Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Usual Suspects, Businessworld Marketing Whitebook and Great Indian Marketing Weekend!

We had a great time doing the soft launch of GIMW - Great Indian Marketing Weekend at the event of Businessworld Marketing Whitebook in Gurgaon on 30th April. It seemed the whole marketing world was there - clients, agencies, brand managers, CEOs, buyers and sellers!
Over the last 10-15 years, I have been to 1000s of events, and organized an equal number as a host.

And one thing that I always recall in any event is one of my favorite movies - The Usual Suspects (also Reservoir Dogs, and few others with similar elements). The script is simple - whenever there is a crime that takes place, the police catches the same guys - "The Usual Suspects", no matter what the nature of crime is. It happens very often in Indian police stations as well - whether there is a theft, robbery, murder, rape - the police gets the few known criminals and starts its preliminary inquiry.

This is exactly what happens in many 5-star events - similar line up of speakers on stage, similar audience attending the event, same networking, same talks and also the same jokes shared ;-)

Fortunately, the Businessworld Marketing Whitebook launch was a pretty different format, and here are my quick shots at what happened:
1. Started with 3 CEOs taking their "selfie" on stage, and went to discuss how and why is the trend of selfie, personalization, individualism, show-off etc. is taking the marketing and consumer world by the storm. Marketing genius from Canon, Samsung and Max talked shared their views.
2. Victor or victim - Arnab Goswami (yes, that very loud, loved + hated journalist) was interviewed by Sam Balsara (Chairman of Madison whom I met a very long time back when I took an entrepreneurship course for WZCC members). I really loved the emotions and honest talk by Arnab - and could really feel his energy on the stage. Do not miss him on May 16th when the next government gets announced.
3. And then there was a panel discussion on digital marketing, with some big shots (it was getting chilled inside so I went out of the ballroom).
4. Then we had a pretty interesting discussion between Philips MD and Luminous Chairman on entrepreneurial companies vs process led MNCs. One company has Ranbir Kapoor as brand ambassador and the other has Sachin Tendulkar - both getting India's best entertainers to sell in boring categories like inverters, water purifiers and LED lights!
5. And then followed an ok session on creative advertising by an O&M and a Google guy. They showed some ad videos but it I felt it was out of context.
6. Last but not the least, we had the keynote talk by Coca Cola head, Venkatesh Kini, who shamelessly held a coke bottle throughout his speech (and I was later told he has been doing it for last 10-15 years at all events). But what he talked about was well worth the evening spend - using digital media for engagement, running offline campaigns, Coke studio for connecting to the selfie and millennial generation.

I am trying to be as selective for the events I go to, and wish more quality emerges from the quantity floating around. Check out the slideshow of the few pics I took on and off stage. And do visit www.gimw.in for being a part of the next big event we are planning for you!