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INDONESIA: Ad expo shows industry's progress

Attendees at advertising festival encourage local advertising industry to utilize creativity

The Jakarta Post
Monday, November 17, 2008

A recent advertising exhibition revealed that local advertising industry had made some progress over the last couple of years, but still lacked creativity and educational values.

The exhibition was a part of the three-day Citra Pariwara Festival, which ended Friday.

"The advertising industry has more edge and creativity than it used to," said Silvie, a visitor at the exhibition held at Senayan City Mall, South Jakarta, over the weekend.

"However, some ads are inappropriate for children. Children are easily influenced and they may imitate the things they see in advertisements."

She pointed out a public service ad of a man smoking with the Grim Reaper offering him a light.

"This is the kind of ad I like. It shows that smoking is bad without text or being preachy, but you can feel and understand the meaning right away," said the woman who works in marketing.

Selly, a housewife and entrepreneur, agreed with Silvie. She said that although she saw more freedom of expression in today's advertisements, she still felt that most of the ads weren't educational.

"I think the reason for it is that most Indonesians are not well educated, that's why some advertisements lack quality and educational values," she said.

To improve the quality of advertising in Indonesia, the Indonesian Association of Advertising Agencies (PPPI) holds the annual festival.

Traditionally, Citra Pariwara only featured a competition for Indonesia's advertising agencies. Since 2006, however, the format has changed into a full festival, with exhibitions and seminars as well.

This year, the committee invited industry award winners and international speakers to be judges and share their experiences and knowledge.

Cannes Festival winner Simon Welsh said the Indonesian advertising industry needed more confidence and initiative in order to improve its quality.

"The advertising industry in Indonesia still lacks the confidence to show its unique voice and the initiative to convince advertisers to make better and more creative advertisements," he said at a Citra Pariwara seminar.

"However, Indonesia has a lot of committed and talented people with rich, fascinating cultures. These are the strengths that you can explore."

Welsh also told a packed audience that Indonesia should copy the attitude -- not the look or style -- of certain award-winning advertisements.

The audience was mostly advertising agencies.

There are still different perspectives between advertisers and agencies in Indonesia, said PPPI chairman Narga S. Habib.

"We want to make creative and artistic works, but most advertisers just want ads that sell products, rather than win awards," Narga told The Jakarta Post.

"The fact is advertisers lack sense when it comes to valuing craft and creativity."

This year, the festival's theme is "Kill the Chicken!", which is about the Indonesian advertising industry's commitment to breaking their creative boundaries and thinking outside the square.

Date Posted: 11/17/2008

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