Prasad Sangameshwaran
Apr 10, 2017

Opinion: Goafest 2017, the world’s largest democracy for ad agencies

The rise of the younger agencies at Goafest 2017 is the high point of this year's festival

Opinion: Goafest 2017, the world’s largest democracy for ad agencies
From the organisers point of view on Goafest 2017, it could well be, “phew, it’s finally over”. The countless days of dealing with agencies big and small. And of dealing with egos that come only in one spec: giant-sized.
But this year’s Goafest leaves us wondering if the day shall finally come, when the voice of the younger agency (see, we did not use the word, small) shall be heard loud and clear. At least that’s beginning to show in this year’s awards tally.  
The agency that topped the metals tally this year was Taproot Dentsu, an agency that was formed only about eight years back, before it got acquired by the Japanese giant, Dentsu. If you look at the agency that bagged the second highest tally of metals, it was The Social Street that was formed only two years back. Another agency, the seven-year-old Scarecrow Communications took home 21 metals and figured in the top five. The only agency brand that has been around for decades in India and still figures in the top three was JWT. 
One could argue, that the rise of younger agencies is to do with the mice at play, when the cats are away. After all, many big agencies continue to make news for staying away from Goafest, year-after-year.
But there is another clear indicator that the day of the small agency has come. Most of India’s large agencies, including the ones that stay away from Goafest, take active part in Cannes Lions, the Oscars of the advertising business. But a couple of years back, the agency that came out as the star from India was a healthcare communication specialist, Medulla, which made the world sit up and take notice of the power of younger agencies.
Even when Taproot started making its presence felt at the local and global stage a few years back, it was just seen as having “a good year”. Now it has cemented its position among India’s most creative agencies.
Similarly, the rise at Goafest might give a lot more confidence to take on the world. Cannes Lions, here we come. 


Campaign India