The Creative You – 4th PANAF Youth Congress Urges Future Marketers to Unleash the Power of Creativity

    dsc_-215The Philippine Association of National Advertisers Foundation (PANAF) holds the Youth Congress at a turbulent time in the country. It is only 2 weeks after Yolanda, the strongest hurricane recorded in the world this year, devastated the Visayas and Palawan. People are seeking to help however they can.

    While many universities are still packing and deploying relief goods through the help of student volunteers, more than 500 student delegates and their marketing professors have taken time out to participate in the Youth Congress at the Unilab Bayanihan Center in Pasig City. Here, future marketers from universities throughout the Philippines are seeing a different, more responsive side of the marketing communications industry.

    This year’s theme, “The Creative You”, is about finding creative inspiration and keeping fresh ideas alive to establish a career in marketing. It is also about harnessing creativity to address challenges in today’s society.

    Keynote speaker Michael Carandang was an Emmy-award winning producer of supermodel Tyra Banks. He encourages the youth to be “Filiphenomenal” – a Filipino who works hard and perseveres, loves what he does and is very successful at it. What makes such a Filipino phenomenal is that he gives back to his country.

    “My work in America was to figure out the entertainment business there, to be the best producer I can be, so I’m able to come back home and serve the Filipino people and produce for my own people,” Carandang says.

    The Creative You pushes the youth to explore and immerse themselves into the world, so they can also be Filiphenomenal. In “How Creative Ideas are Created”, writer Ricky Lee, also creative manager of ABS-CBN Corp., developed many of his story ideas from the experiences of friends. He is a great observer, and draws insights from real world situations in writing fiction and creative non-fiction.

    Russell Molina of Seven A.D., a man of many creative talents, defines himself above all as a storyteller. He shares in “How to Sell Your Creative Ideas” one important marketing rule: tell, don’t sell. People would not relate to marketing spiels, but they could relate to human truths. Write first with your heart, Molina advises, then go back to edit and write with your head.

    Apprentice Asia Season 1 winner Jonathan Yabut joined the Youth Congress as inspirational speaker. His victory is a product of his faith in the value of preparation.

    “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail,” he says.

    Yabut had always dreamt of competing in The Apprentice, so much so that he has studied every single episode of all The Apprentice franchises. By the time the show reached Asia, he knew everything there is to know about it. He won because he put in the necessary work to become a champion.

    The Youth Congress also features a digital perspective in creativity. Nicole Bulatao, digital champion of Nestlé Philippines, still believes in focusing on the story rather than the technology. On the other hand, Jorge Azurin, regional director of freelance job site freelancer.com, encourages university students to get a head start and look into projects they can work on even before graduation.

    Finally, Jollibee Yumbassador Reese Fernandez-Ruiz tackles the subject of values and work ethics. She is the CEO and co-founder of Rags2Riches, the eco-ethical fashion and home accessories brand that works with women in underprivileged communities around the Philippines. Ruiz believes that caring is cool.

    Fashionistas around the world covet the fashion forward handbags of Rags2Riches, but the brand was created out of scraps of discarded cloth and indigenous fabrics. The visionary founders enlisted the help of famed Filipino couturiers like Rajo Laurel with design, and women artisans bring the creations to life. Rags2Riches is providing hope – and a better life – to hundreds of Filipinos, especially women.

    The 4th PANAF Youth Congress is being hailed as the most successful and inspiring to date. It is organized in partnership with the Philippine Association of National Advertisers, the Ad Foundation and Procter & Gamble Distributing (Phils.) and co-presented by Jollibee Foods Corp. The Youth Congress was made possible in great thanks to its major sponsors the Manila Broadcasting Company, The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Smart Communications and The Philippine STAR. Many thanks as well to minor sponsors 7-11, ABS-CBN Corp., BusinessWorld, C2, Chippy, Fun-O, Great Taste White, Chicharon ni Mang Juan, X.O. Candy and The Medical City, and cooperating sponsors Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, Petron Corporation and Unilab. The 4th PANAF Youth Congress also thanks media partner AdEdge Magazine, the official publication of PANA and agency partner RadManila.