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How Film, Outdoor, Press and Radio & Audio has evolved, 20 years since David Guerrero first judged them at Adfest

PATTAYA, THAILAND — Advertising has vastly changed in the last ten years or so, with new platforms, technologies and market demands constantly shaping the way we create and consume advertisements. In light of this, BBDO Guerrero Creative Chairman David Guerrero was given the task to be Jury President of the festival’s oldest categories – Film Lotus, Outdoor Lotus, Press Lotus and Radio & Audio Lotus – and evaluate works that exemplify creative excellence in arguably the most traditional forms of advertising, in the context of the current advertising landscape.

20 years ago, David judged the same categories at ADFEST, back when they were the festival’s only categories. “I was really excited about seeing the evolution of these categories, from when I did this same job about 20 years ago and these four categories were the entire festival, and now they essentially represent ‘classic creativity.’ [It’s] interesting to see how that’s evolved,” he shared.

Firstly, he described Film Lotus as still the most active: “Of the four, film is still the most vital and active of those because I feel like watching more videos now than we ever did. But there’s also a real appreciation of a beautifully crafted film, in whatever way it’s done. So that’s still very exciting.”


He also noted a significant trend among this year’s entries for Film, particularly the emergence of humorous films in more seemingly serious industries like insurance, real estate and department store sales. “It was nice to see in quite banal categories,” he commented.

“Outdoor has also evolved in an interesting way, with seamless integration with social and more interactivity. There’s still classic billboards and [the like], but it’s less emphasized now,” he added. “Radio has been revitalized a bit by the introduction of audio, use of audio, audio technology, and things that can be done with digital delivery of audio ideas. That’s been really interesting to see.”

Interestingly enough, David’s sentiments about Radio & Audio and Press/Print reflects that of Publicis Beijing’s Ng Tian It who was a jury member of the two categories at Spikes Asia. Both creative leaders are excited about the works emerging from Audio, but identifies a lack of movement in Print. David remarked, “I think Press is the one still finding its way in defining a role for itself, because Press is no longer automatically seen as a mass medium. So if you’re using Press, you really have to explain what you’re using it for, why you’re using it, [and] what makes sense with it. Because people don’t assume that you can reach a big audience now with just an ad in a printed publication. There needs to be a little bit more behind it, and a little bit more context to see how it works.”

Moreover, David recalled two main themes among the entries that their jury was notably attracted to: brands taking a stand and having a sense of humor. “One was brands making a stand and helping, or even confronting, a situation that needed to be confronted and needed to do something about it. There’s a definite trend of even multinational companies having the courage to get involved in public health issues, societal issues, which is good to see. I think this is something that brands need to do more of in our region.”

“The other thing is that people are still attracted to humor, and well-told, sometimes elaborate, jokes and stories. There’s a universal appeal with humor. [This approach] is to entertain people, to amuse people, and to reward them for the time they spend with you by making them laugh,” he added.

With these observations from this year’s Film Lotus, Outdoor Lotus, Press Lotus and Radio & Audio Lotus, David hopes to see more exciting evolutions in how advertisers tell stories in these classic formats, especially for Press. This year’s big Film, Outdoor, Press and Radio & Audio winners, under David’s leadership, represent the works that have managed to find new ways to be surprising beyond category expectations, and groundbreaking despite media traditions.

adobo Magazine is an official media partner of ADFEST 2024.

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