Saturday, March 23, 2013


by Roger Pe

Your ad is creative but is it effective?

Your ad won awards but did it display breakthrough marketing plan inventiveness?

At the prestigious AME (Advertising and Marketing Effectiveness) Awards in New York last March 22, the Philippines won gold for the first time for an ad created by DDB Philippines.

The agency’s entry “Pacquiao Positive” for PepsiCo’s Sting Energy Power Pacq Drink bested entries from 27 countries in the new product launch category. The ad used multi-titled world boxing champion Manny Paquiao as celebrity endorser.

In March of 2012, the campaign took social media by storm through fake articles that attacked Manny Pacquiao’s clean, steroid-free image.

What ensued was an online melee. Thousands of Pacquiao’s supporters and detractors took turns in hurling brickbats against each other.

Within 48 hours, Manny Pacquiao made a simultaneous appearance on major TV channels to answer all allegations.

Millions of Filipinos froze in disbelief as a somber Pacquiao admitted to testing positive - for “Malunggay”, a Moringa plant species that is, the nutritious key ingredient of Sting PowerPacq Energy Drink.

The effort led to 24 millions cases sold in just one month, and exceeded top-of-mind awareness expectations.

“This is a big win for the agency and the entire DDB network,” said Gil Chua, Chairman of DDB Group Philippines.

“Ever since our early beginnings, we’ve always believed in creativity that sells. It’s not just about being creative. We need to continuously strive for results that will propel our clients’ business, and in return ours as well.”

The campaign previously won two golds in “Tinta Awards” organized by UPMG (United Print Media Group) and a bronze in Spikes Asia.

Chua credits his hardworking team for the landmark achievement: Joey Ong, Executive Creative Director; Vina Henson, Client Services Director; Denise Banatin, Account Supervisor; Jackie Caruyan, Account Manager; Patrick Miciano, Mon Pineda, Cardy Santos, Associate Creative Directors; Denise Nicole Oyog, Copywriter; Kelvin Co, Art Director; Eric Salazar, Creative Director, Gomer Barce, Art Director.

McCann Worldgroup Philippines also bagged silver and 3 bronzes, all for its Coke corporate “The OFW Project” and TBWA-Santiago, Mangada and Puno brought home 2 bronzes for its Energizer and Boysen campaigns.

AME came into the picture in 1994 understanding that there is more to just making an ad and winning an award for creativity’s sake.

Since then, it has become the ad and marketing industry’s Oscars, honoring work from around the globe that demonstrates groundbreaking solutions to challenging marketing problems.

Unique awards show

Submissions for AME Awards require the following: entries must address a challenge in the marketplace, utilize outstanding creative elements, incorporate a thorough marketing plan to deliver a successful execution, exhibit specific marketing goals and objectives accomplished through creative execution and strategic planning.

The Grand Jury is comprised of top interactive and multidisciplinary marketers, media planners, strategy directors, social media experts, and creative directors from all over the world.

The first two rounds of judging is divided by regions, (North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Asia Pacific), allowing each entry to be reviewed in its social, economic, and cultural context to determine the shortlist and medal winners.

The Grand AME Award also went to another DDB agency – DDB Tribal, Germany. Other DDB countries like Canada and Hongkong contributed to the total medal, making DDB bag the Most Effective Agency Network of the Year.

A total of 27 countries submitted entries for brands including CNN International, Volkswagen, DuPont, Intel, Bench, Cornetto, among others.

This year, a robust number of entries were entered using celebrity interaction, interactive consumer participation, promotions, environment and cause-theme marketing.

Celebrity-focused campaigns propelled multiple entries to the medal round, punctuating once more that they work effectively in bringing sales.

Lady Gaga, Karl Lagerfeld, Sir Richard Branson, local stars Piolo Pascual and Coco Martin, Christopher Lloyd, Terry Crewes, Ashton Kutcher and British comics Stephen Fry and Jimmy Carr were some of the celebrity endorsers in the entries.

Entries in the Social Benefit categories concentrated on brand initiatives that contributed to the greater good including green-themed “The Donation Army” by Ogilvy Germany for OroVerde Rainforest Foundation; Heimat Werbeagentur GmbH’s “CNN Ecosphere”; and TBWA\Santiago Mangada Puno’s campaign “KNOxOUT Project: EDSA” for Boysen Knoxout.

The United States had 15 shortlisted entries; the Philippines with 9; Hong Kong 7; England 5; Canada, and France each with 4; China and Sweden each with 2; and Denmark, Egypt, Japan, Malaysia, and UAE were each recognized with 1.

How to make your ad effective

Ads are very expensive. It’s worth paying a professional ad agency with a great creative team to avoid waste of money.

A few tips on how to make them rise above the clutter:

1. Be single-minded. De-clutter
and focus on one proposition (key message). Avoid
repetitive, meaningless phrases that
make you redundant

2. Execute your message in an unexpected manner. Craftmanship is key. Be a wordsmith. Catchy lines make ads memorable

3. There are no hard and fast rules
in using short or long copy to explain
your product. As long as you
give it a kickass art direction, it will

4. Use the power of imagery to deliver
your message. Make it high
definition if possible. Remember,
a great picture speaks a
thousand words

5. Don’t beat around the bush.
Focus on what makes you distinct
from other similar products and
say why. Give compelling reasons why
consumers would believe you.

6. Be original. Don’t be a clone.
Don’t parrot what competition is
already doing.

7. Don’t over-explain that you sound
like a broken record.

8. Be definitive on who you are talking
to. Don’t talk down that you
may offend. Talk real based
on consumer insights.

9. Plan weeks ahead and know when and where your targets are most receptive to your ad campaign.

10. Make sure all things mentioned above take effect today and the rest will follow.

Recent changes in the advertising landscape have given a new definition to the word “effective” however.

“Effective” now means bombarding each ad with hard sell messages, the heavier product freights are, the more they think the ad would sell.

The word also dictates that creators of ads use big price bubbles to catch attention.

Sadly, it is not the case. The ad becomes cluttered, full of dizzying elements, suffocated by words and images that defy balance.

Eager to convince their target, the focus dissipates. With too many things filling up the ad from top to bottom, it is bound to produce neither well-intended goals.

Studies have shown that clutter in ads reduces effectiveness, insults the viewer and degrades brands. Is the consumer too dumb he doesn’t get it?

According to a survey made by Burst Media in the US, nearly 30% will refuse to read a cluttered ad and immediately turn to the next page of a newspaper if they see one.

It’s also true in digital media. Just as there are well-produced ads, there are also those that you don’t even bother to look at when you’re browsing.

The same number of respondents said they will leave a website if they perceive it to be cluttered with ads. More than 75% of those who remain on cluttered sites will also pay less attention to the ads unless they are entertaining and make sense.

It is not hard to spot a cluttered ad

“We see ads on newspapers everyday, saying too many things they compete with the news themselves,” says a marketing director known for his top-selling brands.

Some even camouflage a newspaper’s persona just to get attention. Some even make it appear that it is a section of a favorite broadsheet.

He advises admakers to sound real when they do an ad. “Be inventive, don’t write an ad like you lifted the messages straight out of strategy document of a manufacturer,” he says.

The Burst Media survey reveals further:

“Content clutter hurts the reputation of parties that produce them. The way an ad is produced has an impact on consumers’ perceptions of an advertiser’s products and services.”

Half of all respondents surveyed had less favorable opinion of advertisers that produced cluttered advertising and placed them on cluttered media.

“A cluttered ad is a waste of client’s money. Take a closer look and sweep unnecessary communication debris off them,” a 4A’s director says.