Top admen share creativity hacks with students

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Nanette Franco-Diyco

INTERSESSION, the counterpart of a summer session at the Ateneo which is now in the midst of its new school calendar, ends today. Hence, a brand new school year for college and graduate students begins in August.

The past school year had my Advertising students interacting with top advertising and marketing practitioners who visited the class to prepare the students for an exciting career ahead of them.

ONE PRODUCT of a creative exercise blending creative thinking and values for the environment which was shot in the campus of the Ateneo.

Greg Martin, executive creative director of Ace Saatchi & Saatchi, focused on his team’s favorite process of ideation, of getting and formulating ideas for an advertising campaign — the laddering technique. This technique takes a one-sentence insight or potential tag line about the product and divides it into parts. Each part explodes into ideas which are then cross-referenced to a different word from a different part. Great brainstorming technique.

To quote from the book Everyone Can Be Creative by Merlee Jayme, chairman & CEO of Dentsu Jayme Syfu: “Creativity is a gift given to all of us in different levels. Honing it may come easy to those who are naturally gifted, but for those who were in the farthest part of the room when God sprinkled His magic dust, it may take a lot of time, effort, and proper training and mentoring before you can truly master it.” Her creation of “Dirt is Good” for the ongoing campaign of Unilever’s Breeze put great values into her brand of advertising.

Robert Labayen, head of Creative Communication Management of ABS-CBN, stressed that love, empathy, and charisma are not only important in the making of advertisements: they are hallmarks of being Filipino. “Somehow, we are wired with the innate capability to really give genuine and authentic care for other human beings and be one with them through their experience. Because of this natural inclination to care, ABS-CBN decided to change their style from ‘aspirational’ to something more deep and profoundly relatable.”

Raul Castro, chairman and CEO of McCann Worldgroup Philippines, centered on four major things that took place in the last decade that have helped shape Philippine advertising. The first item on the list is the globalization of the Filipino because of OFWs and more affordable travel. The second is media and content explosion. The third is the rise of mobile devices and social media platforms. And fourth is the demographic shift towards the youth. He still believes that advertising has a sense of immediacy, arguing that “the feeling is the message.”

Joseph Custodio, associate marketing director of Colgate-Palmolive Company, enumerated the three most important things a client asks for from its advertising agencies: marketing creativity, product/service innovation and excellence, and expertise in emerging trends. He stressed that agencies should help further strengthen brand identity, clarifying the brand’s mission and vision.

E.J. Segovia, regional media manager of Dentsu Singapore, explained that the crucial skills that advertising agencies look for in who they hire are: complex problem solving, creativity, people management, coordinating with others, emotional intelligence, judgment and decision making, service orientation, negotiation, and cognitive flexibility. Among these 10 skills, he highlighted emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility.

Claire Drueco-Lopez, CEO/Strategic Planning and Creative Head of Dyll Communications, dramatized a significant shift in how marketers communicate as advertising budgets were redirected from television to developing relationships with the consumers. Thus, brand activation was born.

Angel Antonio, president & COO of ASPAC DentsuOne, and Triccie Tolentino, vice-president for Creative Media Solutions of Media 5 Marketing Corp. (often called the leading lady of network advertising), both of whom are graduates of Ateneo’s Communication Arts, shared their how-to’s in their difficult yet so enriching and inspiring climb to the top of both the world of advertising and media. Ateneo’s motto “Man for Others” continues to sparkle in both’s persona.

Nanette Franco-Diyco ended her 15th year advertising career as Vice-President of JWT, segueing into the world of academe, teaching communications at the Ateneo de Manila University.