The Day I Harnessed the Wind
by Kia Alvarez
During my second month in VCS, I was faced with an undertaking of gigantic proportions.
Okay maybe I’m exaggerating a bit for some, but for me, it was stepping into another zone in my advertising life.
You see, when I started out in advertising, I was only all about brainstorming here, presenting there, copywriting here, coordinating there. The only purpose I saw was simply winning a client, and winning their trust over for continued patronage. Basically, I only cared until client-level, and maybe just at the surface of consumer level. Never have I actually thought about self-level, which I realized after this experience, is actually a vital thing in this industry.
Going back to my undertaking, we were faced with a challenge of creating a logo and submitting it to the Philippine Marketing Association, in the hopes of besting other agencies who wanted their design to be the new symbol of PMA. In short, we were to enter a logo-making competition incorporating the core mission and vision of the organization and showcase what they embody.
I tried not to think of it as that much of a big deal – it was just another client asking us to do a logo. I’ve done logos before and did rationales for each of them, but not once have I felt that kind of pressure. Deep inside, I knew that it was going to be something big, that’s why with the many entries our team of creatives made, I wanted each of them to have powerful meanings. So I did what I did best – I read and wrote.
After doing rationales for a ton of logo entries, I was drained. But I felt fulfilled. After October, the contest didn’t resurface until 2 months later – and we were told that three of our entries made it to the top 10. A great wave of pride swooped on me; I was proud of my teammates. I didn’t even think even once about the role I played. I was simply proud of them.
So I did a more comprehensive research on the three survivors, pouring myself mostly on the logo that they were leaning towards – a take that we did on the Pinwheel. Upon researching, I came across interesting meanings behind the pinwheel – how it’s an instrument of harnessing the wind and how it represents turning obstacles into opportunity. That’s when it hit me – the fact that I was not treating this as just another client looking for a logo, but as an organization who knows what they want to do and why they want to do it.
And so, I wrote. Like never before. The inspiration just flowed, and I got so moved by this simple piece of work that I had to do. And all that inspiration with the perspiration that our team did paid off.
That’s right, at the start of January, we were told that our pinwheel was gonna be the next PMA logo.
Me and VCS GM/Creative Director Amrei Dizon with BBDO President and CEO, David Guerrero and Adobo Magazine President and CEO Angel Guerrero.
During the event itself, I met a lot of big names in the industry and I was so humbled by what I have experienced. Getting greetings from these respected people in the industry meant so much to me – and I speak for my teammates as well. A lot of people were anticipating the revealing of the new logo, and it was putting a lot of pressure on me as well – I did not know what they were going to expect or how they were going to react. Will they like it? Will they make hisses? Will they throw their cheese sticks at me? Will I be moping under the table after this whole night?
Photo-op with Senator Bam Aquino
Finally, it was time for the logo reveal. I held on to my seat as the video played. And as soon as the video revealed the last frame showing the logo that our team made, I heard the distinct “oooooh” from the viewers signaling it was okay to get out from under the table covers. And the applause that came after that was overwhelming. And all the additional congratulatory messages and pats on the back after. But what was even more overwhelming was the sense of pride that I felt for my team, the accomplishment that created another feather in our caps. Most especially, it was the purpose that we served – creating a powerful symbol for PMA, an organization that indeed harnesses the winds of marketing. We had just become a part of an incredible advocacy .
What an incredibly humbling and fulfilling experience.
That day, I wanted to be more than just another accounts executive, another writer – I wanted to do something more. Finding a deeper meaning to the pinwheel led me to finding purpose to what I was doing, and that’s when I connected things. I found out that what we do is more than just serve clients, give them pretty designs and help them out with their creative needs – what we do is educate people, we give consumers access to information and choices, we give businesses and industries the opportunity to move forward.
In short, I didn’t want to work for advertising anymore. I wanted to work THROUGH advertising. What’s the difference? I didn’t want advertising to be the end product – I wanted it to be the tool. A tool that serves a higher purpose – whether it’s helping out a business, educating an organization, supporting an advocacy, being the line of communication, what have you.
That day, I wanted to harness the winds.
That day, I made a decision to be the pinwheel.
Ms Amrei and I with our Operations Manager and VCS partner, Ms TJ Joson
Watch the PMA logo reveal here: