Tuesday, June 6, 2017

112. Creative Guild’s 1989 Print Ad of the Year: AYALA LAND, “Grass to Glass”

SINGULAR STROKES, From grass to glass...to the top of its class. 1989 Print Ad of the Year!

In 1989, the competition bounced back to the Ace/Saatchi & Saatchi court. “Yan ang campaign!”, creative director Jimmy Santiago says of the witty, imaginative print ads the agency came up with for AYALA LAND.

Although Saatchi had made ads for Ayala center in the past, AYALA LAND itself, the developer of Makati, was a new client and they came to the agency with a very simple objective. Ayala bossman Jaime Zobl de Ayala wanted to distinguish AYALA LAND from other Ayala companies, “to establish its independence”, Santiago says. “It wanted an entity as an entity itself”.

Two important winning characteristics of the product were foremost in santiago’s mind. First was Ayala’s renowned Midas touch ability to turn rugged real estate into land with the value of gold. Then there was the familiar Ayala image as eco-developers, lovers of nature who took the trouble to bury electric cables so as not to bother the trees.
SERIES CONNECTION. "From Grass to Glass" was actually a part of a print ad series.
The winning campaign was not the first one presented, Santiago reveals. The first few proposals overemphasized the ecological angle, coming off as “a bit too benevolent, too nationalistic”. Client was flattered but politely reminded agency that they were, by the way, developers.

Santiago promptly swung back to the Midas angle.Art directors Melvin Mangada and writer Isabel Gamboa liked the idea of truning something into something else. Mangada toyed with a charcoal pencil and a coarse paper until he produced a single-stroke drawing of sharp baldes of grass metamorphosing gracefully into skyscrapers. Gamboa added the play of words,”From grass to glass”, and that becamethe title of AYALA LAND’s elegant, award-winning  first print ad.

“It was the continuity of words and visuals that made it interesting”, Santiago recalls. “the effortless visual and verbal transition evoked change that was dramatic, but smooth and constructive as well. It was the perfect reinforcemt for Ayala’s image as a considerate conglomerate, a developer with a heart. AYALA LAND heartily approved the ad, and more variations followed: “From swamp to swank”, “From rocks to roads”, “From idle to ideal”. He ads appeared in four double spreads in several major newspapers for one month, as well as in a slew of souvenir programs and commemorative publications involving the high-profile company.
FROM ROCKS TO ROADS OF GLORY: Less well-known than the winning version is this ad from 1989.

AYALA LAND got the identity it wanted; tenants themselves were  soon making the distinction. Don Jaime got some added prestige to boot: the ads were entered in international competitions and brought home several awards.

AGENCY: Ace/ Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising
ADVERTISER: Ayala Coproration
PRODUCT: Ayala Land
ART DIRECTOR; Melvin M. Mangada
COPYWRITER: Isabel Beltran Gamboa
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE: Tina Dario-Esguerra
PRINT PRODUCER; Francis Maniego
ILLUSTRATOR: Melvin M. Mangada

Perfect 10: A Decade of Creativity in Philippine Advertising, written by Butch Uy.Published by the Executive Committee of the Creative Guild of the Philippines. 1995., p. 28.

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