What Advertising is and is not: class a School of Creativity goes to San Beda Alabang

A myth buster, a perspective changer, and an inspiration. The class a School of Creativity at San Beda College Alabang struck over 300 students in that level, with sessions which go beyond textbook lessons. Fresh from the four day-break, students from different schools eagerly joined the program to learn from the industry’s best. SOCxSBCA Class …

A myth buster, a perspective changer, and an inspiration. The class a School of Creativity at San Beda College Alabang struck over 300 students in that level, with sessions which go beyond textbook lessons. Fresh from the four day-break, students from different schools eagerly joined the program to learn from the industry’s best.


SOCxSBCA Class Photo! (By Niña Venus)

The School of Creativity was brought by adobo magazine, class a magazine, co-presented by Jollibee, sponsored by Mondelez International, in partnership with San Beda Alabang Junior Bedan Marketing Association, and was held at St. Maur’s auditorium.



Karl Sandoval, HR Business Partner of Mondelez International jumpstarted the discussion, with the topic “The Mondelez Philippines Graduate Trainee Program: Looking for future leaders”. Since the program started in 2007, it has has produced 11 batches, welcomed 134 new graduates, with 55% of them landing jobs at Mondelez, and 12 even scaling up to managerial positions.


Sandoval says, their graduate program is able to “provide learning experiences which will develop them into leaders, not only leaders but also as senior leaders in the future, senior business leaders.”

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One strong proof of the efficacy of the program is Angela Encanto, Biscuits Brand Manager of Mondelez International Taiwan who shared her experience to the students. She enthuses, the program helped her get a holistic perspective, “That holistic view allows us to have a wider business perspective. We get to appreciate the perspective from someone from finance, someone from sales, and we get to incorporate that in our business decisions.”


The next speaker, Carlos Palma, Johnson & Johnson Head of Digital Marketing, highlighted how an advertisement is not merely a marketing tool, Through taking the audience down memory lane with classic TV commercials like Jollibee’s “Pasalubong”, he proved how advertisements impact consumer behavior. He emphasized the power of raw persuasion and engagement, and how ads hold the power to shape our language, outlook, family values, fashion style, hobbies, and even our sense of kilig.

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Palma elaborates, this has been more evident in the dawn of digital advertising.  “Just because we are reaching more people, more touchpoints. Whereas before, if you miss your show and you step out during the commercial, you don’t get the message. But with Facebook, with the precision targeting methods, we are able to reach more people and impact more people because of digital advertising.”


But advertising is not merely about convincing consumers to buy. He advances, every brand must strive to be meaningful.  “A meaningful brand is a brand that affects a consumer on a day-to-day level, not just at a particular moment in their life, whereas a brand, let’s say, “Oh I have a certain need”, then a brand provides it, then it’s a very transactional, functional relationship. Whereas we understand that there are some brands that are able to transcend transaction, and actually be a brand that you look for, a brand that you turn to when you feel a particular way. ”


In this day and age where most brands battle for higher reach in the digital world, Carlos admits, it can be challenging, “But it is also hard because there is too much clutter and there are so many people shouting in the marketplace about their ads. So our challenge is how do we get noticed and how do we get preferred.”


The next speaker, Valerie Joy Deveza offers a solution to this. As Facebook’s Social Media Manager, Facebook Advertisements Management and Social Selling Techniques, Deveza is an expert when it comes to knowing what ads are effective and what are not.


The secret, she says, lies in three simple rules: First, clear goals. She points out that likes don’t always equal sales. “Don’t get me wrong awareness is good but, as you can see, awareness is just a first stage, there’s also engagement, there’s also consideration, and if a specific advertiser is just creating an ad for the awareness and then hoping to get sales out of it, that’s insane.”


Thus, in every ad, one must have a clear goal which goes beyond garnering likes, comments or shares. Intimately related to that is the second component which is laser-focused targetting. A goal must be focused enough in terms of age, gender, and interest in order for an advertisement to reach its desired audience. “If you are going to make a compelling ad, you have to make sure that you are thinking and writing with the customers in mind. You have to make sure that you ask them, what are their pains, what are their concerns, why do they have to click your ad.”


Third, you have to have a great ad design. Though there is a goal and a focus, this would be rendered futile if the execution is poor. There must be a good copy, an image that stands out, the ad offers a solution to a problem, and there is a call to action (Ex: learn more, shop now, sign up, and book travel)


Lawin, Bulatao, Chief Creative Officer and Managing Director of Ideasxmachina Advertising Inc., clarified more misconceptions about advertising. He posits, sometimes, an advertisement does not come in the form of an advertisement. He cited Palau Pledge as a gem which proves truism to this. Palau Pledge by Host/Havas is an awareness campaign on the environmental effect of mass tourism on the island, with visitors signing a pledge within the visa stamp in their passports.


Bulatao also emphasized that advertisers and creatives need to take bold risks. An example is Nike’s campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, known for his kneeling protests against police brutality before NFL games. “So it was risky for Nike to get him an endorser and in spite of some people burning their shoes, as of now, when you’ve seen in that video is that tumataas lalo yung sales nila. Sometimes, it does pay to be controversial”


This just proves how powerful advertising is, up to this age. “You know how people talk about “Tapos na daw ang advertising”, “Hindi na daw uso ang creativity”, “It’s the age of the algorithm”. I think creativity is as important as ever, maybe more important than ever. It’s just that we have to be more creative about your creativity. Kumbaga, think beyond thirty seconds, think beyond TV, think beyond press and so on and so forth,” Bulatao explains.


The session at the San Beda College of Alabang brings all the class a School of Creativity stops to seven.


Carlos Palma sees it significant to connect students to the advertising stalwarts of the country through class a SOC, paving their way to becoming a part of the industry.  “It’s great that adobo is doing this for students. It gives them the opportunity to hear from some of the people who are actually doing the actual work in the industry.So if you’re able to reach out and talk to these people and talk to companies that you’re not usually able to talk to, it actually inspires you to actually go and do something for yourself and be part of the greater ecosystem.”


Bulatao adds,  “I love how adobo has evolved as a publication, I love the role that it plays in the industry and the business at large”


Anne Moravillas, moderator of the Junior Bedan Marketing Association, also thanked adobo magazine and Jollibee for bringing SOC to San Beda College Alabang,  “It’s always an added value to them if they will have an experience wherein they will learn from the veterans, specifically in the marketing industry. It will help them boost their confidence as well as to have an idea what is the real connection of marketing in terms of doing business.”


Alyssa Amrad, Marketing Management student says, “What I learned today is about digital marketing and how it works in today’s technology. I learned a lot of lessons from the different speakers.”


At the end of the day, the students walked out of St. Maur’s auditorium, filled with vision, and knowledge of what advertising is and is not.