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

Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

( I lost this geeky eyeglasses during my trip at Melbourne, Victoria, AUS)

Compound myopic astigmatism. A vision defect called near sighted in layman’s term. Sadly I was diagnosed with this defect 6 years ago. Slowly my eyesight is deteriorating. I can’t see or read signs from a far. They appear blurry to me. Since that day I have to wear eyeglasses so that I can see objects from a distance clearly. But seeing objects close to me are fine. They are vivid and clear. Wearing my eyeglasses regularly makes my eyes feel so heavy. So I’d rather wear it when needed. Sometimes people see me on the streets without my eyeglasses they perceive me as a very snobbish person. Actually I am not.

Two weeks ago my Dad finally braved himself and went on an eye surgery because he has cataract on both eyes. Thank God it was a success. I always pray that his vision will be ok so that he can still see all my dreams come true. I always have been proud of my Daddy. The man with beard and mustache is the greatest influencer of my life because I inherited his talent and his philosophies in life. So now, unconsciously I tend to be prone to men with beard and mustache. I denied that for quite some time, but now based on my observation about realities of human subconscious mind, I think I agree. The subconscious mind takes up 88% of our brain's capacity, and could be compared to a massive computer system that stores all of the information regarding our location, situation, feelings etc. It controls our Autonomic Nervous System such as our heartbeat, breathing, organs and glands - in other words all of the things we do not have to think about. The subconscious mind has no reasoning power, and cannot reject anything that it is told. Now it makes sense right?

(With my Daddy and my niece Chelsea)

For other people my Dad is a good billiard and dart player (the Efren Bata Reyes among his peers), a chain smoker, a beer drinker, a good artist, a videoke singer wannabe and now a Grand Pa. I always respected him and will always be thankful how he raised me. He sent me to a good school and he’s always there to help me since I was this little girl. Up to these days He still helps me in many ways. I know I can never pay all the things He has done for me. What I can only do is to return the favor, now that I have all the blessings in life---it’s pay back time. Now that Dad is old and He can no longer treat me to good restaurants and buy cool stuff the way he did before, it’s my turn for me to do those things for him. Actually I’ve been doing that since I started earning and I intend to continue that as long as we both live.

No matter what, I will not exchange my Daddy to anybody. He’s unique in so many ways. And one great reason why I admire my Dad so much, the way he stood up beside my Mom in spite and despite. I think that’s Love. Now I am having my silly grin writing that sentence. To wrap things up, I will be proud to have my one and only Daddy in this little life that Joanie has.

Happy Father’s Day Daddy and to all the real father in the planet! :-)

joanie xxx

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Alpha of my Saigon Life

It's been a while and I know I owe everyone some stories about my Saigon life. After a month of being here, I think I already gauge some of my emotional concerns. First of all I want to tell you guys that I am truly happy where I am now. Although it's not easy as the days passed by, I am surviving and now I am glad to tell that I survived my one month. Everyday is an adventure filled day---I don't know what's going to happen, it did surprise me in a good way and some in a bad way. But I don't want to spoil everything, let me start telling the good things first.

When I landed at Tan Son Nhat International Airport around 8:30 am Saigon time, I didn't feel that I am a stranger. Everyday here is like a week of my life in Manila. Every week is like a month, so now I feel like I'm already here for four months. Things are happening so quick. No time to waste. To summarize my four weeks, lemme count the good points why I love Saigon.

On my first day of work, my colleagues invited me for a coffee nearby. One of the guys gave me a ride using his motorbike going to the coffee shop. I braved and enjoyed that risky moment. Quickly a week after, the guy I rode with toured around and introduced me to his architect friend who owns a gallery or somehow she calls it an artist den. My colleague also bought me a helmet so that next time if I'll ride a motorbike taxi, I have my own. Since that day I only rode a motorbike taxi twice. It's quite expensive so I'd rather have an aircon cab than have myself exposed on dusty wind and get perspired. Speaking of perspiration, I rarely get perspired because I live in Phu My Hung. It's an outskirt from District 1 where all the busy motorbikes and a typical city set up but not too cosmopolitan as Makati. I love Phu My Hung because it's like a huge Salcedo Village in Makati where clusters of townhouses, condos and flats are situated. Mostly Koreans, Filipinos, Chinese and other expat nationalities reside in this area. From my place I usually ride the coaster bus everyday from Phu My Hung to Dong Khoi and from there I will ride a cab going to the office. It will take me 45 minutes to 1 hour to get there due to traffic. Living quite far from the office is actually a theraphy on my part. Strange at first but it's very rewarding when the bus finally enters the Phu My Hung area. It's like an escape from the busy city of Saigon. The only catch here, I should wake up early and be on time for the bus. Because if I miss the bus the next one will arrive an hour after. Precision is the discipline game. That's what I am learning so far.

All photos were taken by Vinh Tran Quang

There are few malls in the city and none of them are as big as any of our SM supermalls. Movie houses? I think they have 3 good ones which are very similar to our Makati's finest. In fact I was able to watch "Angels & Demons" in one of those cinemas. By the way, I like that movie so much. When it comes to food, I terribly like their food. Tons of restaurants to dine, not just authentic Vietnamese food but of all sorts. Surprisingly, there are Jollibee food chains around the city. I haven't tried it though. I think the locals love Jollibee here but not as much as Lotteria. Maybe appreciate is the right word than love. Speaking of love, I love going to groceries and supermarkets here. I enjoy it and I cook as often as I used to. Here in Vietnam they also love to eat fruits---so now, I find myself eating fruits very often. When I was in Manila I rarely eat fruit. I think I gained a few pounds already not just because of eating a lot but sleeping a lot too. Haha! Proof to that: my waist expanded and my double chin is coming out already. Is it good or bad?

Over-all, I'm loving it here. This is what I tell to all the people I chat from Manila. Well this is it for now. Actually, I still have more stories to tell but lemme find good visuals for that.

'Til my next narration...

joanie xxx