Copywriters from Ogilvy & Mather Philippines and MullenLowe Open take on video to win the adobo LIA Young Creative Competition

MAKATI — After a series of wins from art directors in previous years of the competition, it was the wordsmiths’ time to shine as two copywriters from Ogilvy & Mather Philippines and MullenLowe Open were selected as the winners of the adobo LIA Young Creatives Competition for 2017. Karl Garcia and Niño Jose Gonzales will be getting free airfare and accommodations to attend the London International Awards Creative Liaisons program in Las Vegas from October 4 to 7, 2017. 

This year, the jury was composed of Jury President Brandie Tan, Executive Creative Director at J. Walter Thompson Philippines; Abi Aquino, Executive Creative Director at MullenLowe Philippines; Joe Dy, Executive Creative Director at McCann Worldgroup Philippines; Paolo Fabregas, Executive Creative Director at Publicis Manila, Inc.; Herbert Hernandez, Partner, Gigil; Pia Roxas Ocampo, Executive Creative Director at Wunderman Manila; Joey Ong, Managing Director and Founder of Dojo under the Dentsu-Aspac group; Tonypet Sarmiento III, Chief Creative Officer and Founding Partner, Havas Media Ortega & Collab; and Joey Tiempo, Executive Creative Director at NuWorks Interactive Labs. 


The adobo LIA Young Creatives Competition brought together executive creative power [L-R] Brandie Tan of J. Walter Thompson Philippines, Joey Ong of Dojo, Abi Aquino of MullenLowe Philippines, Joe Dy of McCann Worldgroup Philippines, Tonypet Sarmiento of Havas Media Ortega & Collab, Paolo Fabregas of Publicis Manila, Pia Roxas-Ocampo of Wunderman Manila, Joey Tiempo of NuWorks Interactive Labs, and Herbert Hernandez of Gigil

The jury judged the 52 entries to the competition according to the brief: Do #AwardsMatter? The subject of the brief this year took after the announcement of one of the biggest global advertising agency groups that it will pull out of all award shows next year. 

This year’s theme and brief

“There is a generation of creatives, accounts people, planners, and clients who do not regard awards as important for the industry. There needs to be a conversation on this. It may be different for different people,” Brandie Tan, jury president, said of the brief.  

The requirements of this year’s competition was to be for the work to be submitted in video format, no longer than 2 minutes, and meant for posting and sharing on social media. 

The themes of the entries were varied. Some talked about the positive impact of awards on the industry and on society, others shared personal reasons why awards are important to them, while some emphasized the pursuit of good work and excellence and setting standards and benchmarks. 

In the end, the winning entries by Garcia of Ogilvy & Mather Philippines and Gonzales of MullenLowe Open stood out as top picks. Garcia’s ‘ANAGRAM’ was favoured by majority of the jury due to its simplicity and unique idea of rearranging the letters of “Awards Matter” into other combination of words and phrases related to advertising and creativity. 

Asked for the reasoning behind the ‘ANAGRAM’ video, Garcia said, “if there is one way to show the many different reasons, whichever way you look at it, it’s through an anagram. You just twist around [“Awards Matter”], you get different kinds of answers. They’re all valid to different kinds of people.”

On the other hand, Gonzales’ ‘Ward Off Awards’ entry pointed out that awards do not really matter. However, the judges were impressed with his knowledge of classic ads from Volkswagen and Dove (both done by Ogilvy & Mather) and Neil French’s ‘XO Beer’. 

“I twisted the brief — so why not awards don’t matter at all? So the best way to answer the brief is to use award-winning ads to show how awards don’t really matter.” Gonzales explained. 

“Both were saying the right things in their own way,” Tan said when asked about the selection of the two winners. “There was a level of maturity in thinking on why awards matter,” he emphasized.

Congratulations to this year’s adobo LIA Young Creatives Competition winners! [L-R] adobo magazine President, Founder, Publisher Angel Guerrero, MullenLowe Philippines’ Niño Jose Gonzales, Ogilvy & Mather Philippines’ Karl Garcia, and JWT Philippines’ and Jury President Brandie Tan

During adobo magazine’s interview with the winners, both were asked, now without the constraints of the mechanics, whether awards truly matter for them. 

Garcia said, “it’s the thing that keeps us to a standard. Without awards, we would just release ads, and ads would just be ads.” He further added, “awards bring us together. communities are built around awards. For example, in my team, my creative director, Donna Dimayuga, and my partner, Pau Villones, this is the thing that brings us all together wanting to aspire for something.”

While Gonzales’ entry was to the contrary, he admitted that he does believe in awards. “For me, it’s a testament of passion. It’s a source of validation on our part as creatives that all those overtimes are worth it, for all the sacrifices that we made, to be away from our families,” he answered.

Watch jury president Brandie Tan’s comments on the jury deliberations and selection of winners: 

Previous winners include Corey Cruz of BBDO Guerrero and Donna Dimayuga of DDB (2012 and again at BBDO Guerrero in 2013), Drea Dizon, Art Director at JWT Manila (2013), Barny Rivera of Digital FCB and Rayna Vihuela Reyes of Aspac Advertising (2014), Paulo Villones, Art Director at BBDO Guerrero and Andrew Yap, Art Director at Publicis Manila (2015), Miel Soneja, Art Director at Dentsu JaymeSyfu, and Joza Myrene Nada, Art Director at Publicis Manila (2016).

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