GIGIL: A Creative Powerhouse Making Waves in the Advertising World – Herbert Hernandez’s Remarkable Journey
In the bustling metropolis of Manila, where creativity and innovation thrive, GIGIL, an advertising agency co-founded by Herbert Hernandez and Badong Abesamis, has risen above the competition to become a true industry standout. With a track record of success that includes prestigious awards and international recognition, GIGIL has firmly established itself as a creative powerhouse not only in the Philippines but across the entire Asia Pacific (APAC) region.
The accolades and achievements of GIGIL are nothing short of remarkable. In March, the Financial Times released its annual list of 500 high-growth companies in APAC, and GIGIL was among the elite few to make the cut. To put this into perspective, out of the 500 companies listed, GIGIL secured the impressive 30th spot, making it the sole advertising agency to earn a place on this prestigious list.
The recognition continued within the Philippines as well. The Philippine Daily Inquirer and Statista collaborated on the Growth Champions project, an initiative that aimed to identify the country’s top-performing firms based on stringent criteria. GIGIL not only met but exceeded these requirements, earning the remarkable position of #2 among the Top 25 firms in the Philippines ranked by profit. To be included in this list, companies had to demonstrate significant revenue growth, independence, and headquarters in the Philippines, showcasing GIGIL’s outstanding financial performance.
One of the most notable achievements for GIGIL came from the Campaign Brief, which published the 20th edition of “The Work.” This publication highlights the best and most creative advertising from Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. GIGIL’s consistency and excellence were evident, as the agency retained its position as the #5 ad agency in the entire APAC region for the third consecutive year. In fact, when considering its ranking within “The Work,” GIGIL can be regarded as the #1 ad agency in the Philippines and #3 in all of Asia.
The driving force behind GIGIL’s success, according to Badong Abesamis, is their “brave” clients who embrace innovative campaigns that break boundaries and initiate meaningful conversations. This client-agency synergy has allowed GIGIL to create impactful advertising campaigns for a diverse range of brands, including RC Cola, Choco Mani, Cheers, Orocan, Netflix, Jollibee, Allianz, DiskarTech, Silid Aralan, Push Pinas, Danes Cheese, Dole & Seasons, Accenture, and the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines.
What sets GIGIL apart is not just the outstanding work produced by its creative team but also the company culture that fosters collaboration and excellence. Every single GIGIL employee contributed to at least one accepted entry into “The Work,” demonstrating the agency’s commitment to excellence and innovation. This cohesive and dedicated team spirit also earned GIGIL a Bronze Lion at the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, marking the second consecutive year they received this prestigious recognition.
GIGIL’s co-founders, Badong Abesamis and Herbert Hernandez, bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the agency. Badong Abesamis, with over 20 years in marketing communications, has earned numerous international and Filipino advertising awards. Before co-founding GIGIL, he served in key roles at renowned agencies like Ace Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett Manila, McCann, and TBWA. During his tenure as Chief Creative Officer at Y&R Philippines, the agency achieved remarkable milestones, including its first Philippine Agency of the Year awards and Cannes Lions. Abesamis’s contributions even led to the Philippines winning its first APAC Effies medal in 2016.
Herbert Hernandez, a Magna Cum Laude graduate from the University of Santo Tomas, has made significant contributions to the advertising industry. His journey began at JWT Manila and later saw him as the Creative Director at DM9JaymeSyfu and the Executive Creative Director at Y&R Philippines, where he collaborated with Abesamis. Together, they played a pivotal role in Y&R’s success, securing prestigious awards at Cannes and the Spikes Festival of Creativity, as well as the agency’s first Philippine Agency of the Year awards and the first APAC Effies gong for the Philippines.
Beyond the advertising world, Herbert Hernandez is also an accomplished musician, known for playing lead guitar and composing songs for popular Filipino bands Moonstar88 and 6cyclemind. His musical talents have earned him accolades like the ‘Alternative Album of the Year’ and ‘Most Downloaded Song’ at the Awit Awards.
In 2017, Abesamis and Hernandez took a bold step by founding GIGIL. Their partnership, combining Abesamis’s writing prowess with Hernandez’s visual creativity, has been nothing short of transformative. GIGIL’s remarkable success over the past six years is a testament to their risk-taking approach and unwavering commitment to pushing creative boundaries.
Today, GIGIL stands as a beacon of innovation and creativity in the world of advertising, celebrated for its groundbreaking campaigns and client partnerships that dare to be different. Abesamis and Hernandez have created an agency that not only captures the essence of creative excellence but also embodies the spirit of a true industry trailblazer. As they continue to redefine the boundaries of advertising, GIGIL remains a critical darling and a fan favorite, setting the stage for even greater achievements in the future.