Thursday, November 29, 2012


by Roger Pe

Everything in this agency is ‘disruptive’.

For one, those sparkling Agency of the Year trophies displayed in the foyer make you envious.

From the moment you step into the building, located just across a coffee factory along Yakal Street corner Chino Roces, the creative aroma in the lobby already wafts in the air you want to explore more.

To describe what you see is like using the network’s famous global campaign for Absolut Vodka. Absolut delight.

But that’s getting ahead of the story.
Allow us to disrupt this conversation a bit by getting familiar with “Tibwa” – the cool way people address this awesomely creative ad agency.

TBWA-Santiago, Mangada and Puno is the ad agency some ad industry folks don’t even know what its acronym stands for: Tragos, Bonnange, Wiessedanger and Ajroldi. Surnames of American, French, Swiss and Italian management, marketing, creative and client services experts, in that order. The Filipino managing partners are Jimmy Santiago, Melvin Mangada and Jacinto Puno.

TBWA was established in 1970 in Paris, which the agency founders hoped to tap “the richness of different cultures and the thrust that comes from diversity.”

Since then, TBWA has become part of the Omnicom Group, one of the world’s Big 4, and the holdings company of an agency network with a formidable creative reputation. Two of its sibling agencies are BBDO (Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborn) and DDB (Doyle, Dane and Bernbach).

Only 12 years old in Manila, the agency is in a different class, in a league of its own, poised to earn the title – the ad agency with the most number of Agency of the Year titles, all of them five and going to its sixth.

Why is this so? The agency practices what it preaches, according to TBWA-SMP Manila founder and managing partner Jimmy Santiago.

“Everyone in the agency is trained in the culture of ‘Disruption’. We are unconventional in our thinking and in what we do. It is evident in our way of life,” he proudly says.

Santiago walks the talk. Where people used to do the same things over and over again, he tells Business Monday: “Before creating an ad, we begin at the root of it all and ask ourselves, what are the business issues?” Call it sound thinking and even sounder creative work, that’s TBWA-SMP for you.


The agency’s ‘Disruption’ philosophy was written by TBWA’s worldwide chair Jean-Marie Dru in the 90s and has become the network’s global mantra.

In layman’s terms, it is a belief, a religion, a culture of doing things that puts aside the conventional way in order to rise above the clutter and finding new discoveries.

Just how unconventional is TBWA-SMP?

From the unassuming office location to the interior surprise, from the pieces of furniture to exquisitely fine paintings hanging on its walls, from out-of-the-box Christmas party presentation ideas (short films that’ll ultimately become concept presentations to clients) to how they conduct brainstormings, TBWA-SMP is indeed a media arts hub. Even in the way this interview was conducted.

“Melvin Mangada, Chief Creative Officer and one of the agency’s managing partners, makes all the difference,” says Santiago.

Mangada is largely responsible for making TBWA-SMP a sparkling jewel in the TBWA crown in Asia. He sits on the TBWA Worldwide Top 20 Global Creative Directors elite group, which screens the network’s entries to awards shows.

Santiago spotted Mangada in a UP College of Fine Arts thesis deliberation where the latter had the most unusual concept among the rest – “an A3 poster within a poster” for a copying machine brand.

Mangada was offered an Art Direction position straight out of college. The rest is now history, and history is continuously being revised to accommodate his yearly blaze of glory. He is the Creative Guild’s first Hall of Fame awardee.

Multi-awarded Mario Monteagudo, one of Santiago’s aces at Ace-Saatchi, acknowledges his former boss: “Jimmy knows how to bring out the best in you, very inspiring. He was my ECD when I won the Creative Guild’s Print Ad of the Year for 4 consecutive years, he says.”

Santiago was one of 17 children of a carpenter and a peanut vendor in Bulacan’s Baliuag town. A public school awarded him “Natatanging Anak ng Baliuag “in 2005 and picked him one of the “Most Outstanding Alumni” during its Golden Jubilee Year.

At age 14, Santiago was already writing short stories for Liwayway Magazine, and at 19, wrote the Tagalog libretto of Jesus Christ Superstar (Aliw Awards winner for Best Dinner Theatre Musical, 1977). At 20, he contributed teleplays for television.

He was the only student who passed UP college admissions test in his batch. He enrolled in UP CFA and graduated on top of the college’s pioneering advertising course together with Eleanor Modesto who became the first Pinay ad agency country manager in Indonesia.

Santiago started as a copywriter at Ace-Saatchi and rose to become VP Executive Creative Director from 1989 to 1995. Together with a stable of highly talented creative people, they made the agency a hot shop for creativity. The results were resounding successes one after the other, with the agency dominating every Ad Congress and Creative Guild annual competitions.

In 1980, he joined the Metro Pop Songwriting Contest together with Jose Mari Chan with the entry “Hahanapin Ko”. He won the FAMAS for Best Theme Song from a movie “Pakawalan Mo Ako”, collaborating with songwriter Louie Ocampo. He recently contributed to the Second Christmas Album with the song “Pagdating ng Pasko”.

Santiago was a Creative Guild president and a Lifetime Achievement awardee from the same award-giving body. He was elected 4A’s president in 1995 and was Ad Congress Creative Committee chair in 1991, 1997, 1999 and 2001.


Santiago believes in young people. “I believe in fresh graduates. Melvin Mangada was the first-ever fresh grad to become Art Director on the first day of his working life,” he says.

“I believe that people are born into advertising. They can never be made to like advertising. It is a craft so difficult to master but those who are born to be good at it are having a ball doing iconic work,” he says.

As an employer, Santiago believes that the people who leave their agencies for the so-called “challenges outside” are not leaving the agency. They are leaving their bosses.

Management style? “As a department head in need of someone in his department should hire the candidate who has the strongest potential to be his future boss,” Santiago says.

“I believe in “succession”. He cites this example: Cid Reyes, former head of Ace-Saatchi creative department, hired me at Saatchi. Later on Cid reported to me as his ECD. I hired Mon Jimenez Jr (now Philippine Secretary of Tourism) from UP as part of my P&G team at Saatchi. Mon later on became co-equal to me, and Cid when he was promoted to ACD.

“By-passing the CD level, Mon became ECD in 1987. Cid and I were his Creative Directors for a year until Mon left to form Jimenez and Partners. After a few months, I became ECD, that’s when Cid reported to me.”


TBWA-SMP isn’t just an agency. It is an organization with a soul. Santiago and his team conduct a series of lectures on Disruption and Media Arts in different universities like De La Salle, St. Benilde, U.P. and Miriam College. Santiago and Mangada are adjunct professors in U.P. College of Fine Arts.

Yearly, TBWA supports Fine Arts Advertising majors who could not enrol and enter their senior (thesis) year due to lack of finances. “We cover their tuition and allowances until they graduate— no strings attached. When they finish the course, they would be free to apply to any ad agency in the country,” Santiago says.


Talk about ad agencies that consistently figure well in Cannes, Clio, One Show, Asia Adfest and Spikes Asia, TBWA-SMP is top of mind, one would run out of space enumerating them. The agency also always lords it over or at least lands in the top 3 of Araw and Kidlat Awards.

This year, the agency was proclaimed Grand Prix winner in the TBWA Disruption Awards for Boysen KnoxOut Project Edsa: Clean Air Campaign, upstaging over 80 countries in the global TBWA network.

The agency says, “the award champions the champions of disruptive thinking, a key methodology for TBWA offices to help businesses fast track their growth strategies.”

Sunday, November 18, 2012


by Roger Pe

She idolized the likes of Brandon Tartikoff, the television guy who made many primetime hit series (“The Golden Girls”, “Punky Brewster”, “Knight Rider”, “Empty Nest”, etc) and Barry Diller, the media executive who created Fox Broadcasting Company.

She could have been a scriptwriter or a network star.

To pursue them, she took up masters of communication arts, majoring in writing and tv production in Los Angeles’ Loyola Marymount University after graduating from Ateneo de Manila.

Though fate intervened, she still ended up in a related field – advertising.

On her very first ad agency, Mitos Borromeo was tasked to manage multinational brands because she was perfectly fit for the role.

She was cut to be a leader early on because she had a commanding presence and she never feared to express her thoughts when she was right.

On her way to tougher positions in advertising, she became a client services director around Southeast Asia.

She was destined to be because it was up her alley, an expat in the truest sense of the word who spoke English with ease in a corporate world surrounded by tough multinational brand builders.

Mentoring, training, accounts servicing on the job, battle-tested Borromeo was one fine example of a Pinay who succeeded in foreign expat-laden region.

No wonder she became an executive vice president in Thailand for two years, a managing director of a giant multinational ad agency in Manila, eventually expanding into a bigger and challenging role - CEO of a multinational media agency, and coming full circle in an atmosphere she’s very at home with.

In the lead role at Bates 141 Philippines today, Borromeo’s career is colorful, each sequence as vivid as the colors of life, each episode, an enthralling story in itself and as exciting as Tartikoff’s series.

She first handled Colgate-Palmolive brands at DYR (Dentsu, Young & Rubicam) Alcantara (formerly Grant Advertising which became Y&R Manila that had also bought out the Alcantara family).

She was naturally piratable. Lintas, predecessor of Lowe Worldwide, gave Borromeo more space to grow as a management supervisor. Her account management style would bring her to the huge, complex Indonesian market handling the Unilever business for six years.

Together with Eleanor Modesto, the Filipina country manager at Lintas Jakarta, Indonesia’s biggest ad agency, she did strategizing and herculean efforts to improve the ad agency’s accounts servicing standards.

She would soon spread her wings to Lintas Bangkok replicating her Jakarta role as advisor and on to executive management position. “Though English was a problem, I had fun with the Thai people,” she says on the lighter side.

Next was Lowe Malaysia where she was once again on top of a highly demanding job, making sure that the agency’s bread and butter business were in place. She handled the confectionery business of her agency in Kuala Lumpur.

She’ll discover that one of her strengths was handling operations. Over a decade of managing different brands and clients in different markets, Borromeo was ready to to go back to the country. She was appointed Managing Director of J. Walter Thompson Manila.


The booming media business was transforming Manila’s advertising landscape. It was time for Borromeo to go for bigger challenges.

Mindshare, the global marketing and media network with 115 offices in 82 countries throughout the USA, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, beamed on the horizon.

Borromeo was picked as Managing Director largely because she was a non-media person. The company needed someone who had a grip on the bigger picture, somebody with a broader scope and knew how to develop strategies, meeting them and making plans realized.

Her star shone brightly even more in 2004 when GroupM hired her as CEO of the Philippine office.

GroupM has over 17,000 employees around the world with 400 offices scattered in 81 countries.

The company is also under WPP Group, formed to serve as the parent company of the holdings company’s media agencies: Mindshare, Mediacom, Maxus, MEC, and Kinetic (the world’s largest outdoor media agency) among others.

It handles over 32% of the world's media billings, making it the world's largest media investment management operation.

Borromeo wore two hats at the same time, the person in-charge of Mindshare and GroupM. “I find pleasure in solving a problem in each of this organization,” she tells Inquirer Sunday Biz.

For that, she was greatly rewarded. At the
Philippine 4As Agency of the Year Awards, the most desirable and credible in the Philippines, according to industry folks, Mindshare won the Media Agency of the Year four consecutive times.

She woke up one day, tired and said: “I want to enjoy life.” Borromeo travelled across the globe and changed the course of her career. Rejuvenated when she came back, she joined Good Thinking, Inc., a communications company owned by Ferdie Frejas and Issa Baron, as a strategy consultant.

Today, she’s made a 360-degree turn and back to managing an ad agency she wants clients to respect for its creative output, and wholistic approach to marketing.

“I want people to think of Bates 141 spontaneously because our work speaks for itself,” Borromeo says.

Called an exceptional talent by former regional chair Tim Isaac because of her diverse perspective, Borromeo is right on track to be a formidable agent of change in the agency.

True enough, the agency recently won new businesses from Wyeth. “We go after for new business opportunities rather than wait for them to come to us,” she says.

Her management style?: Borromeo builds on people’s strengths and uses them to boost their efficiencies. “I would defend people to the end if they can show me that they’re right. I love being challenged. I prefer people with their own perspective and point-of-view,” she stresses.

For advertising freshmen, the Bates brand started in 1940, with Ted Bates as the founding father. He grew it to become the world’s fourth largest agency group.

WPP bought Bates in 2003, but the latter’s management team in Asia fought to keep the company alive and retained its BatesAsia 141 name.

In 2008, BatesAsia 141 re-branded as Bates 141 with a new logo. It also announced the acquisition of Singapore-based 10AM, one of the most creatively awarded ad agencies in Asia.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


by Roger Pe

Some ads are memorable, some ads pass like a ship in the night, quietly, barely noticed.

Sometimes it takes only one element in an ad that makes it unforgettable. Like the way the end shot of a commercial is edited.

When Alice Dixson turned to the camera after saying the line “I can feel it!” at the end of that Palmolive commercial, it stuck to the minds of consumers.

But more than that, it takes a big idea, uniqueness, inventiveness, new touch or insight, production excellence, creative catchphrase that make ads memorable.

Things we call triggers and hooks, rational or emotional that are able to connect to us.

Here are a few more:

“THE GODFATHER” (Del Monte Spaghetti Sauce, McCann-Erickson)

Part of a series that made the brand bestselling, largely because of an effective commercial that was outstanding, technically. Produced with attention to the littlest detail. The camera work had the quality of a Hollywood movie you wouldn’t think it was shot by a Pinoy.

The story replicates Francis Ford Coppola’s Oscar award-winning movie of the same title. The lead talent who played Mario Puzo’s famous character was perfect, complete with mumbling Italian accent.

Talk-of-the-town during its time and made the agency popular for its well-crafted tv advertising.

“TONYO” (Duty-Free, Basic Advertising)

Milette, the OFW’ wife of Tonyo couldn’t contain her excitement with the homecoming of her dear husband. At the old Naia airport, she shouts his name and hysterically runs towards him past the long immigration queue.

She almost trips into several baggage carts, but who cares? As soon as they embrace into each other’s loving arms, the haunting song “Babalik Ka Rin” by Gary Valenciano wafts on air.

Many people connected with this ad no wonder it consistently landed on the list of of ‘all-time favorites’. Sensitively portrayed by PETA actors and actresses.

“MESSAGE SENT” (Smart Telecom, DDB Philippines)

A simple ad with a simple message that was delivered with a strong punch. The full-page print ad came out in the country’s main broadsheets right at the heels of Edsa People Power 2.

The visual: a hand with a cellphone that says, “Message Sent” on the screen in digital font. The hand is set against a backdrop of that memorable part of our history: Edsa Dos.

The first telecom ad to win a major creative award, Ad of the Year and bagged “Araw” Silver in the 2001 Ad Congress. Creative team: Dax Dacayan (now a tv commercial director) and Gabby Alcazaren.

“DINING OUT” (Visa, BBDO-Guerrero)

The commercial opens in the kitchen with the chef giving his approval - the soup is good to go. When it is served to fine-dining Zhang Ziyi, yes, the Chinese superstar of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” fame, she finds it “too salty”.

The chef feels insulted, goes berserk and runs amuck with all the waiters ready to gang up on her. All the elements of a Chinese Kung Fu movie begin to unravel: stunning sommersaults, sidewall calisthenics, chandelier death-defying stunts, axe throwing, name it. Zhang does it with nary a scratch on her porcelain skin.

After dust has settled in the restaurant destruction, could she pay all the bills in the wake? Leave it to Visa. Multiple Clio statues winner in 2002, masterpiece of David Guerrero, BBDO-Guerrero agency founder, Chairman and CCO.

“PLANT BILLBOARD” (Coke, McCann-Erickson)

A 60-by-60-foot billboard mounted on Edsa, approaching Guadalupe from Makati made many people suffer severe stiff neck.

Why, the entire billboard was covered with real plants, Fukien Tea Plants, to be exact. So?

Each plant was said to absorb up to 13 pounds of carbon dioxide, helping alleviate air pollution within the confines of the area, absorbing a total of 46,800 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The whole billboard was environmentally friendly. The plants were contained in 3,600 pots made from old Coke bottles and designed to help the plants grow sideways.

According to the agency, “the potting mixture was made from industrial byproducts and organic fertilizers, and a drip irrigation system was installed, allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters.”

“RILES” (UP Alumni Association, TBWA-SMP

If there is such thing as waterworld, brace yourself for the railwayworld, a permutation of the harsh life in Manila’s railways. Unbeknownst to our rich brethrens, poverty has given birth to a sub-life in this part of the city.

Memorable, because of its hard-hitting social commentary: “The longer they stay, the longer they squat.” A literally moving piece addressed to our politicians, who continously fall blind to the long time social problem: how to decongest the city of urban squatters who are used only for their voting bloc power and then forgotten.

Never before an ad gave us a visually gritty documentary, toured us to the deep bowels of the railway slum area and enlightened us.

“DEAF” (Globe Telecom, Harrison Communications)

She is a pretty girl in her office attire, in a hurry as she walks along the sidewalk. She’s exchanging text messages with her boyfriend, looking forward to her dinner date with him.

She arrives at the restaurant and her boyfriend is there. We see them face-to-face from outside of the window, and by their body language, we know that they’re madly in love. And then, they start using sign language.

We find out that both of them are deaf. The commercial used actual deaf talents in producing this poignant ad, powerful story, written by Emily Abrera.

“DONUT, BAI” (2001 Cebu Ad Congress, Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi)

“Mango, Bai, “Danggit, Bai”, “Donut, Bai”. Did you hear the latter as “do not buy”? Regardless, it’s more ‘pun’ in the Philippines.

Webster defines pun as “a form of word play that deliberately exploits ambiguity between similar-sounding words for humorous or rhetorical effect.”

Indeed, the agency exploited the phrase beautifully and brought home with a sackful of awards for its Ad Congress campaign on print, radio and tv, enroute to making that year also one of the most memorable ad congresses ever
“BOOBS” (AMA Computer College, Campaigns & Grey)

Written by the acknowledged Queen of Philippine radio advertising, Ompong Remigio, this radio commercial breaks a lot of rules. It is not your usual over-the-top, saccharine, heavily emotive Filipino tearjerker with barking and over-zealous announcer.

It is candid, honest, sincere conversation between mother and daughter about going to college and finding a better life – with a comedic touch.

Mom says she will do the best she can to send her to college even if she ‘crawls on the ground’. The lines are engaging from the beginning to the end, and delivered naturally so one’s tendency is to eavesdrop on what they are saying.

The highlight is when daughter says, “mag-bold star na lang kaya ako?” to which her mom says: “Wala kang boobs.”

Thursday, November 1, 2012


by Roger Pe

They may not have won awards or may have won some but the fact remains: many people loved them when they were launched and still talk about them many years after.

How does an ad become memorable and what makes it as such?

Do the ‘cab test’ and listen to Jeff Goodby.

Goodby, who? Jeff Goodby is the other half of Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, one of the world’s most creative and, note the word, effective, ad agencies. He just did a high profile tv commercial for a US President Barack Obama.

Goodby’s ‘cab test’ is a piercing look into the real market. In his stinging Ad Age article, he called some sectors in the ad industry as “irrelevant award-chasers.”

“When you get into a taxi and tell the driver that you’re in advertising, and they ask whether you’ve done anything they might be familiar with, what have you got to say?,” he said.

Goodby continued his rebuke saying “Majority of things we’re rewarding as an industry are either small or marginal efforts for legitimate clients. We’ve created a system that rewards work that is increasingly unknown to anyone outside the business.”

He has a point. Indeed, the taxi driver, the man on the street, the housewife cooking “Tinola” for her family at home, students burning the midnight candle, the blue and white collar worker, market vendors - the consumers as a whole, determine which ads are memorable. Not the award judges.

“Commercials are memorable because they can stand the tests of time. You don’t get bored seeing them again and again because they are able to connect to you,” says a well-known creative director.

Would you remember the ads you saw last night three years from now? Probably yes, probably not.

“A memorable ad is seen by a great number of people. What’s a great ad if only the creators and insomniac people saw it”, says a university communications art professor.

Ad agencies have different formula for making memorable tv commercials. When you look at them closely, they’re all one and the same, only the jargons vary.

Here are a few examples, the yardstick, to which their ads are measured:

Does it deliver the ROI (relevance, originality, impact)? Is it disruptive, does it imprint the lovemarks, create humankind advertising, extraordinary, focus on the product and nothing but the product, resist the usual, rise above the clutter, etc.

A memorable ad is simple, but not simplistic. It should immediately engage with the audience it is talking to within a few seconds.
It can be understood by the world, even if it is culturally unique. It has a universal appeal.

A memorable ad makes you smile, you learn a new insight that no one has told you before, expressed in an unusual way.

“One cannot pull a heartstring if your ad is irrelevant,” says a top marketing guy. “An ad without emotion cannot bond with the audience,” he adds.

Having said those, Sunday Biz recaps the most memorable Filipino ads based on a 10-month research. The criteria for being memorable are based on both creativity and effectivity. It is not one without the other.

“LOLO” (McDonald’s, Leo Burnett).

Before it became the first Philippine tv commercial to win gold in Asia’s toughest award competition, “Lolo” was already a favorite among millions of Filipino tv viewers.

People still remember Karen, the grand daughter whom her grandfather oftenly mistakes as Gina. Memorable for its simplicity and big idea, the burger-slicing scene was heart-tugging and made people cry.

“I like the commercial for several reasons,” says University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts Associate Professor Mitzi Reyes.

“It touches the heart to see this heartwarming scene of the grandfather showing his love and care for the granddaughter despite his failing memory and Karen, showed her love by being patient, understanding and spending time with her grandfather,” Reyes says.

Reyes says the scene may happen to one’s family and watching the ad actually made her feel like watching her own father in his old age. “The scene is so real and the acting is natural,” she exclaims.

“A commercial becomes memorable when there is simplicity and clarity in the presentation, whether the approach is humorous, dramatic or slice of life,” Reyes says.

“NOVICES” (Del Monte Spaghetti Sauce, McCann-Erickson)

Brilliant copywriting. Beautifully-produced. Made like a Hollywood movie. The tv commercial dramatizes the product’s ease of preparation when perfectly-cast talents played roles as nuns doing their daily backbreaking duties. Spawned a series of ads that packaged a local brand as premium. Rose to the sales charts unchallenged.

“CLEOPATRA” (Superwheel Detergent Bar, J. Walter Thompson)

If some people cannot remember this ad it’s probably they weren’t born yet at the time when it was at its all-time high, recall and purchase-wise.

For those who enjoyed it every time it ran on television, it was The Detergent Bar, bar none.

The campaign used pastiche of famous characters, building the brand to the top. Elizabeth Ramsey mouthed a monster catchphrse: “Magapatuka na lang ako sa ahas.”

“ANGAT SA IBA” (Sarsi, Basic Advertising)

Literally stood out from a sea of boring tv commercials in the 80s for its visual design, verve, vitality and pride for one’s own.

When the agency pitched for this account, the client was so mesmerized with its idea it was handed the account in silver platter – just a few minutes after the presentation. If aired today, it would still give you goosebumps, the mark of a true classic.

“PUNK” (Globe Telecom, Harrison Communications)

A breakthrough campaign during its launched, when all telco ads were rational, features and price driven.
This charming commercial endeared many viewers because it was about real people.
Starred “a goth, rocker chick” as Maricel Arenas, former GM of the ad agency, describes the role of the lead talent.

As her parents wait for her to be driven to school, her mom couldn’t stand her messy room and rock music. But dad has a soft side and the “real” daughter who may look like a toughie actually cares for and loves her mom.

“ISANG PLATITONG MANI” (San Miguel Beer Pale Pilsen, PAC, Philippine Advertising Counselors)

Good-natured humor with people from different backgrounds finding a common ground, Rico J. Puno, Jockey Domingo, the late boxing great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde and Bert ‘Tawa’ Marcelo star in this landmark, heavyweight, star-studded tv commercial.

Over a pitcherful of San Miguel Beer, Marcelo orders “Inihaw na Pusit”, Domingo asks for “Kalderetang Baka” and Rico J, prefers “Crispy Pata”. Flash Elorde becomes the final arbiter and referee by making everyone settle for, you guessed it, a dishful of roasted peanuts.

“ULIANIN” (Union, Creative Partners)

Creative Guild’s Print Ad of the Year in 1997, created by last year’s Creative Guild of the Philippines’ Lifetime Achievement honoree Mario Monteagudo. Perhaps, one the most memorable Filipino print ads that came out in the 80s and still as witty as it is today. Penned by one of the country’s talented advertising men.

“IMPATSO” (Motillium, TBWA/Santiago, Mangada & Puno)

Parody on US President Barack Obama’s visit to Malacanang, excellent casting for both Obama and former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In a state dinner tendered by the latter for the historic meeting, Obama suffers indigestion.

Howlingly funny, outstanding script, and inspired direction, how can anyone forget this?

FITA (My San Biscuits, Lowe Worldwide)

So irresistibly delicious you just can’t part with it. Seated on a bench at the park, a young man is about to take his last two pieces of Fita. From his left, a girl beats him to it and grabs it. He is left with the last piece but an old lady comes near him and wants it.

He is adamant but breaks it into two. Old lady turns into a beautiful fairy and rewards him with a wish. He answers, “sports car.” He gets it, an actual sports cut in half, loudly dropping from the sky.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


by Roger Pe

The advertising industry continues to change.

While some businesses were handed in shining silver platters before, that is wishful thinking today. You have to be invited and get accredited to get a client.

One observer says the industry is cannibalizing itself. “You’ll cringe under your seat if you find out what’s happening in the shadows,” he says. He is right, even the agency pantry girl is not clueless anymore.

“If we don’t protect the industry, no one will,” says Arnold Liong, Chairman and CEO of Draft FCB, one of the country’s stable ad agencies.

Draft FCB’s stability hinges largely because of the longevity of clients in its roster, and with Liong at the helm, you can be sure that it is going to be as solid as a rock.

Liong is one of the few remnants of ad agency protectors still actively involved in running the show even if many of his underlings have rose to become agency presidents, managing directors, shifted careers, semi-retired or thrown the towel completely.

He is still in his fighting element in the advertising ring, and to this day, hasn’t lost the punch championing equality and fair treatment of ad agencies in today’s scenario.

He’s one who’ll fight tooth-and-nail against copyright infringement, very vocal about patent bullies and is ready to deal with it to the very end.

“How I’d wish we have many Liong’s in the industry,” says a creative director whose personal and agency work have been ripped off, tweaked and used by idea vultures.

In an industry that has seen many so-called ad pitches that resulted in nothing and some unethical elements ended up mere idea fishing, Liong is heaven-sent.

“After a few weeks or months, you can be sure your ideas will reincarnate, filched and recycled by pirates,” Liong says without batting an eyelash.

Liong is wary about an industry that cannot go after idea copycats. “I’ve always told my ad agency people to protect our ideas, creativity and integrity,” he says.

“I wish we have a stronger body that’ll protect the very same industry we’ve built for many long years,“ Liong says with a firm tone.

Under international law, copyright protection is automatic. “We copyright our materials and make our stand known that we take copyright infringements seriously,” he adds.

Liong’s agency is also careful about running after new business pitches. Knowing where he’s coming from, you’ll understand. For Liong, growing the business from existing clients are sometimes much smarter to build than running after clients that have a track record of short-term relationships with agency partners.

“We don’t pitch,” Liong makes sense as he gives his advice: “You don’t decide on which agency to engage by merely looking at a pitch material. You judge an agency by the length of time it has handled a business. That’s the way to deal with it,” he points out.

There’s truth to what he is saying. Some ad agencies win accounts and lose them after a couple of years or even less. Not DraftFCB, for which Liong has managed for almost twelve years now.

The agency has a scintillating record of clients that have stuck with it for 10, 12 and over 15 years, in today’s environment where clients come and go.

What makes Liong’s DraftFCB tick? The agency has its own litmus test – The 6.5 Seconds That Matter”, a process that sticks together creativity and accountability to produce ideas that deliver a return, all within a short time frame.

“We don’t waste time but mind our business well and build clients’ business the way they envisioned it. We cement our relationships on solid grounds,” he tells Business Friday.

Those are his and his agency’s only formula, apart from believing in: “There’s strength in unity.”

Liong hates politics and believes one can tame the competition because “you stand to gain more by not isolating them,” he says.

He cites “costdiving” which undermines ad industry rates. He rues about the practice that is now prevailing and that may soon become a horrifying malaise.

“Why bring it down when you can demand? Why bring the cost so low when it will ultimately compromise standards and backfire on you?”


Not many advertising people know Draft FCB’s story dates back centuries ago. It opened as Lord & Thomas ad agency in Chicago in1873, and later became Foote, Cone, & Belding in 1942.

Just like McCannWorldwide, Draft FCB belongs to the Interpublic Group of companies, one of the largest ad agency networks in the world. In the Philippines, the agency partnered with Basic Advertising in mid-80s.

It became Draft FCB in 2006, and is also crowding the world’s big guns in Cannes, Clio, One Show, Echoes, El Ojo, Effies, and Caples.

Draft FCB New Zealand, Indonesia, Mexico, Ireland, Malaysia, Johannesburg and Kuwait have won Agency of the Year honors as listed by Advertising Age.

Draftfcb Healthcare was "Agency of the Year" by Medical Advertising News in 2006 and 2009 and by Medical Marketing & Media in 2007 and 2011.

“We had our humongous growth from 2000 to 2006 and we are excited and ready for another transition: e-commerce retail, digital publishing, and media syndication,” says Liong.

While some ad agencies pay lip service to being digital-savvy and flaunt it without walking the talk, Liong’s business acumen is showing: the last four mentioned above are fast taking in shape within the walls of DraftFCB, pushing the agency to the next level.

He is a certified tennis buff and plays so well the sport has taken him to the French, Australian and US Open tournaments as a fan of hardcore tennis. He targets Wimbledon next.

“Just like in tennis, good footwork is key to business building,” he says. “It’s a game of cash flow and staying relevant to consumers if you want to get an advantage and make budgets ploughed back to you,” he says.

Liong is not your typical laidback CEO. He is aggressive and describes himself as street-smart, even in the way he dresses up. “I don’t dress up for people, they dress up for me,” he wittingly says.

The bright boy from San Beda who took up an advertising masters degree at University of Illinois always aspired to be an advertising man.

He already had a 5-year plan when he was in high school, calling it forward planning. He took up marketing because it was the fastest way to get into advertising.

He was a media person at JWT before he cut a fruitful career as one of Ace Compton’s (predecessor of Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi) most promising account executives.

Together with the iconic Emily Abrera, head of McCann-Erickson’s creative department then, he was part of the A-Team that re-engineered the agency.

In McCann, Liong and Abrera pitched for Johnson and Johnson’s Baby Powder. Abrera gamely sang the lyrics of the song during the presentation, and they won back the business.

They would also win the biggest brand pitch during that time: San Migue Pale Pilsen, their victory created an industry-wide tremor pushing the agency to the top of the billing rankings.

The Liong and Abrera tandem was formidable, unsinkable to say the very least. “During the heady days of the 80s to mid 90s, McCann was the template.

Every agency wanted to be like McCann,” says an ad agency president.

Liong moved to McCann Hongkong and then as GM of Prakit FCB Bangkok for three and a half years. He then rejuvenated Video Post as the number one production house in the country when he came back to the Philippines.

He then put up Scene Stealers, a tv production house with director Raul Jorolan in mid 90s, eventually becoming president of CPHG (Commercial Production Houses Group) which saw him protecting the interest of minimum wage earners.

Moving forward at Draft FCB, FCB Digital and Weber Shandwick, the agency PR and Events arm, Liong doesn’t want to be a tycoon with zillions of money.

“I am contented with what I have. Just to be able to enjoy my lifestyle and deliver good business results are enough for me,” he says.

“Our priority at Draft FCB is to sell our client’s products and do creative work that are relevant to consumers,” he reiterates.

“We don’t reinvent the wagon that the wagon eventually don’t run,” Liong says enlighteningly. Very well said.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


by Roger Pe

More than 30 years ago, a non-government organization made an out-of-home campaign against drug addiction, showing a black-and-white photo of a cow smoking pot.

The visual idea was attention getting, the headline, matter-of-factly saying: “Grass is groovy for cows.” People still recall it.

Fast-forward to 2012. The government’s public information materials are noticeably getting better. The Department of Health’s anti-dengue awareness program is one such, outstanding.

It’s because it’s getting a huge help from an ad agency, which is not fond of doing the usual.

Inquirer Business Sunday interviews Chiqui Lara, Young & Rubicam Philippines’ tough gun and she proudly tells the story:

“We stamp our creative mantra in everything we do. When we got the brief for DOH’s anti-dengue campaign, we refused to do the predictable, otherwise we’ll be defeating our purpose” she says.

Dengue fever is fast becoming the deadliest mosquito-borne viral illness in the world and causing thousands of deaths in the Philippines every year.

Lara and her team could’ve taken the path to least resistance but no, they faced a tougher challenge: how to make an ordinary poster extraordinary.

At the end of the day, the team leapt many steps farther from what other agencies have reached before.

“We printed each copy with citronella, a substance that repels dengue-causing mosquitoes. So when people brought them home, they kept their families safe from mosquitoes,” she exclaims.

Brilliant idea. But how was the poster without citronella?

The piece was nothing but engaging. Though text-heavy, it was beautifully produced and art directed, something you’d read as it was appealing as it was charming in Filipino language.

The images of mosquitoes used as design elements by the agency drew people’s curiosity. It was not the usual sloppy fare people saw everyday.

“Young & Rubicam Manila created the world’s first poster that drives away dengue-causing mosquitoes,” Lara punctuates. Naturally, it didn’t escape Spikes Asia judges’ attention, and, bang, it was honored with a gong last September.

Lara credits her creative team under the Executive Creative Director Badong Abesamis, an award-winning guy himself way back from his McCann, Leo Burnett and TBWA-SMP days.

Y&R is the same agency network, which for the last 55 years has been doing Colgate advertising worldwide.

The agency network is one of the world’s top 10 biggest with headquarters in New York under the WPP (Wire and Plastic Products) holdings company to which JWT and Ogilvy also belong. It still operates in the original building where John Orr Young and Raymond Rubicam founded it in 1923.

While some people may find Y&R’s bread-and-butter advertising for Colgate too hardsell and mere adaptations of global campaigns, it has come up with its own locally, countless times similarly adapted by other Asian countries.

The agency is fast creating a formidable creative reputation, like its sister agencies in Asia-Pacific (notably Australia and resurgent Indonesia, two of Y&R’s winningest countries over the last two years).

“Y&R Philippines is pushing towards the creative epicenter, says Lara. “We are showing more of our creative teeth and we would like to win more awards for our clients,” she says.

The agency was a finalist in One Show’s Interactive Awards this year - for the app it created and developed internally for Nokia – another breakthrough idea that will be rousingly welcomed by Filipino taxi-riding public.

The app allows mobile users to double-check the fare displayed on the meter and works in real time. “It ensures passengers that the fare is accurate and they can report unscrupulous taxi drivers and operators to the authorities,” Lara says.

Lara is proud of the fact that in May, the agency had significant triumphs in “Kidlat Awards”, the Oscars of Creative Guild of the Philippines held in Boracay annually.

The agency won 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 4 Bronze awards, a remarkable return considering that even the best Philippine ad agencies can come home all-tanned but award empty.

This year, Y&R was named one of the Philippines’ top 5 creative agencies in the usually crowded Philippine 4A’s “Agency of the Year” Awards competition.

To figure in the Magic 5, each agency’s body of work is tightly scrutinized by the industry’s top ECDs and CCOs. It also was a finalist in the Best in Market Performance category.

Across all other brands that the agency handles, Lara’s agency emerges within the lead pack, perhaps due to the fact that it refuses to do the usual boring stuff.

Maynilad for instance won 2 prestigious awards of excellence at the 10th Philippine Quill Awards last year. The feat: Setting a Guinness World Record (mounting the largest pipe drum ensemble at the SMX Convention Center using water pipes to play a rhythm in unison). The same event that Y&R conceptualized and executed won at The 47th Anvil Awards.

Getting to know one of the country’s most successful CEOs is a revelation. The Ateneo de Manila and New York University alumna is a great fan of design with a philanthtropic heart.

Along with friends, she’s put up the “Silya” Project of Gawad Kalinga’s GKnomics to unleash the potential of less fortunate design students to help them carry their own artistic pursuits.

Lara’s management style? “I like to teach, not theories, but real life market experiences,” she says.

“She is people-focused and sincerely passionate about helping underlings develop a bright career in advertising management,” confides a successful account director who has worked under her for many years.

Lara started out at Unisearch, Unilever’s research arm for a year then joined JWT University (the industry’s first advertising school) afterwhich she was taken in as account executive.

She handled Hotel Intercontinental Hotel, Richardson-Vicks (before it was bought by P&G) Olay among others and was mentored by some of the best people in advertising.

When Ninoy Aquino was shot and the country’s economy turn from bad to worse, Lara went back to advertising from New York. At SSCB Lintas (predecessor of Lowe Worldwide), she handled the entire SM account when clients then didn’t have multiple ad agencies. Her career eventually bloomed becoming a Management Supervisor.

She spent eight and half beautiful years at the then Basic FCB when the agency was at its heyday. Lara handled Colgate-Palmolive Philippines and was responsible for Lea Salonga’s Palmolive Soap and Shampoo’s “Hiyang” and Alice Dixson’s “I Can Feel It” campaigns.

Soon enough, she was the woman of the hour and became head of a large business unit.

In 1995, she became Jimenez DMB&B (D’Arcy, Masius, Benton and Bowles) GM for five years. She returned to Basic Advertising, as Vice Chairman in 2000.

When Young & Rubicam reorganized and acquired most of Colgate-Palmolive’s business from Basic FCB, Lara was installed and mandated by the region as President and CEO of Y&R Philippines for her sterling record.

She is proud that the agency pioneered in digital activation with call-centers located right inside the agency, connecting with dealers directly to manage Ford, Mazda, Century Tuna and Filinvest customers.

More than 30 years of gungho leadership, Lara is still the same. She finds hanging out with creative people irresistible and continuously builds a strong bond with them.

“I love to share meals, hang out, make bread together, chat, wine and R with them,” she says smilingly. That perhaps explains her staying power and eternal youthfulness.

Friday, October 12, 2012


by Roger Pe

He loves to bring out the best in people.

He believes one can pick up something from everyone because everyone has an opinion.

He doesn’t like layers, his doors are always open, and most of all, he’s very collaborative.

What drives this unassuming man who always gives his 100% and wants to be the best that he can be?

In everything that he does, Miguel C. Ramos gives it his best shot, whether making a business pitch or simply trying to learn surfing with his kids during weekends.

From selling gasoline to being an accidental adman, Ramos, is reaping his rewards and is now in a bigger universe, not only as chairman of a creative ad agency but on top of a bigger realm of communications business. He, too, is chair of Aegis Media Group Philippines.

Formally launched to the industry last September 28, 2012, Aegis is a world leading media and digital communications group composed of five specialist global brands – Carat, iProspect, Isobar, Posterscope and Vizeum.

“We’ve integrated our key strengths. We are all one. Our consolidation will drive us to better returns because we don’t compete with each other unlike most media groups around,” he says.

Aegis came about when he and Lito ‘Boy’ Pangilinan, former Managing Director of MediaCom Philippines and General Manager of Campaigns & Grey, sat down for coffee one afternoon, a year ago to discuss possibilities.

“When I first heard the name Aegis, something totally different came to my mind. For those who are young (or mature enough) to remember, the name Aegis was first attributed to a pinoy rock band that started out as AGSoundtrippers.

They made waves in the late 90’s with some memorable hits like “Luha”, “Halik” and my personal favorite “Basang Basa Sa Ulan”, very descriptive song titles. I am sure many people in the industry will all agree,“ he reminisces.

Ramos’ Aegis was the result of his unrelenting search for excellence, looking for partners with the same commonality: intense desire to make their businesses grow.

With the changing advertising landscape, Ramos is never undaunted but describes it even as “never been this dynamic.”

The former 4A’s president who was very active in many industry-building efforts for many years also randomly tells Business Friday in an interview:

“Awards are still relevant as they are concrete measures of our effectivity.” He believes in relationship business, nurturing the partnership because at the end of the day, you get a better deal.
Getting to know Ramos’ newest baby is getting to know what makes Philippine media even more exciting, like the 5 global brands under its umbrella:
Carat is Aegis’ flagship and the world’s largest independent media communications company. It is present in 82 countries and employing 4,700 people.
Carat is redefining the media agency, not just offering media savings but delivering greater business value. Among its clients globally are General Motors Co, Diageo and Disney.
iProspect is a leading, global digital performance agency, focused on delivering digital performance on a global scale.
It helps many of the world's most successful brands maximize their online marketing ROI through paid search, social media strategy, search engine optimization, display media, conversion optimization, mobile marketing and other related services.
It has offices in 35 countries and employs 1,200 people, with major global clients, such as Procter & Gamble, HSBC and Sony.
Isobar is the world’s first global digital network and one of the largest. Its core competence is to connect brands by creating irresistible ideas that combine creative, planning, technology and data.
It was established in 2003 and has offices in 32 countries, with a staff of 2,400 people worldwide. Kellogg’s, Adidas and Nokia are some of its major clients.
Posterscope is the world’s leading Out-of-Home communications agency. Want to know how consumers behave when they are out-of-home? Talk to Posterscope and understand the connection between out-of-home, mobile and digital technologies.
Vizeum was created for the new era of media. It does not start with an ad, nor start with media. It starts from a different touch point – the way people make decisions about brands today.
It is present in 37 countries and employs 1,100 people worldwide with Coca-Cola, Panasonic and Total among its major clients.

At the launching of Aegis, Ramos said: “traditional approaches are now obsolete and one hundred years of marketing ideas are gone.”

He said the old ways and tools don’t work as well as they used to now. He asked people to observe the following:

A 5-year old viewing a shampoo commercial of one of the largest and most sophisticated marketers in the world, a 4-year old niece navigating an Ipad intuitively and with greater skills than her 40-year old uncle.

A teenager connected simultaneously to three screens, TV, iPhone, Laptop on YM, while doing her homework”, and “a grandmother connecting to friends and relatives all over the world, creating and sharing content with ease.

“Observe all these, and you’ll know the world has changed,” he says.


Ramos’ Aegis puts media demographics and aperture expertly under the microscope. Aware that “brands and mass audiences now stand on equal footing,” marketers should rethink the way they should talk to consumers, he says.

He notes that crowd-power, the largest companies, even governments now know what’s happening to new media.

He cites being exposed 24/7 to multi-channels and conversations that spread at lightning speed, for example. “Marketers should all the more rethink the way they should talk to their targets,” he reiterates.


Ramos stresses the need for marketers to expand from traditional media.

“Where advertising is now a small part of a much wider and wilder media ecosystem, where the 30-second TV commercial may not always be the silver bullet as it has always been in the past, Aegis, he says, creates tremendous opportunities to engage and converse with audiences.”


To connect and engage the consumers unceasingly, Ramos offers the Aegis Solution. He recommends the following:

1. Start with zero based planning principles with no defined media executions to start from.

2. Develop creative ideas that seamlessly flow through varied media channels online and offline.

3. Leverage the strategic tools and consumer insights on hand that are most apt for multiple brands and audiences.

4. Provide accountability for marketing investments and the results delivered by these resources.

“More than ever before, clients now want more accountability. The more we are accountable, the more we become better,” Ramos says.

Media used to be just numbers but Ramos says: “Media is now about putting creativity is many consumer touch points.”

He says Aegis Media was built for this perfect storm of globalization, convergence and digitization of the country’s online and offline lives.

Ramos says the agency is fully armed, having put in place the best possible tools for strategic media planning, buying and mounted what is currently the Philippines’ most comprehensive consumer insight research study and planning tool, CSS (Consumer Connection System).

The other key members of the Aegis Media Philippines team:

Carat Philippines – Mr. Boy Pangilinan CEO and Ms. Gladys Basinillo General Manager/COO

Mediaforce Vizeum – Mr. Tom Banguis Jr. – Chairman/CEO and Ms. Tonton Santiago - General Manager

iProspect – Ms. Shayne Garcia - Business Director

Isobar – Mr. Benson Lim - Digital Manager

Posterscope – Mr. Bing Kimpo - Business Director

Thursday, September 27, 2012


by Roger Pe

There are many anecdotes and great moments in Philippine advertising, you can write volumes of books about them.

One of them is this nerve-wracking story.

When the Concepcion family OF RFM bought a moribund softdrink company in the late 80s, three of its brands went up for an advertising bid.

You may call it the most high profile pitch then, and Basic Advertising, under the watchful eyes of its drillmaster Minyong Ordonez, went for the kill.

Nonoy Gallardo was one of the agency’s five creative directors determined to give the big boys a scare. He was tasked to conceptualize the agency’s pitch material for a cola market dominated for a long time by two warring giants, Coke and Pepsi.

Can a local company fight the multinational behemoths, each with strong presence across the country?

Pepsi had Michael Jackson, incredibly popular during that time with his “Billy Jean” anthem. To say the brand was very aggressive was an understatement. It churned out tv commercials, one after the other on the airwaves.

Coke, the number one cola, on the other hand, was always on alert for every move by competition. Its promos were big time and you can hear them any time. “Coke is it”, the brand’s thematic campaign, was cool with the young, a great tagline, perfect to solidify market leadership.

And so, the cola war was on, and a newcomer was about to join the fray.

Gallardo did his homework. “There were no consumer research back then, it was all based on gut feel but we made sure we zeroed in on the pulse of our target, a thing many marketers take for granted,” he reveals.

With an analytical mind and innate gift for music, his team readied the presentation, a precursor of many of Basic’s “pulse of the market” campaigns.

Gallardo brought along Ryan Cayabyab, the prime mover behind Filipino OPM (Original Pilipino Music) who translated his battlecry lyrics into a hair-raising acapella masterpiece.

As soon as Cayabyab began pounding on the keyboards, the panel had goosebumps. Everyone was mesmerized. The scene was reminiscent of Cayabyab’s Metro-Manila Pop Music Festival gig, where he won the Grand Prize for “Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika”.

After Cayabyab’s number, the whole agency team was asked to leave the room and linger a while at the lounge area while clients deliberated. Soon after, the conference door opened and handed in the verdict.

Basic was it. Pop, Sarsi and Cheers, the brands that were put on the block had a new agency and new music.

“Ang Bagong Tunog, Ang Bagong Pinoy” was born. Ordonez, Gallardo and his Basic team gave birth to “Angat sa Iba” and reminded us all that a Pinoy brand can be as good, if not better than imported brands.

Th relaunch of Cosmos brands after the first People Power was spectacular, even with inventory ‘shortage’ because of heavy demands from consumers.

More than twenty years after the commercials were launched on major Philippine tv stations at precedent making simulcast airing (roadblock), they still look as impeccable and exquisite as they made their first splash.

They could also easily upstage a tv ad in its category today.

“People thought we had a huge budget for that production but no, we didn’t. We relied on the wizardry of two young directors, Jeric Soriano and Jun Reyes whose eyes for visual design rewarded us with a good campaign,” he says.

“Ang Bagong Tunog” and “Angat sa Iba” now belong to the archives of Adboard (Advertising Board of the Philippines), predecessor of ASC (Ads Standards Council) as among Philippine advertising classics.

Gallardo and Ordonez were also partners for Basic’s high-recall tv campaign: Duty-Free’s “Babalik Ka Rin”. He was the same man behind the lyrics of “Saranggola ni Pepe”, “Tuliro” and Gaano Kita Kamahal?”

His wife is the iconic Celeste Legaspi, daughter of National Artist Cesar Legaspi. Celeste appeared in many Lino Brocka films, a successful recording artist who won many music awards and sang her way to gold and platinum charts.

“Pagdating Mo”, the husband and wife team’s entry to the very first Metro Pop Festival placed second to “Kay Ganda Ng Ating Musika” (music and lyrics by Ryan Cayabyab, interpreted by Hajji Alejandro). Not many people know, Gallardo also wrote the libretto of the original Filipino musical, “Sino Ka Ba, Jose Rizal?”

The man who learned advertising by religiously listening to the masters as they talked in regular industry gatherings would eventually put up his own agency.

Gallardo hired some of the best creative people in the industry in the early 90s: Mario Monteagudo, Dudu Ulep and Jim Paredes (of Apo Hiking Society fame). He called it Creative Partners.

“I had to reinvent myself,” he narrates. The reinvention earned Gallardo many hard-to-win trophies from Creative Guild, the award-giving body of the 4A’s.

While his baby earned a creative reputation, his feet were on the ground, never losing sight on the most important thing why he put up the shop: Help your clients’ business grow. “Kawawa naman sila if your priorities are different,” he says.

Monteagudo, his prize-catch from Ace-Saatchi and who gave his team a big creative boost had this to say:

“When you say "Nonoy Gallardo", the first thing that comes to mind is he doesn't believe in creativity for creativity's sake, he despises scam ads.”

When the Creative Guild gave Monteagudo the Lifetime Achievement Award, he thanked Gallado in his speech. Here are some excepts:

"Thank you to Nonoy Gallardo for giving me the opportunity to put up our own ad agency, Creative Partners and appointing me as Chief Creative Officer. Thank you for reminding me that great ads are created to build brands, not just our own personal portfolio, that we should use our creativity to boost sales, not our ego. And that no matter what happens, we should never, never, never make an ad for the sole purpose of winning an award."

The man who loved to reinvent himself each time he changed agencies is now the founder and CEO of Gasso (Gallardo and Associates), with surprisingly, a number of blue chip accounts and digital savvy.

At Gasso, Gallardo is reinventing himself once again, realizing the power of social media. Like the “Bagong Tunog” of Sarsi that he blazed, he is focusing on “Bagong Dugo” - helping new breed of advertising people help politicians do transformational rather than transactional acts.

No doubt, Gallardo’s longevity in the business is the sum total of his mindset when writing the lyrics of a song. “Know your destination and you’ll know where you’re going.”

Friday, September 21, 2012


by Roger Pe

Call him Mr. Burger. Tag him as Mr. Telecom, or simply address him as Mr. Nice Guy, that fits as well.

When McDonald’s shifted creative duties from McCann to Leo Burnett because of global alignment, the same marketing team had no qualms in welcoming him back.

More than a decade of tender, loving management care earned him today a place in the sun, a position many of his batchmates only achieved halfway.

Meet Raymund Arrastia, Leo Burnett Manila’s Group Managing Director, the guy on top of an agency conclave voted by the Philippine 4A’s as Best in Business Management this year.

The agency groups Leo Burnett Advertising, Black Pencil and Arc Digital Worldwide together.

Arrastia and former Executive Creative Director and Managing Directors Richard Irvine and March Ventosa) brought McDonald’s closer to Filipino homes.

The closer they got, the closer the agency also became an award-winning machine. Remember Karen, the granddaughter whom his ‘lolo’ (grandfather) kept referring to as Gina in that landmark 2001 tv commercial?

That was not only a mass audience success, it shoved the Philippines to the elite circle of Gold winners in Spike Asia, one of Asia’s two category 1 award shows.

Before that, the country had languished in the cellar, seeing the yearly results gave local industry observers anguish. The “Lolo” win was a major coup. It finally broke the long lingering spell where the country had never before won in a mainstream medium.

Arrastia was part of that dawning of new triumphant era, that also saw BenGay, Pacific Internet, Tide, Perla and other ‘quiet’ Burnett brands rose one after the other in blaze of glory.

The secret formula: Leo Burnett’s GPC (Group Product Committee) Rating System that the agency rigorously implements till today.

The GPC is an elite group of country creative directors tasked to evaluate ads prior to competing in award competitions. They are graded based on the following points:

1 - Appalling
2 - Destructive
3 - Not Competitive
4 - Cliche
5 - Innovative Strategy
6 - Fresh Idea
7 - Excellence in Craft
8 - New standard in the category
9 - New standard in advertising
10 - Best in the world, bar none

At the end of screening, ads that garner 8 points or better are good enough to compete.

Multi-Brand Master

Has anyone handled three major telecom accounts in his career? If you look at Arrastia’s track record as agency partner in helping build strong brands, those were just appetizers.

In one of his agency forays, Arrastia was like a sword, cast in iron, sharpened by fire and faced different market oddities.

Arrastia gamely faced one tough-brand-to-crack and which everyone feared to handle because of long hours, mind-altering deadlines and a client who didn’t mince words.

“I took the challenge because it was character building and being on it was a test of character,” he smiles recollecting his saga in that tumult-fraught episode of his career.

As Assistant Vice President for Philippine operations of Colgate Center of Excellence at Young & Rubicam, Arrastia was already showing the tough brand builder he was turning into.

He was a steadfast steward of strategies at BBDO-Guerrero. As a Business Unit Director for Pepsi, he moved to greater challenges in a more progressive environment, his hands full, helping balance creativity with strong strategic weight.

“Understanding your local market, making sure that advertising connects to your target and doing your homework pay big time,” Arrastia says.

Marketers who do not have much budget to support a brand campaign could learn a lot from Arrastia.

“You don’t need a big tranche of money to get awareness. “Choose the right medium, he says.”

He cites “Twister Fries” - a new addition to McDonald’s potato cuisine, a proudly Philippine-made product concept that is on the verge of making it to mainstream and, perhaps, on global McDonald’s menu.

Using “It’s time to get twisted again” campaign on social media, Burnett’s digital prowess is helping Twister Fries experience big clamor beyond its expectations.

Arrastia is proud of Burnett’s digital advantage. “We are strong, we are competitive, we have the support, applications and technology created by our developers in-house unlike any other shops,” he stresses.

“You may call Leo Burnett Manila’s Arc Worldwide Digital as kind of a technological hub which even offshore clients run after,” he points out.

For Arrastia, the key to success is hiring the right people in the right places. That is perhaps the reason why the agency is going further the distance on the growth charts.

Creative Powerhouse

Leo Burnett Worldwide won a record-breaking total of 55 Cannes Lions last June.

The network’s worldwide Chief Creative Officer Mark Tutssel, whom Business Friday interviewed prior to Ad Congress in Camsur last year, said in an announcement:

"Setting a new network record is a testament to our relentless focus on creativity and bringing to life ideas that resonate with a global audience."

Arrastia further tells us: “The network doesn’t believe in just creating ads. It has a creative mantra: "Acts Not Ads", a philosophy about a brand’s purpose, what it cares about and what it believes in. It is all about an act that can contribute to society at large or to a single life.”

Example work of the agency’s ideology was the humongously successful “Earth Hour” which the Burnett Sydney office developed supporting not-for-profit organizations.

A couple of years back, D&AD, the toughest awards show in the world, honored Leo Burnett Manila for its “Counting Sheep” tv ad for McDonald’s.

The ad was one of only few Filipino ads to be included in D&AD’s prestigious annual, heralding the agency’s creative team: Richard Irvine, Raoul Panes (now the agency’s Chief Creative Officer), Alvin Tecson, Mela Advincula).

Last May 4, Leo Burnett Manila lorded it over the rest of field at the Creative Guild of the Philippines’ “Kidlat Awards” with 19 metals, 5 of them golds. The agency also won a World Bronze Medal at New York Festivals.

Jarek Ziebinski, president of Leo Burnett Asia Pacific, whom Business Friday also interviewed last year said: “Leo Burnett is poised to be the fastest growing network in the region amid a climate of anemic advertising budgets.”

Ziebinski is famous for his “growth for freedom” proponent: "If a managing director gives me growth in the market, he gets the freedom to hire, to raise salaries and to expand.”

With Arrastia’s brand management style, the stars can be reached and agency’s goals shouldn’t be far-fetched.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


by Roger Pe

If David Ogilvy were alive today, he would be tweeting as much as he would be posting memes on Facebook.

Chances are, your followers will also be retweeting his nuggets of wisdom and your mutual friends, sharing his posts twice over.

Last year, the advertising industry celebrated the 100th birthday of a man regarded as the Father of Advertising, likewise, acclaimed author of two of the industry’s most influential books: “Ogilvy on Advertising” and “Confessions of an Advertising Man.”

At the end of the longest red carpet ever rolled in Cannes’ Palais des Festivals, a big billboard was mounted with this copy: “On this day, 100 years ago, David was born to inspire.”

On to the next 100 years. Would Ogilvy’s words be as relevant as it was inspiring when he mouthed them?

Universal truths and immortal teachings cannot be quantified by mathematical equations, especially if you have a believer as “codified” as Peachy Pacquing, newly appointed Country Head and CEO of Ogilvy Manila.

Pacquing was barely two days old in her new post during the interview. Interestingly, her appointment came on her third reincarnation in Ogilvy, an undeniable fact that she really was destined to head one of the country’s dynamic ad agencies.

Pacquing immediately strikes her audience with characteristics similar to strong Filipino women of the industry: Emily Abrera and Yoly Villanueva-Ong.

On her acceptance of the challenge, David Mayo, Ogilvy & Mather ASEAN President said:

“Pacquing has proven herself to be a collaborator, a business builder, a brand expert and in the new digital age, a leader beyond compare.”

“Why do creative people end up managing today’s business?” she begins, not with a tone of dismay, but with a tone of a serious businesswoman ready to roll the punches and face the battle.

“I never dreamt of being a CEO. I just watched how people, like Miniong Ordonez (former chairman of Basic), did it. I just fell in love with the industry and invested in something that was very gratifying,” she recollects on her journey.

To Pacquing, gratification is putting a lot of discipline in everything she does, whether doing a campaign, strategy planning, or now, managing an entire agency.

She lived out of a suitcase before, hopping from one airport to another, visiting thriving market hubs to manage a best-selling shampoo as a regional creative director, business building like no other.

The multi-disciplined creative who has literally and figurativelly gone places, intends to immediately pull together a formidable team in each of Ogilvy’s value-oriented department to deliver a long-term pool of robust talents.

“I want to come up with work that Filipinos and consumers can be proud of and relate to,” she says.

“I am looking forward to setting the course for Ogilvy with a series of moves that will put the agency ahead of the competition and connect us more closely with the emergent new Philippine consumer,” she said in an announcement.

Before she became Ogilvy’s CEO, Pacquing’s portfolio is volume-thick with awards garnered from the world’s most prestigious award-giving bodies, name them, she has them.

She dotes on the agency and admits that she is lucky to be in an organization that constantly asks you to do better.

Regionally and globally, the Ogilvy network is at the totem pole of creative rankings. It is redundant to mention that it is 2012’s Cannes Network of the Year, a dizzying achievement that rattled the usual suspects in the world’s biggest advertising festival.

In the Philippines, the agency is a vibrantly creative company with five companies under its roof, each doing a full-range of communications services.

OgilvyOne won Digital Agency of the Year and Red Works, was picked as the Print Production Agency of the Year in last year’s 4A’s Agency of the Year annual awards.

Saying it with true grit, Pacquing is proud of the fact that Ogilvy is aligned with her own values. “That’s the reason why I keep coming back to the agency.”

She tells people there is genuine respect in what people do in Ogilvy. She seems right on target and determined to steer Ogilvy to new heights based on her vision.

“You want to understand where it is headed. That’s what keeps me up at night. It’s sobering when you have something to look forward to when you wake up in the morning,” she intimates with circumspect.

David Ogilvy’s quotes are like precious gems in a jewelry box, which among them would she pick as her favorite?

Pacquing can’t be caught flat-footed. The staunch keeper and fierce advocate of Ogilvy’s doctrines answers with a mark of a true leader:

"If you always hire people who are smaller than you are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. If, on the other hand, you always hire people who are bigger than you are, we shall become a company of giants."

Pacquing runs that in her head every time she interviews people. She makes it a point to probe and ask: “Will the probable candidate make me insecure?”

Pacquing is Ogilvy-personified so intense we caught her garbed in some shades of red, the Ogilvy corporate color.

“In everything we do, the Ogilvy creative culture is always at the forefront of our business, our creativity as fluid and seamlessly integrated,” she says.

For Pacquing, growing the business should be done with a strategy likened to that of winning a war, do it intelligently.

“The world is pitch-crazy these days,” she hollers. “While we want our business to grow every year, we want to do it the better way – done smartly.”

How does she inspire people?

“I lead by example. If people are working on it, I am working on it. I don’t hesitate to ask people, if you need me, ask me.”

Nothing is beneath Pacquing. She still carries the values many Philippine advertising greats taught her.

She values honesty and people who do their work passionately.

She treats everyone in Ogilvy as an extension of her family – nurturing and trying to bring out the best in people, sharing what she had learned throughout her colorful, illustrious career.

Giving something back for Pacquing is an obligation, it’s no surprise you’ll find her teaching Visual Communications at UP College of Fine Arts every Saturday.

She has previously held Advertising, Direct and Interactive Creative Director positions and as Ogilvy's Regional Creative Director for Kimberly Clark Asia Pacific, Grey Worldwide's Regional Creative Director for Pantene and JWT's Regional CD for Knorr Asia. Multi-faceted.

She came back to Ogilvy Manila in March 2008 as 360 Planning Director and also was Talent Leader.

Today, the copywriter who wrote her own ticket to her newly found destination has arrived.

The passionate observant who has partnered with many brilliant Filipino creatives and worked under the scrutiny of legendary Neil French has gone full circle.

Now, that’s inspiration beyond words.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


by Roger Pe

Sporting greats. Movie stars. Intellectual achievers. Beauty queens. Entertainment, and other famous personalities - when they’re hot, they’re hot and who else could be chasing them?

Brands who want to have a measure of their glow to help them get into people’s homes and consciousness, and hopefully, their wallets.

Celebrities are like honeycombs ("pinuputakte") swarmed by bees, in Pinoy street language, when they step into a mall.

Fans and curious onlookers gravitate towards them, creating a commotion, and in some cases, pandemonium.

Smart advertisers strike while the iron is hot, knocking on their doors, cashing in on their popularity.

As these demi-gods turn into big crowd magnets and everyone is going gaga over them, companies are scrambling to catch a proverbial star.

Based on AC Nielsen’s latest study covering from January to June 11 last year, the Top 5 Celebrity Endorsers in the Philippines are:

1. Kris Aquino (10 endorsements), 2. John Lloyd Cruz (8 endorsements) 3. Carmina Villaroel, Zoren Legaspi, Ryan Agoncillo, Sarah Geronimo and Vic Sotto (7 endorsements) 4. Anne Curtis, 5. Marie Lozano, Michael V and Sharon Cuneta (6 endorsements) 5. Judy Ann Santos and Kim Chiu (5 endorsements)

Last April, Rappler published BIR’s top celebrity taxpayers for the year 2010 as follows:

1.Kris Aquino: P32.3M Income Tax, P101.08M Income

2. Sarah Geronimo: P14.8M Income Tax, P46.5M Income

3. Piolo Pascual: P13.05M Income Tax, P40.9M Income

4. Marian Rivera: P11.89M Income Tax, P37.27M Income

5. John Lloyd Cruz: P10.93M Income Tax,
P34.25M Income

Filipino and global boxing icon Manny Pacquiao is in a league of his own.

For the first time last year, Pacman barged into Forbes’ yearly list of the 20 Highest-Paid Celebrities, ranking 16th with $67 million in earnings inspite of his controversial loss to Timothy Bradley.

Manny Pacquiao’s global endorsements include Nike, Technomarine, Hewlett-Packard, Hennessy, among others making him ahead of Dr. Phil McGraw ($64 million), business mogul Donald Trump ($63 million), Ryan Seacrest ($59 million), and Britney Spears and Tiger Woods (both with $58 million).

So you’ve signed big celebrity up as endorser because your brand isn’t moving up an inch the sales charts, and your bottom line is nearing rock bottom.

Is dear celebrity the last resort?

Before spending or see your precious money go down the drain, ask yourself if you did your homework.

Do you have a good strategy? Are you delivering the right message? How’s your advertising? Does it stand out from the media clutter? Or worst, are you selling a turkey?

There’s more to using glamour, prestige, and fame lent by celebrities to your advertising than meets the eye.


“The product, the product, the product.” Many advertising greats have repeatedly said this line.

Everything boils down, as we all know, to a good product, one that delivers what it says, one that makes the competition scringe with envy and, in the long run, has no option but to improve his.

A good product is a star in its own right.

A great product is a celebrity. It will sell on its own merits. Its performance is its own testimonial. Extremely satisfied consumers are its free endorsers.

Advertising a bad product, even if endorsed by Superman or the sexiest girl or man in the world, will not do the trick. It will only hasten its demise. People will eventually know and word-of-mouth is often fatal.

A good product with a celebrity endorser won’t do just as much either.

Remember what your marketing mentors taught you before? Learn from consumers, the very people who buy and use your product. Know what goes on their minds.

Probe, ask, talk, be one of them. What precious insights have you picked from being one of them?

Many marketers oftentimes fall into this trap: Using celebrity endorsers mouthing manufactured words blindly.

Letting endorsers memorize lines like robots without the heart and soul of a consumer is a waste of time and money. Today’s consumers are intelligent, they’ll know.

Ad campaigns that portray celebrities as consumers of the brand they are advertising are more credible.

A commercial that uses a celebrity as part of the story to dramatize a brand’s unique selling proposition leaves a good impression. It elicits audience empathy.

An ad that makes a celebrity just pose and smile infront of camera is cold and invites sarcasm. People tend to say, “So?”

Advertising that makes celebrities as mere decorations or props make people turn to the next page of a newspaper or change channels as in television.

The worst thing that could happen is, people remember the celebrities, not the brand.

Commercials using celebrities with a sense of purpose are best remembered and talked about.

When celebrities are depicted like normal human beings, people can always relate.

So the next time you do an ad using a celebrity, review your idea.

Scrutinize if he/she is going to be relevant to the story. Want to connect meaningfully to your audience? Attach celebrities to the concept - not coldly detached from consumers’ hearts and minds. Consumerizing a celebrity attracts throngs of consumers.


Now that you have a product that will be swarmed by “bees” and in a situation that you have to use a celebrity, some tips to consider:

Do research on the celebrity’s likability.

Just because someone is popular, pretty or good-looking doesn’t mean she or he will fit the role.

You may find that there are skeletons rattling in the celebrity’s closet, things that could hurt your brand image later on.

Marketing guru Willy Arcilla who has worked around the region and the greater China market handling a number of multinational brands, says:

“Choose someone who best personifies your brand’s imagery, character and values, someone who can dramatize your brand’s rational and emotional benefits, and most of all, someone who genuinely loves your brand, uses your product or patronizes your service. Credibility is key.”

“It is like choosing a suit for your wedding day, says Raymund Sison, BBDO-Guerrero copywriter.

“It should fit perfectly or a disaster totally. The celebrity’s image should be right for the brand’s personality in the same manner as the role of the brand should be appropriate to the endorser’s lifestyle,” he says.

Sison also tells us that that the brand ambassador should likewise appeal to the market and the market should be able to identify with the celebrity.

Veteran tv commercial director Sockie Fernandez who has done many celebrity endorser ads, says that aside from popularity, one should “choose a celebrity that reflects the character and values of the brand you are selling.”

“Credibility is the most important thing. Afterall, your brand’s credibility is at stake. Does the product match the celebrity’s lifestyle? There should be truth in advertising,” says TV commercial Producer Desiree Pe-Beasley.

Rolly Halagao, one of advertising’s most in-demand casting directors, says: “Choose your celebrity endorser not only on popularity but also on credibility, adaptability and willingness to endorse your brand.”

Halagao explains: “A celebrity must be a hot-item to ignite your target. The willingness to do the project is a big factor because you may have an endorser who’ll just do it for the money.”


A brand looks real when a celebrity endorses it. It shows that it exists.

People are generally impressionable and would readily identify with the brands celebrities endorse.

“Many people believe that if they buy what celebrities are endorsing, they, too, can be just like them and have a piece of that “better” life,” says Arcilla.

Make hay while the sun shines and strike while the iron is hot. 16-year-old Gabby Douglas was everyone’s darling after she became the first Afro-American to win an Olympic gymnastics gold.

Procter & Gamble took advantage and offered her with a multi-million dollar endorsement deals. So did Kellogg’s.

Olympic champions Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farrah are now enjoying fat celebrity endorsement fees because of their vastly immense pulling power.


What happens when endorsers figure in scandals and not-so palatable situations?

When the endorser is ‘tainted’ the chain-reaction follows.

After winning eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, Michael Phelps earned numerous endorsement contracts. When photos of him surfaced on the net holding a marijuana pipe, AT&T cancelled his endorsement deals.

Tiger Woods had juicy contracts with Nike until he got into a smoldering domestic scandal. Relentless bad press rocked his otherwise wholesome persona affecting his image and Nike’s as well.

Woods lost major endorsement deals with Gillette, Gatorade and Tag Heuer.
Accenture also severed all ties with him, confirming he is "no longer the right representative."

A British actress told the world she rarely wears make-up while at the same time endorsing a cosmetics brand.

In 1988, actor Alan Alda was IBM spokesman but was caught buying a Toshiba.

Anheuser-Busch, Oakley, and Nike announced however said that it was sticking with Lance Armstrong despite the doping allegations hurled on the cyclist.

In a statement, Oakley said: "It supports athletes who respect and honor the ethics of sports until proven otherwise."

But even with these brands standing by Armstrong, Ad Age reported: “his popularity is going on a spiral downhill.”

So thinking of using an endorser? The payoffs are great, the risks even greater, but the greatest thing to do is invest on your product first and the rest, including celebrities, will follow.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


By Roger Pe

If you know an excellent sushi you must know this network.

If you know Toyota, Sony, Honda and other top Japanese brands, you must know Dentsu.

Not many people know, this Japanese ad conglomerate is one of the world’s largest. So big in fact, it can give the big guns, McCann, BBDO, Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy and the rest a run for their money.

Just a little bit of introduction:

Dentsu is the fifth biggest advertising agency network in the world, a 110-year old iconic brand in Japan counting Toyota, Nintendo, Panasonic, Ajinomoto, among others as one of its 6,000 global clients.

For two consecutive years, (2011 and 2012) Dentsu was named Agency of the Year in Cannes of Asia, Asia Adfest, where Philippine ad agencies consistently send entries.

After 50 years of trying, Dentsu is making waves in the US. Under Tim Andree, Dentsu McGarry Bowen recently was named Ad Age’s Agency of the Year twice in three years.

The agency is on globalization frenzy and has started creating an advertising empire, stretching across the world’s five continents: the Americas, Europe, Asia, Oceania, all the way to North Africa with over 100 offices scattered all over.

As the industry focuses on the big boys, Dentsu is building a new organization – the “Dentsu Network” to hasten its spread across the globe.

Today, Dentsu has established an enviable reputation - one of the most innovative communications companies with a staff of 20,000 worldwide and is recognized as the world’s biggest sports marketing company.


Need to breakdown constraints to find the best solutions for your clients’ marketing problems?

Tired of solutions that didn’t work? Following the “Dentsu Way” might give you the upperhand.

From product development to product launch, Dentsu practices “yuzu mage,” meaning flexibility and freedom.

The everyday practice is a corporate culture at Dentsu, the cornerstone of its uniqueness as an agency, all contained in a book called "The Dentsu Way,” published by the company.

“We have a guiding principle in managing our business that’s been good to us over the last 10 years in the Philippines,“ says Nonna Nanagas, the bubbly President and CEO of Dentsu Philippines in her posh address in The Enterprise Ayala.

An industry veteran, Nanagas earned her brilliant stars and stripes from many years of experience handling a number of local and multinational brands.

She is proud of her agency that’s been running against American and British-owned networks with aplomb.

“We are a low-key ad agency but at the end of the day, it’s about the agency and the brand,” she says.

Well-said. In these difficult times, Dentsu flies high with a solid report card handling 80% percent of Toyota’s advertising business in the Philippines, aside from consistently making double-digit growth and a good measure of non-Japanese accounts.

What makes “The Dentsu Way” a bright path to take? These teachings bring them great results:

1. Initiate projects on your own instead of waiting for work to be assigned.
2. Take an active role in all your endeavors, not a passive one.
3. Search for large and complex challenges.
4. Welcome difficult assignments. Progress lies in accomplishing difficult work.
5. Once you begin a task, complete it. Never give up.
6. Lead and set an example for your fellow workers.
7. Set goals for to ensure a constant sense of purpose.
8. Move with confidence, it gives your work force and substance.
9. At all times, challenge yourself to think creatively and find new solutions.
10. When confrontation is necessary, don’t shy away from it. Confrontation is often necessary to achieve progress.

Nanagas started as copywriter at the formerly dominant AMA (Advertising and Marketing Associates) after becoming a sterling PANA (Philippine Association of National Advertisers) scholar.

She was mentored by Philippine advertising greats: the late Antonio de Joya, Greg Macabenta, Louie Morales, Tony Gloria and Nita Claravall, becoming what she is now: creative and operations- savvy.

Hardwork is a class act for Nanagas who also speaks it. That perhaps explains her longevity in the industry.

“I learned the discipline of hardwork from my mentors,” she mentions with a low-key voice but bursts into a hearty laughter in between the interview seeing how the industry continuously evolves.

Nanagas is a mentoring President in and out of Dentsu, with an innate desire to give something back. You may find her in Ateneo teaching on a weekend if her Dentsu schedules allow her.

She never forgets to tell her students and staff that: “In this business, everything must be anchored on consumer insight. Creators of advertising must see how consumers behave, probe on their attitudes, and everything around them to be able to do effective advertising.”

She stresses that advertising isn’t one’s “kathang isip” (imagined things) and that agencies should make an impactful difference on their clients’ bottom lines to become real partners.

And how is Nanagas as a Dentsu leader?

“She is a people-oriented person and you can easily feel it the moment you’re introduced. Even in the 4A’s (Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies of the Philippines) where she was president, Nanagas is always candid and pleasantly approachable to many,” confides an industry colleague.

Beyond the pleasantness, is a businesswoman with depth and whose focus is only on Dentsu and not on which agency is doing what.

She has eyes only for delivering income to the agency, empowering, giving opportunities and growth for others. “You cannot perpetuate yourself,” she says.

In the Philippines, Dentsu is a dynamic advertising agency with a 45-staff, providing value-added service to clients.

“We provide service the Dentsu way but we are not subservient,” she says.

Last June, the Dentsu network won Cannes’s most prestigious Lion, the Titanium and 4 Gold Lions. It also bagged Cannes’ Media Agency of the Year in 2009 and Asia Adfest Interactive Agency of the Year for two consecutive years (2009 and 2010).

For the first time also in the history of the Campaign Brief Asia Creative Rankings, a Japanese agency landed at the top in the 2009 - Dentsu Tokyo became the most awarded agency in Asia, and Campaign Brief Asia's Regional Agency of the Year.

With thousands of clients all over the world going “The Dentsu Way,” wouldn’t you also follow the line?