Tag Archives: Adfest

Nice layout, Adfest


It’s looks like a poster, not a website. Where’s the interface, yo?

Why do post-event websites generally have to suck?

Thank goodness Cannes Lions doesn’t suck, although their coding is a bit on the sloppy side.

Ha ha.


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Filed under Accessibility, Advertising, Awards, Content, Design, Events, Funny, Reviews, Trends, Uncategorized, Usability, Web

5 tips for making your website award entries jury-friendly

(Image from TomDotCom)

Tom Eslinger (pictured above) is Saatchi & Saatchi’s Worldwide CD for Interactive & Emerging Media.

I met him at an Adfest after-party and asked him what I could do to make my digital award entries easier to judge at awards shows.

He gave me a list of things to aim for, and here’s what I managed to recall from our quick conversation:

1. Make websites that work fast

Tom told me that judges have to look through hundreds of entries a day, so make sure your website not only loads fast, but also gets straight to the content.

I’d recommend cutting out unnecessary interactions like splash pages and Flash loading sequences. I’d avoid asking judges to sign up or log in to my website and make sure that they sure as hell don’t have to download any plugins or software updates.

2. Optimize for the latest version of IE

I cringed when I heard Tom say this, because I usually get my developers to run cross-browser tests on our websites. I believe in best practices and I try to make sure that our sites are able to work on any machine, at any connection speed.

But then, optimizing your website for an award makes perfect sense if you think about it; the jury will probably use the most common Web browser available to man and that is Internet Explorer.

The judges won’t bother testing your site with other types of browsers unless they find that your site isn’t working with IE, in the first place.

3. Host it on your own server

Yeah, that makes perfect sense, too.

Rather than piggy-back off someone else’s bandwidth, it would be a great idea to invest in a dedicated server, especially if the work that you enter for awards has been taken offline (which is almost always the case when it comes to campaign microsites).

Alternatively, you could buy a premium hosting plan from mediatemple or if you’re from Malaysia, I recommend using Exabytes. They’re quite reliable and their customer support is great (and no, they didn’t pay me to say that).

4. Don’t go overboard with video

Resist the urge to upload all of your videos in HD.

A high-res video is nice to look at, but it’ll fuck the judges up because they need to wait for it to load. Once it’s loaded, they have to sit and watch it. And if it sucks, your website will probably end up losing some Brownie Points, too.

Rather, build videos into the user experience instead of just plonking a huge clips on a landing page and hoping people will watch everything that you ask them to.

5. It’s all about the experience

Lastly, Tom said that judges look for fun and engaging user experiences.

I think at Adfest the judges were looking out for websites that could tell an interesting story or invite people to tell one, themselves. But hey, this is advertising. The judges must’ve also been looking for New, Cool and Wow, right?

By the way, thanks, Tom. You rock.


Filed under Advertising, Awards, Content, Design, Development, Events, Ideas, Trends, Usability, Web

5 things I learned from Adfest 2008


(Image from Pebbles. Thanks, Pebbles!)

In no particular order, here are 5 things I learned from Adfest 2008:

1. BBDO workouts are great

A BBDO workout is basically a special brainstorming session where people from all over the network turn up to generate ideas for our clients.

I was lucky enough to be part of BBDO Bangkok Chief Creative Officer Suthisak Sucharittanonta‘s team. I met some really cool folks from Japan and the Philippines, too.

For real: you learn a lot when you’re the only digital guy in your team.

2. Stefan Sagmeister rocks

“What the hell is the founder’s signature doing on the back of the card?”

The design guru not only spoke of the wisdom he gained throughout life but also told all of us why our business cards suck. Seriously, that was the highlight of Stefan Sagmeister‘s speech.

Agencies, maybe it’s time to rethink your design values. Readers, if you’re into design, you can probably learn a hell of a lot from Sagmeister.

Just try not to copy him too much, if you can.

3. So does Paul Kemp-Robertson, Tony Davidson and Alex “Burnie” Burnard.

The ‘digital’ guys made a lot of sense. Maybe because they talk the talk because they walk the walk.

Alex Burnard was funny.

Tony Davidson made me want to work for Honda.

And Paul Kemp-Robertson made me happy that I am a Contagious subscriber.

Seriously, Paul has some really good ideas up his sleeve. And he knows his shit like Cedric.

4. And Nissin Cup Noodles rules, too.

Or to be exact, the ambitious Freedom Project. It was a campaign that promoted the 35th Anniversary of Nissin Cup Noodles.

What? How in the world do cup noodles rock?

When they’re part of a campaign that includes people like Katsuhiro Otomo (the dude who made Akira).

It won a 360 Lotus. And that’s not a very easy thing to do, folks.

5. Awards shows are still just awards shows

I went to the Kancils and the DMAM awards shows in 2007. I just came back from Adfest 2008.

It’s inspiring to see great work, especially work like Colour Tokyo and the Freedom Project but I had to keep reminding myself that none of the work that I saw was judged on the basis of effectiveness.

In the words of a judge that I spoke to right after the awards dinner, it was a purely creative awards show.

Maybe I’m anal-retentive, but I can’t separate good digital work from good results.

And ladies and gentlemen, I’m not talking about hits.

All in all, it was an insightful experience and of course, I’m very thankful for it.

Next on my list; the Webbies!

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Filed under Advertising, Art, Awards, Content, Cool, Design, Events, Funny, Ideas, Life, News, Reviews, Trends, Videos, Web

It’s good to be home

I just got back from Adfest 2008.

More updates soon; that suitcase isn’t going to unpack itself.

Meanwhile, read what Leigh Reyes has to say about the event. Hint, hint: she’s an ECD from the Philippines!


Filed under Advertising, Fashion, News



(Image from Soraya Aulia’s photostream)

Squared away. Good to go.

ETA some time in the afternoon, I guess.

12pm tomorrow, I’m outta here. =)


Filed under Advertising, Events, Life, News

Woohoo Adfest

It’s 2.49pm.

I have just finished copy-checking (for what feels like the gazillionth time) a 16-page brochure.

I am ‘seeding’ blogs (yuck).

I am thinking of at least 20 more ideas for a print campaign.

I need to rethink ideas for a DM campaign.

I am worried that there aren’t enough sign-ups for one of our microsites.

(I really hate creating microsites, by the way)

I am writing this blog post and listening to Just Jack; his music is interesting.

Adfest? Man, this is gonna be close. Real close.

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Filed under Advertising, Life

March 2008


(Image from Junk Online)

March 2008.

It’s gonna be nuts.

Incubus is rocking Fort Canning Park, Singapore, on March 7.

Adfest 2008 is happening on March 26-29 in Pattaya, Thailand.

I missed Incubus when they came to KL in 2005, so I hope I can make it for both of those events.

Fingers crossed.


Filed under Advertising, Awards, Cool, Music, Trends