Goafest 2024 Day 2: Strategies for Adaptation and Innovation

Day 2 of Goafest 2024 began with the first session hosted by Sri Adhikari Brothers Networks - Dhamaal- a Knowledge Seminar with Knowledge Partner IAA in collaboration with UNICEF called Gender-Sensitive Marketing: Navigating The New Consumer Landscape

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Mumbai: Day 2 of Goafest 2024 began with the first session hosted by Sri Adhikari Brothers Networks - Dhamaal- a Knowledge Seminar with Knowledge Partner IAA in collaboration with UNICEF called Gender-Sensitive Marketing: Navigating The New Consumer Landscape. 

Among the speakers were Chandni Shah, Chief Operating Officer of FCB Kinnect; Darshana Shah, Head of Marketing & Customer Experience at Aditya Birla Capital; Kailashnath Adhikari, Business Head of Sri Adhikari Brothers and Managing Director of GovernanceNow; Rajdeepak Das, Chief Creative Officer of Publicis Groupe South Asia and Chairman of Leo Burnett South Asia; and Ram Madhvani, Filmmaker, Producer, and Founder of Equinox Films and Ram Madhvani Films. Guiding the discussion was Kranti Gada, Management Committee Member of the India Chapter of the International Advertising Association and Founder of

This session delved into the realm of gender-sensitive marketing, exploring strategies to navigate the ever-evolving consumer landscape. Shah delved into the core issues within the education system and how the portrayal of men and women contributes to the lack of women in leadership roles. 

"Women can nurture women," she emphasised, highlighting subconscious biases and the fact that men are often the primary decision-makers in households. She also advocated for conscious choices to address these issues. Subsequently, In answer to Kranti’s question on depiction, Ram discussed the Bechdel test, which measures the representation of women in film and other fiction. He mentions how important representation of women in fiction is also very poignant, “It's rare to see women discussing anything other than men in many series and movies.”

Rajdeepak, in his turn, spoke about the dramatic increase in female education rates, from 8.9% in 1951 to 64% in 2011 to 92.5% in 2021! "What didn't change in five to six decades has transformed in just one," he remarked, suggesting that education and the creative industry could impact, accelerate, and enable women. Kailashnath, thereafter, pointed out the economic impact of gender inequality, stating, "According to a published report, several low to middle-income countries have lost over a trillion dollars because women weren't empowered." 

He also noted that 37% of women globally lack internet access, adding, "Men have more facilities at their disposal than women, and that needs to change."

With a focus on inclusivity and understanding diverse perspectives, the speakers shed light on how brands can effectively connect with consumers in a way that respects and reflects their identities. 

Thereafter, in a keynote address, Pulkit Trivedi, Managing Director of Snap Inc. India, revealed how Snapchat emerged as the preferred platform for young India. Trivedi highlighted the platform's unique features and engaging content, illustrating its resonance with the youthful demographic and its pivotal role in shaping digital culture. 

Trivedi revealed Snapchat’s approach to building a safe and creative space for its predominantly GenZ user base. With 75% of its users hailing from this demographic, the app prioritised authenticity and fun, reflecting the generation's carefree attitude towards online sharing. As the saying goes, "GenZ don't feel the pressure of being judged."

Looking to the future, Snapchat will be investing in advanced engagement tools and will also look at the camera's potential for advertisers while maintaining its commitment to user privacy and security. By deleting content by default and omitting likes and comments, the platform empowers users and safeguards their experiences. As the company declared through Trivedi, "We try giving power to our users." 

Following this, the next session was presented by Sports18 and JioCinema, titled Media Agencies Panel - The Changing Expectations from a Media Client Leader, and the Challenges in Getting There, comprising prominent industry leaders. 

The panellists included Ajay Gupte, CEO of Wavemaker South Asia; Anita Kotwani, CEO of Media South Asia at Dentsu; Tanmay Mohanty, CEO of Publicis Media Services India; and Vaishali Verma, CEO of Initiative India. Guiding the discussion was Vikram Sakuja, Partner and Group CEO of Media and Out-of-Home at Madison Communications.

In this session, the panel explored the expectations placed on media client leaders and the challenges they face in meeting these demands. Through this conversation, key requisites for an effective client leader were explored, where Vaishali stressed that the requirements for a good client leader vary with each category and client. She emphasised the importance of identifying the nature of the business and then positioning a client leader whose skills and experience would be an asset to both the client and the brand. 

To this, Anita added, “A client leader needs to be obsessed with winning for the client and their profitability.” Moreover, Ajay brought attention to whether the client leader needs to be a single point of contact (SPOC). While acknowledging that much has changed in the industry, he noted that some fundamentals remain the same, such as the importance of understanding the client's needs. He pointed out that change is a constant, and a client leader must evolve with market shifts and the information available, maintaining a client-centric approach. 

The third Knowledge Seminar titled, Trust or Bust: Thriving in the Digital World, was presented by Malayala Manorama with Knowledge Partner - ASCI, which brought together a distinguished panel of experts. Among them were Amit Doshi, Chief Marketing Officer at Britannia; Falguni Vasavada, Professor at MICA and Digital Creator; Paras Sharma, Director of Global Partnerships at Meta; and Sharan Hegde, Finance Content Creator and Co-founder and CEO of 1% Club. Steering the conversation was Manisha Kapoor, CEO and Secretary General of ASCI.

In this session, the panel offered insights into navigating the idea of trust through the complexities of the digital landscape. Amit began by stating, “Trust between a consumer and a brand is now a two-way street.” He also emphasised the exponential importance of listening to the conversations in which a brand is involved. 

Additionally, in response to Manisha, Sharan stated that finance content creators play a crucial role in demystifying complex financial topics and offering accessible advice to consumers. He noted that financial scams have existed for ages and believes that the realm of content creation and digital following has only begun to address financial awareness. "Building trust is relatively easy, but once it's lost, it can be gone forever due to one bad move or piece of news. Therefore, the focus should be on maintaining and nurturing that trust consistently," he added.

The Fireside Chat by Viacom18 featured Ankit Kapoor, Head of Marketing and International Business at Parle Agro; Mahesh Shetty, National Sales Head at Viacom18, and Navin Khemka, CEO of South Asia of Essence Mediacom. Conducting the conversation was Shibani Gharat, an accomplished Anchor and Associate Executive Producer. Mahesh discussed the evolution of Bigg Boss, highlighting how the show has expanded to include digital creators, thereby increasing its relevance. He emphasised the importance of catering to a diverse set of consumers and noted that the core principle of creating mass content remains unchanged. Over the past year, Mahesh's team has merged television and digital divisions to better achieve their goal of reaching a broad audience.

In response to a question about creating widespread brand love, Ankit underscored the necessity for marketing teams and brand managers to have a clear understanding of the role each medium plays. He pointed out that only with this clarity can brands successfully cultivate and maintain strong brand loyalty, saying, “Only through clarity are brands able to achieve what they set out to in terms of brand love.” In this insightful session, the panellists engaged in a candid discussion on navigating the evolving landscape of marketing and media, wherein consumers and the touchpoint - Television and Digital - are concerned.

Day 2 of Goafest 2024 also kicked off with a masterclass by WhatsApp on Agency Exclusive: Drive growth across the customer journey with WhatsApp, presented by Riddhika Sand. The session threw light on the WhatsApp Business platform and its features. Sand spoke about how Whatsapp Business is designed to supercharge customer journeys. “Today around 1 billion people are using messaging business and 90.4% of online adults in India message with business at least once a week”, said Sand.

Thereafter, Ujaya Shakya enlightened the attendees with an intriguing masterclass on Unlocking Market Potential: Open your eyes to Nepal, presented by Outreach Nepal. Shakya began by asking the audience, “What does Nepal mean to you?” Through this, he highlighted the features of today’s Nepal - a vibrant, heterogeneous country, with famous personalities such as fashion designer Prabal Gurung. He said, “Today’s Nepal shows promising signs of growth, with immense market potential. Out of a population of 30 million, 72% are of working age, indicating a rise in the middle-income bracket. Major companies like Hyundai, Samsung, and all major Indian FMCGs are all investing in Nepal.”

Shakya further added that from the perspective of marketing, the Nepali youth is a major target. The reason for the success of several Nepali brands today was the right positioning and marketing towards the youth. By displaying several examples, Shakya spoke of the most successful strategies used: achieving Nepalisation, using Nepali actors, creating relatable stories, and using cultural connections. 

Brands such as Mountain Dew, Centerfruit, Coca-Cola, Ncell, and Pepsi have all benefited from these strategies. Shakya concluded by asking the audience, “What does Nepal mean to all of you after this session?" 

Thereafter, the D&AD masterclass, presented by Lisa Evans and Paul Drake titled Unlocking Award Winning Ideas, gave insights into the art of visualising innovative ideas. Drake discussed the importance of nurturing new talent through initiatives like D&AD New Blood and D&AD Shift, which provide opportunities for self-taught creatives. He also mentioned the Creative Leaders Program, partnering with companies like Adidas and Heinz to foster innovation. He noted, "The aim is to open doors for new talent and help them shine in the creative industry."

On crafting excellence, Evans explained the idea-execution-relevance triad for impactful work and introduced the unique categorization of creative work using the D&AD pencils (Wood, Graphite, Yellow, White, and Black) for categorising creative excellence. She outlined a hierarchy from destructive to legendary work. 

The case studies presented by them showcased brands such as ‘We Are Warriors’, ‘Jersey Pay’,  ‘Proudly Second Best (IKEA)’ as fresh, innovative and  contagious ideas. Evans and Drake also highlighted the Five P's approach—understanding the problem, generating possibilities, choosing what to push, building a prototype, and making a pitch which was exemplified through a brainstorming session with Heinz and subsequent team presentations.

Next, Amazon miniTV held a masterclass on Brand Integration. Vijay Iyer, Director, Amazon Ads India and Amogh Dusad, Head of Content, Amazon miniTV led the session. The masterclass highlighted the growth in free video viewership in India and the effectiveness of brand integrations on video streaming services like miniTV in driving advertising impact. It provided an overview of various integration formats, amplification approaches, and performance metrics, which make miniTV a suitable proposition for marketers looking to reach and engage Indian consumers through relevant video content.


The first half of Goafest 2024 Day 2 was wrapped up with an informative masterclass on Hall of Flame – The Olympics Masterclass by Sports18 and JioCinema, presented by Chandan Roy. 

The masterclass provided a unique perspective on the world of the Olympics and sports. Chandan shed light on the birth of the Olympics, its viewership, and its broader significance. He explained that the Olympics reflect the political and economic strength of a country and serve as a source of national pride, with people desiring their country to win regardless of the sport. Chandan emphasised, ‘The Olympics is a force for good’. He also discussed India's aspiration to host the Olympics in the future. Chandan mentioned that as a platform, they are striving to bring the Olympics to a larger audience. To support this effort, they have created a show called ‘Get Set Goal’, hosted by Dinesh Karthik. 

Goafest 2024