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Malcolm Poynton offers exclusive insights on Adfest 2024’s creative landscape

PATTAYA, THAILAND — Malcolm Poynton, Global Chief Creative Officer at Cheil Worldwide, recently took the helm as Grand Jury President of ADFEST 2024, considered one of Asia Pacific’s most celebrated regional creative festivals. Malcolm chaired the Effective Lotus, INNOVA Lotus, inaugural Sustainable Lotus, and Lotus Roots juries.

With a remarkable career spanning leadership roles at renowned agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy, and SapientNitro, Malcolm has consistently pushed the boundaries of creativity in the advertising industry. Since joining Cheil Worldwide in 2015, his leadership has solidified the agency’s position as a global creative powerhouse, steadily delivering innovative and impactful work.

After the final Lotus Awards presentation, Malcolm shared exclusive insights into the judging process and his vision for the future of advertising showcased at ADFEST 2024.


Touching on the importance of celebrating world-class work that sparks greater creativity, he emphasized the need for the festival to serve as a catalyst for pushing boundaries and driving innovation within the industry.

“The standard for this year’s winners was all about ensuring that there’s world-class work from the local cultures and the region that inspires even better work next year,” Malcolm told adobo Magazine. “I think it’s great to celebrate the work that’s so fantastic this year, but the shape of the show needs to serve to inspire what can take us further.”

Reflecting on the Effective, INNOVA, and Sustainable Lotus Awards entries, Malcolm noted the diverse range of creative problem-solving solutions showcased. From artisanal, handcrafted approaches to tech-forward innovations addressing human issues, the entries demonstrated the industry’s adaptability and commitment to engaging consumers on a deeper level.

He elaborated, “We’re seeing work that, from an effectiveness point of view, kind of flip traditional communications. Although they use traditional channels, they flip them in a way that makes them more playful and engaging for consumers. Those things leave a very human imprint on the work and get consumers to feel something and respond.”

Looking ahead to the future of ADFEST, Malcolm expressed his hopes for continued creativity and innovation within the industry. “I hope to see more of what we’ve seen this year, but going even further. There is no shortage of fantastic creativity across the region. Still, I think one interesting thing is to think about what this year inspires for next year. We can only imagine, and that’s very exciting,” he said.

With ADFEST 2025 already in the works, Malcolm is optimistic that brands and agencies will further build upon the creative work showcased at this year’s festival.

adobo Magazine is an official media partner of ADFEST 2024.

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