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When I arrived at PEACH, Sompat told me the Press and Poster awards were going to be split across two nights, because the show would take too long. So last night was Print Craft and Design, Direct, Radio and Press.

It didn’t feel that long, really, because there were many categories where no awards were given. This was most apparent in radio, where every award announcement elicited hoots and applause from the audience. I found the Kiwi spots on “a man’s worst nightmare,” for a show called Knocked Up, almost unintelligible to be funny, but my ears eventually got used to the accent. DM9 JaymeSyfu (shoutout to Eugene and team!) got a bronze Lotus for Vandol Cream, and JWT Manila swept the category with a gold, 2 silvers and a bronze for Lotus Spa.

Dave Ferrer and David Guerrero with matching grins:

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Y&R KL took home Best of the Best in radio, for Colgate. Here’s Rahul and David, again with matching grins:

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Stefan Sagmeister and the print craft and design jury were appreciative but not amazed, and so only a few entries got nods. These included the Nike shoe box with the stadium printed inside (which also got metal in Cannes last year), a lace cut-out tissue box out of Tokyo, edible checkers, the FHM cut-out books and pixelated calendar girls, the Luxor highlighter series, and “Happiness” out of Y&R Singapore.

Stefan podium-sharing with the hosts:

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Direct was a very broad category with only a few winners. What stood out for me were the “Go with Roots” and “Jump Square” integrated direct campaigns, both out of Dentsu. The Best of the Best in Direct was Earth Hour (which reminds me, Earth Hour in Manila tonight starts at 8 pm, do join). Lowe took home a bronze, the Philippines’ only metal in direct.

I wasn’t able to get a clear shot of Steve Clay going up the stage, but the credits slide was at least in focus:

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Press was generous compared to the other categories. Then again, press and poster did get over 2,200 entries. JWT Singapore’s work for Kitkat and Gibson got multiple metal, including gold. Other campaigns that got nods in single as well as campaign included Tesco Crab/Shrimp/Squid, Lowe Bangkok’s exhaust fan series (both featured in the last issue of Campaign Brief), Creative Juice/G1’s work for Thai Yellow Pages, Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore’s Wonderbra 3D and Penguin Escape Into a Book (don’t even ask me about Roger Makak), Scott Tissue Oil/Wine/Coffee (also a Cannes winner), Classic Cars Restoration from Matchbox Bangkok, TBWA/Shanghai’s work for Adidas, and Thai SPCA. While it didn’t get any individual nods, the Herringbone campaign out of M&C Saatchi, featuring a tailor with very small hands was one of my favorites, and in my opinion the best-written of the entire lot. (Not that there were many copy ads to begin with.)

Y&R Bangkok got a silver for their treadmill print ad (yay!) and I went up twice to receive our silver Lotuses for Soroptimist Philippines. I also proxied for the Y&R Singapore/Asia office, which received bronzes for IANSA and okcupid.com. The only other Philippine winner in press was TBWA/Santiago Mangada Puno, which got bronze for Philippine Star “Palawan.”

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The Best of the Best in Press was Scott “Oil.” Ben Welsh, introducing it, remarked that it was an everyday product with an everyday brief. That was definitely an ad I wish I’d done.

The Japanese Production Night didn’t have any Coke Light, so I didn’t stay long. After dinner, I did get to catch up with the Philippine contingent, who were well-equipped with Singha and 100 Pipers. 😉

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We listened to 350 entries in radio, and scrutinized over 50 entries in the multimedia category. We took breaks to clear our ears and nibble on art-directed pastries. In the end, we had several golds, and a best of medium.

The auditors wore identical black-rimmed glasses, a sight that creeped me out just a little bit. The members of the jury were all familiar faces, and it was a comfortable discussion, never heated or stressful. The only part that stretched the judges’ patience was judging multimedia entries with a medium or two missing – usually the interactive component. I do think they should make summary boards mandatory by the next Araw Awards. It would be helpful for the jury to be able to review the campaign at a glance.

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