August 13, 2013

For three days, Rodrigo Salvador Sardalla Sotto and Justine Anne Tan Gaurino of Johnson & Johnson Phils., toughed it out with ten other tandem teams. As part of this year’s batch of young marketers from top PANA member companies, Sotto and Gaurino went through rigid training and intensive face-to-face grilling from industry mentors, and emerged on top.

“Debate, debate, debate… then decide. That’s what we did,” reveals Sotto, who unabashedly expressed his drive to win. “I can say that I haven’t wanted anything this much. I really wanted it and it was what drove us to hardly having any sleep these past 2 days,” he adds.

The young marketers were tasked to develop a plan to promote OPM to Filipinos who are now exposed to Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and the iTunes world.

Following stringent Cannes Lions rules, the teams are given overnight to prepare a brief that had to be submitted by 8:30am on judgment day. Teams are allotted only 5 minutes to present the maximum 8 slides allowed.

Sotto and Gaurino of Team Johnson & Johnson questioned the challenge. “The real problem is not ‘OPM v foreign’ because 80% of songs in the weekly top radio charts are OPM. The real problem is illegal music downloads. That’s what’s killing the music industry,” their brief read.

Working on an insight that Pinoys love their mobile phones, and they love videoke, Team Johnson & Johnson proposed a Mobioke (mobile videoke) interactive, innovative package that can download minus one versions of their favorite OPM via opm2go.ph complete with video and correct lyrics. The team identified the practical Filipino market as one that will not spend much to buy music.

“There were too many layers on the issue presented. We kept going back to the consumer in trying to understand the problem, and tried to focus and understand what was at the core of it,” says Gaurino.
“After struggling with a lot of ideas, we mapped out targeting a certain consumer segment, and always going back to the objective of the brief. When we decided to proceed with this route, it was just a matter of tightening (the presentation),” she added.

After their first run-in with the judges of Day 1, Sotto and Gaurino inquired from the organizers how they fared, and how the judges ranked them. They were in the Top 4.

“They were the only ones who asked that from among the teams,” says Aileen Lucero, Administration Project Manager.

From the top ranked teams from Day 1, only Team Johnson & Johnson remained in the Top 3.

“Definitely the past three days have helped us generate the output that we came up with. There is no way we could have produced that brief if we didn’t go through the learnings of the past few days. It was a mind blowing, mind opening experience,” admits Sotto.

Gaurino agrees, saying, “Going through that process allowed us to funnel our thoughts. Coming from the learning, the problem is the most important part of making a brief. Having a clear understanding of the problem will help you come up with a clear and spot on solution.

The first two Team PANA Philippines won Silver in 2010, then Gold in 2011. PANA Brand Camp creator Margot Torres is positive of winning a third. Much is expected from Sotto and Gaurino.

“The weight on our shoulders is immense. The pressure is so intense. But we will do our best to make the Philippines proud,” declares Sotto.

“I hope that it’s a good learning experience like Brand Camp, and that we will meet the expectations of the people that went before us,” says an excited Gaurino.

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