Goafest 2023, the most definitive advertising, media, and marketing festival in South Asia, has made a triumphant return to celebrate excellence and explore the future of creativity. Co-hosted by The Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and The Advertising Club (TAC), the festival kicked off with an electrifying musical performance by Kanika Kapoor, leaving the enthusiastic crowd wanting more.
Goafest 2023 commenced with the ceremonial lighting of the lamp by the organizing committee members, followed by an address by Prasanth Kumar, President of AAAI and CEO of GroupM South Asia, marking the festival’s 16th edition.
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The festival also marks the second year of collaboration between The ABBY Awards and The One Show. With the underlying theme of ‘The Future of Creativity is Here,’ Goafest 2023 welcomed delegates with a champagne launch, setting the tone for the exciting days ahead.
Partha Sinha, President of the Times of India Group and President of The Advertising Club, shared that the festival is witnessing the democratization of creativity this year. He said, “Creativity is no longer in the hands of a select few; we are seeing the celebration of that sentiment with this edition of Goafest. So, you will hear a lot about the future of creativity overall. Since creativity is the reason we are in this business, we are celebrating it with full gusto. Overall, we are extremely happy with the response we have received with the number of entries this year; a whopping 3,301.”
The sessions began with a presentation by News18 Network titled ‘Future of Creativity,’ moderated by Rohit Ohri, Chairman & CEO of FCB Ulka. The panel consisted of industry experts including Anusha Shetty, Chairperson & Group CEO of Grey Group India; Josy Paul, Chairman & Group CCO of BBDO; T Gangadhar, Co-Founder and Group CEO of Quotient Ventures; and Dheeraj Sinha, CEO & Chairman of Leo Burnett & BBH.
The session delved into the future of creativity, emphasizing the seamless integration of technology and its potential to redefine traditional boundaries, empowering individuals to express, communicate, and experience in new ways. Gangadhar astutely noted that technology should be seen as a collaborative tool, with humans adding value to the data provided by machines. Dheeraj highlighted the limitless possibilities of combining creativity with data and technology, expanding the power to solve problems.
The panel also discussed the significance of hiring talented individuals who can elevate the creative process. Dheeraj emphasized that nurturing talent is crucial for the future of business, while Anusha acknowledged the increasing complexity of finding talent that can embrace evolving changes. Josy stated that the ideal talent should possess a visionary, missionary, and artistic approach.
The session further explored the organizational structure required to foster creativity. The panel shared insights on the need to reshape hierarchies within organizations to enable creativity.
Following this enlightening session, the attendees were introduced to another intriguing discussion titled ‘Brand Love Suffering At The Altar Of Short Term Sale,’ presented under the Industry Conclave powered by ABP News & Zee TV.
Anuradha SenGupta, an independent journalist, moderated the session, with esteemed panelists including Hemant Malik, Divisional Chief Executive of ITC’s Foods Business; Rohit Kapoor, CEO of Swiggy; and Prabha Narasimhan, MD & CEO of Colgate-Palmolive India Ltd.
The session emphasized the importance of brand love in building emotional connections with audiences, fostering customer loyalty, advocacy, and enhanced engagement. The panelists discussed the cyclical impact of technological advancements on audiences and emphasized that the fundamentals of brand love remain constant.
Hemant expressed his optimism about the opportunities available to marketers today, enabled by data-driven decision-making. However, he also acknowledged the vulnerability that accompanies the reliance on data. Rohit highlighted the need for better synergy between CEOs and creative teams, calling for closer collaboration.
The session concluded with each panelist sharing their expectations from agencies, unanimously agreeing that continuous learning and being challenged by agencies are essential.
Goafest – ABBY Awards 2023
On the opening day of Goafest 2023, the ABBY Awards received an impressive total of 3,301 entries from 181 creative companies and 63 media agencies. Among the standout performers were EssenceMediacom, Mindshare, and Madison Media, who emerged as the top three agencies, earning the most metals.
In a notable development, digital agencies like Social Panga, BC Web Wise Pvt Ltd., and Sociowash achieved recognition in the Media category.
EssenceMediacom took home the highest honors, winning four gold metals and the prestigious Grand Prix for their outstanding campaign, ‘The Missing Chapter,’ executed for Whisper India in the subcategory of Innovative Use of Out of Home. The agency’s remarkable performance resulted in a total of 20 metals, including four gold awards for their remarkable campaigns, namely ‘Tapping Twitter’ (Google), ‘Lets not just greet but meet this Diwali’ (Coca-Cola), ‘Dekho Wicket Se Cricket’ (Thums Up), and ‘The Missing Chapter’ (Whisper) at Goafest 2023.
During the first day of the festival, a total of 18 Publisher ABBYs and 94 Media ABBYs were presented in recognition of exceptional creative work. The Media ABBYs encompassed one Grand Prix, 25 Gold, 33 Silver, and 35 Bronze awards. Simultaneously, the Publisher ABBYs saw two Gold, five Silver, and six Bronze wins, along with five entries receiving a Certificate of Merit.
Rana Barua, Group CEO, Havas Group India & Chairman, The ABBYs Award Governing Council, said about the awards this year, “This time, and in future, we are committed to working our way to match and surpass our game in accordance with ABBY One Show. We are extremely proud that this is our second year of association with One Show. You all will witness our hard work and commitment towards ensuring the quality of awards and the diverse jury that adorn Goafest this year.”