Thursday, November 10, 2005

ad man

The past two days were just amazing. I was tapped as one of the judges for the Ad Congress (the Congress will be held next week in Cebu, but the juding for a number of the categories was held in Manila) to judge for the Design, Direct Mail and Interactive categories. There was a small mountain of entries we judges had to look through - a natural thing given the fact that, for the advertising industry, these awards are very important.

On the design front, I looked at everything from logos to murals, packaging to signage, postcards to invitations. Competition was fierce because everything was lumped together. All the major brands and agencies were represented. On DM, I was floored by the creativity of the DM practicioners - so much so that I'm going to offer DM as a service of Kestrel, tying up with new friends I made while judging. I was mostly disappointed in the Interactive category, which incuded websites, banners, campaigns, and besically everything that is digital. Creatively, it seems to be the same as it was four years ago.

The best part was deliberating with the other judges. For the first time in the Araw Awards, deliberations were made a part of the judging process (as opposed to before, when everything was numeric). I enjoyed discussing pieces and learned what we judges had in common in terms of what we were looking, as well as what made each of us unique in terms of taste and preference. I shudder to think how the judges for TV and Print, the most competitive and coveted categories, will behave.

When all was said and done, I went back to my office with a finer appreciation for what we do - especially in the context of being an IMC (intergrated marketing communications company). I love the spirit of competition and strongly advocate contests that push creatives to new heights. In my experience as a judge, the entire process was clean, no agency agenda was promoted and no political aspects reared their unwanted heads - so kudos to Lilit and Melvin, just two of the many hardworking people behind the organization for this congress.

It was both a pleasure and an honor.

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