Q&A with BBDO Guerrero boss David Guerrero

David Guerrero

David Guerrero is one the Philippines’ most recognised and awarded admen, who has run BBDO Guerrero as chairman and chief creative officer for 15 years.

In this interview, Guerrero talks to Mumbrella Asia editor Robin Hicks about his favourite ads of all time, what he’d be doing if he wasn’t in advertising, and why the most powerful person on the Philippine ad scene is his wife.

What is the biggest story in advertising in the Philippines at the moment?

The country’s success at Cannes. This year local agencies brought home more and bigger prizes than ever before. And suddenly, winning a Lion is on the agenda of many clients. They are seeing competitors succeed with great work and they want some for themselves. The best thing is that we are evolving a common agenda between clients, agencies and – most importantly – an audience that increasingly expects to be treated with respect.

Angel Guerrero

Angel Guerrero

Who is the most powerful person in the Philippines’ ad scene?

The only way to answer this question is to contemplate who I would least like to leave out. On that score I can easily say Angel Guerrero, editor in chief of industry bible Adobo magazine. (And, coincidentally, my wife.)

Which ad agency do you fear the most in pitches?

I respect every agency on a good pitch list. But I don’t see much point in fearing them. I worry more that we do our best. Then we will feel better about the result. Whatever it is.

If you could hire one person, who would it be?

Danny Boyle

Danny Boyle

Assuming this to be a Desert Island Discs type question, I’d say Danny Boyle. And the project I have in mind is an Olympics-style encapsulation of Philippine culture and history. With a two-minute cutdown for TV!

What is your favourite ad?

Looked at from one point of view it could be the original Black Cat Whisky film from Thailand.

Seen from another point of view it could be the NZ Telecom ‘Father and Son’ spot.

But the commercial that seems to give the most complete picture of what we do is The Guardian’s classic ‘Points of View’ by the late, great John Webster.

If you weren’t in advertising for a living, what would you be doing?

I’d like to be making documentary films that stirred up global conversations and changed opinions about things. And I’d probably want to make two minute cutdowns of them as well.

How do you feel ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ compares with other tourism campaigns in Asia, such as ‘Your Singapore’, ‘Incredible India’ and ‘Malaysia, truly Asia’?

I can’t really speak about the other campaigns, but I will say that what makes our job easier is the way people have embraced the campaign as their own. We have everyone from town mayors to corporate event organizers coming up with new ideas. And people finding more reasons why it’s true every day. We are happy that people are enjoying themselves co-creating a campaign that helps express how they feel about their country. And grateful for a client that trusts them to do it.

You have been working very hard to raise the profile of Filipino advertising for many years. Have you achieved what you set out to do?

I’m not sure there is ever an end-point to something like that. I’m really happy that the country is making its mark on the global scene. This year has opened the eyes of many people to the great breadth and diversity of talent in the market. I think there is a lot more to be done however and I’m excited to be part of an industry and a region that will evolve rapidly over the next few years.


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