinha.

In line with the overall festival theme, 'Magic of ideas', the Goafest 2012 Conclave is themed 'Ideas for impacting the full circle', and will cover areas such as consumers' pre-purchase, during-purchase and post-purchase decisions. The conclave is aimed at helping the entire industry gear up for opportunities that lie ahead.

The festival will see the presence and participation of global leaders from major clients, as well as communication groups at the conclave.

Details regarding delegate and entry fees will be announced by the authorities shortly.

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