Wednesday, July 31, 2013


By Roger Pe

Let’s face it, you chose to live in an exclusive subdivision because you are protective of your family.

You want to be in a quiet neighborhood, a self-contained community that has its own school, round-the-clock security, supermarket, sports facilities, traffic-free roads, a hundred other perks and amenities, and one thing that money can’t buy. Peace of mind.

To have peace of mind, however, you also need seamless connectivity to the outside world via call, text or the internet.

You want unbeatable phone and internet services where you can enjoy clear and uninterrupted phone conversations, real time text messaging, as well as fast and reliable internet connection.

You want your area safe for residents from robbery, burglary, intrusion, fires, even during typhoons as they will have a better chance of reaching help via their cell phones.

Sadly, life is not perfect even to those who live in gated villages.

In fact, residents of several exclusive neighborhoods, including expatriates working for their respective embassies and multinational companies in the Philippines complain about poor cellphone signals.

But why does it happen to residents of eason: Residents and respective homeowners’ associations of such villages do not permit mobile service providers to put up cell towers inside their turf because cell phone towers are not aesthetically designed and may ruin their sanctuary’s landscape. A much bigger reason looms on the horizon, exposure to radio waves.

But homeowners need not worry anymore. A new innovation from Globe Telecom eliminates the huge and unsightly typical cell sites but still provides excellent indoor and outdoor coverage. It is called the Outdoor Distributed Antenna System (ODAS).

The ODAS solution requires no massive structure. Instead, it effectively brings coverage much closer to residents through installation of lampposts that blend in residential areas with height and aesthetic restrictions.

The design is future-proof and can be integrated with newer technologies such as Wi-Fi, FTTH (Fiber to Home), and LTE (Long Term Evolution), which may be upgraded to fit the coverage requirements of the village.

The posts can be erected along the streets or within village parks. They brighten roads while enhancing mobile coverage .

On concerns about possible health hazards of cell sites. Do cell sites really pose any harm to people living within the area due to radio frequency radiation?

Scientific evidence studied by government groups have shown that there is no indication that radio frequency signals coming from these cell towers are harmful. The data lean more towards no harm rather than possible harm.

Various countries adopt a wide-ranging standard for cell site radiation, which is anywhere from 450 to 1,000 microwatts per square centimeter.

Based on available evidence, it is clear that radio frequency signals from cell sites do not pose any adverse health impact. In fact, one is likely to get more radiation from an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) test than from cell sites.

No less than the World Health Organization (WHO) has clarified that radio signals emitted for cell phone services are classified nonionizing radiation, which is relatively harmless like those coming from AM-FM radios or baby monitors, compared to ionizing radiation from x-ray machines, which are deemed to carry higher health risks.

Furthermore, WHO maintains that there is no conclusive evidence associating exposure to radio signals from cell sites of wireless networks with adverse health effects.

With the new generation ODAS technology and the assurance that cell sites do not pose any health risks to people, there is no longer any reason why residents of exclusive villages cannot have the kind of service Globe subscribers all over the country are enjoying.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


(As it appeared in Mumbrella, specisl thanks to Robin Hicks)

While doing my usual morning rounds to check on emails and messages on social media, I saw a post on Facebook that read: “One step behind, that’s Philippine advertising. Billboards look like print ads, print ads look like leaflets, radio commercials are spoken print ads and TV ads are radio scripts with pictures.”

While some people might think that it’s a sweeping generalization, truth is, I have long wanted to make the comment that the heyday for billboards has passed, but held back for as long as I could, so as not to annoy friends in the industry.

But a former chief creative officer and CEO of a multinational ad agency beat me to it and validated my fears: billboards in Manila, indeed, are increasingly resembling leaflets or fliers, he says.

I would have to agree. While Manila has won Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show Pencils and Spikes, is home to many talented people, has a vibrant local creative awards show, and is one of Asia’s most prolific entrants to the world’s biggest advertising festivals, the city is flooded with billboards that look as if they were created by salesmen.

Choke me to death seems to be the covenant when local Gods of outdoor media descended into this tropical eden. Words are aplenty. Layout chaos is the order of the day. Forget about the awards book.

Suffocate every available white space seems to be the standard rule.

Mix and match (or ‘halo-halo’ as we’d say in the Philippines) the fonts. The more, the merrier, it seems. Could it be because halo-halo is also a favorite Pinoy dessert?

The city has seen many great, globally applauded campaigns like Coca-Cola’s 60 X 60 foot ‘Living billboard’, a sign made up largely of living plants, which absorb carbon dioxide (made by McCann WorldGroup Philippines).

Ogilvy Manila's Ponds billboard

Ogilvy Manila’s Ponds billboard

Ogilvy Manila produced a number of category-breaking outdoor ads for Pond’s way back in 2007, including a red light on the cheek of a woman’s face that lit up like a pimple. Sad to say, bad billboards dominate the good on Manila’s cluttered skyline now.

And as skyscrapers boom and mushroom in the city, the bad ones grow in number. One only needs to cruise along a stretch of Edsa (Manila’s busiest highway), from Monumento to SM North to Cubao, Shaw, Boni and Guadalupe to see the spectacle of screaming billboards.

Many marketers, even some advertising practitioners, today seem to think that a billboard peppered with lots of hard-sell messages will be more effective. Not so. They just cause more accidents and traffic chaos on the road.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


by Roger Pe

A product so good will sell without advertising. Word of mouth will fan the flame but it can only do so much.

Creative advertising, as relevant as it is interesting, will make the categorical difference.

It will multiply sales figures many times over, boost profits and take the brand to charts advertisers never imagined.

A product so bad will nose-dive as soon as it’s launched.

The sad story is, no amount of advertising will increase its market share. On the contrary, it will only hasten its untimely demise, as more and more people will discover how bad it is.

Rather than expose its flaws, it’s wiser to invest on product improvement. In a sea of brands, nothing beats brand superiority.

A damn good product is the alpha and omega of effective advertising.

Whether on digital, social media, below or above the line, or through guerilla tactics, advertising, cut-through advertising that is, is a potent marketing strategy. When you are target-focused and your message has a single-minded proposition, it also becomes a double-edged sword.

A great product is a creative sparkplug, a fountain of ideas that can trigger boundless executions, a surefire formula that can make cash registers ring merrily, continuously, and to effect what every marketer wants. Sales.

How does the biggest advertising festival in the world choose the most effective ad campaign then? Here’s a brief rundown:

In Cannes’ Creative Effectiveness competition, and as the category suggests, an entry cannot win by creativity or effectivity alone, or without the other. It’s effectivity that is creative and creativity that brings in the numbers.

Many marketers, even advertising practitioners today still have that mistaken notion that an effective ad is an ad that have loads of hard-sell copy, big price balloons, a product freight that barks the brand name more than three times and you can sweep creativity under the rug. No.

Cannes is Cannes, and here, entries must be creatively outstanding from a strategic standpoint. More importantly, it must have shown a proven impact on a client’s business backed by real and audited figures.

Cannes Creative-Effectiveness has become an essential part of an ad industry trend that recognizes actual marketing effectiveness with great creativity.

“As ad agencies continue to face client adspend uncertainties and they’re pressured to prove they can boost the client's bottom line, as well as produce a great-looking ad, ad festivals that focus on this become very relevant,” a local ad agency CEO stresses.

According to Guy Murphy, JWT Worldwide Planning Director and Cannes Creative-Effectiveness judge, Cannes Creative-Effecftiveness Lion is difficult to win.

“There were 142 entries in 2011, and only six winners were picked,” he says. He advises prospective entrants to focus on proving the actual effect of the campaign when writing the case study, ahead of the campaign's creativity or strategy.

Proving effectiveness, above all, is now a numbers game. Using consumer data from a variety of sources is essential. "You'll need more numbers than you think. A few quotes from consumer focus groups and one percentage figure won't get you very far,” he adds.

To be able to qualify in Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lion, a campaign must have already been shortlisted or won in the immediate preceding year, been judged and established as creatively world-class.

Entries are rewarded 25% for strategy, 25% for creative idea and a big 50% chunk for market results. The fee is €1,225 per entry, roughly 69,800 pesos.

The rules clearly stipulate that ads must have been made with prior written permission from client, owner of all rights written in the entry form. Entrants must provide organizers with a ready copy of that permission.

All entries must have been made within the context of a normal paying contract, meaning, the client must have paid for all, or majority of the media/production costs.

The rules are strict. Cannes provides stringent measures, such as:

All entries must be submitted for judging exactly as published, aired or implemented and may not be modified for awards entry. It is common knowledge that, locally and internationally, some ad entries are different from what actually came out on media.

A full media schedule and other proofs are to be attached to the entry form to verify authenticity of the work in the event the entry is shortlisted or becomes a winner. In cases of complaints against any winning or shortlisted entry, the organizers conduct a full investigation.


Judging is done by the best minds in the industry, some of them multiple Cannes winners themselves, who have “been there, done that.”

The process is Hollywood-style. A welcome party starts the ball rolling. Introductions of rules come next and the judging proper begins.

The jury looks at entry case videos and every physical piece. They are usually looking for simple ideas, smart but not confusing execution, unusual strategy, and most important of all, the measurable results.

A former Cannes jury member gives this advice: “Nobody reads long body copy and preparing your presentation case study intelligently could improve chances of winning. Showing numbers in results and not in percentages, also works better.”

A jury head does not vote, but only acts in cases of deadlocks. Votes are then shown on screen. This year, only the Grand Prix winner was chosen.

If an ad agency entry is up for the top plum, its jury rep is asked to leave the room. When the results are up, a press conference follows and awards ceremony ensues.

How judges are chosen

Be a Cannes winner yourself and live in a Cannes-crazy country that sends lots of entries every year, that is de rigeur.

According to Phil Thomas, 6th time CEO of Cannes and responsible for naming judges to the festival, there are about 300 judges each year. He has named 1,800 judges during his term.

“If you’re a country that’s entering and winning big in a category, you’ve earned your right to have a jury member above a country that’s not entering and not winning.”

Countries that get the most judges are U.S., Brazil, U.K., Germany, France, Australia, India, Canada, Japan and China.

This year’s Cannes Creative-Effectiveness Lion winner is Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam’s work for Heineken: "Legendary Journey: Justifying a Premium the World Over.”

The global campaign dramatized significant increases in market shares in every country it was being sold. Its most high-profile element was a highly detailed video, "The Date," in which a suave gentleman takes a beautiful woman for a legendary night out.

The guy shows off skills, ranging from fileting a fish to performing magic tricks. The campaign also included online integration, such as contests where entrants could try to win their own legendary dates.

Jury chairperson Shelly Lazarus, chairman emeritus of Ogilvy & Mather, cited a host of factors that contributed to the campaign's win. These included the difficulty in creating a global platform that translated successfully in widely varied local markets, the toughness of differentiation in the beer category, the inspired execution and idea, and the impressive results in driving sales, volume, and maintaining a price premium for the brand.

As the name suggests, the awards reward campaigns that marry creativity with business effectiveness. Pricewaterhouse independently audited all business results from 120 entries.

Seven campaigns picked up gongs in total, across a wide variety of sectors and fulfilling a broad range of business goals, explained Lazarus.

The Gunn Report, the annual compilation of the most awarded advertising campaigns in the world, makes conclusive findings: the more creatively awarded a campaign is, the more effective it becomes.

“They are more effective than non-awarded ones despite lower levels of ESOV, (Extra Share of Voice). Furthermore, highly creative campaigns are more reliable investments as they achieve broader levels of successes across greater number of business metrics,” it adds.