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Spikes Asia 2019: Maan Bautista of McCann Worldgroup Philippines Talks Judging for the Direct Category

Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity is a three-day celebration of conferences and awards that will serve as a platform for Asia Pacific’s creative community to converge. McCann Worldgroup Philippines’ Creative Director, Maan Bautista, is one of these creatives from the Philippines. She is joining this year’s Spikes Asia as one of the juries in the Direct category.

As a sneak peek into what’s going to happen in the jury room, Bautista shares what she’s hoping to see in the winning works, what’s her criteria for judging, and what perspective she will be bringing to Singapore as a Filipino creative. 

As one of the juries in the Direct category, what are you hoping to see in the winning works of the Direct category?

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Now that we live in the era of all things fast, it’s a bit more challenging to get the attention of people these days, more so to get them to actively participate. Plus, the fact that anything that screams “advertising” turns them off. Direct, for me, in its simplest definition, is immediate response. So I’m hoping to see beautifully crafted pieces that gets people willingly choosing to spend their precious time to do something with the brand. And as a Creative, I hope to see work that will make me go “Damn, wish I had done that,” nerd out to every single detail that went into making it, and be very eager to share with the rest of the team so we can learn from it (and hopefully, come up with an idea that’s just as good or even better).

How will you measure the call-to-action of the works you will review?

The thing about Direct is it has to be very clear who we’re talking to, very clear on what we want those people to do, and very clear that they actually did what we asked them to do. To measure the call-to-action of the campaigns, I always just go back to the objective. Given the task at hand and the people we’re supposed to be talking to, how can we convince them to join in? Is it really true for this group of people? Is this the most interesting way to go about it? What I like about Direct is it’s one of those categories wherein you can really see the impact creativity can have right then and there. 

How do you measure impact and effectivity?

If it moves people and if it moves the business, then I think that idea is onto something.

As the Creative Director of McCann, can you cite some campaigns from your agency that have produced measurable and meaningful results?

One particular piece of work that we’re extremely proud of is the latest campaign we created for San Miguel Pale Pilsen called Side by Side. We created two different music videos that told our story of brotherhood, delivered using age targeting online. Side A was specifically created for older drinkers, using music, lyrics and design from that era. Side B had a more modern take for the younger ones, sporting their kind of sound and style. But more than that, the videos had a secret. Together, played side by side on mobile, they formed a third film, and the lyrics and melody blended seamlessly into a new song about timeless friendship. 

It had become the coolest thing especially for the young ones. If I were to go all technical and numerical about it, drinkership among 18-34 years old went up to around 40%. Just proves that there are some things both generations can agree on: friendship and an ice-cold San Miguel Beer. We’re pretty happy with how it turned out, and even happier that people loved it.

(If you want to try it out with a friend, simply search Side A and Side B on YouTube. #shamelessplugging)

Kwentong Jollibee still continues to move Filipinos with every release, and our work for Nestle KitKat Break In Case Of did great for the client’s business. These two efforts won Gold at the APAC Effies these past two years and I think those are the only Golds ever for the country at the most prestigious effectiveness show. If not in recent memory.

How will your experience as a Creative Director in McCann or as a creative in the Philippines in general influence how you judge the works in Direct?

McCann has always been about Truth Well Told and it’s been a really good guiding principle when judging the work. The way I see it, Truth is your insight and Well Told is your execution. They’re a dynamic duo, so to speak. Because that’s the kind of work that really leaves a mark.

As the only judge from the Philippines in the direct category, what will you bringing to the table?

A fresh perspective. We’ve got a great mix of Creatives in the group, and I’m sure everyone has something new to share. It’ll be interesting to see how the discussions would go and how POVs may differ. One thing’s for sure though, we may have our different takes and opinions but the effect of a great piece of creative is the same. 


adobo magazine, the Word on Creativity, is an official media partner of Spikes Asia 2019 Festival of Creativity.

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