Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Back then, when there were no Borders, Basheer and Fully-Booked Stores, Mrs. Salta was heaven-sent to us creatives who didn’t have enough money to shop to Hongkong for hard-to-find advertising books.

Who could ever forget Mrs. Salta? Even our ad agency pantry girl knew her.

Mrs. Salta kept us updated with what’s going on in the advertising world outside of the country. She, too, was a mother, friend, generous lady who never ripped us off like a loan shark, you pay when you’re able.

Her routine was make visits to every ad agency in Manila, big and small, three times a week to offer the latest editions of the freshest imported ad books.

For “24 tear drops” (the Filipino colloquial term for 24-month payment scheme), one could have a credit line and crisp, just-off-the-press issues of hard-bound Art Directors Club, One Show, New York Festivals, glossy Communication Arts magazines and many more without having to pay the full amount in one blow.

I remember my first book bought from Mrs. Salta – an ADC Annual with former Manila agency CD Karl Steinbrenner on the cover.

Steinbrenner and another guy in suit were doing a handshake but their left hands were doing something else: holding a knife hidden behind their backs.

I was young and naïve in advertising then, not knowing how advertising ‘mad men’ lived ‘double lives.” Was that ominous? Hmmm … are advertising people real?

This question continues to linger in my mind even when I’ve put up my own business and placed other eggs discreetly in investment markets.

I remember a mad as Hitler MD of ours during a pitch. In his desperate move to win ‘pogi’ (handsome) points to the owners and CEO of the agency, including clients, he showed the competing ad agency’s media faux fas in the middle of the presentation and badmouthed it to death publicly.

I remember a credit-grabbing CD who would copy Neil French’s style of writing word-for-word. While we worked as slaves in that far away Southeast Asian country, she had a fabulous bungalow, a driver and access to everything she wanted, including a huge painting she hostaged me to do for her.

Another regional ECD made us toil for long hours while he always disappeared, spent his ‘free’ time in bars and reaped all the graces from the powers-that-be. His impeccable credentials sold everyone but his ideas were nothing but-second-rate rip offs they always made us snicker at the building’s fire exit door.

Karma finally caught up with him when an expensive jingle-study he commissioned with a cohort fell flat on his face. It sounded a poor version of a high profile Asian airline jingle he claimed he composed. He is now in the dumps.

In yet another foreign market, I witnessed a truly Asian ‘Mad Men’ version of racism, social hypocrisy, and counterculture.

A client services director, the strat planning head and MD were constantly after each other throats. Needless to say, the boardroom calisthenics and insults they smeared down their faces were worthy of Emmy trophies, minus the horrific accent, of course.

Thanks to Mrs. Salta. Her books helped us uncover a dossier of ripped off ads that occasionally made their apparitions on our local media. I've interviewed many multinational agency network CEOs and Presidents, regional creative directors and ECDs, marketing directors, global chief creative officer Mark Tutsel and many unknowns in the ad industry.

I became a victim of the most ruthless mudslingings after that even to this day by online terrorists. I laugh them off now because business is good.

I miss Mrs. Salta, the kind woman who opened pages of memorable events in my advertising career, even now that we have modern, huge bookstores.

One thing that I really learned from her that I want to share with you is never engage with upstarts and douchebags. They are bad payers, bad for business and you’ll never be successful.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


DDB Worldwide has announced that its worldwide chief creative officer Amir Kassaei will be establishing DDB's global creative centre in Shanghai.

A move reinforcing DDB's ongoing commitment and investment into the Asian region, it is believed to be the first time a global, Madison Avenue agency has moved its creative headquarters to China.

This move complements John Zeigler's (chairman & CEO of DDB Group Asia Pacific, India & Japan) re-location to Singapore in December, 2011. Patrick Rona, former president of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) for Tribal DDB Worldwide and chief digital officer for DDB Group EMEA, now Tribal DDB Asia Pacific's new president and chief digital officer for DDB Group Asia Pacific, also moved to Singapore in January of this year.

Says Zeigler: "We're very honoured to have our global creative centre in Asia. World-class brands are moving here and they deserve world-class creative they have become accustomed to. Amir, with our top creative talent across the region, will deliver just this. I'm sure of it."

"DDB Group Asia Pacific now has three core regional hubs - Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai. Amir's move makes China the centre piece for our global creative work."

Says Chuck Brymer, CEO, DDB Worldwide: "This is one of the most significant moves we have made in the history of DDB. The world as we know it is changing and our industry's growth market is now without doubt the Asian region. Move over New York, London, Paris. Hello Shanghai, Mumbai, Singapore. With this in mind, there's no time better to set up our creative powerhouse in China."

Appointed DDB Worldwide Chief Creative Officer in February 2011, Kassaei is one of the most lauded creatives in the world. Amir and his teams are the recipients of more than 2,000 national and international awards, including 40 Cannes Lions in the past five years. he was named The Big Won Report's 'Top Chief Creative Officer' in 2009, and has been selected as The Big Won's 'Top 3 Chief Creative Officers' for each of the last three years.

In 2003, Kassaei joined DDB as Chief Creative Officer and Associate Partner of DDB Germany, where he quickly helped reshape the agency. As the youngest DDB Chief Creative Officer in Europe, he quickly transformed it into one of the most creative and successful agencies in Germany. Under Amir's leadership, DDB Germany has also been ranked as the most awarded German agency in the Gunn Report.

During his tenure at DDB Germany, Amir founded and established Tribal DDB Germany as a modern, multichannel agency. He is currently based in New York, and his move to Shanghai is imminent.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


A consumer is not a dog, you whistle and he comes to you.

In a larger scale, consumers have changed the ad industry we built.

They have become more and more demanding. As their lifestyle changed, they’ve become much in control.

“We should change the way we communicate to them,” said recent Manila visitor Paul Heath, Ogilvy Asia-Pacific CEO.

“At Ogilvy, change is our lifeblood, stagnation our death knell,” he told an audience when he spoke about creativity and effectivity in digital age.

New technology, new apps, new amazing things that come our way, would creativity whittle down because everything is now possible at the touch of button?

And the question many people ask: would the Internet and viral kill television as a medium?

If you ask Heath, that wouldn’t be quite so.

“It is fashionable to say that viral is going to kill tv, but the fact is, there is no killer medium, we just have killer choices now,” he said.

Heath emphasized the major role tv plays as far as targeting a near perfect brand awareness percentage is concerned.

He noted that television still stands out as the one old-media business with surprising resilience.

“Even if consumers are spending a great amount of time online now, we are also watching great amount of old-fashioned television, across so many cable offerings, in addition to the major networks,” he said.

“At the end of the day, it is how you look at it, how you do your own media mix, how you change your business modem and drive consumers to the web where you can talk to them where it wasn’t possible before,” Heath stressed.

How very right he was. At the end of the day, did consumers know your product regardless of what medium you used?

Speaking of change, Heath noticed how the winds of change are sweeping in the industry, how it has changed its activities of interest and how communicators are communicating to consumers.

“Our number one concern is always to adapt to those changes and build creativity as our weapon of differentiation,” he said.

It’s probably why Ogilvy Asia Pacific is romping off with regional awards one after the other.

Last year, Ogilvy was chosen Network of the Year by Campaign Asia during the latter’s annual Agency of the Year Awards.

At the same awards show, it also took home the Creative Agency Network of the Year award, for continuously producing great work that worked effectively for many clients’ brands.

“Creativity is survival, it is vital,” Heath said.

“We have evidence that creativity is 11 times faster and more effective than a campaign that it is not,” he said.

If that is by any indication, Ogilvy Asia Pacific walks the talk, extremely proud of the recognitions the industry peers have bestowed on one of the world’s most creative networks.

The network’s PR arm, Ogilvy PR Worldwide, likewise won the Regional Specialist Agency of the Year award as well as Specialist Agency of the Year for South East Asia, through Ogilvy PR Singapore.

In two of its largest markets, both India and China won Digital Agency of the Year.
Ogilvy & Mather Mumbai, one of its star agencies, also took home the Creative Agency of the Year plum.

“Winning these awards last year was a fantastic way for Ogilvy Asia Pacific. In a year where we celebrated David Ogilvy’s 100th Birthday and put the power of creativity firmly at the centre of our agenda, it is a great recognition of our efforts,” Heath said on its company website.

Elsewhere in the world, Ogilvy & Mather won 12 Gold, 17 Silver, 32 Bronze Lions and 133 finalists in Cannes last year, scooping a total of 61 Lions across all categories, breaking its previous year record dominance.

In the same festival, Ogilvy capped its highest finish ever, placing second in the Network of the Year category.


Heath is proud of Ogilvy and Mather’s leadership role in the Philippines – citing brand Dove’s point-of-view: “All women are beautiful.”

“Brands must have a point-of-view. You get an enormous risk of getting shutdown by consumers if you don’t have a point-of-view,” he said.

“To have a point-of-view means you stand for something. The reason Dove stood out was because it had a point-of-view,” he said.


The growing importance of Asia in the world market is one of the reasons why change is an important word to the Ogilvy network.

“An organization that embraces change is successful in building business,” Heath said.

The network’s proprietary tools, all catalysts for change have helped guide many of Ogilvy brands to market effectivity and brand successes.

The Big IdeaL™, the 4Es, the Last Mile and 360 Digital Influence are just some of them.

Internally, Heath is proud of ongoing changes happening across every country in the network.

One such is the online and offline people-training program that has already logged in 170,000 hours since it was initiated.

In this digital age, one just needs to follow the Ogilvy formula to be a huge success.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


by Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer
February 17, 2011 issue

The word is immediate. The scope is limitless.

The most exciting thing about digital advertising is, it is not bounded by geography or time.

Digital advertising continues to evolve, amazing us to a dizzying spin.

Varying forms of this media are waiting to be born, in the next few months, or tomorrow when we wake up in the morning.

From simple email, banner, text, display, pop-up, content, flash HTML, mobile ads to blogs and product feeds, digital advertising has gone beyond the boundaries of our imagination.

Websites have become cutting edge in functionality, design and entertainment value.

“Digital advertising added new dimension to the ad world, innovation at its finest,” says Jamaal Acuna, a UAP communication arts graduate.

Search engine and social media marketing have proven themselves powerful awareness-making machines, creating buzz for less media money investments.

Nowadays, it is unthinkable for one not to explore the different avenues paved by the wonder media of the future.

“The latest iteration of an activity that began with prehistoric man, word-of-mouth and cave drawings has gone beyond our wildest dreams.

“The media, contexts and content have evolved … but not the objective,“ says Bing Kimpo, Chief Marketing Officer of Trackworks and former director of Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP).

In these days of strong market competition, a consistently updated, interesting, entertaining brand website can be a potent word-of-mouth instigator, capable of making countless hits, bridge contacts and eventually close business deals.

A website matters most, matter of factly. It is your face to the world, likened to an airport where you get a strong impression the first time you’re visiting.

The site legitimizes your existence. It is your brand’s online profile and identification card.

Over 70% of the largest and small businesses all over the world now have a website of varying degrees of creativity, appeal and usability, according to sellingtosmallbusinesses.com

“It is unthinkable not to have one. Even off-the-beaten path bed-and-breakfast pension house in the provinces now have a website,” says a small entrepreneur.

Web designers, photographers, ad agencies, people who are in various disciplines of the arts: fashion, entertainment, museum curating have the most cutting-edge sites.

“Indeed, the digital revolution has dramatically changed the way we communicate. From an era of purely mass communication, we are now in a generation of personal engagement,” says Raymund Sison, Senior Copywriter at BBDO-Guerrero.

Inquirer Business interviews Manny Nepomuceno, Digital Director and Head of Proximity, BBDO-Guerrero’s sister company and most awarded digital agency for the fourth year running at the IMMAP Boomerang awards.

Proximity has also developed award-winning integrated campaigns with its BBDO Guerrero for accounts like Pepsi and Bayan Telecommunications.

INQUIRER BUSINESS: How is digital advertising moving now in the Philippines? Slow, fast, overtaking other media?

MANNY NEPOMUCENO: We're seeing more and more clients shift more and more of their budgets into the digital space.

The pace of this shift is slower than the pace of the market – for example, Facebook has been the dominant social network in the country for the past couple of years, but we're still finding brands that haven't begun to explore what's possible on the platform.

A lot of the work being done involves establishing practices and familiarizing people with new concepts and ideas.

Digital won't be overtaking other media anytime soon, but radio and print have suffered somewhat from its inclusion into the marketing mix – at least budget-wise.

In other aspects of the practice – creativity, effectiveness, etc. - digital is at least on par with other communications channels.

IB: How do you see it 5 years from now?

MN: As little as four years ago, most if not all of the digital work on the market presumed a user sitting in front of a computer.

Campaigns in the mobile space inevitably required a user to text a code to a number. A 'tablet' was a kind of pill you popped into your mouth.

Obviously, these have all changed, although we still do the text-a-code-to-a-number thing.

The current projection is that by 2016, mobile marketing will be tremendously important – the growth rate as projected over the next five years is staggering.

The agency of 2016 and its clients should be, and will be, paying more attention to how it engages its market on a small, pocket size screen.

IB: What is Proximity’s core competence in digital advertising?

MN: Integration. The core proposition of the brand shouldn't change across channels.

A brand that promises something in its ATL advertising shouldn't say something different on the online space.

Also, and we should really emphasize this: creativity. It's a much-abused term in an industry full of creative people, but we have a wall full of trophies we're insanely proud of and a roster of clients who are happy with the work we've done.

IB: How much does a whole digital advertising package cost?

MN: It depends, really. There are brands for whom 'digital marketing' is just a Facebook page managed by a brand manager, and that's ok.

That costs nothing beyond what they're already paying the brand manager. Other brands require projects with such a broad scope that they approach above the line advertising in the size of their budget.

Our best advice for brands looking to get onto the online space is to shop around – there are plenty of organizations offering digital marketing services (of which we are, of course, the best.

What costs millions of pesos in one shop might cost much less in another. Also, having a budget in mind helps both the client and agency figure out what is possible and what isn't.

IB: Give Inquirer readers, clients and marketers big reasons why they shouldn’t let go of digital advertising in their marketing mix.

MN: Take a good, hard look at who's buying your products.

Chances are, they're people with cell phones in their pockets and computers in their homes or places of work.

They still watch television, read the news and listen to the radio – but they aren't necessarily doing so in the same way our parents were.

They probably aren't watching, reading, or listening to the same things our parents were, either.

Digital is about staying relevant.

We live in a fast-paced, hyperconnected world where a bad review from a blogger can escalate into a PR nightmare and where a shared video can catch the eye of an audience hungry for a message.

It's a different place for a brand, and only the ones that can reach out and connect to their markets will flourish.

Digital is about making that connection.

No other medium allows a consumer to talk back and tell the brand what he thinks.

No other medium allows a brand to communicate directly with that consumer, one on one, and to customize that communication so that it is relevant, interesting, and personal.

No other medium is as powerful, pervasive and potentially transformative of both business practice and personal life.

Whether or not a brand wants to be in the digital space, it already is. The market sees to that. What remains to be seen is how skillfully (or poorly) the brand responds.

And that is the case for digital.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


by Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer
February 13, 2012

Cloudy today, it’s gloomy or rainy day tomorrow.

The sun never shines as bright as we’ve always wanted. Neither do rainbows.

Life has many ups and downs, and is definitely, not a bed of roses.

Some things suddenly become uncool when we wake up in the morning.

Today, you’re the apple of the eye of somebody, tomorrow, you can never tell.

In many things in life, we can’t have it our way.

But what if there’s something we can do about them, if we can create our own “little rainbows”, and experience them every day?

Have you seen Globe Postpaid’s TV commercial lately?

Come, take a look a little closer, linger awhile … think about the love of your life, would you want to create your own story, too?

Watching the latest campaign from the leader in postpaid makes us remember life’s many delightful moments, the things we treasure dearest to our hearts flash back to our consciousness.

It makes us hopelessly romantic again, taking us back in time to our childhood days of joyfulness.

Globe makes it fun to reminisce all those innocent days of spontaneity and amazement, the zest for life, even the naughty puppy love days.

We wished upon a star when we were so naïve. We’ve never forgotten to do the same when we became wiser and more logical, how Globe makes us see life in a sweeter perspective.

What’s the story all about?

A young man sits in the park while he watches the world passes by. He muses about the love of his life wondering if he can create a beautiful story about it.

“I’ll begin “habang bata pa lang ako” (at tender age),” his voice poignantly echoes.

He waxes romantic and plays a matchmaker: “I will make a perfect couple fall in love, I’ll make them neighbors …”

We are brought next to two adjacent and brightly colored townhouses, with two upper windows facing each other. You’d expect to see Romeo profess his undying love to Juliet by the veranda.

A falling star quietly passes by, caught by a reflection on the window. His voice wafts in the air: “I wish that their first born be a girl, and because we’re so close, I can see her every day.”

Dissolve to a breathtaking scene. Mesmerizing, as it is captivating, picture perfect, reminiscent of a Renoir’s landscape painting.

Towards the romantic build-up, he completes his soliloquy: “I will tell her what I feel when the right time comes.”

He picks a yellow aster from the ground, circles the stem on his finger and makes a flower ring out of it, ready to offer to the girl.

But life has many twists and turns. He sees a mirage, the girl going away. He drops the little ‘ring’ but hears a voice from behind soon after: “Sa akin ito?” (Is this for me?)

All is well, happy ending and a voice punctuates the story: “Nothing comes close to the beauty of creating the life you want.”

How reassuring, how sweet – life’s many surprises.

Globe Postpaid’s TV commercial entitled “My Super Wish For Love” is a tribute to consumers, the brand’s respect for its subscribers and its unwavering commitment to making lives a little better by strengthening bonds, forging connections, and bridging gaps wherever, whenever people are.

The TVC is headlined by Globe My Super Plan, the most flexible postpaid plan in the market today, letting you choose and customize your plan based on your choice of consumables, freebies, unlimited services, and handsets so you can enjoy your postpaid plan your way.

As a product, My Super Plan embodies empowerment, allowing us to create, be in control, and live a worry-free life because we get exactly what we want.

That’s total satisfaction from Globe: Guaranteed. Cases in point –

Bill Shock. For as long as you are registered to any data plan or service, you don’t need to monitor your usage as a My Super Plan user because you can be confident that you will never pay more than P999 for mobile surfing.

7-Day Phone Warranty. Should you happen to receive a phone with your newly acquired Globe postpaid plan, and the phone doesn’t quite meet your satisfaction, it can be replaced within 7 days from date of purchase, no questions asked.

24/7 Easy-Access. Subscribers here and abroad can get real-time feedback from customer service representatives (CSR) who are on duty round-the-clock.

That’s through the chat functionality available on Globe website or by adding Talk2Globe account (Talk2GLOBECHAT) on Yahoo! Messenger.

Globe subscribers anywhere in the Philippines can also get assistance through SMS by texting HELP to 1234 for free. Also available are the Talk2Globe Hotline via 730-1000 (toll-free via Globe Landline) or 211 (toll-free via Globe/TM mobile), official Talk2Globe social networking accounts: Facebook and Twitter and Talk2Globe email account (talk@globetel.com.ph).

With all these exclusive perks you get from being a Globe My Super Plan user, you can really create a plan for you, by you and enjoy life’s greatest pleasures just the way it’s destined to be.

With Globe Postpaid, nothing really comes close to the beauty of creating the life you want, the way you want it and, surprise, surprise, you can have it your way.

My Super Plan is available in all Globe stores nationwide. To know more about My Super Plan, visit a Globe Store nearest you, call the Globe Sales Hotline at (02) 730-1010 or log on to www.globe.com.ph/postpaid.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


by Roger Pe
Philippine Daily Inquirer
February 3, 2012

What were the greatest inventions in communications in the last 20 years?

The Internet, Facebook, Twitter, Celphones, iPads were just some of the life-changing gadgets and forms of media that had so much impact on our lives.

At last year’s Ad Congress in CamSur,
Digital 3-D advertising was the most spellbinding technology presented by industry movers.

3-D Vizion, a proudly Filipino-owned company told the public to put those pesky 3D glasses aside because you won’t be needing them anymore.

Yes, those retro-looking eyeglasses for 3D viewing, like what they really are, are now totally retro.

Ready to be blown away beyond your wildest dreams?

Sit back and relax as 3D Vizion takes you to the future of advertising.

A bottle of beer rising from the fountain of sparkling bubbles, ice cold and refreshing makes you want to have a sip.

A dolphin so gracefully dancing in the deep blue, mesmerizing, you want to take a dip.

A treasure trove of coins pouring out from a slot machine, stretch out both your hands, catch a handful - the 3D scene will make you want to grip.

Unbelievable? Incredible. You’ve got to see it to believe it.

”The medium itself is so novel that 99.9% of the world’s population have never seen such a screen,” says Katrina Bantug, President and CEO of 3D Vizion.

Glasses-Free Digital 3D advertising is bound to enthrall the audience.

The arrival of glasses-free 3D in the Philippines certainly opens a whole new era for the advertising industry, putting the country ahead of many first-world nations,” Bantug said

Revolutionary Solutions. Breathtaking Visuals. Powerful Messaging. The new technology gives advertisers a competitive edge in the market.

Business Friday interviews Katrina Bantug, great, great, grand niece of national hero Jose Rizal, to give Inquirer readers a more comprehensive knowledge of this new technology that is changing the country’s digital indoor advertising landscape.

BUSINESS FRIDAY: What exactly is 3D and how does it work without the glasses?

KATRINA BANTUG: 3D is anything with a 3Dimensional form, usually popping out or stretching in from a surface.

Ever since the 1950's we've been viewing 3D using goofy glasses. Today, armed with the best scientific advancements, it is possible to see 3D without the glasses.

This is possible simply by, wrapping the glasses around the screen.

BF: There seems to be a resurgence of 3D everywhere, what has brought about this trend?

KB: The trend is brought about by James Cameron’s block buster film Avatar, since its release, 3D has suddenly become the hottest thing.

BF: Why didn't 3D “stick” in the past, is this a fad?

KB: This is most definitely not a fad.

The largest electronic manufacturers around the world have all joined the 3D bandwagon.

Samsung, LG, Panasonic, SONY have all come out with 3D gadgets from mobile phones, laptops, cameras and 3D screens that need the glasses.

There is an industry-wide multi-billion dollar push to develop the 3D market globally. This technology is here to stay.

3D electronics were ‘home-made’ by people perceived as “mad scientists”. No large electronic manufacturer espoused the medium. Today, it is changing the game.

BF: Can you describe the technology behind your 3D system?

KB: 3D Vizion’s glasses-free system combines the advanced technology of High Definition TV, the principles of 3D and high-powered computer processing.

Basically, it’s a combination of German, US, Korean and European technology, all rolled into one.

We believe it's time to change the way all of us see things. In this cluttered media landscape, it’s all about being remembered.

BF: How can the 3D system make brands rise above the clutter?

KB: Communications theorist Marshall Mcluhan once said: "the medium is the message". What would he say about Glasses Free 3D as platform?

Where the medium is so innovative that products literally leap out of the screen, consumers actually try to reach out and grab the product.

In a world where we are constantly bombarded by ads, 3D is the most entertaining and astonishing way to stand out.

At the first hint of an ad, people normally zap to eliminate, the radio station, the cable channels, commercials etc.

As stark contrast, people really go out of their way to see the glasses-free 3D.

They stop, look and linger at the system even to the point of calling friends to watch with them.

Studies also show people remember the messages for a much longer period of time if it is shown in 3D.

BF: How can all these translate into sales?

KB: Our proprietary technology provides companies with a revolutionary platform that they can use, not just to catch attention but ultimately, to generate sales and exceed sales targets through brand recall.

Multiple studies have also shown heightened engagement, yielding 92% in memory retention among audience, with 68% of said statistics displaying a higher probability of following the experience with a purchase.

Studies conducted in other industries, such as education also prove the effectiveness of the medium in making people perceive, understand and remember ideas.

3-D Vizion is backed by Demmikk Holdings Inc. represented by Ruben Tiu, and a company renowned for creating only the highest quality product and service offerings, such as Discovery Primea and Discovery Shores Boracay.