05 Mar Change the game; Ad Congress 2011
Eight hours of driving, just to get to the biggest annual advertising event in Manila.
*Whew. Should’ve just take the plane.
The 22nd annual ad congress; change the game was hosted by Camarines Sur in the Water Sports Complex designed specifically for wake-boarding tourism–which was exciting for me coz Ive always wanted to try the sport.
‘Lil did I know that there was so much more to the sport than simply holding on to the rope-rail while standing on the board–So I braved the regular’s area and arrogantly snubbed the beginners lane with the thought that if my friends can do it, well so can I– which resulted to me being smashed down roughly on the waters by the speed of the rope’s pull. I was already dragged half way when I realized I needed to let go because I was already being stripped off by bikini…
When I finally got my bearings about and finally some air above the water, I noticed that everyone, much to my dismay, saw my embarassing fall from grace.
I was soon rescued by my good friend and wake-aficionado Raffy Francisco.
So I vowed that I would not leave CamSur without redeeming myself…
In the kiddie pool.
(I was able to make a decent stand after my 5th clumsy fall but Ive yet to make a successful round–good thing there will be a franchise of the resort opening in Laguna Nuvali soon too, I can finally get my act “straight” there.)
Delegates were invited for the Governor’s ball for dinner, which I attended in hopes of scoring new clients, running into friends from the industry and well, winning raffle prizes.
Except for the third goal, I pretty much got everything I expected.
I cant help but notice that the Governor was having too much of grand time parading like some kind of hero. It didnt help also that everyone seemed keen to kiss his arse on stage. I know he deserves a tw0 thumbs-up for masterminding the resort and winning the adcong bid thus driving tourism to his impoverish province, but its not like he isnt profiting for the entire ordeal. The fact is, Naga City is still considered to be one of the poorest provinces with no proper street lighting to protect its citizens from the dangerous road curves it is surrounded of despite much funding.
Just because it has one resort that rivals Subic and was able to play host to one of the country’s most prestigious gatherings doesnt erase the fact that corruption here is still very much reflected through the droopy mirrors of poverty outside the adcongress arena.
So excuse me if I was offended by the rockstar status the province’s governor was basking on all throughout the duration of the event.
I think it was ill-desearved and I would have forgiven the whole thing was he less pompous about the misplaced adulation from his opportunistic peers.
I will however admit that adcongress was a success and that CamSur outdid themselves as our generous hosts–colorful and masterfully choreographed parades, gourmet buffets and hospitable attendants.
Neverthless, merit shouldve been redirected to the team behind it instead of being concentrated on a sole individual.
I ran into my favorite director and his crew, Sid Maderazo. Too bad I didnt know a lot of people from the agency so I ended up hanging out with my fellow models, not that it wasnt fun, its just that it would have been more so had I actually been more familiar of the general attendees.
The following days were spent listening to key-note speakers.
My favorites being;
Social media expert
She talked about the power of social media advertising and how it has actually changed the way people went about their lives. It was because of her that my boss has finally decided to stop nagging me about my obsession with Facebook, Twitter and blogging.
Dir., Tourism Dept.
“The Philippines not a place to see, it is a place to be”
Jimenez, the trailblazer that founded Jimenez basics shared how he planned to steer Philippine tourism that would catapult us in rat-race dominated by Thailand and Malaysia.
He shared the implications of the digital revolution by citing Myphilippines.com as an example. With 25 million active Filipinos in Facebook, 14 million in Twitter, it is only too easy to promote Philippine tourism to the world if only a fraction of that statistic would start a thread like Myphilippines.com.
Jimenez, with his background in advertising and a credebility untarnished, I can think of no one better suited to lead the tourism sector.
My boss proudly said we have a direct line to the man–that statement is subject to further verification.
Big Boss, Tv5
In a historic event , the Big Three; ABS-CBN’s Gabby Lopez, GMA’s Henry Gozon and TV5’s Manny Pangilinan shared the public stage to talk about their respective networks.
Personally I didnt like having to eat the bullshit that was sprout by Abs and GMA about public service and ethics, I didnt go all the way to CamSur just to hear another press-release. I loved the fact that Abs-Cbn’s Korina Sanchez made the stage quake by asking provocative questions to GMA’s Gozon. Questions like, who do you think is the number one network to whats your opinion about talent piracy were fired, much to the amusement of the crowd.
Too bad Gozon had to play it safe with his answers, it wouldve been interesting to hear him speak buntly for once.
Tv 5’s MVP was the only one who was candid enough to admit that they are pirating talents and are unapologetic about it.
Why should they be when they have every right to?
“They accepted obligations and we accept applications.”
In a typical MVP fashion, he also commented on the damaging implications of social media, (referring to the plagiarized Ateneo speech of his in the past and how it spread like wildfire) with such candidness that its hard not to dismiss the issue in favor of the many things this guy has been able to pull off.
Pangilinan also talked about the future of Telco, (them being the undisputed giant of the industry) and the implications of branded shows and consumer choice dominating the TV industry.
Id have fallen inlove with his genius had I not know he didnt play for my team.
Charles Cadell of McCann World group discussed the importance of authenticity in a world made more transparent by social media. Patrick Schult or Reality TV and Gregory Ho of AXN Asia agrees with him with his “Content is King” with a generation wherein consumer power was amplified with shows that are engaging and interactive like American Idol, Amazing race etc.–the trend of TV shows that is predicted to be the future of entertainment.
Laura Wendt of Disney gave everyone in the audience a deep feeling of nostalgia by showing the transformation of Mickey Mouse through the decades. Only Disney can getaway with retaining its core-values of family-friendliness and not be rendered obsolete by the increasingly easily bored public.
I was disappointed withe Nestle’s John Miller as he fed us with a lot of unwanted press-release like talks about Nestle’s credo and social contributions. It wasnt too long ago that they were boycotted for not properly paying wages in their factory in Laguna, so I really dont need to hear them talk about their public welfare programs, I was actually hoping to hear their corporate strategy. How they stay on-top of the wellness industry; how their R and D is conducted, where they source their raw materials and how they go about marketing it.
But no, Miller had to sing us a tune akin to that of ABS-CBN’s Lopez.
Joeri Van De Bergh
“You dont have to be different, you just have to be good.”
“An idea claimed repetitively and consistently becomes yours”
“People respond to authentic happy messages.”
“We look up, not to public figures but to our parents, peers and people who played a direct role in our lives”
His examples were very interesting, how the youth are more receptive when it comes to the attempt of brands to establish relationships with them and how in a world where feedback has become so immediate and so regular among consumers, it has become a must for brands to be that much more interactive and engaging.
“Newyorkwrites itself.com”– He showed how people’s desire for involvement can be translated to profit.
I personally dig what he said about how he gets his dose of inspiration.
“Go out to people, be a sponge of life and experience everything it has to offer”
It’s such a strong message to those who uses artistic license as an excuse to revert to prohibited drugs for inspiration and relaxation.
A self-admitted Steve Jobs fan, (who isnt?) he even came to the event dressed like the man.
I was pleasantly surprised that print will not be made obsolete by the digital revolution. People still value the tangible properties of paper–SPH through his leadership is now experimenting on catering to all five senses with the print medium with ideas like touch sensitive ads that resemble a part of the product, taste strips, perfumed paper , LED emitting ads and sound producing pages.
When Phil and James Younghusband came to the stage, I almost left. I was no fan. I used to tell my friends, “Get me someone who actually plays better than they model” all the time, but after hearing how passionate they are about the sport, I was won over.
I mean, it’s true. Its not their fault theyre hot, and if they can use it to further their football career in a country that didnt really care what football was until they played it, then whats wrong with that?
I do it too.
And about them not being Filipino enough, who is really?
I dont look Pinoy myself, but I speak better Tagalog than the ones who do.
Kudos to you boys for re-educating this girl.
Kevin Cobunpue, world class furniture designer. He really struck a cord within me when he said he didnt even pass the fine arts exam in UP. How he was stuck in corner spots during world exhibit coz he was Pinoy and how he won the most coveted front row space in Italy’s most awaited furniture exhibit by telling the organizers, “You cant put me in that corner space near the comfort room again, Ill display a car made of rattan!”
Mark my words, I will own a Cobunpue soon.
I think I missed the fashion segment led by Preview because a fashion show by Brazilian opened it. Im still bitter about Brazilians stealing modelling stints from local competition, I know its not their fault theyre prefered, but I cant help but be bitter about it so I left early to mingle with my friends administering sponsored booths outside the session hall.
I didnt get to party much, seeing as how exhausted my peers were from their modelling jobs in the congress and I wasnt feeling to hot over the fact that Five cars, hundreds of thousands of cash, 100 phones, 25 ipads and 25 samsung tablets—and i didnt win annny!!!! I mean, wheres the justice in THAAAAT!
Then again maybe I just didnt desearve to be lucky, I salute the winner of the mini-cooper who successfully stood there holding the car for 24 hours with only three five minute breaks. I mean, I want a mini cooper, but I just am not willing to do that for one.
Oh and the winners of the netphone who basked in the insane heat to look for the barcodes, I would have too had I not chosen to save my skin from the burn of having to do it.
I guess everything really is earned in life, that we arent really entitled to anything.
Oh well. Till the next ad congress. For the mean time, there’s no short-cut for me.