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adobo Picks: Here are the 2020 Best Ads from the top Creatives in Asia and why it will carry us into 2021

MANILA, PHILIPPINES– Twenty-twenty-one is nothing short of a turn of a new decade. As we say goodbye to such a tumultuous year, adobo magazine talked to Asia’s leading creative directors from across ad agency networks, each with solid reputations behind award-winning campaigns that span decades.

The word on creativity asked creative directors on top of their game who continue to build brands and beliefs. We probed why they deem their picks as the best at a time when creativity was either stunted due to the restrictions of the pandemic, or did it give room for creative minds to flourish.

“In a year such as 2020, I value initiatives that entertain while providing real and tangible help for those in need,” shared Tuomas Peltoneimi, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director at R/GA Asia Pacific, who chose Verizon’s PayItForward LIVE campaign as one worthy pick.

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The year’s most lauded campaign, Burger King’s Moldy Whopper which has already received a lot of press, took the top spot but the selection and spread of interesting campaigns across brands and media, is a treat.

We also asked our featured creatives what they thought of 2020 and their outlook for the year ahead. Sascha Kuntze, Chief Creative Officer at BBH Asia Pacific remarked, “How do you prepare entering a dark cave? You check your gear, grab someone’s hand and get ready to discover something special. Twenty-twenty won’t be over in January, but a brighter future is in sight.”


MERLEE JAYME
Global President
dentsu mcgarrybowen

adobo magazine: Why did you choose this ad?

Merlee Jayme: This spot mirrored our nine months of WFH. It was so relatable. It made me think of our own challenges. How can we push our creativity given the isolation? How can we be effective as creators? Where do we get inspiration? The characters were adorable, funny and real. With products in use, Apple helped unleash the group’s creativity and productivity with the “limitations” of working from home.

adobo magazine: What is the best ad from 2020 that was created by your own agency and/or network?

 

Merlee Jayme: It was so timely, so relevant and touching that it made me tear up. It was a beautiful story of a brave woman in these uncertain times- taking a leap of faith and risking everything to help complete strangers. This kindness brought back a thousandfold of blessings. Facebook’s line “More Together” captured the essence of the story perfectly well.

The film was a wonderful story to push women empowerment, and it is also beautifully shot, well casted and very real.

adobo magazine: How would you describe 2020?

Merlee Jayme: “‘More Work’-From-Home.”

adobo magazine: How are you preparing for the year ahead and what is your outlook for 2021?

Merlee Jayme: “I don’t think I have time to prepare for next week, more so for next year. There’s just too much work!

But really, health has never been my focus all these years. I used to just take my vitamins, exercise and that’s it. This year and for the next, I have to continue taking my health seriously.

I have positive vibes for 2021. There will be light at the end of this long, dark tunnel. New businesses will emerge. People will reflect on what they’ve learned in 2020 to survive and improve on this. Brands will transform, as consumers have changed their buying behavior dramatically.

For me, 2021 is going to be a “RE-YEAR”. A time to review, rethink, reset, reboot, recharge, repackage myself. Thanks!”


REED COLLINS
Chief Creative Officer Asia
Ogilvy Asia

adobo magazine: Why did you choose this ad?

Reed Collins: “Apparently in development for a couple of years the app uses realtime location data and augmented audio making you the center of the story. The first of the many stories to be experienced is one where you play the role of a secret agent. From what i can see it’s only available in Singapore at this time so i’ll have to ask some friends how good the experience is.”

adobo magazine: What is the best ad from 2020 that was created by your own agency and/or network?

Reed Collins: This film grabs you by the eyeballs from the very first frame and simply does not let go. The disarmingly charming day in the life story of the talented Swapna is heart wrenchingly strong with such a single minded message. One that has been repeated a million times all over the world during this crisis – to wash your hands. And i haven’t seen a single one that made me pay more attention than this.

adobo magazine: How would you describe 2020?

Reed Collins: “For me it has been a time of introspection. To see clearly what truly matters in life and not to take it for granted.”

adobo magazine: How are you preparing for the year ahead and what is your outlook for 2021?

Reed Collins: Hopefully the many vaccines being announced will be distributed to those who need them most across the world and we’ll be back something resembling normality. New ways of working, travelling, connecting will have a lasting impact sure, but I’m optimistic for the year ahead. Bring it on.


TUOMAS PELTONEIMI
Executive Vice-President and Managing Director
R/GA Asia Pacific

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA4dDs0T7sM

adobo magazine: Why did you choose this ad?

Tuomas Peltoneimi: Produced during the pandemic, this ad is an editing masterpiece. It took 4000 hours of sports footage to make it. This ad serves as a reminder of what Nike stands for during a time of global social isolation, and that despite of sports event cancellations around the world, including the Olympics, sports will live on.

adobo magazine: What is the best ad from 2020 that was created by your own agency and/or network?

Tuomas Peltoneimi: In a year such as 2020, I value initiatives that entertain while providing real and tangible help for those in need. PayItForward LIVE was a twice-weekly series that live-streamed concerts and gaming events on Twitter for eight weeks, featuring A-list musicians including Dave Matthews, Alicia Keys and Billie Eilish along with gamers including eSports phenom FazeClan. Funds were raised support America’s small businesses. Average viewership on Twitter was been between 4 to 6 million people for each show. Twitter chose this campaign in their Best Campaigns of 2020 list.

adobo magazine: How would you describe 2020?

Tuomas Peltoneimi: A year of change that will redefine what the creative industry looks like in many ways. It has been a year where creativity has been used to provide people hope and to help those in need. It has been a year that shows creativity is one of the few remaining unfair advantages. And it has been a year where many companies in the creative industry have created positive changes to be able to invest in what matters; the creative talent.

How are you preparing for the year ahead and what is your outlook for 2021?

Tuomas Peltoneimi: At R/GA, we have spent the year making positive changes in the way we work.

We have redefined the way we collaborate around the world, removing artificial barriers to collaboration between our offices, removing borders and ensuring our clients get to work with the right talent for their needs, regardless of where talent is based. We have redefined the role of the office space and made changes to ensure we invest even more in creative talent.

Our outlook is very optimistic for 2021, and as vaccines start to be available globally, we believe 2021 is going to show great signs of recovery. And we will be there to help provide creativity for our clients in the way they design their businesses, their brands, and their experiences to strive for a more human future.


SASCHA KUNTZE
Chief Creative Officer
BBH Asia Pacific

 

adobo magazine: Why did you choose this ad?

Sascha Kuntze: Twenty-twenty has undoubtably been quite a rollercoaster. Which is why I think this idea is brilliant. As we were/are all sitting in our home offices worrying about all kinds of things, this website allows you to share your window view to allow others to alleviate stress, let the mind wander and – in a way – travel.

adobo magazine: What is the best ad from 2020 that was created by your own agency and/or network?

Sascha Kuntze: It’s the reimagination of one of the oldest storytelling formats on one of the youngest platforms out there with an incredibly creative audience. It’s quirky, it’s fun and incredibly entertaining.

adobo magazine: How would you describe 2020?

Sascha Kuntze: Twenty-twenty is a year that tested us. As citizens of this planet. As countries. As companies. As individuals. Some failed the test, others succeeded and some surpassed themselves and emerged transformed.

How are you preparing for the year ahead and what is your outlook for 2021?

Sascha Kuntze: How do you prepare entering a dark cave? You check your gear, grab someone’s hand and get ready to discover something special. Twenty-twenty won’t be over in January, but a brighter future is in sight.


SHEUNG “MAYAN” LO YAN
Chief Creative Officer Asia Pacific
Wunderman Thompson APAC

 

adobo magazine: What is the best ad of 2020 for you and the best work from your agency and/or network?

 

Sheung Lo Yan: Not that I like burger, as I am not a meat lover; but it will be interesting to look at them in pairs.

I think these two can shed some light on how the basis of understanding your product and the time you are living in matters.

The boldness of the client and inspirations from the creative have made a huge difference—leaving a big impression after you have consumed the ad and the product itself.


AJAY THRIVIKRAM
Chief Creative Officer, Global Clients
Publicis Singapore

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSDC4C3_16Y

adobo magazine: Why did you choose this ad?

Ajay Thrivikram: How could I not choose the most talked about and divisive ad of the year?

A game-changer in many ways, it is both a sign of things to come in the unique collaboration across networks that brought it to life, as well as a reminder that it’s always the idea that is King and as such, should be the focus of any celebration.

adobo magazine: What is the best ad from 2020 that was created by your own agency and/or network?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1caYJmJp_1A

Ajay Thrivikram: The Vicks “Touch of Care” platform has truly grown to be a force for good in more countries and communities around the world.

Having taken on two very important issues in both India and the Philippines respectively, the platform has gone on to help highlight the plight of the homeless in Australia, and the children in desperate need for a home in South Africa—A living example that an idea with heart from anywhere can travel everywhere.

adobo magazine: How would you describe 2020?

Ajay Thrivikram: Learning, unlearning and re-learning…if life teaches us lessons, surely we’ve just had a masterclass.

How are you preparing for the year ahead and what is your outlook for 2021?

Ajay Thrivikram: Twenty-twenty showed us the futility of predictions, so the only preparation for 2021 is to keep a cool head, your feet on the ground and hope in your heart.

Creativity will always find a way forward.


JUREEPORN THAIDUMRONG
Creative Chairperson/CCO
GREYnJ UNITED Bangkok, Thailand

https://youtu.be/WA4dDs0T7sM

adobo magazine: Why did you choose this ad?

Jureeporn Thaidumrong: Timely and encouraging message amidst the chaos, and it’s very much on brand. Also it’s excellently crafted in execution. It’s what great ads should always do, understanding current market sentiments and providing some values to the viewers.

adobo magazine: What is the best ad from 2020 that was created by your own agency and/or network?

https://youtu.be/5ZKMnLMuthc

Jureeporn Thaidumrong: Kulov vodka is superior in purity for how many times it’s distilled, and strategically we decided to tie this in and tackle a truth that’s prevalent in social media nowadays.

Often times impulsive and/or emotional posts and responses get the better of us and that’s where a lot of conflicts start. So if we could all distill our thoughts on social media before writing or posting something impulsive, it could bring more peace and generate more constructive conversations.

To be able to send out a social message that hopefully brings about a little positivity, especially in these challenging times, is satisfying.

adobo magazine: How would you describe 2020?

Jureeporn Thaidumrong: Challenging. But still feeling blessed and grateful.

How are you preparing for the year ahead and what is your outlook for 2021?

Jureeporn Thaidumrong: How are you preparing for the year ahead and what is your outlook for 2021?

“If what people say is true, that year 2020 is the worst, then it can only get better from here. Stay safe and support one another.”


KAZOO SATO
Chief Creative Officer
TBWA\HAKUHODO Japan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsQ7Wto0FJg

adobo magazine: Why did you choose this ad?

Kazoo Sato: They had it their way nicely

adobo magazine: What is the best ad from 2020 that was created by your own agency and/or network?

Kazoo Sato: Such a fresh Idea for tourism campaign

adobo magazine: How would you describe 2020?

Kazoo Sato: Thank you and [expletive] you Covid-19. Things can be always good and bad.

How are you preparing for the year ahead and what is your outlook for 2021?

Kazoo Sato: We had enough time to sit down and disrupt ourselves. 2021 will be a much better year.


SOMPAT TRISADIKUN
Chief Creative Officer
The Leo Burnett Group Publicis Group Thailand

adobo magazine: Why did you choose this ad?

Sompat Trisadikun: It’s so fun, simple and powerful film to promoted T-shirt.

adobo magazine: What is the best ad from 2020 that was created by your own agency and/or network?

Sompat Trisadikun: We found the new fun approach in Stop Smoking campaign.

adobo magazine: How would you describe 2020?

Sompat Trisadikun: Tough…

adobo magazine: How are you preparing for the year ahead and what is your outlook for 2021?

Sompat Trisadikun: With vigilance…


ALI REZ
Regional Executive Creative Director, Middle East & Pakistan
 Impact
BBDO Dubai

adobo magazine: Why did you choose this ad?

Ali Rez: Sports [and matches] can be really annoying. This campaign, however, is pure fun, and latches on to something already heavily debated, making light of it. Great integration of a creative e-commerce idea with sports entertainment.

adobo magazine: What is the best ad from 2020 that was created by your own agency and/or network?

https://youtu.be/MN-itUmDNQw

Ali Rez: Hunger Insurance is a first-of-its-kind ad campaign, in that it isn’t really like an ad campaign.

It’s an insurance policy; and that too a first-of-its-kind insurance policy that pays you back in Snickers bars for the blunders you make when you’re hungry, delivered with a novel application of the use of data and AI. Because of course, as we have demonstrated over the years, we understand that you’re not you when you’re hungry.

adobo magazine: How would you describe 2020?

Ali Rez: I think it’s taught us how to be more grateful for what we have, because things can change so quickly.

adobo magazine: How are you preparing for the year ahead and what is your outlook for 2021?

Ali Rez: The outlook for 2020 is to be as agile as possible, and to be ready for any eventuality. To learn more. To create work that is more meaningful, relevant, collaborative, and connected.


PAUL CHAN
Chief Creative Officer (CCO)
Cheil Hong Kong

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSDC4C3_16Y

adobo magazine: Why did you choose this ad?

Paul Chan: It’s brave. It’s gutsy. It’s beautifully simple. Not only did Moldy Whopper totally nail the ‘no preservatives’ message, it’s a work of art that got the whole world talking. More brands should take risks like this.

adobo magazine: What is the best ad from 2020 that was created by your own agency and/or network?

Paul Chan: It brings a smile to my face.

adobo magazine: How would you describe 2020?

Paul Chan: As real as it gets.

adobo magazine: How are you preparing for the year ahead and what is your outlook for 2021?

Paul Chan: With optimism. Things can only get better.


MELVIN MANGADA
Managing Partner and Chief Creative Officer
TBWA\Santiago Mangada Puno

 

adobo magazine: Why did you choose this ad?

Melvin Mangada: Brave clever work for a marginalized community in China.

adobo magazine: What is the best ad from 2020 that was created by your own agency and/or network?

Melvin Mangada: An agency is rarely given a chance to work on a campaign that’s both massive and meaningful as Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat (Together, We Shall Overcome).

It was a huge learning experience and a privilege collaborating with over 30 of the biggest brands, the government, media, production and digital agencies, united behind a message to restart the economy by overcoming fear of the pandemic.

adobo magazine: How would you describe 2020?

Melvin Mangada: A year full of life’s lessons

adobo magazine: How are you preparing for the year ahead and what is your outlook for 2021?

Melvin Mangada: The times call for creativity in all aspects of our lives to adapt to and survive the challenging year ahead. We should continue to keep ourselves safe, not our ideas.


SHENG JIN ANG
Executive Creative Director
MullenLowe Singapore

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOhhsN_Le3E&feature=emb_logo

adobo magazine: Why did you choose this ad?

Sheng Jin Ang: I am sure there’s a lot of nominations for Burger King’s Moldy Whopper. It’s one of my favourite campaign for 2020 as well.

However, as the year is coming to an end, I challenge myself to think of a campaign that actually resonated the fight against this pandemic.

Surprisingly the Spoilers Billboards by Brave (a team of two students from Miami Ad School Germany), a student spec ad project is still fresh in my mind. If this campaign actually had published then, I am sure it can be so effective to encourage people to stay at home. But am sure that the situation will get better and we do not face further lockdowns.

adobo magazine: What is the best ad from 2020 that was created by your own agency and/or network?

Sheng Jin Ang: The Beer Cap project is an initiative to promote responsible drinking. However, this campaign has demonstrated “win-win” situations on many levels. From collaboration with other brands to drive sales to relooking at product design into a media platform.

A simple and effective campaign that highlights the responsible consumption of alcohol through behavioural awareness on other brands products and services. Cheers to the all the brands involved in this project.

adobo magazine: How would you describe 2020?

Sheng Jin Ang: Twenty-twenty is definitely a challenging year. The blur lines drawn between home and office, where working time is playing on extended mode. Seeing the rise of many self-proclaimed investment gurus sprouting in social media. And I am sure many has gotten used to video calls without proper pants.

Jokes aside, this has been a year where clients and new businesses have become top priority. Working with our clients closer than ever to derived new business plans, brand purpose and solutions against this pandemic.

adobo magazine: How are you preparing for the year ahead and what is your outlook for 2021?

Sheng Jin Ang: I think 2021 will be a more challenging year. How can we make use of our creativity to work around lesser budgets and stricter restrictions. I also encourage my colleagues to take a moment to reflect on ourselves how to become better, to learn new skills or venture on something that we have yet tried.

Let us constantly evolve and re-invent ourselves so as to be more prepared for the coming year ahead.

 

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