Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Paul Silburn

Londoners use to say their city is the greatest in the world. And, let´s be reasonable, when it comes to advertising, they are right. Just check out Paul Silburn curriculum. In any other place in the world, he would be the best advertiser ever, but in UK he is just, let´s say, in the top 20. He has won over 20 lions, including legendary campaigns like "No nonsense" or John West Salmon´s "Bear Fight" and, more recently, "Life´s for Sharing" for T-Mobile.

Paul has worked in a row of agencies that include Lowe, TBWA Leo Burnett, BBH and Saatchi & Saatchi, we could say, half of the best London agencies. He has also made a small adventure at Fallon Minneapolis, but it didn´t last long. Pat Fallon fired him and, since them, things haven't been working at the classic agency.

Different of other creatives, its hard to identify his strong point. He has done funny physical comedy, sensitive subjects and down-to-earth advertising. He has been awarded in alternative media, film, print and outdoor. One thing, although, it´s easy to notice. His ads all look real. If he had done any scams, we don´t know, but their biggest award campaigns are pretty real.

Ad Genius 17: Paul Silburn.
Countries: UK, USA.
Agencies: Lowe, TBWA, Leo Burnett, BBH, Fallon, Saatchi.
At Cannes: Over 20 lions, 7 Gold.
Strong Points: Versatility.

Hernán Ponce

There are lot of Argentinean advertising semi-gods, but few of them exceeded the 10 lions barrier, like Hernán Ponce. He himself became an executive after he opened his agencies and those lions he has won, let´s say so, were probably not written by him. But what makes Hernán Ponce and his agency great are their worldwide seen spots for Axe. South America is known for great creative work, but few global works come actually from there. These TV spots created by Vega Olmos Ponce might be the only exception.

Like most of the heavyweights from Argentina, Hernan Pónce started his long creative director career in the agency of David Ratto, the most famous and dearest ad man in the country of Tango. He left the best agency of time to lead the newest rising star of Argentina: Young & Rubicam, where he won loads of Lions and recognition enough to open his own brand: Vega Olmos Ponce, together with Fernando Vega Olmos. Contrary to his partners, Ponce really engaged his creative mind in legendary ideas for Axe, including the second Argentinean Grand Prix after almost 40 years (the first one was a film for Pepsi from 1969).

Ad Genius 16: Hernán Ponce.
Country: Argentina.
Agencies: Ratto/BBDO, Young & Rubicam, Vega Olmos Ponce.
At Cannes: 25 lions, 1 Grand Prix, 3 Gold.
Strong Points: Advertising for teenage men.

Rob McLennan

With 5 Grand Prix in the last 5 years, South African advertising is between the most creative in the world. Some say just because they speak English and they have a point. It´s much easier to win awards when you write your ads in English and, not only that, if it looks English. Getting crazy things approved by clients is also much easier in a third world country, where, let´s say, people are not as boring as in developed places. Multicultural life in Johannesburg is also a great advantage for the South Africans. But let´s also be reasonable. Mumbai is also very multicultural, English speaker and third world and yet, did not produce as many great stuff as the capital of South Africa.

From the many South African stars, Rob McLennan, above his 21 lions, is one of the biggest, together with Julian Watt, Gareth Lessing and Graham Warsop. Others like Tony Granger and John Hunt were too big for Africa and are now heading multinationals in New York.

Rob is not different from the big advertising stars. He began working in boring jobs like banking and house painting, until reaching in a short period of years the creative lead in a big multinational agency, Lowe Bull. Rob´s creativity was very award oriented, with lots of ideas who looked scams, until he finally did a hell of a campaign: Axe´s "Get a Girlfriend", one of the most successful and original concepts of the last years. Cannes gave him a late recognition with a Radio Grand Prix last year for an absurdly crazy campaign for Virgin Atlantic. Unfortunately, I just don´t know how to post audio files here, so you won´t be able to hear the great radio work from Rob.

Ad Genius 15: Rob McLennan.
Country: South Africa.
Agencies: Lowe Bull, Network BBDO.
At Cannes: 21 Lions, 1GP, 6 Gold.
Strong Points: Radio Ideas.

Gerry Graf

Think on the funniest campaigns you have seen lately from USA: "Combo´s man-mom", the latest crazy Skittles ideas, Fedex office commercials, and Crest campaign of smile. Gerry Graf has made them all. Gerry is all about humour since before starting his carreer, writing comedy sketches at college. Living in New York didn´t hurt too... Like Woody Allen or Jerry Seinfeld, he knew how to find comedy in every aspect of life.

Gerry started as a junior in Saatchi & Saatchi, but only when he reached BBDO NY, he started to create the called "effective advertising". His career gave its highes jump when he created the legendary campaign for E-Trade in the beggining of cyber-era, end of 90s.

Last year, Gerry Graf has received the tough challenge to charge Tony Granger´s place in Saatchi & Saatchi New York, which was named the agency of the year in the previous Cannes edition. Gerry has been doing great work, even without the top names Granger had in his team. Last year, he captured a Gold Press Lion and a Silver Film Lion for Miller. On the other hand, Granger is struggling in boring Y&R.

Ad Genius 14: Gerry Graf.
Country: USA.
Agencies: BBDO NY, Goodby Silverstein Partners, TBWA Chiat/Day, Saatchi NY.
At Cannes: 20 lions, 7 Gold.
Strong Points: Nonsense humour.

Eugene Cheong

Ogilvy´s Worldwide Chief Creative Officer, Tham Khai Meng, is the most famous name of Singapore. But the real talent from the Southeast country lies on Eugene Cheong. From the many Neil French´s Asian Pupils, he was, definitely, the one who shined most.

Cheong is working at Ogilvy since 1981, from the time David Ogilvy himself was still there, and has also spent a brief time in some hot shops in the middle of the 90s. Eugene has worked in London´s office, which puts his thinking much closer to West than East. His ideas are usually very high-class, always using the combination great copy + long text, instead of visual puzzles.

Respected as a big talent, Eugene finally got a well deserved recognition at Ogilvy and was named Top Creative of the office in Asia. Neil French refers him as the world´s second best writer and some say he can write speeches better than Obama. From his more than 300 awards around, we will highlights the ones he has won in Cannes.

Ad Genius 13: Eugene Cheong.
Countries: Singapore and UK.
Agencies: Ogilvy, Bates, the Ball partnership.
In Cannes: 14 lions, 6 gold.
Strong Points: Long Copy.