Reminiscing Goafest 2024

Reminiscing Goafest 2024

With lessons from Zeenat Aman, Sourav Ganguly, Neelesh Misra and more, Goafest 2024 had three full days of information, entertainment and celebration in store for the advertising fraternity.

Tsunami CostabirUpdated: Monday, June 03, 2024, 10:47 AM IST
article-image

Goafest 2024 was held on the 29th, 30th and 31st of May at the Westin Hotel, Powai in Mumbai. The event, in its 17th edition, was woven around the theme ‘The Age of Adaptability’ and curated 20 knowledge sessions and 15 masterclasses with 50+ speakers. 

Rana Barua, President of The Advertising Club, told the press that amid an election, prudent marketing spending and a last-minute relocation of the festival, the committee, too, had to adapt to thrive. Instead of having one ‘presented by’ sponsor, they onboarded over 50 partners for their 17th edition. 

And so it began… At the Westin in Powai, attendees were greeted with fun stalls imparting information through interactive games, photobooths and edibles. A peppy way to red carpet you into intensive knowledge sessions and masterclasses by day, and drinks, dinner and celebrations on the part of the Abby award-winners by night. 

Day 1 saw a showstopping performance by Bollywood playback singer Sukhwinder Singh who got the audience’s heart thumping with his hit songs, among which were ‘Hud Hud Dabangg’, ‘Chhaiya Chhaiya’ and ‘Jai Ho’. 

Harit Nagpal, MD & CEO of Tata Play, in his keynote session, took us through the ages, picking up inspiring stories of adaptability — from his grandparents having to relocate during the 1947 partition to the wacky ways people made their money over the years. 

While the audience laughed along, his speech set the tone for the festival. People have always had to adapt; not just to survive, but to thrive. Harit brought to our attention that it is rarely the industry leaders that disrupt their own markets. This could either happen due to complacency or the fear of obsolescence of their own products. But since disruption is inevitable, the best time to change, he alleged, is when you get comfortable.

The lineup of sessions that followed offered the audience wide-ranging perspectives with information-heavy sessions from Snapchat and WhatsApp to sessions that resonated with our emotional and creative sides. From panel discussions on gender sensitisation in advertising to creating consumer loyalty and building future-proof agencies, a constant balancing act has to be played with tried-and-tested and new-age mechanisms. 

On Day 2, Zeenat Aman talked about her transition from the silver screen to the mobile screen. Zeenat was taken by surprise with the response she received on social media, achieving an engagement rate of 16.6% last year - surpassing Jennifer Aniston and Kareena Kapoor. The septuagenarian shared insight about her relevance, having partnered with new-age brands like Bumble, Cred and Urban Company. As an entertainer for life, she emphasised “the importance of believing in what you do and giving it your all.”

Simultaneously, masterclasses hosted by Flipkart Ads, D&AD, WARC, WhatsApp and more gave the information absorbers a chance to test their creativity and knowledge applicability. Through classes like ‘Getting Creative with Conversations’, ‘Masterclass on Brand Integration’ and ‘Unlock Award Winning Ideas’, participants could easily engage with speakers and deepen their understanding. 

Day 3 was kicked off by Indian playback singer Harshdeep Kaur. If people were getting a little weary on day three of the festival, Harshdeep’s performance snapped us right back into the groove. 

And if that wasn’t enough, Dr Marcus Ranney of Human Edge gave participants a wake-up call with his session on longevity. While medical science has helped add years to the average lifespan, he brought attention to the fact that we’re living sicker than ever. He emphasised the keys to health and longevity - a good night’s sleep, healthy foods, movement and seeking connections. Evidently, in our attempt to keep up with the ever-changing world, we lose sight of the basic and essential elements. 

Later, beloved radio storyteller Neelesh Mishra showed us first-hand how nothing can transport you like a good storyteller. He read to the audience a fictional letter from a retired postman. The letter was about the changing world through the postman’s eyes and how he finally chooses to adapt from letters to email. His storytelling received a standing ovation from the audience. 

Saurav Ganguly, too, talked about adaptability and navigating his career highs and lows, saying, “Nothing taught me better than sport; it's a leveller. You know, every next inning, you start from zero.” He reminded audiences that while circumstances will change, what shouldn’t is your faith and belief. 

With the wide-ranging information, philosophy and creative-heavy sessions, the advertising fraternity and festival attendees had their brains stimulated. Surely, words from the three-day festival will reverberate for months after. 

Top Accolades from the Abby Awards

Leo Burnett wins ‘Creative Agency of the Year'

Leo Burnett wins ‘Creative Agency of the Year' |

The Abby Awards, in its 55th year, boasted its largest-ever industry participation, with 3,506 entries from 273 companies. The awards have also been adapted to include new and relevant award categories, adding up to a total of 73. 

Leo Burnett bagged the award for ‘Creative Agency of the Year’ for the third year in a row and a Grand Prix for ‘Feel the Music with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’ for Spotify India. 

Famous Innovations won the Grand Prix for their public service ad ‘Blockbuster Excuses’ for the Mumbai Police. Maitri Advertising Works also won the Grand Prix for their campaign ‘Sex Education Shakeela's Driving School’ for Netflix.

FCB Group India won the Grand Prix for their campaign ‘Untangling The Politics Of Hair’ for STIR - Design Magazine for social awareness. They also won the Grand Prix for the use of AI in the ‘Lulumelon EOSS’ ad for HDFC Bank.

RECENT STORIES

The K-Beauty Impact On Indian Cosmetics

The K-Beauty Impact On Indian Cosmetics

Zoreko Is Pushing VR In Arcades

Zoreko Is Pushing VR In Arcades

How Amateur Sports Leagues Can Turn Profit-Making

How Amateur Sports Leagues Can Turn Profit-Making

Why Legacy BFSI Brands Dominate Inspite Of Tech Disruption

Why Legacy BFSI Brands Dominate Inspite Of Tech Disruption

Shah Rukh Khan Dominates T20 Ad Recall

Shah Rukh Khan Dominates T20 Ad Recall