Q] As Ad Club President, how would you sum up the just concluded Goafest 2019?
I am very satisfied, I think it’s been a great festival. Overall, Goafest is a festival of creativity and it should involve some stimulation which the seminars have provided. It should provide some inspiration with the kind of work that won. And there should be a lot of fun. On all counts, we have scored very highly. I had random people walking up at the end of the day and saying that the speakers were ‘absolutely brilliant’. We have to thank Jaideep Gandhi for that. He has pulled out an amazingly wonderful list of speakers. Of course Nakul Chopra and Ashish Bhasin have been also instrumental in it, but Jaideep is a rockstar. As far as the awards are concerned, we are very satisfied, because it’s been two years that we have been trying to rationalize the categories to make sure that relevant stuff is being entered. And we have also got a really eminent and credible jury which is actually awarding the work. We have sort of delivered on that. Now, the work which is winning is really first grade. A lot of the legacy agencies are not there, but it’s a wake-up call for everybody. In today’s creative world, it’s no longer the old legacy stuff. Great creative output now comes out from many more people than the classical agencies. It’s a wake-up call for people who are not here because this is what the real work is.
Q] What is the concerted effort to get more marketers to attend the festival? While we saw mid-level managers from many companies, we didn’t come across any senior marketers except the speakers. So, is there and will there be efforts to get more marketers to Goafest?
We would love to have more marketers, of course. The reality is that in today’s environment, there are so many events, award shows, etc., happening all the time, to get people out to Goa for three days becomes a challenge. That said, I would love to have the senior people in Goa. But, if I have to do a trade-off between the young guys who are the future, who are actually going to be building our product for tomorrow, and the old ones, I would go for young over old, but I would love both. The young, I think, are coming in droves. They are enjoying it. I wish some people who have got as much white hair as I have are also there, more of them… but let’s hope we can get them next year! With marketers, it’s always an endeavour to get them there. They are busy people, but hopefully we will get them.
Q] Have you had any serious feedback that has become an idea for you to take up with regard to Goafest?
There was this entire thing of should we be having digital specialists or not. I still think that may be a little premature, but we will think about it.
Q] Some people suggest that the festival should move to Mumbai, to see a much larger participation. So, do you see it moving out of Goa at any point? It was in Mumbai to begin with.
Well, that’s imponderable. Right now, we have got a great brand in Goafest. Whenever this question is asked, and then when you come here, and see the very immersive experience that people are going through, then you say, ‘Guys, there is a good thing going here, why break it?’ My thought at this point in time is, this brand is alive and kicking. We have had the same number of registrations. People have being loving it. I get the sense of positive vibes. The energy level as well as the participation for the award evenings here have been quite good.
Q] What will be the anthem for Goafest 2020? How can it be different from the festival this year?
I think the creative expressions are becoming a little more contemporary. We amped it up this year, and that should continue next year. Keeping creativity up with the times should be the theme for 2020 as well, in the kind of way the work is being celebrated, and the way we are talking about the work. And maybe even in the kind of participation we are getting. I expect to see an increasing tribe of creative people and a more diverse and democratic tribe of people gracing this festival.