Goafest 2023 wrapped up on a high note with much music, creative deliberations, futuristic ideas on use of technology in films and big celebrations. The creative community showed its musical side at Advertising Rocks, a first-of-its-kind musical contest held at the fest to give an opportunity to solo performers and bands belonging to the advertising, media and marketing fraternity to display its talent.

In a rare collaboration, singers and musicians from Ogilvy and Leo Burnett came together as a band called the Clients, while a band from Wunderman Thompson, Calcutta called Scrapped won the first position. 

In the evening, Leo Burnett India walked away with top honours, winning the Creative Agency of the Year at the Abby Oneshow Awards 2023. It was also declared the Branded Content & Entertainment Specialist Agency of The Year and Brand Activation & Promotions Specialist Agency of The Year.

Digital Doubles in Films

Earlier, in a panel discussion on the ‘Future of Indian Cinema: Exploring Artistic Freedom and Challenging Conventions’, actress Tabu and actor, producer and investor Rana Daggubati discussed the use of digital doubles in movies and digital assets controlled by actors as the future of creativity and technology.

“Difficult action scenes, even when carefully reviewed, are extremely difficult to do physically. Digital doubles are now able to replace that. I can go back to a film that I did five years ago and play the character and make the digital double go on the set and I act. The time is not far when an actor’s digital asset will be able to create and drive a story for him,” said Rana Daggubati. 

After the introduction of a digital double, an actor will never age, stated Tabu. Asked if technology would ever take over traditional acting and influence cinema ahead, Tabu emphasised that the core of creativity will always be a human being.

Talking about taking Indian films global and the challenges Hindi films face, Rana Daggubati said that India had multiple industries. “Most of the global industries are single language-driven and are focused in one city. We have 14 different industries in 14 cities constantly competing. Every industry goes through phases of success and failures and each industry has a bad phase at some time,” he contended.  

Tabu said she was looking forward to getting into production. “I would love to put projects together. But production will be only if I find good content,” she said.

Media agencies’ dilemma

At a knowledge seminar called “Media Agencies Panel – Breaking the Old Mould“, Amin Lakhani - CEO - South Asia – Mindshare talked about the hard reality of commissions coming down year on year. At such a time, Lakhani said, media agencies will need to focus on offering value-added services such as helping brands in digital transformation or technological advancement.

At a time when macro-economic pressures have impacted the bottom lines of brands, media agencies are sometimes made accountable for saving their client’s money . Aditi Mishra, CEO, Lodestar UM pointed, “ Sometimes brands are willing to look at growth-lead metrics and focus on outcomes rather than the results of a media plan. But a lot of times that is not the case. Therefore, a shift in that mindset is needed where media agencies are seen as partners for growth.”

“The age-old way of working of agencies will not work anymore. They will need to offer the full funnel of services,” added Naveen Khemka,CEO South Asia, Essence Mediacom point

Gen Z’s side hustles

The ad and marketing fraternity also discussed the changing consumer, specially Gen Z. Utsav Chaudhari, Head-Marketing, YME (Youth, Music and English Entertainment Cluster ) at Viacom18 pointed out that the youth of the country believe monetising their side hustle is critical as their hobbies are now more than passion projects. “Over the last 3-4 years , a lot of lemons have been thrown at these youngsters born after 1994. They have seen socio-economic headwinds, they have seen cultural headwinds. But what they have done is make dalgona coffee out of all the lemons thrown at them,” he said.

Coming out of the the adversities due to macro-economic challenges such as Covid, wealth and money has become very important for the youngsters of the country.  “With economic headwinds they have seen adverse impact on careers and they realise money is important and so they focus on monetising their side hustles. There has been a lot of confusion, uncertainty and volatility.They have found an anchor in their spirituality and parents. While they have got a little bit cynical about love, they definitely believe in the idea of love,” Chaudhari explained, citing insights from the MTV Youth Study.