adobo Series: Creative Minds in Lockdown featuring Raoul Panes, Chief Creative Officer of Publicis One Philippines


MANILA, PHILIPPINES – As the world continues to change drastically — thanks to the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic — the creative industry is also settling into a new rhythm. adobo magazine has been checking in with some of the world’s best, award-winning leaders in the communications industry to find out how they are doing.

Today, we peek into the mind of Raoul Panes, Chief Creative Officer, Publicis One Philippines, as he mulls over what it means to be creative in the Philippines during lockdown: What’s changed? What stayed the same?

“I look at my laptop desktop and I see files now neatly tucked into a few folders. I guess that’s one good thing about the lockdown. More time to simplify and organize. Focus on the essentials. Throw out the superfluous. Prioritize what’s most important. We’ve been forced into a situation where drastic changes have to be made. Not everything’s good or pleasant. But why wither with the negatives? I have new officemates these days who just sleep by my feet while I pound away on my keyboard. And that’s alright,” Panes shared as he reflects on working from home with a global crisis looming in the background.

As one of the country’s most lauded copywriters, Panes has made a name for himself in the Philippine advertising industry, thanks to his fascination for marketing and literature. For a time, he was creative director at J. Walter Thompson and Publicis JimenezBasic, then executive creative director at BBDO Guerrero Ortega.

He is currently the chief creative officer of Leo Burnett Group Manila and Publicis Groupe Philippines. His work has been awarded at local and international shows including Cannes Lions, One Show, D&AD and Clio.

Under his lead, Leo Burnett Manila has been consistently awarded for creative effectiveness with recognition from AME Awards New York, Warc 100 Rankings, and the Festival of Media. He is a Hall of Famer and former President of the 4A’s Creative Guild of the Philippines.

“At Leo Burnett, we used to sign off on our emails with this quote: ‘Creativity has the power to transform human behavior.’ It rings true all the more these days. On any aspect of our lives. How we work. How we meet. How we shop. How we go to mass. How we mourn. How we celebrate. How we learn. How we teach. How we protest. How we help out. How we reach out. A few weeks ago, I saw these photos online and they resonated with me. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Panes also shared the works that he believes to mirror the rollercoaster of emotions Filipinos have been feeling during quarantine, and narrows it to three:

“Our P&G work honoring frontliners was created at the onset of the lockdown. It was easy to toss around the term ‘frontliner’ on social media and the news but do we really know how it is inside their world?”

A Frontliner’s Sacrifice

Hundreds of frontliners are away from their families to care for the sick. Let’s do our part to help them go home soon. P&G continues in#CaringForFrontlinersAll clips are shared by and with permission from the frontliners. These are used with gratitude in this material.

Posted by Ariel Philippines on Friday, May 1, 2020


“Later, deep into the lockdown, we wanted to celebrate Mother’s Day with McDonald’s amid the uncertainties outside and the boredom at home. Now that a lot of children were with their parents 24/7, some truths became more evident.”

Na-Lockdown Tayo, Ma.

Dahil 24/7 tayong magkasama, lalo kitang nakilala. Ngayong Mother’s Day at kahit araw-araw pa, talagang #LoveKitaMa.

Posted by McDonald's on Tuesday, May 5, 2020


“Then just this week, as the lockdown eased, we got wind of the twin teens named Jollibee and Mcdonald who graduated from senior high school. A graduation during a pandemic is worth celebrating and their memorable names make us smile. So McDonald’s located them and gave their family a treat and we quickly created social media content to lift our moods. Released it at around 10:00 pm and in a few minutes, it became viral even at that late hour.”

Magkaribal man sa pangalan, nagkakaisa naman sa pangarap! Congratulations to the twins Jollibee and Mcdonald Pangindian…

Posted by McDonald's on Tuesday, June 2, 2020


“So whatever happens, we’ll find a way to get the job done. Our days are filled with concalls and emails. Sometimes work hours get extended. Sometimes we work on weekends. But we always find time to breathe. Shut out the noise. Connect with the people in our lives that matter most. Connect more with oneself too. Be in the right headspace,” Panes said.

“I find a strange fulfillment late at night — winding some watches and watching them tick to life while outside the streets are all quiet, devoid of people scurrying off to get groceries or sneaking out for a jog. Yet time rolls on and life goes on.”


This article is part of a series by adobo magazine exploring “Creative Minds in Lockdown,” a look into how industry experts are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and the implementation of community quarantine in select parts of the world. 

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