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Goafest: When Kids Beat Adults At Games

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Topis, pagdis, jaimala and band baaja. It may look as though Punjab has moved to Goa, but actually these were ad folk descending on the beach state of Goa creating a total brand baaja barat scenario.

The 9th edition of Goafest drummed up a fair bit of exuberance on the opening day with everybody celebrating the wedding theme of talent marrying trophy.  Despite several agencies staying away from the awards, the event has seen 1,700 delegates registering, much to the relief of the organisers.

On day one, it was a bunch of young kids who completely stole the show and taught the delegates a thing or two about marketing. India's youngest app developers, school going kids Shravan and Sanjay Kumaran, who have founded Go Dimensions and created superhit game apps like Catch the cop had the audience whistling at their insights.

"Everybody wants to play, nobody wants to learn," sagely remarked Shravan as he described how their learning apps just did not achieve the popularity of their gaming apps.

Aptly enough, the super kids session followed immediately after a presentation on kids at play in the digital world by Guy Hearn, chief innovation officer , omnicom media group. "Don't teach kids coding but teach them to think creatively, he said pointing out how Asian parents tended to lay more store on functional, cognitive skills and processing skills than creative skills.

Young Shravan and Sanjay Kumaran who took to the stage soon after, took the wind out of Hearn's sails as they described with glee how they learnt coding first - Java et al - and it was rather a passion of theirs. App development came later. It was amusing to see terms like jugaad innovation tripping off the 14 and 12 year olds lips.  Remarkably these kid entrepreneurs are not just prodigies at tech development but in oratory as well!

What do they feed you at home? someone from the audience asked. South India's favourite dish - curd rice, replied Shravan without missing a beat.

After startup marketing wisdom out of the mouth of babes, it was time for a few laughs as the comedy quartet of Tanmay Bhat, Rohan joshi, G Khamba and Ashish Sakya of All India Bakchod  took the stage.  thanks to the comic antics of AIB especially during the elections 2014, India has learnt to laugh at itself. But can brands do the same? Ashish Sakya closed on that challenging note asking, Can brands grow b***s?

Well, in the next couple of days of the adfest we should be able to hear it from the brands.