adobo ExclusiveAwards NewsEventsFeatured

4As Sri Lanka festival directors Dilshara Jayamanna and Selonica Perumal on celebrating their country’s evolving ad industry

SRI LANKA — Sri Lanka witnessed its largest gathering of creativity and excellence at The Four A’s Advertising Festival, powered by Unilever Sri Lanka and globally connected by Sri Lankan Airlines.

With the two-day learning festival offering enlightening exchanges of new ideas, innovation, and inspiration, adobo Magazine conversed with the festival directors, MullenLowe Group Sri Lanka Chief Creative Officer Dilshara Jayamanna and Shift Integrated Chief Executive Officer Selonica Perumal, on staging The Four A’s Advertising Festival, along with insights and forecasts on their country’s evolving advertising industry.

Why is this the perfect time to launch the festival to the Sri Lankan advertising industry? What’s changed, or how has the industry grown for it to be ready today?

The timing couldn’t be more perfect to launch this festival for the Sri Lankan advertising industry.

4As Sri Lanka festival 2024 directors insert1
Dilshara Jayamanna, MullenLowe Group Sri Lanka Chief Creative Officer

Over the past few years, Sri Lanka has stumbled its way from crisis to crisis and we’ve missed out on invaluable learning opportunities. Like all industries, the ad industry too has been the victim of brain drain with a significant percentage of experienced professionals leaving our shores permanently in search of greener pastures. The depreciation of the Sri Lankan Rupee has made it increasingly difficult for agencies to afford to send their teams to international festivals, which are important sources inspiration and growth. Despite these hardships, our country is on a path of recovery, and there’s a renewed sense of optimism and resilience.

By launching a festival on par with regional standards within Sri Lanka, we are not just bridging a gap, but reminding our new talent that we are in possession of our own unique talent. This festival will empower our industry, giving professionals the opportunity to learn from the best without the barriers of distance and cost.

It’s time for Sri Lanka to shine and our creative minds to thrive.

What is the significance of this inaugural 4As Advertising Festival in Sri Lanka? What does this mean for creatives and the industry as a whole?

The inaugural 4As Advertising Festival in Sri Lanka marks a pivotal moment for the creative community, providing a carefully curated learning opportunity that addresses our industry’s gaps. It serves as a powerful motivator, inspiring us to elevate our standards to match the rest of the world.

For the industry as a whole, this festival signifies a commitment to growth, collaboration, and excellence on a regional scale.

What do you hope to showcase in the Sri Lankan creative/advertising industry through this event? 

Through this event, we aim to demonstrate that Sri Lanka’s advertising industry has the potential to rival any other country, with our talent, creativity, and innovation on a regional stage. We hope to unearth creative trends, nuances and opportunities that are uniquely Sri Lankan and help our creative community use these findings to better their craft.

In turn, what do you hope the Sri Lankan industry will take away from the festival and awards? And how do you hope this event will inspire the future of advertising in the country? 

The festival also aims to inspire the next generation by giving back to the industry the kind of opportunity that Dilshara & I had when we were starting our journey, acknowledging that these opportunities helped shape us into who we are today. Our vision includes providing the best learning and exposure possible while making the industry attractive once again to young talent. It’s time to reclaim our position and inspire the next generation of great creatives.

In your opinion, how does advertising from Sri Lanka fare with the rest of Asia, and the rest of the world?

4As Sri Lanka festival 2024 directors insert2
Selonica Perumal, Shift Integrated Chief Executive Officer

Advertising from Sri Lanka has shown remarkable creativity and effectiveness, often resonating with global audiences. Especially when we have tapped into our own culture. However, there’s immense potential for local advertisers to explore new techniques and platforms, embracing innovations like data-driven insights, and immersive storytelling through AR and VR, and tapping into emerging issues such as sustainability and social responsibility.

By embracing these advancements and staying agile in a rapidly evolving digital landscape, Sri Lankan advertisers can not only compete on a regional level but also make a significant impact on the global stage, showcasing our unique perspective and capabilities.

The The Four A’s Advertising Festival was held on May 30-31, 2024, celebrating the evolution of Sri Lankan creativity, and what lies beyond for the industry at large. For more information, follow

adobo Magazine is an official media partner of the Four A’s Advertising Festival 2024.

Partner with adobo Magazine

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button