Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Chronicles of North Face


Cannes Lions Festival is currently ongoing. The most anticipated big winners remain unrevealed. I may not be able to bring some Lions for this year, but I am simply happy to be on the list of entries. It was in deed a long and winding road for me to be able to make it for this festival.

Allow me now to share with you how this long saga started. It was when an Australian Creative Director Andrew Petch from Saatchi Singapore arrived in Saatchi Manila to help the creatives come up with disruptive ideas for Cannes Lions. For me, to do scam ads for the purpose of having an award is not my cup of tea. So as the days go by, I see people from the creative department doing their homework and brainstorming. I feel quite strange.  My brain refused to come up with creative juices. But until one day the deadline came and we are required to post our ideas on the wall. I got pressured. Everyone is doodling and polishing their ideas already while my paper is still empty. Deadline is at 5 pm. At around 11:30 am on the same day, I grabbed my pencil on my desk and try to think if there will be some germ of an idea that will come out in this uncooperative brain of mine. Then all of a sudden, one idea popped out. My heart was beating fast when I thought of this idea of CLIMBING WEAR CAMPAIGN. I knew then that I thought of something good. I doodled what I thought of and they are better and solid as a campaign than what we submitted to Cannes. Quickly after I doodled the idea, my celfone rang and it was my father breaking the news that my grandfather just passed away. I felt terribly sad. Made me think that my Lolo helped me come up with the idea that fast. hehe. Anyway, 5 pm arrived. Everyone posted their doodles on the wall and one by one we all explained our work. When it's my turn to give the rational behind the idea of my work, I simply said---no more words to explain the boldness of the visual. The series of ads that I did doesn't have a headline. But to have an option I told the Creative Director that my seatmate copywriter (Mark Peckson) suggested a headline. The CD said, no more headlines for this one. It can stand on its own. That comment made me happier. The next day the materials were chosen. Saatchi chose 10 works to be entered in Cannes Lions' contest. Climbing Wear Campaign made it as one of the entries. That fact alone is enough for me to be happy.

The Berlin Wall filled with germs. Ideas that will go to Cannes Lions
The photo shoot for North Face jackets with Jay Tablante as the photographer

Day by day each and everyone of us walked going to the long and winding road to Cannes. It was a journey and the Saatchi creatives can attest to that. The long list of creative credits are the people who helped me made this entry possible. Only one thing surprised me, that there's a copywriter on the credit. Well actually, I shouldn't be surprised seeing a copywriter credit on a visual ad campaign because I did question that fact a hundred times. Whenever I see that credit on award winning visual campaign. So benefit-of-the-doubt, I presumed that the copywriter might be the one who thought of the idea. But in this case, NO. But maybe this is my chance to thank PATRICK MICIANO, my teammate copywriter who took charge of the copywriting for the concept board that was submitted. He was not there in the credits.

The print ad's proof. I was waiting for the local newspaper publisher to pick up the material for print. Unfortunately the head office of The North Face China didn't allow us to release a print material for this campaign.

The posters were posted on ROX store in Bonifacio High Street where in The North Face products are being sold.

The climbing wear that we borrowed for the photo shoot. SWEATER. JACKET & COAT.

That was Bogey Bernardo, ruined our beautiful photo. Haha!

And Saatchi people will raise the flag because they will never stop exploring
In this photo: Chin Pangan (Art Director) Maan Agsalud (Copywriter) Ian San Gabriel (Art Director) Hans Malang (Art Director) Joan Manalang (Art Director) Bogey Bernardo (Copywriter) Glenn Lalogan (Art Director) Not in thios photo: PATRICK MICIANO (Copywriter and the Photographer of these photos)

Indeed, this experience enriched me as a creative individual and made my enthusiasm for advertising grows deeper. Now in my life, I know there will be more mountains to climb and each one will be tough to reach but with huge amount of determination and a positive mind, things will be easy. Who knows next year I might be doing some North Face materials again . This time for Saatchi & Saatchi Vietnam. :-)

'Til my next Cannes Lions Saga!

joanie xxx


RJ said...

Very nice posters! I like the concept. There are, indeed, a lot of mountains which are yet to be climb while we live.

Good luck, Joannie! U

Tom said...


I love North Face. Hope to see your campaign here. In dreams and in realities, mountains are really hard to climb.

Mr. PINKMOON said...

Pretty amazing...

Good campaign. Nice jackets and nice smiles! You're getting there Joan. Tough climb but surely worth it like any EVEREST!

Cheerios to more success!

Joan said...

Thank you so much for always reading my blog, RJ, TOM & Pinkmoon. :)

A said...


Dati akala mo sapat na ang kapatagan dahil doon ka masaya sa kanyang kanlungan.

Ngunit sinong mag-aakala ika'y tutungo sa matayok na kabundukan. Matarik at mapanganib man ang daan, buong tapang mong tatahakin.

Walang sino man ang nakakaalam kung gaano katarik ang rurok ng iyong patutunguhan.

Sa tamang oras iyong mahahantungan ang ganda na noon pa'y sana'y iyong nasilayan.

'Di na dapat ipagpaliban ang sayo'y nakalaan. Irog at tagumpay sa tuktok ng kabundukan sa iyo'y naghihintay.

'Wag ng muling lumingon sa kapatagang nakaraan. Nawa'y mag-silbing gintong aral ang taglay nito sa'yong buhay.


Marahil ako'y humahanga sa'yo Bb. Manalang. Sayo'ng tapang at kagandahang asal na taglay. Kay palad ng taong sayo'y naghihintay. :)