Thursday, November 24, 2011


By Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer
November 25, 2011

Every last Saturday of March, half of the world is plunged in total darkness.

To date, more than one billion people on the planet have participated in what Leo Burnett calls “HumanKind” act, just one of the network’s creativity- with-a-purpose campaigns that has gone monumental in connecting to consumers or to put it aptly now - to humans.

Leo Burnett Sydney originally conceived Earth Hour in 2007 in collaboration with its client World Wildlife Fund.

A year after its successful launching, 94 Burnett offices around the world began a festive tradition.

“When people participate and the whole population share in a good purpose, it is effective creativity at work,” said Mark Tutssel, Leo Burnett Global Chief Creative Officer.

“We are in the business of humanizing creativity,” that’s how far as Mark Tutssel is concerned if you ask him about advertising beyond the usual practice.

Cannes Grand Prix Lion winner and awarded with about 24 other Lions, Tutsell was in Manila last week as one of Ad Congress’ stellar speakers.

He spoke about “Effective Populism,” a worldwide Leo Burnett advertising mantra that is helping change the way some of the world’s best brands talk to their target audience.

“As brands have purpose, we are one with that purpose, “ he said.

That purpose is helping the network gain more stars to its stature as one of today’s most creative and effective brand builders.

“We are in people’s business, therefore, we focus on people,” Tutssel said.

The man who initiated the agency’s innovative and first-in-the-industry Global Product Committee (quarterly creative review), Tutssel said every Burnett office creates advertising that zeroes in on how people behave.

He kept stressing: “We need a human purpose communicated in real time, not just a branding purpose. At Burnett, we involve people and create human interest so that a greater community can participate and respond to it.”

Tutssel explicitly mentioned Burnett’s 4Ps: People, Purpose, Participation and Populism, to demonstrate why they’re important in changing behaviors.

“In McDonald’s, for example, we are not selling burgers, fries, or sundaes. We are selling a great, clean and fun place where everyone can have simple enjoyment,” he stresses.

Following his line of thinking, brands should sell products in their totality. They should sell the intangible, not just the obvious, according to Tutssel.

Shangrila, for example, shouldn’t just be selling a room for the night. It should sell the pleasure of personally taking care of someone and embracing him or her as its own.

Heinz shouldn’t sell us just a bottle of catsup - but a pleasurable morning with a meal enhanced by a honest-to-goodness sauce made only from freshly grown tomatoes.

Coca Cola shouldn’t sell us just a bottle of softdrink but simple happiness in every which way.

Mercedes Benz shouldn’t just be selling us a vehicle. It should sell us the future of automobile.

Tutssel pointed to his heart as he talked about the co-relation of creativity between greater effectivity.

He laments about brands that are only advertising, and making people merely passive receivers of messages, unengaging and talking coldly.

“People respond when we talk to them like people. When we behave like humans, we effect change and they change their behavior,” he said.

He also said that more than ever today, agencies should go beyond and advertise the brand’s higher purpose of existence, serve long term, make their advertising more humanly stimulating, engaging, entertaining, and most of all, relevant.

When a brand is embraced by all, loved by all and shared by all, that is Effective Populism, creativity focusing on people.

People’s fun place, people’s hotel, people’s catsup, people’s cola, people’s car, people’s camera. For a brand to become popular with people, there’s an easy formula. Talk to people like real people do.


Tutssel made Canon 2010 DLSR Camera a fine example of how a technology-driven brand can be engaging other than cold and boring.

To crack the brief, Burnett’s Sydney’s team focused on why people do photography.
They found out that people wanted to share like how people do on Facebook and other social media - they want to be involved and they want to do an active part.

To create buzz and critical mass, Canon encouraged people to take a photo and select a detail that then served as inspiration for the next photograph, taken by another photographer. The photo chain became bigger and longer, photographers uploaded their pictures and created photo chains.

"It started from a simple human insight -- people are interested in photography and not ... technology, and they're interested in inspiration," said Cannes jury President Laura Desmond, global CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group. "It was a terrific way of connecting people to people and inspiring them to share.”

The results were mind-boggling, creating a tsunami of awards: Cannes Grand Prix Lion and six other Lions, One Show, Clio and a dizzying performance in Spike Asia last year.

Leo Burnett took home a total of 40 Spike awards including two coveted Grand Prix, four Gold, 10 Silver and 24 Bronze. Leo Burnett Sydney scooped the prestigious Grand Prix awards. Out of the four Gold Spikes, two were also awarded to Canon EOS. The other two Gold Spikes were won by Leo Burnett Hong Kong and Leo Burnett Shanghai.

Eleven Leo Burnett offices – Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Mumbai, Sydney, Manila, Guangzhou, Melbourne, Singapore, Tokyo, and Bangkok contributed to the impressive haul.


Asked what’s his definition of a great campaign, Tutssel replies: “It should be mesmerizing, must have rewatchability, you’d want to see it again and again, can spread anywhere without borders and must build a brand, that’s the hallmark of a great campaign.”

As Burtnett’s Global Chief Creative Officer, Tutssell loves to roll up his sleeves during ideation process playing coach. He wants to get the best out of people and wants people to get the best out of him.

Tutsell is one who doesn’t pigeonhole a talent as copy or art-based. His only concern is what people can contribute and to explore different talents from different culture.

Along with Leo Burnett Worldwide Chairman and CEO Tom Bernardin, Tutssel wrote a book titled “HumanKind” which touches on the network’s new world thinking and human purpose of creativity.

Identified early on by Miguel Angel Furones, formerly worldwide CCO, as the network’s creative leader of the future, Tutssel joined Leo Burnett USA in 2002.

Prior to that, Tutssel served as executive creative director of Leo Burnett London. Under him, the agency became number 1 creative agency in the UK, most awarded agency in Cannes and the world in 2001.

He has chaired and served on a number of prestigious awards juries including Cannes, Clios, D&AD, One Show, ANDY and ADDY Awards, Eurobest, YoungGuns and SpikeAsia.

Tutssel is also known for his fearless Annual Cannes Predictions, a collection of probable Cannes Lion winners monitored from global and local award shows displaying “out-of-the-box, genre-defying and brilliant future-facing efforts.”

Last year, the 40 campaigns he and his Burnett team handpicked went on to win 90 Lions, including 11 of the 15 Grand Prix, one Titanium, 32 Gold, 29 Silver and 27 Bronze Lions

(The author personally interviewed Mark Tutssel prior to the latter’s Ad Congress speaking engagement in CamSur last November 18, 2011).

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.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

HOW TO MAKE A "BENTA" (Conclusion)

by Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer
November 11, 2011

In social media, the word “Benta” is cool, meaning everyone, especially the young, likes your joke.

The word your neighbor sari-sari-store owner only knew is now coated with approbations, dusted with sweet meanings.

“Benta” is an idea sold and retold.

On Facebook, it is a validation that your comments made sense and things you posted moved people to click the “like” button.

On Twitter, it’s an opinion you made and people ticked it as their “favorite”, retweeted and passed on.

In your favorite bookstores, the word is part of Greg Macabenta’s book title, quietly sitting on top of a turn-of-the-century Filipino salesman on the cover, doing, what else, making a sales pitch.

The title is highlighted with a different color tone to make the word pun rise above the seemingly plain Advertising 101 phrase. It’s actually very clever. Look closely.
It’s by fate’s design that Greg Macabenta got into advertising. He did not gate crash into it like many did. As in “Slumdog Millionaire,” the Oscar-winning movie said, it was written.

Thus, the book, after a fruitful, colorful, rollercoaster career ride replete with dramatic moments - was written, engagingly, rambunctiously funny, peppered with local brand case studies that are easy-to-read.

The book’s full of anecdotes, funny and poignant, insightful and revealing, and most of all, filled with accurate accounts of events in Philippine advertising during one its most unforgettable days.

Why The Book?

“When I landed my first ad agency job, there were no advertising schools in Manila, not even Masscom as a course.

We all had to learn the business through trial and error. Making up solutions to problems others had not encountered before,” Macabenta said in his book.

To those who think winning awards is the be-all and end-all of advertising, they better read Macabenta’s book.

To those who are prone to doing campaigns without solid marketing backgrounds and well-thought of strategies to back them up, Macabenta has these to say:

“Advertising is a job for the streetwise. Books can feed you theories and principles but unless you’ve taken a ride in a sales truck, smelled the stink in ‘palengkes’, listened to tens of thousands consumers, seen your copy demolished by harsh realities of the marketplace, twisted the arms of media reps, and matched wits with a savvy competitor, you don’t really know what advertising is all about.”

Well said by the battle-tested and formidable marketing warrior.

Are you a freshman in advertising? Are you the jaded adman who’s only worked within the confines of your ad agency walls and never ever really felt what it’s like marketing in the dingy side of Divisoria and other similar markets?

Lest anyone think that everything in Macabenta’s book has no value in today’s digital age and ever-exploding social media, he’ll be proven wrong.

From beginning to end, Macabenta’s invaluable insights are very relevant in the context of the 21st century and beyond.

For the disciplines he has experienced and learned in the past, and he’s now sharing are the same principles - “as valid today as they were several decades ago.”

Funnyman Macabenta explains another reason why he wrote the book.

It is to honor advertising’s unsung heroes whose people he referred to as ghosts - because they don’t carry bylines like journalists, columnists, book authors, poets and painters do.

While he said paintings carry the artist’s signature, a musical piece bears the composer’s and lyricist’s names, advertising people are “like speech writers consigned to anonymity”.

Macabenta writes it not only for himself but as a tribute to “the crazy, creative, driven, flighty, sober, soused, incomparable and unforgettable folks who populate the ad industry – men and women, and variations, thereof, for whom I have the greatest affection and to whom this book is dedicated.”

Macabenta Who?

For those who only know advertising as “Kidlat Awards”, a yearly gig and booze in the white sandy beaches of Boracay, and Ad Congress every two years, Macabenta is known for his biting wit and mastery of satire.

He worked in broadcast production, copy, creative direction, account management, PR and general management before becoming president and CEO of Advertising & Marketing Associates (predecessor of DDB), one of the top 5 ad agencies in the Philippines during its heyday.

He was president of the Philippine 4A’s and chairman of Ad Congress before he immigrated to the U.S. in the late 80's to set up his own agency, Minority Media Services, now considered one of the pioneers in ethnic marketing in the U.S.

“How To Make A Benta” is the author’s first book, full of his trademark irreverent humor, garnished with revealing stories culled from real trade practices and situations.

“It is a virtual history of the advertising industry over the past half century,” according to one of advertising’s most respected chairmen.

Students of marketing, advertising, communications and public relations will find it a “rich source of insights, as well as a nostalgic treat for veterans of the advertising wars”.

Macabenta’s legacy to advertising lists as follows:

Milo "Olympic Energy", where he and his team used conventional and guerilla strategies and tactics to wrest market leadership from Ovaltine

Nescafé "Great Cities of the World," one of Nestlé's most successful coffee campaigns that kept the brand dominant in the Philippine market

When Philippine ad agencies could hardly land on Clio finalists’ list, Macabenta’s Milkmaid "Grow Tall Little Man" garnered two Clio certificates, an All-Japan commercial competition trophy and an Award of Excellence in the Philippine Ad Congress, and made a film star out of Niño Muhlach.

He created "World's Number One Child," an ordinary product claim into a powerful selling proposition, thus solidly reinforcing the brand's market leadership in the face of strong competition onslaught.

In, Macabenta shares his out-of-the-box approach to creativity, positioning, niche marketing and media strategy - the highlight of which was a Gold Effie for the most effective non-English campaign in the US, winning it for Wells Fargo ATM Remittance Account launch.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


by Roger Pe
November 4, 2011, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Who could forget Storck, called the Philippines’ ultimate menthol candy, staple of cigarette smokers on the streets?

People who smoke loved its cool, throat mentholating sensation. It was like a mouthwash in candy form, hugely popular, found and sold everywhere.

You see this candy in bowls during corporate boardroom meetings. You see it in group discussions, get-togethers or simple gatherings.

Storck Menthol Candy’s distribution is an excellent case study. The critical mass that it has built from lean years to heyday was nothing short of massive.

You see them sold across all channels - from wholesalers to retailers down to ambulant peddlers. It was even exported to the US mainland.

In busy areas, it was a phenomenon why ambulant vendors didn’t want to carry other candy brands other than Storck, proof of its wild popularity and acceptance.

On the street, in concerts, moviehouse snack kiosks, parks, school and office canteens, Storck was there.

In bright green twist wrapper, Storck was following you like your own shadow so much so that it overshadowed its nearest competition by a distant mile.

To quote it’s long-time advertising campaign tagline, “Storck, masarap kasama” (good company).

What happened?

In August 1996, Los Angeles Times published an article and to quote:

“Consumers were warned not to eat a menthol candy imported from the Philippines, after tests showed that the wrappers contain dangerously high levels of lead, according to officials of U.S. Drug Administration.

Sadly for Storck, the item was very damaging.

Republic Biscuit Corporation (Rebisco), owned by businessman Jacinto Ng, bought 60% of Storck Products Incorporated, maker of the candy, for an undisclosed amount and took control over the company licensed to produce it locally.

In the ensuing story, Storck would stage a comeback and reborne as Starr, its new name with conspicuously almost identical packaging.

SPI also manufactured Lipps, California Fruits candies, Bazooka and Judge bubble gums.


If Storck was the king of menthol candies, White Rabbit was the queen of toffy version.
The sweet, chewable, nougat candy was also a favorite among kids, teens and adults.

Like Storck, it made its presence in boardroom meetings, jam sessions, soirees, parties, political campaign sorties, fiesta time “palosebo” games and Halloween Trick or Treats.

“White Rabbit was my comfort candy, said a neighbor. “It was my sweet bird of youth, “ said a successful doctor. A former athlete with a sweet tooth said it was her ‘pampaalis ng suya” (brightens my day) after a hard day’s grinding training.

But just like Storck, White Rabbit was slapped by frightening warnings from Philippine Bureau of Food and Drugs Administration, (BFAD).

Wikipedia chronicled an incident in July 2007: “BFAD claimed that four imported foods made in China contained formalin and should be recalled.”

One of those listed was White Rabbit. The brand, however contested the findings saying: “counterfeit candies, known to exist in the Philippines, might have been the real culprits.”

White Rabbit exhausted all efforts to defend the brand after it presented an independent report by the Shanghai affiliate of the Swiss-based SGS Group - the world's largest inspection and testing company.

The document argued that samples of candy, “ready to be exported overseas,” contained no toxic substances.

Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore also supported the former’s findings, conducted tests on their own and found the candy safe for consumption.

On July 24, 2007, however, the local Philippine distributor of White Rabbit, Cheng Ban Yek & Company bowed to the BFAD recall order.

In 2009, White Rabbit was reincarnated as Golden Rabbit, returning to the market after undergoing a name change.

To avoid the market stigma stained by the White Rabbit name, Golden Rabbit candy used milk from Australia instead of China.

Meanwhile, Candyman Philippines, manufaturer of local White Rabbit candies, which were not as soft as those that were imported from China, said their candies were safe and free of formalin compared to its Chinese sibling.

The company even opened its factory doors to media to clarify reports about the BFAD pullout order.

“Candyman complained that TV networks mistook the locally manufactured White Rabbit from China made candies.

The company also called on BFAD to be clear with its announcements because it severely affected its candy business.”

It was part and parcel of every kid’s growing up years during the 60s till the 80s.

Bazooka was a gum made by Topps, the company based in New York since 1953. It was available in Strawberry Shake, Cherry Berry, Watermelon Whirl and Grape Rage but was only sold as one-flavored gum in the country.

A bestseller among kids, it became all the more popular because of a comic strip found inside the wrapper whom many die-hard fans collected all.

The selling gimmick was a big hit, largely because of the comic strip’s main character hero – Bazooka Joe.

Bazooka’s success spawned a number of clones, among them Bolero and Big Boy Bubble. It would face a much tougher competition with the entry of Tarzan.


If you grew up in the mid 60s, this bubble gum can’t be missed.

And If Bazooka had comic strip for avid fans, this one had playing cards, featuring Tarzan and his exploits, all in 66 colors accompanying each set.

There are still avid collectors of Tarzan cards today and each set has become hot collectors’ items.

Tarzan was wrapped in multi-colored wrappers – purple, green, red, orange and other colors. They cost only 25 centavo each during that time.

The flavor was strong and lingered long before the gum had been chewed away from continuous puffing.

“My favorite candy was Regal Crown Sours,” said Joel Villaflor, a Fil-Am creative guy and a Manila entrepreneur.

“Back in the mid 60's, my Dad use to surprise me with a roll he would pull from his pocket. Just the thought of those candies makes my jaw painful. All I could find was its photo from Ebay now. I'm guessing someone has a vintage roll left. They were individually wrapped sour candies wrapped in wax paper. They were perhaps my first introduction to "sour" kind of candies long before they became popular. I suspect they are now literally extinct,” he said.

WikiPilipinas, Philippine Candy and Nostalgia Filipina list other candies:

Chivarly Pusit, known for its rubbery texture but sweet flavor
Pom-poms, available in a white box featuring balls of chocolate-covered caramel candy
Serg's, famous for its chocolatey goodness
Señorita candy balls, sugar-coated, the sweet and sour lemony goodness was unforgettable
Sugar Daddy, easy for chewing because of its caramel goodness
Butter Ball, everyone’s darling because of its rich butter flavor
Horlicks – Creamy, chocolatey oval shaped goodness
Milk Duds, Also a runaway favorite
Curly Tops, the chocolate teens love to gift their friends during Christmas
Caramel Candy, toffee-like goodness and kids’ favorite
Chocobot, a Choc Nut wanabe with a strange name that faded gently into the night and did not survive