9 Takeaways from the adobo Festival of Ideas

9 Takeaways from the adobo Festival of Ideas

The adobo Festival of Ideas last November 22 was mainly attended by students and young professionals in the advertising and marketing industry. Overall, the talks were very fitting to its audience.

Below are the 9 lessons from the industry leaders that really struck a cord in me: 

adobo festival of ideas

 Joint Q&A Session. From left: Greg Martin, creative director of Ace Saatchi and Saatchi and the speakers: Jasmin Visculado; Raul Castro; Matec Villanueva; and Marlon Rivera 


9 Takeaways from the adobo Festival of Ideas

9. Don’t stop at your first idea.

As David Guerrero, creative chairman of BBDO Guerrero said, the first idea is common and almost everyone thinks of the same thing. How do you increase security at home? Yes, get a dog. For better ideas and originality, David said, “Originality starts with the brief. It needs to work with the audience.”

8. Find your niche.

CCO and chairman of DM9JaymeSyfu, Merlee Jayme recommended young professionals to know and find their niche early on in their career. According to her, this will help anyone find a job since employers prefer to hire people with different skill sets than their other employees because employees are looking for someone who can add value to their company. Don’t know how to identify your niche? “You have to find your truth,” said Raul Castro, chairman and CEO of McCann WorldGroup Phil., Inc.

7. Be exceptional.

This is the message that is consistent in the speakers’ talks. David said,”Keep doing great work. and you will always have someone wiling to hire you.” Also, don’t hesitate to stand out from the crowd. Marlon Rivera, film maker and ex ad man, said “Stars are celebrated in the advertising industry,” while Merlee challenged everyone to make their creative life difficult. “There is no place for mediocrity in this world.”    

6. Get your hands dirty.

Do something with your hands to create. “Think with your hands,” urged Leigh Reyes, president of Lowe Philippines. “Get something from your head into something that can be physical and that you can experience,” added John Ed de Vera, ACD for Design TBWA/Santiago Mangada Puno. Both of them showcased their creations, such as a decorative miniature chair made out of soda cans, calligraphy interacting with droplets of water, and musical artwork activated by touching electronic paint.

adobo Festival of Ideas

Leigh Reyes and John Ed de Vera demonstrates a musical artwork that plays tunes when the electric paint is touched. 


5. Develop resilience.

Merlee was proud to share her stories of rejections when she was young  and starting out in the industry. She’d be the first to admit if her ideas were bad, but she would not give up until she developed great ideas and pleased the clients. “The brain is like a rubber band. Just keep on pushing it to think more.”

4. Find a mentor.

As a young professional, Matec Villanueva, CEO of Publicis Manila, had great mentors and she credited this to her success. This falls under surrounding yourself with good people. “Part of being happy is working with people you like and happiness will show,” explained Jasmin Visculado, marketing director of Coca-Cola Far East Ltd. It also pays to “believe in the people you are working with and give them time to do what they do best,” shared David.

3. Your life outside work adds value to you.

“Work-life balance is a choice and investment,” was the main message of Matec and Marlon in their joint session. “Have a life ,so that you have value in the company, because that’s how you come up with ideas,” justified Matec.

2. Stay hungry.

Matec said it herself: if she’s asked who she’d hire between two applicants, the answer would be “the hungry one.” This is synonymous to getting drunk on work. Passion can take you places you never thought you could reach. 

1. Have a standard that surpasses World-Class.

What really hit me was David’s and Raul’s belief that we shouldn’t try to work based on World-Class standards. “I will never use the benchmark of other countries for my work. Different problems have different solutions,” shares Raul. David, on the other hand, advocates that trying to reach World-Class standards is trying to be like everybody else. He prefers doing better than World-Class.  

adobo festival of ideas

 David Guerrero and Merlee Jayme before their Battle for Creativity.


For more quotable quotes from adobo’s Festival of Ideas, read this article.



9 Takeaways from the adobo Festival of Ideas


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