Goafest 2014 will be hosted in North Goa from 29 to 31 May, revealed the Indian advertising festival’s organising committee at an event in Mumbai on Tuesday. The three-day festival will see an awards night on each of the days, as well as the introduction of a number of new categories under the Abbys, hosted by the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) in association with The Advertising Club.
“All the elements of Goafest and a few more will be in place at this year’s festival. For the first time, we will have three award nights. Every evening, there will be something big to celebrate, in addition to the Advertising Conclave which will now be open to all delegates and hosted on day two of the festival,” said Srinivasan Swamy, chairman, Goafest 2014.
Until last year, the Advertising Conclave was hosted a day prior and was open to select invitees. In another change, the Knowledge Seminars will be hosted on all three days this year, in the comforts of an air conditioned hall at the venue – the Grand Hyatt in Bambolim, North Goa. This is a move away from the temporary hangars constructed on the beach until last year, Swamy explained, to ensure the air conditioning is not compromised.
Pratap Bose, president, The Advertising Club, and chairman, Awards Governing Council (AGC), introduced new categories for the Abbys at Goafest 2014. Promo and Activation and PR Abbys are new categories being introduced this year.
“The two full new categories have been introduced in tune with the times. Under Promo and Activation, there will be 20 to 25 sub-heads. And PR Abby is very relevant to our times,” said Bose.
“With the TRAI 10+2 ad cap on coming into play, branded content would emerge as a key area for broadcasters. We introduced Branded Content as a category for agencies last year. Taking that forward, we are extending it to broadcasters and (print) publishers this year,” explained Swamy. These categories under Branded Content would be called the Broadcaster and Publisher Abbys.
“These will reward and accentuate the use of great branded content by broadcasters and publishers. We considered the option of all media, including digital, but are taking it one step at a time. Under Broadcaster Abby, only broadcasters can enter. And similarly for print publishers,” added Bose.
Grand Prix would be awarded in all categories except the newly launched Branded Content (introduced last year), Promo and Activation and PR Abbys.
Improving the judging process
Bose revealed that post consulting with the creative fraternity, ‘significant changes’ have been introduced to the process of judging.
At this year’s competition, a 10-day period has been allotted for anyone to flag off any of the shortlisted entries, with due reason and proof, following the first round of judging. All shortlisted entries will be displayed online to facilitate this. The respective jury chairperson will take the final call basis the ad complained against within this period. The second round of judging will be hosted post this window, and judges’ decision then will be final.
“We’ve taken a lot of time because we wanted to get the processes right. What is clear is that any issues that may have existed in the past have been addressed,” said Bose.
Organisers are hoping to start receiving entries by 1 March 2014, with a three to four-week window available to agencies to send entries. The ‘Rest of South Asia’ competition will also be continued.
The awards nights are scheduled as follows:
- 29 May: Publisher, Media Abbys
- 30 May: Design, Direct, Promo & Activation,PR, OOH, Print Craft, Branded Content, Broadcaster Abbys
- 31 May: Interactive/Digital, Radio, Print, Television, Integrated Abbys
Organisers are keen to raise the number of client organisations represented at the festival from 100 last year. To this end, the Marketing Wizards initiative for young client delegates (under 30 years) is being continued.
“Last year’s Advertising Conclave shifted from the usual route of getting people to come and speak about ‘Advertising 2020’ and other such things to get to some very real issues. We asked senior client representatives to discuss what irritates them about their communication agencies. In spirit, the Conclave theme remains the same. The idea is to get client-side leaders to share with the communication fraternity their challenges, and challenge them,” noted Arvind Sharma, founding chairman, Goafest, and current president, AAAI.
On the array of content to expect, Swamy surmised, “There will be a rich mix of Indian and international speakers like we have always had at Goafest. In addition, this year’s Knowledge Seminars will be spread across media, creative, interactive, innovation and human interest themes.”