Thursday, December 29, 2011


by Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 30, 2011

Whoever dares give away pillows to sleepy commuters on a stressful, exhausting day?

Who’ll dare dress up bus stops and metro stations to show what a furniture store can do?

This Swedish retailer is a cult word.

Too bad Filipinos have to fly to Hongkong to experience how it is to shop at this “one-stop sanctuary curator of people’s lifestyles,” as one fanatic calls it.

Even Kuala Lumpur has an exclusive wing of a giant mall, all four story modern warehouse, devoted to the entire brand famous all over the world for its chic and contemporary designs.

Tasteful, unconventional advertising, low prices and wacky promotions have earned Ikea more than 50 Cannes Lions.

It was 2010 Advertiser of the Year in the same award show, an honor that has become today as significant as winning the Grand Prix.

Nike, on the other hand, was Advertiser of the Year for the second time last year in the Clio, Cannes fiercest rival.

The AOY award for both competitions is given to a manufacturer, which tallies the most number of points earned from Grand Prix, gold, silver and bronze wins. Each trophy has equivalent points.

You may think that it is just a mathematical tally of awards. No.

Beyond the metal plate, Clio describes it as an honor given to any advertiser, which “achieves creative leadership and consistently demonstrated a commitment to innovation in advertising.”

Cannes calls it a tribute to maverick companies who encourage, nurture and value creativity and inventiveness as the best weapons for selling.

The AOY has become a permanent fixture in Cannes when clients began trickling in to the Mediterranean resort in the mid-90s.

Once an exclusive enclave of creative directors, marketing directors, accounts men, production house directors and just about any person who has a stake in advertising have joined the annual rendezvous.

To lure advertisers and maintain its sparkle as a prestigious global industry award-giving body,
Clio, the Oscars of advertising, also embraced the AOY idea, handing out the award beginning in 2001.

The Philippines’ Ad Congress “Araw” awards couldn’t be left behind and also adopted the same format.

And this year’s winner is, Nestle Philippines.


At Ad Congress’ penultimate day, the food and dairy company hauled 5 Gold, 10 Silver and 14 Bronze “Araw” awards to upstage some of the country’s heaviest adspenders.

Earlier this year, Nestle celebrated its 100th anniversary in the country with a tv spot made by Publicis-Manila, its AOR (Agency on Record).

An ambitious project followed suit – a 100-minute anthology of 10 short films, filmed by the best Filipino directors and cameramen who have done Nestle commercials in the past.

Each short film featured a Nestlé brand unobtrusively woven seamlessly into the film without the usual hard sell.

SM Theatres in Manila and in selected urban centers showed the film, which also made a rousing debut in Cannes last June.

Business Friday interviewed Matec Villanueva, Chairman of Publicis Manila and Sandra Puno, Nestle Senior Vice-President and Director of Communications:

BF: Give 5 great reasons why Nestle should be named Advertiser of the Year – not only by Ad Congress standards but also by the marketing industry as a whole.

Matec Villanueva: 1. It dominates almost all the categories it competes in.

2. It serves as the benchmark company for competitors.

3. Although its brands are global, they respect and understand, knowing and accepting that “local” will be the point of difference.

4. They take the word partnership to heart, whether it’s with the consumer or business partners.

5. They are downright decent.

Sandra Puno: 1. For brand ads that aim to inspire

2. Campaigns that celebrate the joy and value of being Pinoy and being part of the Pinoy family

3. Work that showcased the extraordinary creative talent of people in our industry: the producers, the talents, the production crew, the sound and lights engineers, the make-up artist, media practitioners, etc.

4.Kasambuhay Habambuhay films that got so many ad industry people involved, excited and happy

5.Storytelling done the advertising way – brief, concise and straight to the heart.

BF: Why is Nestle such a wholesome name?

SP: Nestlé takes to heart its commitment to put consumers at the heart of what we do. Nestlé lives by its mission to continually help nourish Filipino families in the next 100 years as it has done so the past 100 years.

The wholesome image is likely a result of the positive experience consumers have had with its quality products through the years.

The communication also works at ensuring strict adherence to the company’s core values, its business and communication principles.

BF: What is Nestle’s most challenging but successful encounter this year and how you and your team managed to pull it off?

MV: The centennial project was a killer. When it was crunch time, good relationships in the past served as the strong glue that kept us from breaking apart.

SP: To come up with a Centennial celebration that our consumers and their families would feel very much a part of. It was as simple as listening to our consumers.

The consumers will always be the source of inspiration. With the outstanding creativity of our agency, they were able to translate the consumer sentiment into projects that then inspired so many of us.

BF: The general perception, or reality is, Publicis is very well liked by Nestle. Why do you think so and what is Publicis’ competitive edge?

MV: Perception is reality (laughs heartily).

Harmony in a relationship happens when both parties deliver on the expectations. And we make it a point that we do deliver on what is expected of us and that is communications that help sell the brand and nurture the brand’s health. That is our role in Nestle.

We have 4 advantages: Solid insighting and strategic planning; business-building creatives and passionate servicing. We understand how our clients’ business runs.

BF: Whom do you wish to thank for this great honor?

SP: Our heartfelt thanks to our Filipino families, our true Kasambuhays, our agencies, without whose support we would not be where we are today. I wish you and your family health and happiness as we celebrate our 100th Christmas. Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon sa inyong lahat: John Martin Miller (Chairman & CEO, Nestlé Philippines)

BF: As early as November, global trade magazines were forecasting a not-so-rosy picture for 2012 adspend, what are your thoughts?

MV: There are bases for the forecast.

Europe’s crazy economic twists and turns, the US’s never-ending recession, natural calamities hurting even the first world countries, etc. At the very least, it is going to be like 2011.

BF: Describe the Villanueva-Rivera tandem partnership (Marlon River is President and Executive Creative Director).

MV: It is a rare creative-account tandem because it works and works well. That is because we share the same business and personal values. Our sense of business was molded during our Basic Advertising days.

The best teachers mentored us: Tony Mercado, Minyong Ordonez and Nonoy Gallardo. We constantly learn from each other. “Tanggap namin ang isa’t isa,” and most importantly, we trust each other, unconditionally.

BF: A few pieces of advice for a great, enduring agency-client relationship?

MV: Clients look for a partner who will do communications that will deliver the business. Be that partner. Understanding and embracing the market realities will help develop better communications.

SP: So many people pay lip service to partnership but it is only true partnership that inspires. Inspiration will then spark creativity and creativity in turn will spark inspiration

Thursday, December 22, 2011


by Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 23, 2011

Now on its second decade of helping the best upcoming talents get the recognition they deserve, YoungGuns International Ad Awards recently announced its global winners for year 2011.

Nina Fides Garcia, a junior Art Director at DDB Philippines, bested hundreds of competitors from all over the world in Illustration category, romping off with 1 Gold and 2 Silver Bullets from the awards show. The win also pushed DDB Philippines to become Agency of the Year in Design.

The award giving body is the only recognized awards competition for young talents below 30 years old, honoring future creative leaders and influencers who will “mould the future and the organizations incubating them”, says organizers and founding members Kristian Barnes, Jason Williams and Michael Kean who are all based in Australia.

The judges included distinguished creative directors, art directors and copywriters from all over the world, about the same field that are invited in prestigious creative competitions worldwide.

“We are deeply honored with this award from YoungGuns. It’s a validation of our undying commitment of nurturing young talents and developing them to excel.
We share the same commitment with YoungGuns,” says DDB Group Philippines Chairman and CEO Gil G. Chua.


by Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 23, 2011

Has it ever occurred to you that visually communicating to an audience is a joy and the results are almost close to magic?

Want to engage more people so intently and hear them gosh with “ohs” and “ahs”?

What if this Christmas season, you can make your own virtual parol and are able to share it with your loved ones on social media? Great fun indeed.

Now you can put an end to boring print ads and presentations. Dazzle your audience!

With Globe’s Augmented Reality (AR), you can now say goodbye to one-dimensional marketing presentations, even in conceptualizing advertising campaigns.
Last December 14, Globe launched a full-page Christmas ad in major broadsheets with a colorful 5-part “Parol” (Christmas lantern) depicting how Filipinos celebrate Christmas in diversity.

The interactive ad allowed the audience to make their own Christmas “parol” and provided instant access for them to share it with their friends in social media.

Want to experience how the magic works? All you need to do is log on to Once you’re there, look for the AR icon made of three small lanterns located at the lower left corner. From there, you’re now ready to feast on a new visual treat.

By trailblazing another amazing first in the country, Globe changes the game and takes print advertising and visual presentations to new heights.

Globe’s AR transforms the way information is communicated. To say the least, Globe makes it in the most exciting way possible.

What exactly is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment in which elements are intensified by computer-generated sensory input (like sound, video or graphics).

It involves layering of computer-generated imageries of the real world as seen through the camera of a smartphone or tablet computer.

In laymen’s terms, how does the AR work?

To jumpstart the use of AR in its marketing campaigns, Globe used the technology on its Christmas campaign entitled “Globe Gets Me”.

To see how it works, simply follow these simple steps:

1. Look for “Globe Gets Me” print ad in any publication
2. Go to this site:
3. Allow the app to access your webcam
4. Point the black-and-white image code (found at the lower corner of the ad) at your webcam and wait for the image to appear

Tip: Don’t point the image too close. You can place the ad on your table and point the webcam down to face the image code so you can rotate it easily.

A most valuable and indispensable tool for marketing communications, Globe’s AR is a fast growing technology.

And the way it engages consumers for a specific product or service, is a wonderful new visual experience.

How’ that for a new visual treat? Want more excitement? Here’s more:

For digital campaigns, Globe AR is amazing. It can drive visual communicators to various social media freeways via the smoothest, most fascinating visual rendezvous ever.

For those who are using redemption-led strategies like couponing for promotion efforts, Globe AR is a tremendous traffic booster, a fact validated by ABI Research forecast: that market for Augmented Reality will reach US$350 million by 2014, in the United States alone.

At the recently concluded Philippine Advertising Congress, Singapore Press Holdings general manager Geoff Tan observed that the use of AR is already prevalent and widely accepted by the Singapore market.

AR is typically seen and used in events, exhibitions and roadshows, point-of-sale programs, interactive installation, website and digital marketing, and mobile marketing and m-commerce solutions.

Where new innovations begin, Globe is at the forefront, once again taking the lead and taking a big pioneering effort to advance technology for the advertising industry.

With AR, Globe hopes to establish a “more personal engagement and intimate affiliations with brands, immersing them through different senses and forge a more robust interaction with its products and services,” said Yoly Crisanto, Head of Globe Corporate Communications.

“Indeed, this is taking technology a notch higher and we are happy that we have made this milestone in the Philippine advertising industry,” she said.

Through the AR-empowered print campaign, Globe joins Filipinos in celebrating the yuletide season in diversity, and the way they connect and communicate with loved ones.

As a brand that lets subscribers enjoy their way, Globe leads with a strong portfolio of innovative, customized and affordable offers that truly enrich the lives of Filipinos, especially this Christmas.

Inventive. Innovative. Exciting. Creative. Globe adapts your way.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


by Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 16, 2011

Beginning January 2012, Filipina Mio Chongson will face the most challenging chapter of her storied advertising career.

She will replace a topnotch expat who’s helped built not only JWT Manila into a formidable international award-winning agency but also one of the most potent forces in making Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi Manila emerge as Philippines’ Agency of the Year (by Campaign Brief Asia ranking) in 2010.

UK-born Matt Seddon, commonly known as “Turnaround Man” will relocate to India as Saatchi & Saatchi CEO after 15 years of energizing the network’s agencies in Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The news about Chongson’s appointment spread like wildfire during the ad industry’s biennial bash at CamSur Ad Congress last November. The announcement came from Ace Saatchi & Saatchi chairman, Arthur Young, Jr.

Into the lion’s den, can Chongson measure up with the post Seddon is vacating, considering that she is not a home grown Saatchi baby, let alone a seemingly coy and sweet young lady?

Make no mistake, judging from her credentials, Chongson is ready to rock or tame, as the case may be, an agency that has bred many of the industry’s creative and management hotshots.

“I am truly excited to be given the opportunity to lead the Ace-Saatchi team, to further inspire an already charged-up creative powerhouse. That will be a fun challenge,” said Chongson on her announcement as the agency’s new COO.

She is currently president of close to 80-member 4A’s (Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies of the Philippines).

By that alone, one should speak highly about Chongson as it is not easy to manage a group of ad agency presidents and managing directors of different molds with different business philosophies.

“She is not a sitting president, she is a doer, an inspiring president who is not only sharp but exudes a lot of positive aura,” says an ad agency president.

Chongson is a hands-on manager of the 4A’s Agency of the Year project, a distinguished annual task to help push the industry’s standards to new heights, and a very proactive council member of Adboard’s Ad Standards Council.

Prior to her Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi post, Chongson is CEO of Blue Bottle, a dynamic independent local agency, which she owned since 2005.

The charming Chongson is proud about the agency she is sad leaving and helped nurture from ground zero.

At the helm, the agency had acquired a measure of respectable roster of accounts, because some clients followed her.

She attributes this to through sheer hardwork, dedication, impeccable servicing, not to mention her most devastating weapon – charisma.

The Economics graduate from UP plunged into advertising as soon as she stepped out of college.

She first ventured into accounts management team of then AMA (Advertising and Marketing Associates, predecessor of DDB) then cut her business acumen at Pacifica Publicity Bureau.

At Jimenez D’ Arcy (now Publicis Jimenez), she began to rise from the ranks, eventually becoming Client Services Director for 11 years.

Chongson considers her stint at BBDO-Guerrero one of her most memorable. Also as CSD, she remembers having to deal with a mixture of different kinds of advertising people and clients.

Her career affair at the country’s most consistently awarded ad agency likened her to an iron, honed by fire, shaped by fire, sharpened by fire … but still emerging unscathed, even sharper.

On Saatchi & Saatchi website, Mio is given a heartwarming welcome and described as someone “who has built a reputation as a dynamic leader and passionate supporter of breakthrough creative work.”

“I’d like to focus on people. Even with our high dependency on technology, I still believe people are still the greatest assets of an advertising agency,” Chongson said.

When asked what is her immediate goal as soon as she buckles down to work, Chongson said she wanted to be a people’s president, first and foremost.

Not surprising for a management veteran whose people skills can be rated above excellent.

If there are industry despots, Chongson belongs to another category. She easily ranks as one of the most pleasant and lovable, ever smiling, profuse with sunny disposition and not easily dampened leader.

Come January, Chongson will begin working with close to 110 Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi staff, churning out world changing ideas for clients Mead Johnson, P&G, Toyota, Lexus, PLDT, Roche, SM, Petron, Kraft and Diageo.

“When I get in, I’d like to get a deeper understanding of the strengths of people and how we can make use of our collective strength towards more creative achievements and client satisfaction,” she says as part of her immediate target.

On long-term goals, Chongson eyes lit up, and said: “Every agency head wants to achieve high business growths for his company. It’s difficult, but we can do it as a team.”

Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi’s new COO wants to make creativity the best driver to achieving business goals.

“But then again, she says, “creativity comes from inspired people, so I’d put it this way: My goal is to help make Saatchi a desirable company with an esteemed creative reputation and happy employees.”

At the Lovemark Company, (marketing concept created by Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi intended to replace the idea of brands), Chongson will have her hands full.

In the book authored by Roberts, he said: "Brands are running out of juice. Love is what is needed to rescue brands. What builds Loyalty that goes Beyond Reason? Leaving lovemarks unconditionally.”

With Chongson on board, expect Saatchi’s staff feeling the love from a determined lady who’s helped built many of today’s top brands. Chongson is determined to make a mark.

She is just perfect for the global network’s Lovemarks Credo - a product, service or entity that inspires ‘Loyalty Beyond Reason’, which in turn blesses anyone who believes in them - with the ability to create and sustain growth even in the toughest, most illogical times.

Friday, December 9, 2011


By Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 9, 2011

If Manny Pacquiao did not punch his way out of poverty and become today’s greatest fighter would any advertiser even know his name?

Would our congressmen even travel thousand of miles away just to see him fight?

Would Leila Lopes have a tv commercial if she weren’t Miss Universe?

The Angolan beauty that stole the thunder from our Shamcey Supsup was in a recently released Doritos tv commercial.

Would football superstars Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba and Wayne Rooney get juicy contracts for Nike’s epic “Write The Future” tv campaign if they weren’t hot and couldn’t fill huge stadiums to capacity crowd?

The tv spot was chosen as the world’s best tv commercial at Cannes last year winning the Film Grand Prix Lion. It is also one of the most viewed viral videos because it featured three of the most idolized football players in the world.

For sure David Beckham would have gotten offers to star in a Pinoy tv commercial had he stayed longer in Manila and advertisers can afford him.

There is a difference between celebrity endorsements and talents that started in advertising before they became celebrities.

Let’s talk about the latter.

Whether in the olden days or in this current generation of exploding new media, advertising still is, the best celebrity maker and builder of dreams.

Starring in an advertising campaign is a stepping-stone to dizzying popularity. It is someone else’s door to fame and glory.

Being seen in print or tv spot makes the lucky and deserving sparkle up on the marquee. Being in advertising is people’s ticket to stardom.

No wonder talent agencies knock on ad agencies’ doors to sell their wards and celebrity wanabes knock on talent agencies doors twice as hard.

Long before celebrities became one, for sure, they were already spotted by some star-struck talent scout in some place.

Either they were handed out a business card asking them for a “go-see” (term used for initial photo or video audition) or were frisked pronto for an urgent production shoot.

Talent agents normally scour malls, school campuses, discos, university sports tournament venues and other high traffic areas to hunt for specific model requirements by ad agencies.

Some great finds might appear just out of nowhere - spotted in a movie theatre queue, walked in a restaurant. They could be waiting to board a plane in an airport or simply bumped into by someone on the way to the restroom.

The world is filled with many great faces. If you only know how to look, they can be found in bus stations, a friend’s wedding, unexpected places. They could be right next-door residing where you are or a distant cousin you haven’t seen for a long time.

The road to celebrity stardom is not easy. Some pre-celebrity status talents appeared in print, outdoor or tv advertising in varying degrees of exposure. They were nameless, struggling ‘ugly ducklings’ before Lady Luck smiled at them, and said: “Go forth and shine.”

Brooke Shields began as an ad model barely at the age of 11 months for Ivory Soap. That was the beginning of her steady climb to fame being as an Eileen Ford model. She rose to the top as a Hollywood actress.

John Travolta was playing basketball and singing under the shower for a Safeguard tv commercial before he shot into our consciousness. He burst into “Saturday Night Fever” fame and he became every girl’s poster boy in the late 70’s.

Keannu Reeves was a refreshing face on many Kellogs tv commercials prior to gaining superstar status for his films “Point Break” “My Private Idaho” and “The Matrix” series.

Jodie Foster starred in Crest Toothpaste tv commercial before she became popular and an Oscar-award-winning actress.

Whitney Houston was in Canada Dry Ginger Ale tv spot singing with two other damsels before she became a huge singing sensation.

Most of today’s local movie stars started out in commercials before they became popular.

Nino Muhlach, for example, was a local Milkmaid tv ad talent before he became a child star.

Gabby Concepcion belonged to a long list of Close-Up talents that were offered lucrative movie contracts after appearing in the brand’s glossy tv commercials.

Among them were William Martinez, Lloyd Samartino, Alfie Anido and Miguel Rodriguez (the last two now deceased).

Later batch of Close-Up commercials featured newcomer Sam Milby who instantly became a hit and went on to appear in Centrum, Bench, Lipton Milk Tea and Jollibee commercials.

Rachel Lobangco played a smashing lead role in San Miguel Beer Pale Pilsen’s tv commercial “Shh Boom”. That paved the way for her movie career, which saw her starring in “Kokak”, a movie whose title stuck wherever she went.

Lea Salonga appeared in a Swift Hotdog tv ad while a small kid. She got the part from a tedious selection process because she was smart, pretty, projected well on screen and, most of all, could sing.

Dingdong Dantes was a chubby, little boy who started appearing in a tv ad at age 2. Dantes bloomed as a child model and was seen on several commercials.

Prior to becoming popular with teeny boppers, he was part of an all-male dance group called Abztract Dancers and his group became regulars on “Eat Bulaga” and “That’s Entertainment”.

In a poignant PLDT tv commercial a couple of years back, a young man was talking to his father about shifting to another course in college. Many people remembered that scene and the guy who played the role would eventually be seen in many more print advertising campaigns, even stardom. He was Christian Vasquez, former PAL steward.

Before he became a Star Magic talent, Juddha Paolo was hot in Coke’s “Hottah, Hottah Summer” tv commercial. He soon became popular, including being a video jock.

Body Shot winners Ricky Salumbides and Brent Javier did walk on and cameo roles in a Smart Telecom tv commercial. The former became a global Pinoy model sensation in Paris, New York, Milan, Rome, London, and around Asia. The latter is still a much sought after male ramp model.

Shaina Magdayao started out in advertising, modelling for children's clothing and appeared in television commercials for Magnolia Chocolait, Lemon Squares Products and Goldilocks. She was also one of Bench’s youngest models before she ventured into t shows and movies.

The Younghusbands, Phil and James, had sporadic ad appearances before their popularity rose to new heights after the Asian Football Circuit. They were on a roll after that.

Like Nikki Gil, Cogie Domingo, Iya Villania, Toni Gonzaga, Ryan Agoncillo, Drew Arellano, there are countless others who’ve achieved celebrity status by being chosen by advertisers to appear in tv commercials.

Do you think you’ve got what it takes to be a celebrity? You can start by being discovered by talent agents and ad agencies. Find them if they can’t find you. Hang out where they usually hang out.

Remember though that a pretty or handsome face alone is not a guarantee. In a world that is loaded with good-looking people, talent is hard currency.

Some of today’s Hollywood celebrities took up drama and learned to act. They didn't just make it on great looks. They worked hard to get to where they are today.

Spread yourself far and wide. Use social media to get talent agents to know and find you. Nowadays, a lot of people are getting discovered online. Log in on where many talent scouts, ad agencies and entertainment industry people go to look for talents.

Are talent scouts constantly hounding you wherever you go? Be cautious but don’t shoo them away. They could be the bearer of good news you’ve been waiting for.