22nd Philippine Ad Congress: It Changed the Game for Me

Here’s your loot bag. And here’s your beer.

I have never been to an Ad Congress. And I was surprised to see that it has been going on since the 1960s. I saw some commercials of the last 2, but it didn’t really pique my interest enough for me to go. But this year was different. Maybe because of my new work, the Ad Congress was suddenly pushed into my radar. And, even with the staggering registration fee, I registered.

The whole FLiQ team registered too (all 4 of us). It cost an arm, a leg and some other body parts, but when your work is media, you have to make some sacrifices. One was we took the bus to Naga. The organizers didn’t bother taking our arrival information. No leis. No welcome committee. No banner. Maybe they didn’t think any of the “big shots” would be taking the bus. Que Horror! Another was we had different places to stay. I had a one bed room in an ok hotel. Gay stayed with the Murgas. Chinka and Tinay stayed at… well…. it was a place to sleep.

The venue and the setup was awesome. They really put time and effort into it. I loved the multiple screens and the graphics. It sent shivers up and down my spine. And challenged me to find ways to make that happen in my projects. The loot bag (and beer) was full. And the freebies just kept on coming.

I DID learn. A LOT. I didn’t pay attention to what people say about the Ad Congress. About all the parties, and what happens behind closed doors. I focused on the reason I was there. To learn. And I did. Kudos to the organizers for choosing good speakers, and for showcasing the future of media.

There were lots of opportunities to be distracted (with all the raffles and the parties), but since we didn’t win anything (rigged?), God just wanted us to focus on the reason we decided to go in the first place. I will be posting learnings from the talks, I just learned a lot, so I won’t compress it here.

I will say this: I am happy that the Ad Board, all the studies and questions showed the same thing: Youth / Gen Y are looking for media that is pro-God, pro-family, pro-authenticity and pro-truth. It was LOUD AND CLEAR. I hope all the ad agencies took time to look and listen. Because with the material they spew out, it doesn’t translate. They better listen. If not, there’s a new team ready to take the lead:

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