Thursday, November 17, 2011


by Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer
November 18, 2011

We are talking about brands that make our lives a little better and ads that are not just art, but sharper than ever before - more effective in making the bottom lines.

As the 22nd Ad Congress comes to a close tomorrow, we hope that the event’s call for “Change the Game” not remain a passive, lonely, meaningless slogan up there beside the ubiquitous logo – reverberating for one week, forgotten the next.

Today is a game-changing moment.

Ad Congress delegates must believe that it is not just a convention of ad agencies but learning to adapt to new changes that have begun.

Today, we ask if we’re in synch with marketers’ brand building efforts, expanding and shifting media options, embracing global trends, or even mentoring communication students who are going to take their turn in the next few years.

Today, we want to call it The Brand Congress.

Advertising denizens should believe that times have changed and come to terms that this every-other-year love affair is about building brands no matter how new things have surfaced.

In today’s world of apps, tablets and amazing innovations in new media, our aim is to make brands stand the test of time.

Our role is to make creative but also effective advertising.

We are stressing creative because it is given and not to be asked for. That we are in the business of creativity means nobody should remind us to be more inventive than the usual other than ourselves.

When we champion creativity, we move as the world moves, not get stuck to the old and passé. Creativity is encompassing whatever the medium. Creativity means creativity in every facet of marketing. It is brand responsibility.

“It must be able to connect to consumers to be meaningful,” as Margot Torres, McDonald’s VP for Marketing keeps on saying.

As we all know, that creativity is just a means to drive home the point - arrive at the final destination: to sell.

While selling is an art, our goods shouldn’t look like works mounted in art galleries. We are not selling works created from abstract strategies and marketing backgrounds that offer no unique selling propositions.

We are not a rehash of previous award-winning campaigns, either.

When we keep repeating the words “to sell” and do effective advertising, we don’t mean that we choke our advertising with loads of product freights that they indundate even Lago del Ray. We should believe that moderation is a class act.

While consumers love to be told and wooed, today’s audience is no longer an audience, listeners are not just listeners. Certainly, they’re not morons.

The days when ad congresses were exclusive for creative people are gone. Today is collaboration day and that’s part of changing the game.
The days when advertisers and clients emptied the awards night because they thought the winning ads were ‘irrelevant, self-serving, made a few days away from entry deadline and only bored and insomniac people saw them ran’.

The weekend for celebrating creativity with a purpose should be once more savored. It should not be relegated as the eternal runner-up in any marketing task.

It should not end tomorrow night but continuously experienced regardless of boardroom catfights when you, all dear delegates, trek back home.

Make Ad Congresses and Festivals Relevant

Cannes was once the domain of the very best and most creative advertising in the world – putting less or zilch emphasis on market performance.

Not anymore. The world’s largest and probably the longest advertising festival, now deems it mandatory.

Two years ago at the Subic Ad Congress, the competition committee required entries to be backed up by market results, more so in integrated campaign category.

This year in Camsur, market results are prerequisite in almost half of all categories.

Last June, Cannes launched the Creative-Effectiveness Lion, in response to insistent global clamor: make awards relevant and reward creative but effective advertising.

As the winds of change kept blowing, Creative Effectiveness Lions debuted with 142 entries from 33 countries. The goal: probe if indeed, creative winners the year preceding actually worked in their respective marketplaces.

Here’s the rub: to be eligible for a Creative Effectiveness award, entries had to be either shortlisted or a Lion winner at the 2010 festival.

The category had the biggest client presence in a single jury, with global marketers from US, Europe and Asia and Brazil.

The 20-man jury head was Jean-Marie Dru, TBWA Worldwide chair and 50% of the judging criteria were split evenly between strategy and idea.

The new category honored creativity that affected consumer behavior, brand equity, shown a measurable and proven impact on a client's business via sales and profit.

USA had the most number of entries with 27, followed by UK with 17. Germany had nine, Australia eight, and India and Brazil with seven each.

Southeast Asia, one of the most prolific Cannes winners in the last 7 years, surprisingly had little or no entries at all.

The Grand Prix went to Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO London for its work on Walkers Potato Chips using a solid PR strategy, combining traditional and social media and engaged millions of people across Britain.

The campaign earned 1.6 million views on youtube, generated more than $5 million worth of media coverage and helped boost sales by 15 percent. No gold, silver or bronze winners were declared but Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions were given to the following:

• Leo Burnett, London, for McDonald's ("There's a McDonald's for Everyone")

• Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, for Old Spice Body Wash ("The Man Your Man Could Smell Like")

• Colenso BBDO, Auckland, New Zealand, for TVNZ television show “The Pacific”

• BBDO, Mumbai, for Procter & Gamble's Gillette Mach3 ("W.A.L.S. - Women Against Lazy Stubble")

• BBDO, New York, for Snickers ("You're Not You When You're Hungry")

How Times Have Changed

People used to gosh over ‘award-winning’ ads even if they were recycled from old campaigns, clients didn’t approve them, and impressionable young admen, in a hurry to make it to the top, became like them.

Do people still adore them like rock stars today? The answer could be ego shattering.
On Ad Age, this week, Bart Cleveland, partner and creative director at McKee Wallwork Cleveland, wrote and asked: “Are we not frustrated by the fact that we are no longer considered as important to our clients as we once were?”

He recommended to those who are involved in brand building to make transition fast in getting the job done and spend more time becoming more valuable to marketers.