SUBIC – The biennial Ad Summit Pilipinas held its first formal day of activities on March 8 at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. Some of the country’s top luminaries in the advertising and marketing fields gathered together once more to discuss critical topics that shape and disrupt marketing communications in and around the country.

With a theme of “DIY your ROI,” the Ad Summit is inviting marketers to refocus their brand’s success metrics. ROI or return on investment is often a standard by which companies determine if what they’ve invested in a campaign eventually proves beneficial for them. The Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies of the Philippines (4As), as host of Ad Summit Pilipinas, wanted to ask if ROI could be redefined to mean a return on insight, a return on intelligence, or a return on impact?

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman Wilma Eisma welcomed all attendees to their home and even made an impassioned plea to keep the Ad Summit in Subic for all future iterations. 4As Chairman and McCann Worldgroup Philippines Chief Operating Officer Bong Pacia and Ad Summit Pilipinas 2018 Chairman and Grupo Agatep President Norman Agatep also bared their own insights into how they envision Ad Summit will go.

The keynote speaker is a veritable rockstar in the advertising world. Brazilian-born Anselmo Ramos, co-founder of DAVID Miami and currently in the midst of launching his own independent agency, wowed the Ad Summit attendees with his candor, humor, and the insights he shared over the course of his successful career.

Baring that in his youth, he was just a nerd who dreamed of winning an Agency of the Year award, Ramos’ experience in handling big accounts such as Burger King, Heinz, and Dove all taught him to take risks and not settle for doing things on the safe side. By taking paths less travelled, Anselmo has been part of groundbreaking and award-winning campaigns. Now, he’s determined to take an even bigger risk as he launches his yet-to-be-named independent agency in the coming months.

Amit Chaubey, Marketing Science Lead for Facebook, then talked about “Driving marketing optimization and business results across a multitude of industries.” Chaubey noted that there are three rules to capture the interest and attention of online users via mobile 1.) On-the-go, 2.) lean forward, and 3.) lean back. Among the insights he shared, Chaubey said they’ve found that TV ads on Facebook can actually be complementary TV in one of three ways: reach new people, amplify your message, and close the loop. He also stressed that it is important to capture attention with content that’s immediately interesting.

Lionel Carreon, Global Director for Creative Recruiting of R/GA, actually had an interesting story to telle before getting into the meat of his talk. He shared that his family actually came from nearby Pampanga, and that it had been almost 30 years since he was last in the Philippines. Talking about “Return on Identity,” Carreon stated that although it is human nature to hire people who are like each other, agencies are starting to wake up to the need for gender diversity.

“Identity matters. Representation matters. Inclusion matters. Advocacy matters. Empathy matters. Movements matter,” said Carreon. Through case studies such as ‘Like a girl’ and ‘Love knows no gender,’ he was able to hammer these points home.

To close out the first day of Ad Summit Pilipinas 2018, Mara Lecocq, Founder and Creative Director of Secret Code, talked about ‘Return on Independence,’ advocating for following non-traditional paths in the advertising world. With her purpose question being, “What is my passion?” Lecocq emphasized the need to find fulfillment for anyone in the industry because it can lead to a wonderful place in advertising. For her part, Mara said that her purpose is to bring diversity to male-dominated industries.