Alokananda Chakraborty

<font color="#FF3333"><b>AdAsia 2003:</b></font> Creative showcase of Asia

The concluding session on day four of AdAsia 2003 comprised creative showcases from Thailand, Philippines, Korea and Pakistan

The concluding session on day four of AdAsia 2003 was titled ‘Celebrating the Best of Asian Advertising', and comprised creative showcases from Thailand, Philippines, Korea and Pakistan. The session kicked off with Jureeporn Thaidumrong, executive creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi Thailand presenting the Thai showcase. The Clio, ‘Pencil' and ‘Lion' winner took the assembled delegates through some of the best advertising produced recently in Thailand - some of which ad folk are likely to have come across in creative books and reels.

Setting the pace for the presentation with a tongue-in-cheek AV presentation on Thais and Thai culture, Thaidumrong introduced the audience to some terribly funny advertising for Thailand's energy saving commission, Sylvania and SPY Sparkling Wine. The ads for conserving energy/oil were hilarious takeoffs on customary Thai diligence focused on earning money that would help buy precious oil. The hardworking Thais overdo it, of course, with some very bizarre results. The payoff: saving energy is a much easier option to working so hard. The commercials for SPY Wine (especially the incredibly wacky ‘DJ Aon' ad) and an ad for cell phone ringtones also had the audience in splits. "As you can see, there's a lot of humour in Thai advertising," Thaidumrong pointed out. "It's because humour appeals to us. Also, Thais don't take themselves too seriously."

Ramon Jimenez, joint chief executive officer, Jimenez Basic Advertising, presented the Philippines showcase. The ex-Saatchi & Saatchi man who currently jointly heads Jimenez Basic (one of the Top 10 agencies in the country) spoke about the industry's responsibility to be authentic and express ideas in an original way, rather than simply aping European and American advertising.

"There is a debate in the Philippines about where our advertising should go from here," Jimenez remarked. "While a lot of young creatives are impressed by the trophy-chasing world, creatives in the Philippines are also rediscovering the power of authenticity, and are drawing from their own culture so that they can connect with the people better." He cited the example of the ‘prayer' commercial for quick service restaurant brand Jollibee to make his point, and juxtaposed it to an ad for rival chain McDonald's - which also focused on Filipino ethos. "Even McDonald's is becoming more Filipino," said Jimenez. He also exposed the audience to some of the advertising from the Philippines, some of which was quite endearing and humourous. Jimenez admitted that advertising in his country had a "long way to go, but we are getting there". He ended his presentation with a thought: "To do good work, you must be creative. To do great work, you must be authentic."

The Korean showcase was presented by Woong-Hyun Park, creative director, Cheil Communications, Korea's largest ad agency. Park said that Korea, as a nation, has unique characteristics, and these characteristics are best understood by way of watching Korean commercials, "as advertising is a mirror to society". Park took the audience through a body of work created in his country, and the biggest applause clearly went to the you-can't-help-but-smile-at-the-predicament ads (‘bus' and ‘boss') for McDonald's fries.

Seema Jaffer, creative director & COO, Bond Advertising, had the honour of presenting the Pakistan showcase. "Pakistani advertising, like its society, is undergoing change," Jaffer observed. "And there are three broad patterns of emerging in Pakistani advertising." According to her, the first is the ‘breaking myths' advertising that talks to the young consumer. "It's more ‘new wave' in the way it appeals to consumers," she said, citing the examples of ads for Polo, Nescafe and Walls that addressed the younger generation of Pakistanis. "The second type of advertising breaks clutter by speaking in a fresh manner, while the third pulls at the heartstrings by reflecting values such as family and tradition," she said.

Making a special reference to the Pakistani delegation's stay in India, Jaffer concluded her presentation by saying, "Thank you for the warmth and affection that the entire Pakistani delegation got here." And anchor Derek O'Brien added to the goodwill extended by the advertising and marketing communities of both countries by saying that he hoped Jaffer would not have to take a 22-hour journey from Karachi to Mumbai (all the way via Dubai) the next time she came visiting India. © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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