Goafest 2024 kicks off today in Mumbai

Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The three-day festival will feature over 50 speakers and performers.

Goafest, the annual advertising festival, gets going today albeit at a new address. This time, the three-day festival will be held at the Westin in Powai, Mumbai instead of at the Grand Hyatt at Bambolim in Goa. On account of the ongoing general elections, the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and The Advertising Club took a decision to host the 17th edition of the festival in Mumbai.

Reflecting the industry’s current ethos, the theme for the festival is ‘the age of adaptability’.Goafest is also bringing back its talent showcase ‘Advertising Rocks’ for a second year in a row, to recognise budding musicians and singers in the industry.

This year also marks the 55th edition of the Abby Awards, which honours excellence in categories such as broadcasting, design, public relations, technology, OTT, cinema, radio, out of home, digital and much more. This is the third year that the Abbys have partnered with The One Show, a prestigious awards programme, to bring global recognition to Indian creativity.

The number of entries from the industry is higher at 3,506 as compared with 3,301 last year. Around 73 media agencies and 198 creative companies are expected to participate. At the awards this year, a new vertical for Health has been added, featuring sub-categories like OTC oral medicines, nutraceuticals and more. There is also an additional sub-category for best use of AI in the digital and technology verticals.

Leo Burnett India won big in the 2023 edition walking away with three specialist awards including Brand Activation and Promotions Specialist Agency of The Year, Creative Agency of the Year and Branded Content and Entertainment Specialist Agency of the Year

On the importance of a platform such as Goafest, Naresh Gupta, founder and managing partner at Bang In The Middle, said, “One of the things also that the industry needs to do at Goafest this year is a bit of soul searching because while there is some good work that comes out of our industry every now and then, our industry has started to function in a more transactional manner. Agencies need to identify ways to create true differentiation if this industry has to thrive, and platforms like Goafest are the perfect place to talk about this.”

The event will include panel discussions, talks by industry leaders, masterclasses and the prestigious Abby One Show Awards for advertising excellence. It will host over 50 speakers and entertainers. Among the keynote speakers are Tata Play’s MD and CEO, Harit Nagpal and Sanjiv Mehta, executive chairman of L Catterton India.

The panel discussions and other sessions will feature industry personnel such as Raymond Lifestyle’s Sunil Kataria, Asha Kharga of Mahindra Group, Tarun Puri of Lighthouse Funds and Sukhleen Aneja of The Good Glam Group. Advertising bigwigs such as Prasoon Joshi of McCann Worldgroup India, Rajdeepak Das of Leo Burnett, Babita Baruah of VML and Vaishali Verma of Initiative will also be part of the sessions as moderators and panellists.

Goafest is not quite complete without prominent personalities from the Indian entertainment business, and this year too, the star power will come from the likes of Vikrant Massey, Zeenat Aman, Manoj Bajpayee, Sourav Ganguly and Neha Dhupia. The organisers expect the number of attendees to cross last year’s turnout of around 1,600 people.