MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Discontented adman Rey Leuterio had a resolve to only work on projects and ideas that mattered. With fulfillment set as his career as an educator, his almost two decades in the ad industry seemed lacking. That is until he found his place where people’s hearts were in the right places and works with what really matter: by being IdeasXMachina’s HEROIXM Executive Director and Co-founder:
After seventeen years as a brand planner, I had become dissatisfied. The challenge of solving intricate problems with the help of talented people, and seeing it all come together in ads that created action was still thrilling. Creation always is. But it wasn’t as fulfilling as the fulfillment that I used to have in my previous career as a History teacher and, later on, as a teacher- educator. In the classroom, I knew that my work was doing some good directly to society. Maybe not at that specific moment, but somewhere down the line in my students’ lives.
So I resolved that after my stint in my previous agency, I would work only on projects that mattered, that were fulfilling, that would be meaningful and important. As luck would have it, IdeasXMachina founder and CEO Third Domingo had an idea that needed someone to make it come to life : HEROIXM, a unit of IdeasXMachina Group of Hakuhodo that would be focused on social good and CSR.
We believe it’s an idea whose time had come — helped on because of the pandemic. We live in a time when everyone has begun to re-evaluate their relationships to each other, to brands, to money, to their values, to what’s important. People are realizing that there are more important things than “things” – they are realizing that they ought to be more present, more personal, more human to each other.
It’s also the right move for a company that believes in “Seikatsusha” – a Japanese concept that describes the multi-facetedness of humans: that people are parents and also children, that employees are also bosses, that they’re friends, neighbors, members of communities. That they play as well as work. That they eat, live, breathe, have hopes and dreams. They’re not simply a catch-all label of “Consumers.” And, most important of all, that people want to have meaning, relevance, and purpose in life.
We created HEROIXM to help brands and causes matter to people. Through our work, we seek to inspire people to care about what’s important and act to become better versions of themselves. (Good timing too as Social Good has increasingly become part of the New Normal marketing mix.)
It’s the kind of mission that attracts a particular kind of person, which explains why Fay “Fight” Ballo, our Social Good Communications Manager, and Bianca “Bida” Santos, Art Director, are perfect for our team: People with hearts in the right places, whose default is to say Yes to helping a client, even before knowing if there are enough resources to work with. In our unit, creativity is tested and celebrated because of these limitations.
On a side-note: we decided that for this unit to have longevity and real impact, it had to be sustainable as a business and pay for itself. So, while we could do work pro-bono, we need to still be fiscally-sound. We decided to do both: our Social Good Engagement Contract (SGEC) offers our strategic and creative thinking for one peso per month — allowing our partners to pick our brains and involve us in their plans. No concept or consultancy fees. We charge only for production (at heavily-discounted rates) — for when the ideas need to be executed in digital/physical outputs.
One year in, it’s still a struggle for us to get in the black. However the satisfaction that comes from hearing a client gush over the work, to be called their “creative heroes” because they’e never gotten materials as impactful as what we’ve made for them is great psychic income.
It’s the kind of satisfaction that the whole of IdeasXMachina enjoys, which is why our clients also get the whole of the IdeasXMachina Group of Hakuhodo as their potential bench. And because the teams relish the challenges we give them, the result is inspired creative work like the ones below:
We helped make Panasonic Philippines‘ revolutionary but unfamiliar Nanoe tm X technology matter by bringing it Filipinos where it is needed most. The ACT (Anti-COVID Technology) Together social good project saw Panasonic Philippines donating millions of pesos worth of revolutionary Nanoe tm X air purifiers to the cities of Mandaluyong, Makati, Taguig, Quezon City, Malabon, as well as the Philippine General Hospital and Far Eastern University Dr Nicanor Reyes Memorial Foundation. The donation and installation of these clinically-proven technologies to city vaccination centers, COVID wards, and medical school classrooms and labs was Panasonic’s way of helping Filipino healthworkers, as well as ordinary citizens, gain confidence to fight on in the New Normal – all while demonstrating the technology to the general public.
Let’s Bring Back the Filipino Smile campaign
Our work for the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting in 2021 began with efforts for voter registration and progressed to their voter education campaign. PPCRV’s 16 Values to look for in candidates for higher office were translated into materials that everyone can understand. The Iboboto ko, Maka-Pilipinas campaign had an anthem, lyric video, pledge video, murals, social media posts, helping PPCRV’s effort to reach voters take on a youthful and engaging tone. Parish voter education volunteers were encouraged to make the campaign their own by making their own versions of the official materials. So far, we’ve seen them contribute a Filipino Sign Language version, a dance version with original choreography for the anthem, while a parish has created their own version of the pledge video.
Values Formation Video (Introduction)
Another client, Save the Children Philippines launched its QR for Hunger fundraising campaign. By creating custom-built food-related QR codes that are shareable on social media as well as printed on t-shirts, we are able to bring people closer to the problem of child hunger and malnutrition, while giving them a quick and easy way to donate in spite of a lack of face to face on-ground-efforts.
Save the Children Philippines
And, most recently, our work for Kasuso.Org‘s #SUSUPORTAHANKITA campaign is helping them raise donations for mammograms. With every donation of Php 1500, a donor gets a limited edition t-shirt designed by our team. Coming in eleven different designs – each one with a message written as breast cancer surgery scars. They’re meant to create conversations and help reduce the stigma associated with the disease. (Every donor actually helps the cause twice – beyond helping provide mammograms, simply wearing the t-shirt will help make breast cancer something worth talking about!)
If you manage a brand or a cause-oriented group and you need help in making yourself heard OR if you want to join our team, get in touch with me: Rey Leuterio, HEROIXM Executive Director and Co-founder at email@example.com. Together, let’s make what’s really important matter.