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9 takeaways from GoaFest 2014!

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GOA: Contrary to popular perception, GoaFest is not just about beer, beach and a break from deadlines.

Barely my second year at the fest and energy levels seem to be hitting the roof, speculations of certain biggies giving the event a miss notwithstanding.

As they say the show must go on and so it is that we’ve had our share of sundry speakers, some getting a standing ovation and others tickling our funny bone. On my part, I’ve put down nine observations as key takeaways from this edition of GoaFest.

Clients love their agencies

Yes, you read it right. Britannia’s ever energetic Anuradha Narsimhan made a candid observation yesterday. She said she loves her associates (agencies) who care for her brands. Agency types were obviously bubbling with joy when they heard this.

Pepsico’s Deepika Warrier presented her ‘one’ philosophy saying the thought of being ‘one team’ had worked wonders in the relationship PepsiCo had with its agency partners. How often do you hear a client saying all this at a public forum? These thoughts put a smile on my face.

It’s time for ‘social relevance’

The marketing world may be talking about the power of social but is digital marketing only about being powerful on social? Wondered Preethi Mariappa of Razorfish Germany and said it was time for brands to give consumers memorable experiences on social.

2014 will be the age of social relevance, according to Mariappa. She sounded a note of caution however that while there is much optimism about the social space changing marketing dynamics, it was left to be seen whether brands towed the line.

Comedy sells best on social

Unlike the impression I had that the fest would be all too serious, a few surprises threw me. When team All India Bakchod (AIB), India's foremost comedy podcast creators took centre stage, I was sure that there would be some great points of view coming their way, no pun intended.

The funnies shared their success story and said to create an impressive podcast, you needed to follow your heart, mind and punch in some great flow of ideas. I realised that in India, content needs to be crafted, keeping in mind cultural implications. As people open up their minds, content too will take newer shapes on social.

Digital media in search of creativity 

A common point that came up over the three days was that brands need to get out of their comfort zone. A good idea can come from anywhere; said MEC’s Melanie Varley. She said that brands should do something to make people talk about them. Though creativity is subjective, it is essential that brands put on their thinking cap to grab attention on social.

Everyone likes storytellers

Storytelling is an art that makes every conversation memorable. The digital case studies that were showcased by various local and international experts had one thing in common - shareability

Content on digital is a hit only when people share it. Thus, brands need to be great storytellers even on digital.

It’s all about digital

Everyone is talking about digital. Everyone wants to be on digital. Time demands brands and agencies think digital! The ‘just a click away’ culture has changed many lives and businesses.

You can be an inspiration at any age

No one had expected two kids all suited to go up on stage and confidently share their business story. With a grin and passion in their eyes, Shravan and Sanjay won hearts and got a standing ovation with their story. They are the country’s youngest app developers. If there is such a thing as age is only a number, truly, these two are an inspiration for people of all ages.

Impressive new entrants in the Abbys

PR and Broadcaster - the newbies in GoaFest this year, got an overwhelming response. The Advertising Club and chairman of the Awards Governing Council president Pratap Bose mentioned that the 10 member jury for the PR category was excited to see some good pieces of work. PR locally doesn’t have a platform to showcase its work. The move to introduce these categories is a wise one.

Cooperative competition

As I am about to finish this piece, a fellow journalist comes and waves to me. A newsletter from competition which is right in front of me features one of my tweets about GoaFest. Another reporter from a rival publication calls out to me for a stroll along the beach. Did someone say competition? We’re here to learn and absorb from one another.

Apart from the takeaways, here’s a big shout out to all the winners from indiantelevision.com

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