From an outdoor agency winning Creative Agency of the Year to an underdog production house winning the only Grand Prix Abby, from several new agencies emerging as Abby winners to all new faces in delegates and speakers – the 2018 edition of Goafest was literally an all new fest in all the sense of the word.
Also new was the absence of almost all major agencies from both the awards and the fest itself, barring a few exceptions. The Goafest Committee and Awards Governing Council appeared to be obliged to the creative leaders for their appearance at the fest for as less as half an hour even though these used to be regular faces for all the three days of Goafest in the past editions.
However, the Goafest committee posed as if it wasn’t too bothered by this as its Chairman Ashish Bhasin, who is also the Chairman and CEO, South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network and Vice-President of AAAI, boasted about the new faces at the fest.
Speaking to BestMediaInfo.com about a trend he had been seeing, Bhasin said, “Earlier, Goafest was a purview of 5-10 big agencies, mostly from Mumbai and Delhi. Over the years, that has tremendously changed and it has got democratised where more than 300 agencies from across the country have participated in a big way. It is a reflection of the industry itself spurred by digital, which is not dependent on any heritage and that has brought in new faces in the industry. I see it as quite a positive development for the industry at large.”
For the record, Bhasin’s agencies, except his digital agency Dentsu Webchutney, were absent from Goafest and Abbys this year.
Bhasin claimed that this year the festival had attracted more than 2,000 delegates in comparison to 2,500 delegates last year. It must also be noted that there were 329 companies participating with 4,500 entries last year.
Aiming to attract the young guns of the industry to the fest, Goafest had offered attractive packages for delegates under 30. “These are the future of the Indian advertising and it is like giving back to the industry for us,” said Bhasin.
Exclusion of Still Craft, Video Craft, Design and Direct categories from Abby Creative Agency of the Year was another new this year as they were not judged by the first ever master jury created by Awards Governing Council.