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Three days of learning, experience and exploring new horizons at Goafest 2019

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MUMBAI: Day 3 of Goafest comes to an end with some great insights, touching stories and emotional moments. The celebration of creativity and passion that started three days ago completes another successful year! Thanks to the beautiful Green entry-way by Viacom18, delegates were welcomed with much needed shade and cool in the Goa heat, and the enjoyable engagement zones and interactive games made for great breaks for the attendees. 

Goafest Day 3, sees the rise and rise of Digital in the Creative ABBYs in its 13 categories; Video Craft, Radio, Radio Craft, Still Craft, Branded Content, Green Award, Digital & Mobile, Digital Craft, Out of Home, Ambient Media/Activation, Audio Visual – TV/Cinema, Audio Visual Digital, Special Abby and Integrated. Entries for the Digital category has gone up from 199 last year to 312 this year. In the combined Audio-Visual categories, it has gone up from 360 to 500. It has been a landmark year with the number of entries this year crossing 1200.   

Commenting on the winners, Shashi Sinha,Chair of the Awards Governing Council, ABBY Awards, says, “It has been another great year of the ABBY’s We’re happy that the big winners are in Audio Visual. We have taken certain steps to encourage entries in those specific categories. We’ve opened up, bi-furcated and streamlined certain categories to enable that. A lot of the work that has been entered here is very good work.”

On the rise of digital Vikram Sakhuja,President, The Advertising Club, comments, “This has been the best year for digital ever. People are realizing now what the true power of the platform is. Earlier digital was an add on, now with the advancement of the platforms the syntax has to change. In the shortlists there was almost 50-50 between digital and broadcast.” 

Referring to the democratization of the market and by extension, therefore, of Goafest, Ashish BhasinPresident of Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) says, “In a few years we won’t differentiate between a digital agency and a non-digital agency, because down the line if an agency cannot do digital, I don’t think it can retain business. This is the democratization that I was talking about, the market has opened up so that not only the big names, but even smaller and boutique companies are coming in with good work.” 

On the tweaks and trims made in the award categories, Nakul Chopra,Chairman - Goafest2019, says, “There is a proactive effort we have made to be fair to all constituencies, through our various categories. At present we see more affinity towards some categories while maybe some years down the line merging of a couple of categories will make sense. While the market and field evolves, we as custodians of the market standards will simultaneously evolve to reflect those changes.” 

After the first two days of powerhouse speakers, the third and final day did not disappoint. The afternoon segment began with popular singer Mohammad Irfan belting out his hit numbers along with other chartbusters, getting the audience on its feet! 

First up was Matt Eastwoood - Global Chief Creative Officer, McCann Health, who started by disagreeing with Banksy’s quote “The thing I hate the most about advertising is that it attracts all the bright, creative and ambitious young people.” Eastwood, loves that very fact about advertising. 

His belief in the ability of advertising shone through when he said, “I think the work we do can truly shape the world we want.”

According to him, Creativity is all about trying new things, being scrappy, and creating content that may not look like advertising but actually are. Most importantly, things that do good. 

With the case highlights of Kwality’s Noon Assembly campaign to address Vitamin D deficiency in Indian children to the launch of MGM Resorts’ Universal love songs in favour of the LGBTQ community he explains that, “Commercials don’t always sell a product, they sell a point of view.”

New studies report that 91% of millennials would shift to responsible products. 81% expect brands to make public commitments to be good corporate citizens. 

He closed the session by saying, “You must be a company that does do good for the planet, but you also have to be authentic. If you’re not, you’ll be called out immediately. Now you can’t get away without living the promises you make.” 

Next up was the MTV knowledge Seminar with Phil Kemish – Co Founder Disrupt Media LTD. Talked about the need for the shift in marketing standards from traditional marketing to ‘marketing with an attitude.’ 

He emphasized that, “Lasting brands move people, not goods” and elaborated on the 4 Ps of marketing with attitude: 

1. Purpose: Which entails shared values between the brand and consumers. Highlighting the case points of Gillette and Tony’s Chocolonely.
2. People: 83% of consumers trust recommendations from people they trust. This simply translates to people first marketing. 
3. Passion: Focus on the things your consumers care about. Connecting to peoples’ passions builds loyal communities.
4. Physical: Bringing brands to life in the form of physical manifestation of the brand promises, through events and experiences. 

Quoting Maya Angelou, he said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

Wrapping up he explains, “Instead of interrupting people and trying to put content where they’re not, find where the people are and go to them.”

Following Kemish was tech entrepreneur Ambarish Mitra – CEO & Founder, Blipparimmersed the audience in watershed Augmented Reality technology and shed light on the future possibilities of the said technology. 

He started his entrepreneurial journey with his co-founder with a conversation in a bar in Surrey. In 2010, his co founder made the first prototype. 

He further went on to elaborate on the changing trends of computing interface. Currently with Cognitive Computing, computers are starting to see and understand the world through Computer Vison. There are 3 ways in which cognitive computing infers the world – Semantics (understanding), Geometry and SLAM (Simultaneous Localization & Mapping) which helps in understanding positioning. 

The final session of Goafest 2019 was the much-awaited free-wheeling chat between revered film critic, Anupama Chopra and the new darling of evolving Bollywood, Pankaj Tripathi.

The humble actor honestly said in Hindi, “I had come to Mumbai to survive. I hadn’t imagined that so much will happen.” 

His childhood dreams were to buy a tractor, but it couldn’t be bought, hence he became an actor. He had initially left his village to go to Patna to become a doctor, but instead replaced the ‘doc’ with ‘act’. 

Winning over the audience with his honesty and humility, he shared stories of his days as an assistant chef while he moonlighted as a theatre actor at the same time. 

When asked about how he handled so much rejection during his struggle, he joked that his upbringing was difficult, so he didn’t give up easily. It’s an inherent quality that gets instilled in you. He saw the stalwarts who attended the National School of Drama (NSD) and felt that he could also be a part of that legacy. Even in Mumbai, through the toughest day it was the same determination that kept him going. 

To allay his parents’ fears about his future he convinced them that after passing out of NSD he would get a government job teaching Dramatics in schools or colleges.
 
On his wife’s constant support, he took a pause and became emotional, saying that she believed in him throughout his struggle and never questioned his dreams.
 
The man who believes in having simple needs in life and living without complaints chooses his films on the basis of whether there’s a subtext of meaningful messaging. Sometimes the choices he makes are a shot in the dark, they work, while other times they don’t.
 
When asked about the preparation he does as an actor he says that each role is different in its demand. Sometimes one has to be a method actor while often its spontaneity that is required. An actor prepares his whole life, through the amalgamation of all his/her experiences and taps into that intelligently to portray any given role in the best possible way. 

Emphasizing on the honesty of the craft, he says, “A camera is a very sensitive equipment, the close-up is not of a face but your soul.” 
Amidst resounding applause and happy faces, Goafest 2019 comes to an end with the promise of making an even bigger and better return next year!  

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