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What would have been a great excuse to say to your boss you need to go to Bali for during an extremely busy work week? If you said the 2012 APMF, you’re most probably a great candidate for a lawyer because that would be the perfect alibi.

 

The conference opened with a stunning modern Balinese dance infused with multitude amount of laser beam show with a 30 meter wide multimedia screen that made the whole performance looked like something out of a George Lucas’ movie.  Having said that, the hardest thing was giving it your undivided attention inside the freezing conference room when you can hear the sunny breeze calling out your name outside.

 

Mystical Balinese dance infused with modern technology. East meets west?

 

Ibu Mari Pangestu kicked off the 3-day conference with a substantial speech. She pointed out the year 2012 as an excellent time to be catering the needs of the noticeably growing middle class group.  And sure enough, here are why:

 

We all know for a fact that the worldwide economic downturn has little effect on China, one of the reasons being China’s capability in generating a huge domestic demand.  Indonesia being the 3rd largest country in Asia right after China and India certainly presents us similar benefit currently enjoyed by China. The rapidly growing Indonesian middle incomers are now willing to pay more for quality goods and services. 125 million people travel an average of two trips yearly. A staggering number of 99% mobile device penetration nationwide and 200% for Jakarta are enough to draw us a picture what of our marketing and communication landscape will look like.

 

 

Ibu Mari Pangestu opened and set the tone of the conference with the right note. Well done Ibu!

 

Technology infrastructure however, is not progressing as well as expected. Thus only enabling 1,6% of GDP contribution by the internet, with a forecast of 2.5% next year. While TV still dominates consumption, potential growth for the internet is expected to explode exponentially.

 

Given her tight schedule, I would be more than happy if the minister is able to lend even 50% of her support to the creative industry. Yeah, we honestly needed that support.

 

Another speaker that caught my attention came as a surprise as his appearance was completely unannounced in the program schedule.  Enter Kevin Kelly, a world-renowned technology visionary man who co-founded Wired magazine. When this man talks, people listen. So yeah, this time I would rather stay in the freezing room and pay some attention to him. Few things he elaborated that are still stuck in my head today is that the internet is a copying machine, everything that we can touch will be copied indiscriminately, but trust cannot be copied, it has to be generated in a relationship.

 

Kevin Kelly, APMF2012.

Kevin Kelly's inspirational perspective was the the only thing that kept most of us from making an early exit for the beach.

 

For 7,000 days since 1990, no one would have ever thought we would be looking at the sport score, weather forecast, and other really meaningful contents on the internet for absolutely free. There really wasn’t an economic model to justify that, but here we have them right before our eyes anyway. If that evolution happened in only 7,000 days, imagine where the next 7,000 days would take us.

 

In a nutshell, the conference was not about showcasing the latest award winning international advertising campaign, but what it did was setting the pace and direction of what advertising agencies and media should formulate for the next 2 years.  TV will not die anytime soon, not in my lifetime anyway, but seamless integration with an array of digital mediums will become one of the key factors in determining the success of a brand campaign.

 

Needless to say, I’d like to thank the committee for flying in some very inspirational speakers.  So, now at least you know what excuse to say to your boss when the next APMF hits the town.

 

See you all in Bali in 2014.

 

 

photo credit: Jerry S. Justianto