The PANAta Awards 2019

A promise of creative innovation that delivers results—and recognized publicly

By Paul Catiang

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How can a brand marry creativity in execution with business results? The answer to this lies in the PANAta Awards, so far the only awards-giving body to place a greater weight on business results against other criteria: challenge, strategy, and execution.

 The PANAta Awards is the country’s premier annual recognition program administered by the Philippine Association of National Advertisers (PANA).

 “The PANAta is in a league of its own,” explains Jake Lugay, PANAta Awards Chairman. “With its refreshed identity, it differs from other award-giving bodies in the marketing and advertising industries because this is about, the brand builders behind the thriving campaigns”. It places high regard not solely on the masterpiece, but to the masters behind these creations who are advocates of responsible brand building, and who unceasingly elevate industry standards to a higher level.”

 Some previous PANAta winners were interviewed to get a look into the thinking process behind joining the awards.

 McDonald’s – 2018’s Brand Builder of the Year

In 2018, McDonald’s won several awards. One of these was for their innovative McDelivery Pin, which launched on All Souls Day 2017. The McDelivery Pin addressed a major, seasonal need in the Philippines by creating a convenient delivery pickup point and wifi hotspot near cemeteries during All Souls Day. In doing so, McDonald’s was able to render service to its consumers, respect a Filipino tradition, and generate sales while delivering its unique brand experience.

 Kring Lao of McDonald’s Philippines shares her team’s thinking behind their submissions: “Whenever we submit to the PANAta Awards, we make sure it’s customer centric and insightful materials that are innovative and deliver sales for us.”

 This way, McDonald’s can continue being part of their consumers’ lives, telling their stories, and connecting with them.

 The McDonald’s Marketing Team once again looks forward to the PANAta Awards 2019—and aims for a grand slam this year. “It serves as inspiration and motivation whenever we come up with a campaign. What’s nice about PANAta is it’s the embodiment of great creative work that sells,” says Lao.

 “It’s not just about receiving awards,” she continues. “It’s about growing your business in a very creative and innovative manner.” They promise that McDonald’s will remain authentic and real. “Whatever we show, there will always be truth in advertising,” Lao concludes.

 Public Goods and Public Service

For the first time, the Pag-IBIG fund joined the PANAta Awards in 2018 and won the gold for People’s Choice Customer Empowerment. The voting was done online, and Sally Banal of Pag-IBIG Fund says they did not have a hard time asking for votes from their stakeholders. The reason is simple: their loyalty card program delivers on its promises.

 The promise is it only takes five to eight minutes to apply for the loyalty card membership. It also offers exclusive discounts with partner merchants, ranging from 5 to 80 percent. As Banal says, there are 301 partner merchants as of February 2019, with a lot of leading names in their industries.

 “The value of winning the PANAta Awards helped us increase awareness of the Pag-IBIG loyalty card program,” Banal says. “Admittedly, not all of our 14 million members are aware of these benefits. Secondly, the awards increased card usage among our members. When you search online about top loyalty programs in the Philippines, you’ll find us there.”

 In 2019, Pag-IBIG will nominate their program under a different category to see if it is truly worthy of the PANAta Awards. There are also additional features, says Banal. “We’re also making it a cash card this year, disbursing loans to our members quickly and safely.”

 A Jury of One’s Peers

“The PANAta Awards is the only awards created by advertisers,” says Alan Fontanilla of Mullen Lowe Philippines. “To be recognized by PANAta—especially if you’re a brand manager—is like being recognized by a jury of your peers that you did an amazing job.”

 “We live in an attention economy,” he continues. “If you can get a very small percentage of your customers’ attention and get a sale…. that translates into a PANAta Award.”

 As an advertising professional, Fontanilla prizes the creative work he does—balanced against the results it delivers, of course. “It means a lot to be recognized by advertisers—it means our creative work has created business for their brands,” he says. And he always tries for better each time, explaining, “‘Good enough’ never is. Always aim for much higher recognition.”

 This also comes with promises to their advertisers and business partners. Brand managers come and go, but Fontanilla’s promise to the business partner is that an agency’s loyalty belongs to the brand. “Our panata (vow) is to make sure your brand will always be relevant. Sometimes we argue, and we argue a lot, but that’s because we love and care for your brands. We will always be loyal to the brands that we work with, to serve its interests in the best way possible, the best way we can.”

 For 2019, there is a record high of 130 entries for the PANAta Awards. How all these advertisers and agencies have embodied responsible brand building while bringing in the numbers will soon be measured and recognized, even benchmarked for future campaigns.

 The winners will be honored at the awards night ceremony on July 19, at the Marquis Events Place in BGC.