Last March 7 to 10, delegates from all over the country traveled to the Subic Exhibition and Convention Center to attend the 2018 Ad Summit Pilipinas conference.
The four-day event allowed delegates to listen and learn from a lineup of experienced practitioners and Cannes Lions award winners about the aspects that make advertising campaigns successful. From investing time in concept creation to diversifying work environments, each speaker thoroughly discussed and presented these factors through the theme, ‘DIY your ROI.’
Here are 6 key takeaways from the 2018 Ad Summit Pilipinas:
The ‘Trust in Uncertainty’ mantra
As a Cannes Lions awardee, Anselmo Ramos knows more about creating viral campaigns. To him, the secret behind it boils down to an extraordinary work mantra — ‘trust in uncertainty.’
Ramos explains that since there’s no way of telling how people would react to your campaign, it’s good to trust your gut when creating and executing your concepts.
“Allocate your [advertising] budget to 80% data, 20% guts. [Because] Nobody knows anything. But your gut has a pretty good idea,” Ramos says during his ‘Return on Ideas’ talk.
Trusting your gut, however, doesn’t mean devoiding other important factors of the campaign. You must always remember that your ideas should align with the brand and its values first.
“When you know everything about the brand, as a team, [you’ll know that] this [particular] idea is perfect for this brand. My criteria goes like this… First, I try to see if it’s in the right [brand] positioning. If it’s not [aligned with the brand’s position], I discard. Even if it could be the best idea ever, if it goes against the brand positioning I say, ‘no.’ Second criteria, [I ask] is it good? is it something fresh? is it something new? have I seen this before? Then, I keep going. [And I consider] if it’s hard to execute. If it’s hard, then it’s great because it means it hasn’t been done before,” Ramos explains during an interview with the press.
Doing this may seem difficult at first, but take it from Anselmo Ramos — nothing worth fighting for has ever come easy for him, and now, he’s won over 195 Cannes Lions awards in his career, with 30 of them from 2017 alone.
Obsession and risk can lead to success
Trust in uncertainty comes with a certain level of risk in the advertising scheme. Anselmo Ramos himself admits that he’s had countless phone calls with his lawyer to consult with certain campaign ideas.
Though this may seem alarming to some practitioners, Ramos considers this as an indication of greatness. He emphasizes, “if you don’t have to talk to your lawyer [about your campaign], then it’s not gutsy enough.”
Ramos advises you to not let your creative brief restrict you and to also consider even the most far-fetched ideas as a possible execution.
Moreover, he recommends feeding into your obsession to come up with fresh, innovative ideas for each campaign.
“It all goes back to obsession. You need to be completely obsessed with the business. You also have to have ‘obsessed people’ working with you to have these kinds of discussions. That’s why when we see something that, collectively, we haven’t seen before — it’s very powerful. So we’re always having these kinds of discussions — always looking for firsts and it’s not easy,” Ramos replies in the press interview.
Data amplifies the campaign strategy
In the ‘Return on Interest’ talk, Facebook APAC Marketing Science Lead Amit Chaubey introduces delegates to the ‘Test, Learn, and Adapt’ strategy.
As the name suggests, the strategy includes testing what works best for your audience, learning through multiple stage testing, and adapting to what works best based on the results.
“[Practitioners should] capture attention with content that’s immediately interesting. [And they should] consider creating short videos, identify brand identity early, build for sound off, delight with sound on, and build vertical,” Chaubey expounds.
Additionally, Platform APAC Girish Menon suggests that you can adapt and develop your campaign findings through these 4 key points: 1) Buy audiences, not websites, 2) Focus on brand health, engagement, and conversion metrics, 3) Invest in independent ad serving, and 4) Develop data-driven messaging strategy.
As Menon further explains, “Improved use of data and measurement will help digital marketing to deliver more impact.”
Indeed, data can be a useful tool in aiding your campaign strategy and when applied correctly, it can translate to a newsworthy material.
Develop identity and audacity in the workplace
With an array of strong, independent, and creative practitioners in the industry, it can be difficult to stand out and showcase your identity. But this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.
Take it from R/GA’s Global Director of Creative Recruiting, Lionel Carreon, who says that talent means nothing if you don’t have an identity and that being authentic to who you are shines through in the materials you create.
“When you’re real about who you are, your work comes through,” Carreon says.
Likewise, award-winning vlogger and YouTuber, Wil Dasovich shares the same sentiment as Carreon on this. Dasovich says, “In order to build influence, you need to be as transparent as possible. [Because] authenticity creates loyalty and trust [with your viewers].”
The first step to showing who you really are is by being audacious. According to the Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy and Mather Hong Kong, Katryna Mojica, more Filipinos should be audacious in a way that’s still true to themselves.
Mojica also adds that sometimes disrupting the current work environment is essential to creating an identity.
“It’s not all about adapting, sometimes you need to disrupt. You need to break something to build it back up,” Mojica elucidates.
Through proudly exemplifying who you are, you allow yourself and your work to shine through in big ways.
‘Find your purpose’ to elevate your brand
Once you’ve figured out who you are as a practitioner, it’s good to identify your purpose in the industry. For ‘Secret Code’ founder Mara Binudin Lecocq, this was one of the hardest things to do. Though what helped her through it was a clear understanding of who she was and what she wanted.
Lecocq even enumerated the eight steps she took to lead her to find her purpose — that is to “bring diversity to male-dominated industries.”
Because of this purpose, Lecocq was able to publish her customizable children’s book, Secret Code, and win a grant from Sophia Amoruso’s Girlboss Foundation — an award she considers to be her Cannes Lions.
Furthermore, Jollibee’s Global Brand Marketing Chief Francis Flores attributes the success of the fast food chain’s recent success to purpose-driven efforts. Flores says, “Find your purpose and fuel your passion. [Because] passion is fueled by purpose. Our purpose is how we can make Jollibee a global brand.”
By fostering one’s purpose, fueling it with passion, and applying it to a brand, you can create long-lasting impressions on your audience through your creative campaigns.
The social impact of advertising
BBDO India’s Chairman and CCO, Josy Paul shows us that advertising has the power to change the attitudes and mindsets of the viewer.
During his talk on the ‘Return on Inspiration,’ Paul said that advertising has the power to start movements and change the world in a positive way. And it all starts by putting your content in the right context. As Paul says, “content is king but context is King Kong because it’s the context that starts the conversation.”
By creating a campaign that speaks to hundreds, maybe even thousands, you’re able to change the community. Then, your campaign becomes more than just a promotional tool for your brand — it becomes an avenue for social change.
“They (advertisers) take a simple idea and they make it big — that’s how you start a movement,” Paul reiterates.
With this level of impact advertising can do to communities, Paul reminds practitioners to “not just write scripts but to create stories. [Because] empathy is emotional currency.”