Philippine News

Marketing Stars Speak on Content and Context at PMA Gathering

by Anna Gamboa

MANILA – Newly minted Starcom MediaVest CEO Leah Besa-Jimenez double teamed with Ogilvy & Mather Head of Strategy Agnes Acasio Martinez to talk about effective marketing communications that speak from the heart during the 3rd Special General Membership Meeting of the Philippine Marketing Association. The special presentation was the featured highlight of the assembly held at the Inspire Room of the Alveo Corporate Center as the two ladies delivered riveting presentations that dovetailed with one another.

As quickly summarized by Ms. Germaine Reyes before their presentations, “Speak and Be Heard” meant to show how these marketing masters bridge the gap between audience and product by using heartwarming stories or ways to amplify content across platforms.


Asking “what kind of stories resonate?” Acasio Martinez enumerated the 8 basic plots that Pinoys or most audiences found most appealing: love, humor, overcoming (a monster or difficulty), rags-to-riches, quest, voyage, and rebirth. Unsurprisingly, tragedy was the least palatable treatment, and was only deemed effective for fund-raising efforts among local NGOs. These basic plots in touching individuals were accompanied by examples of campaigns that illustrated it best, such as Cornetto’s “Express Your Love” in China, or “Dumb Ways to Die” in Australia.

Discussing the paradigm shift from the linear funnel to the interactive or interconnected model, Besa-Jimenez emphasized the importance of touching the audience with the right content and context, and of building communities, now that mobile screens have overtaken TV screens as the more widely-viewed medium. “Don’t be scared of digital (technology). Dive in, feed it,” she says, “Brands need to behave as if they’re in perpetual beta.”

The talk also served as sort of a reunion for Besa-Jimenez and Martinez, as they were also much-praised thesis mates at De La Salle University, with Mr. Henry Tenedero as their thesis advisor. It was perhaps unsurprising then, that during the Q&A, when asked about the potentially damaging effects of online gaming, the two ladies spoke up in defense of the medium, citing it as an alternative means of learning.

The dual presentation, which spanned almost an hour, served as fodder for conversation for the rest of the evening as marketing professionals networked with one another, enjoying the view of the surrounding area from an open deck that showed Bonifacio Global City at its best.

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