As you probably have guessed... yeah, indeed... Walking Street is a road full of bar and clubs and stripclub with gazillions girls and was-a-man-but-cut-my-thing-then-be-girls. It was quite scary actually... everyone was shouting and calling you, inviting you to enter their club with the menu in hand (boy-girl, girl-girl, boy-boy, boy-armadillo... arrrrgh!), the background filled with loud techno music. It was scary indeed.
We were a dozen of foreign people, who came to Pattaya to attend the biggest advertising festival in Asia, and suddenly we are faced to that kind of debauchery. And what would every good ad people do? Blend into the background of course...
First mission was to find a cool place to hang and have a chat. Quite hard, since every café and bar pumped the volume to the maximum level. Then suddenly, among the crappy techno beats, we heard the familiar intro of "Smoke in the Water"...aaaah, what a relief...
So we decided to hang in that bar and Azli, the insane srilankan, order a bottle of Samsong Rum, the local assassin. Yes, the drink was murderous. I think you could clean your face with that liquid. Talk about a multitask drink. After few glasses of coke and rum, we headed to the nearby club and tried to see what the dance scene in Pattaya looked like...
The place was packed, and somehow, the club didn't have a dance floor, so they put tables everywhere. There are barely room to move. The songs was crappy, you know, hyper speed trance. But after few shots of Jack Daniels, your body kinda follow every beat. And yeah, that first night was quite hallucinating. We were still quite drunk in the morning when we started the workshop. As Alex Lopez, the president of Beacon Communication, said... "I pity the guys who would present after lunch... because that'll be when the shit gonna hit the fan..."
He was right of course... the hangover came at noon.
Nevertheless, the workshop was excellent. The said Alex Lopez talked about inspiration; how to get your idea from here and there, detaching yourself from your work, meditate to find an idea. Then Yasmin Ahmad, the famous CD from LBKL, talked about honesty, toward your clients and of course, yourself. That was enlightening. Angela Koch gave us some tools to get a big idea, and more importantly, how to sell it - one thing that we, in creative department, lack in knowledge
. After lunch, Linda Locke tried to make us understand on how to breakdown an ad, some sort of being a reverse engineer. It was cool. you see an ad, then you try to guess what was the idea behind, strategically, creativily and business wise. Tay Guan Hin from Singapore gave us some tricks to get an idea for our layouts, it was more in the zone of art direction. Then Alex Lim guided us to play with words. This is a session for copywriters, but I enjoyed it much, as I always have that little penchant of writing. He made us write something about a perfect day, with a chilling background soundtrack. I liked it. It's kinda like writing in "oneword". To finish the day, we had Kazoo, a manga influenced CD from Beacon. He talked about how japanese culture had started to spread globally in the advertising industry. The guy was very cool... he and I had a long talk about anime, since I grew up with that thing in my television set.
We didn't do anything when the night came, we basically just ate and drink beers at the poolside. We knew that we needed our energy for the morrow.
The next day was filled by serious workshops. We had Juan Carlos Ortiz from South America to talk about the ad in his region and how Leo Burnett judge an ad based on spesific criterions. Always have a 7+, that was what he always said. Then Valerie Cheung from Singapore opened our eyes on viral and interactive medias. She was a very intelligent person, not to mention cute as a button. You'll want to click it... har... har...
Finally, Paul Kemp-Robertson, editor of CONTAGIOUS magazine, gave us the insights on creative medias and the oh-so-dreadful brief... we had to promote his magazine at the Cannes Festival with low/zero budget... arrrgh.
After a sleepless night and hard work, they announced the winners. And the honour went to Wen and Ben from Ogilvy and Mathers Hong-Kong. They truly deserved that. It felt nice to see that you lose to the best. You guys rock!
As for the after party... well, basically just the same as above. Crappy club and more drinks.
I'll write more later about Pattaya and Adfest... now I have to do some works, otherwise I'll get my ass kicked once again... and me no like that.