TBWA\SMP inaugurates Creative Hub, Satellite offices to follow

MANILA  Last week, TBWA\Santiago Mangada Puno officially christened its new location with an office blessing ceremony. A simple affair, the inauguration served as the unofficial kick-off to the Agency’s 20th anniversary celebrations. First opening its doors in 2001, TBWA\SMP quickly established itself as a creative powerhouse, rising to the ranks of the Philippines’ most-awarded agency, to the point of recently claiming a record-setting ninth 4As Agency of the Year nod. While the milestones being celebrated were huge, the event was kept relatively low-key, as management and senior staff observed strict social-distancing protocols.

A distinct contrast from their previous locations on Makati’s fringes, TBWA’s new location is situated squarely in the heart of Metro Manila’s central business district. Chief Creative Officer Melvin Mangada was on-hand for the launch, accompanied by Managing Director Portia Catuira, while Managing Partner Jimmy Santiago attended via livestream.

As the first salvo in a multi-platform 20th Anniversary Project, Mangada emphasized that the move was one designed to celebrate the Agency’s past while safeguarding it for the future. With the office serving as the single most prominent symbol of the Agency, it was also a matter of evolution: with the majority of TBWA’s teams working efficiently from home due to the country’s ongoing lockdowns, the new office was conceived in light of the former multi-storey standalone model having become outdated and impractical.

For Catuira, trading in TBWA\SMP’s iconic warehouse/art gallery aesthetic in favor of a posh, open working space is a welcome development, following the tough times that characterized 2020: Resiliency is such a loose word, but I’m very optimistic – this office represents new opportunities.”

For a shop that -not so long ago- dissolved the creative, accounts, and digital departments in favor of independently operating clusters -to great success- the new office is but the latest manifestation of TBWA’s Disruption philosophy.

Over the next three months, the Agency will be releasing a multimedia effort to pay homage to its history, while enthusiastically setting the scene for the years to come.

“As we’re hard at work on building the next twenty years, it’s always a good idea to take stock and give thanks for how far we’ve come,” said Mangada. “In the months to come, we look forward to celebrating with everyone who’s ever been a part of the TBWA family and, hopefully, someday soon, we’ll be able to properly raise a toast to Disruption.”