I believe the topics we need to debate and discuss day in and day out in light of the current big, bad recession should be: How can we get brand marketeers to accept us as true brand partners? How can we impress upon our clients the criticality of improving agency remuneration? How can we retain and attract the talent we are losing at an alarming rate?
I believe the Indian advertising industry’s Oscars—the much hyped Goafest ad festival and awards—can become a platform to address these issues. I have a few suggestions that I think can transform this event into a holistic advertising forum.
Let’s make it a larger affair by making it an idea-sharing, thought-provoking agency-client gathering rather than it being just about awards. This will give brand owners first-hand insights on advertising excellence and open their minds to newer, grander possibilities.
Let’s put the realism back into advertising. Instead of scam ads winning awards, let the real, effective and, of course, stunningly creative communication take home the accolades. That way, even clients will regain confidence in their agency’s potential to come up with genuine ideas that work.
After receiving an award, representatives from both the agency and brand owner could share insights and thoughts which led to the creation of the idea and the results it gave the brand. This will provide inspiration to other marketeers to push the envelope and back daring ideas.
Let’s invite select student representatives and professors of key institutes from where the advertising industry draws talent.
The fest could become a platform for them to understand and get inspired by the best advertising in the country. This might help many of them convince themselves and others that this is a truly fulfilling and rewarding profession.
We can also dedicate a session to an open house for advertising aspirants or students and the bigwigs of the advertising, media and corporate world.
And finally, create a DVD comprising the awards and discussions. This DVD could be marketed within the industry and beyond. Agencies, clients and institutes can hold screenings within their offices and campuses for the benefit of non-participants.
So the question really is how to celebrate at Goafest. This big, fat advertising beach bash could well be converted into a knowledge-sharing gathering that’s a true celebration of creativity. And in the bargain, it can throw up some real answers to the big questions that the advertising industry is facing currently.
Anil Nair is president, Law and Kenneth India.
As told to Anushree Chandran.