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adoboLIA2019: Behind the Winning Works of This Year’s Young Creative Competition By Michelle Edu and James Fermin

Two young Filipino creatives have been handpicked by an esteemed panel of judges to attend the 2019 Creative LIAisons hosted by the London International Awards in Las Vegas. This is in partnership with adobo magazine to find the two who will deliver the brief of creating a campaign that highlights the power of books to boost the value of creativity. The only requirements were for entrants to be based in the Philippines, aged between 21-30 years old, and an employee of ad agencies that are members of the 4As of the Philippines or IMMAP.

Reuben James Fermin (Art Director, Black Pencil Manila) and Michelle Ann Lawas Edu (Associate Creative Director, BBDO Guerrero) rose to the top with their ingenious concepts.

Our team at adobo magazine caught up with the two winners and talked about everything from the concepts behind their respective campaigns to their Vegas plans.


Firstly, we talked to Michelle Ann Lawas Edu, an Associate Creative Director from BBDO Guerrero, whose win might just be the epitome of destiny and right timing. Sharing with us that leading up to the submission deadline on July 22 she was truly not intending to join the competition, her entry was a product of being surrounded by her teammates who were all clamouring to finish theirs.

She saw a font from her teammate’s board, and that’s it – she realized how much advertisers are exposed to fonts that the process of installing them would be an effective platform to introduce them to epic stories and classic novels. Hence, the Font Book. Her winning entry incorporates classic stories to samples of digital fonts to get art directors, copy writers, and the like to get intrigued by the story and pick up the book for themselves.

When asked what she saw as her advantage in creating her campaign, she said that her lack of interest in reading was her strongest asset:

“I didn’t really love to read. I came from a perspective na (that) the brief was talking to. To me that’s an advantage.

On the other hand, second place winner Reuben James Fermin, an Art Director from Black Pencil Manila, knew from the moment he saw the brief that he wanted to join. He shared that it is one of his constant frustrations that no matter how much he wanted to finish reading a book, he just can’t seem to do it. So the brief to this year’s competition – encourage advertisers and creatives to read more in order to boost their creativity – was a welcome call for Reuben. A sign that he has something to offer to the competition.

And being an art director, he shared that he (like Michelle) is not an avid reader. He simply buys books because of their covers. This resulted to the conceptualization of Nudebooks, a library of new stories that advertisers, copywriters, and art directors like himself can design covers and titles for. The catch? They have to read the whole book for inspiration.

When asked about his advantage, he had this to say:

“Being a non-reader, frustrated din ako. Gusto ko rin maging happy magbasa ng libro. Kaya naisip ko na about covers. Kasi it’s always been my dream to design my book. So what if, ihalo ko yung idea na yun? Na makapagdesign ka ng book, pero kailangan mong basahin yung libro mo.” (Being a non-reader, I also get frustrated. I want to be happy from reading a book. That’s how I thought of the cover. Because I also have always wanted to design my book. So what if I combine those ideas? That you can design a book, but you need to read it through.)

The two will be headed to Las Vegas for the LIA CREATIVE LIAISIONS PROGRAM on October 4-8, an annual gathering of young creatives aiming to inspire, connect and celebrate the next generation of creative leaders.

Michelle shared that she’s mostly excited to go around Las Vegas, listening to the talks, and getting insights on how the industry’s finest work and evaluate the work of others – she’s looking to reignite her passion to create from the program. Reuben also talked about his excitement to share his experiences and learnings his colleagues when he comes back home – a tradition they have at the office to pass on the inspiration and creativity to the rest of the team.

Partner with adobo Magazine

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