MANILA – “I’m truly honored,” said BBDO CEO Tony Harris, when asked about the turnout at the launch of his book, Advertising: More Fun in the Philippines, at R Space in Makati last night. “I’m not an author, I just happened to write a book,” chuckled Harris. “There is a difference!”
Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez was on hand for the launch, as were members of the local creative industry, who turned out to show their enthusiastic support. Jimenez told adobo that the book was the perfect vehicle to showcase the best the Philippines had to offer, as only someone with an outsider’s perspective could objectively write about how much fun it was to visit the country.
Telling the story of how Harris came to be in the Philippines, the book is a humorous first-person account of one man’s culture shock as well as a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the work that goes into creating a modern advertising campaign. The campaign in question, of course, is the multi-awarded “It’s More Fun” campaign, which Harris found himself working on within six months of his arrival.
BBDO’s Francine Kahn served as the evening’s master of ceremonies, introducing Secretary Jimenez and David Guerrero to deliver opening remarks. Jimenez praised Harris’ contributions to the “It’s More Fun” campaign while letting loose humorous barbs on everything from the book’s choice of font to the unexpected joy of working with former competitors. Guerrero was equally congratulatory, calling the book a wonderful call to action for the legions of copywriters out there still waiting to write their “great novel”.
Following the opening remarks, Harris himself took to the stage to thank the people who helped make his book-writing dream a reality, before reading select passages that showcased the wry wit with which he had chosen to tell his story. The event was rounded off with a signing, as Harris autographed books and posed for photos with those who had purchased copies.
“Everyone has been so kind, I had a lovely audience, and it was brilliant having everyone here. I hope they buy lots of copies, because it all goes to a good cause – that’s what it’s all about,” said Harris, sharing that all proceeds from the sales of Advertising: More Fun in the Philippines will go to Habitat for Humanity.