The Truths and Triumphs of the PANAta Awards 2019

By: Karen Ferry-Fernandez

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“The truth when stated simply and creatively is powerful because it is true. It is powerful because the Filipinos believe it to be true.”

 These were words of wisdom once shared by marketing communications expert, former Secretary of Tourism, 2018 Gawad PANAta Awardee, and now, the head jury of the 2019 PANAta Awards, Ramon Jimenez, Jr.

 On July 19, 2019, the PANAta Awards honored the men and women who performed according to the very core of this quote. The men and women who told truths in the most insightful, bravest and effective way possible. This was the night when advertisers, ad agencies, media agencies, suppliers, government agencies and non-government organizations, as well as schools, came together as Brand Builders in an event that lauds the highest achievement in marketing effectiveness.

 In his opening speech, Mr. Chito Maniago, PANA President, laid down exactly what the award-giving body looks for in a PANAta awardee. “We are looking for brands that share the responsibility for building a society that’s better for all of us”, he said. “Campaigns that fulfill their brand promise, putting the focus back to the customers and to things that matter to all of us. Advocacies that change perceptions and break barriers by promoting centered inclusivity, fighting to resolve diversity, for making us feel good about ourselves.”

 But while each and every Brand Builder does have the power to change Filipino pop culture and influence consumer minds, empowerment does come with hurdles. “We believe in what we stand for. But considering the complexities in this fast-paced day and age, it is no easy task”, PANAta Awards Chairman Mr. Jake Lugay, elaborated. “Not everyone can do what we do. Only the most creative, outstanding, persistent, and socially-aware individuals can pass the test.”

 Even with that expressed level of difficulty, 130 entries stepped up to the plate. An all time high in participant numbers vying for Brand Builder Awards in the Categories of Excellence in Marketing Innovation, in Brand CSR, in Brand Positioning, in Customer Empowerment, in Internal Communications, and as Brand Rookie of the Year.

 For surpassing relevant challenges with consumer-centric strategies and brave executions that were able to yield significant sales-and-satisfaction results, a number of brands were able to take home the PANAta Awards gold. These included Cebu Pacific’s ‘Juan Effect’ campaign; Levi Strauss Philippines Inc.’s ‘Get Personal’; Nestle Philippines’ “Nido Serye”; and McDonald’s Philippines bagging the most golds for its “Doodelivery”, “Frymoji”, “Hope for Marawi”, and “Walang Pasok” campaigns. In fact, McDonald’s came up as the most awarded Brand in varying categories that night, reaping trophies as consistently as it has years before.

 Ultimately, it was Levi Strauss Philippines Inc. that won the Grand PANAta Award of the Year with its ‘Get Personal’ campaign --a Christmas offering that not only tugged at heartstrings with its presentation of warm and real family values, but opened eyes with its clear message of inclusivity. It was the perfect PANAta package.

 Special Awards abound as well. The People’s Choice gold were given to TELUS International Philippines, Inc. for its ‘No Kid Left Behind’ campaign; Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc. for ‘Bida ang Tsuper Caravan’; and Mega Fishing Corp. for ‘Moments Pinasarap’.  Meanwhile, the gold award for Brand Bravery was bestowed to Globe Telecom/Adspark Inc. for its ‘#See You Tomorrow’ campaign.

 Of course, sterling efforts from new players in the industry were not overlooked. “I see new, wide-eyed faces in the crowd” Mr. Lugay has observed. “This is a strong indication how younger brand builders are on the path to embrace PANA’s influence and significance in our field.” That said, the prestigious award of Brand Rookie of the Year was granted to Reckitt Benckiser for its ‘Always Come Prepared’ campaign.

 It was certainly a night of celebration and appreciation as this was also the last year of Mr. Jake Lugay as the PANAta Awards Chairman, having contributed 3 years of hands-on leadership in the organization. As a symbol of gratitude, he was handed the Haligi Award. “Dito nakikita ang halaga ng haligi”, members of the Board asserted.

 In closing, a call to create more of these excellent Brand communications was given, an invitation to take on the challenge for the coming years. To advocate the importance of being a part of the PANAta Awards in 2020, Mr. Maniago thoughtfully declared, “We are fortunate to be given the power and the position to influence and ignite the good and the positive for the betterment of our country.” He added, “As brand builders, we also become nation builders.”

 Congratulations to all the winners. Do make it your ‘panata’ to impart more creative, effective truths when you return next year.