Goafest 2015, Beyond Controversies

The three day long Goafest was indeed a success. Last few years have been mired in controversies; the industry was probably divided into two sets so far. We have seen that two agencies never participate in this fest, but looks like it was different this year.

The tenth year has possibly brought success for the committee as the industry was united and it was great to see them in joy. This year’s Goafest may be one of the best in ten years. No controversies, no hassles, a good show and moreover a grand success. That has been the response from all the agencies, media and delegates who were present at the event.

In order to know their experience this year at Goafest and on how it feels to grab some metals, we at  Adgully caught up with Tarun Rai, CEO J. Walter Thompson, South Asia, Rana Barua, CEO at Contract Advertising and Founder, Santosh Padhi, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Taproot, Manish Bhatt, Founder Director at Scarecrow Communications, Emmanuel Upputuru Chief Integration officer, ITSA and Prasoon Joshi, Chairman Asia Pacific &CEO of McCann Worldgroup India.

J. Walter Thompson South Asia swept Goafest 2015 with as many as 57 metals, the highest tally for a group this year.  J. Walter Thompson India bagged 35 awards, while its sister agency Contract Advertising won 22 awards.

“It is a euphoric win for us this year at the Abbys. Both J. Walter Thompson India and Contract Advertising performed brilliantly, raising the standards of creativity of J. Walter Thompson South Asia group even further. Our win at the popularly known Oscars of Indian advertising, is testimonial to the commitment for the work we do for our clients,” said Tarun Rai, CEO J. Walter Thompson, South Asia on the big win.

“What gives me even more satisfaction is that between J. Walter Thompson and Contract, we have swept 57 metals and ranked as #1 and #2 respectively,” he added.

Contract advertising was ranked 2nd highest with as many as 22 awards including 4 Golds, 8 Silvers and 10 Bronze. They won maximum awards for their work on Tata Docomo, Asian paints Royale, Kenstar and Sugar Free.

Barua expressed joy on being a part of the organizing committee at the body. At the same time he was extremely happy on the success of Goafest as there was a lot of effort taken to bring this event and it was fruitful. It’s been a successful event, and there has been an overwhelming response from the participants.

“It is a fabulous feeling undoubtedly. To win so many metals at Goafest 2015. Contract is now back where it belongs – among the best creative agencies in India. And that was one of our main objectives. So kudos to the brilliant talent and team!” said Barua.

He adds, “We at Contract are very happy as we are amongst the top two agencies who have won maximum awards. The jury was well crafted. Indeed next year we will participate in more categories and try and win more awards.”

Padhi said, “We have always been in top three for last 4/5 years at Goafest, I'm happy to continue the tradition, last year we were 2nd would have been happy to be on number two or one, but goafest is not only about quality it's also a quantity game, we are a strong traditional creative agency hence very strong in TV, print, outdoor.”

He adds, “We need to get our  presence in other specialized categories like direct, promo, branded content, digital etc as well as these also add to your tally."

Bhatt is of the opinion that Goafest is the spirit of the advertising fraternity. He said, “There is always scope for improvement by experimenting with different things and this year with the Youth Labs, media activities, Sailing, Kayak Racing, I think the Goafest was really amazing. It was a different experience altogether.”

He adds, “Irrespective of whether there are issues or not, the objective of the body is to get the industry united to enjoy the spirit and that’s what truly happened this year.”

Speaking about winning the Abby’s Bhatt said, “There were more awards this year, and so there more entries from our end as well. It feels great when someone appreciates your work.”

He adds, “Scarecrow has improved itself in tally and moved to number four which is significant for us as we are a five year old agency. We have always participated in the Fun category for Radio, this one being the third year at Goafest. It is a huge motivation for us. We will look at increasing our presence next year.”

It was ITSA’s first time in Goafest and in their first time only they won a total of ten metals. That is in par with number four that is DDB Mudra which has also won ten metals. If we see the total number (as a group) for ITSA, the group has won ten metals in different categories.

Upputuru is extremely overwhelmed with the work that their team has performed this year. He said, “This was our first time in Goafest. We had 45 entries and 10 clients out of which a total of 30 were shortlisted and we won a total of 10 metals. We won 2 Golds, and 8 Bronze. It is a great achievement for us.”

“Goafest was a great experience for us. The team has just tasted the blood of success and the clients too are excited. You will see more of us next year.”

Prasoon Joshi, Chairman Asia Pacific &CEO of McCann Worldgroup India was felicitated at the Goafest 2015. He was felicitated for in the honour of receiving the Padma Shri.

Expressing joy on his felicitation from the fraternity Joshi said, “Every award is special but this award is special because it is from the family I have grown up with; that is the advertising fraternity. When you get the warm hug from your own fraternity where you have grown up, that is very special. And I think that’s what you work towards.”

Every brand goes through its own share of teething troubles in its growth phase and Goafest was too a part of the same. A one of its kind festival for the advertising fraternity organized by the non-profit advertising body AAAI has done a great job this year. Though some media reports say there were logistics issues, but organizing an event for a 2000 plus audience is not an easy job. We at Adgully salute the team in putting up a great show this year and look forward for a bigger event next year.


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