Gilbert Semillano is a known figure in the Kuwaiti and regional creative scene. He has been creative director at B Communications, and Pulse DDB and has now started an agency called Pencil Advertising in Kuwait.
Q1. Please give us a brief intro about yourself, your agency experience and your current company.
A:I’m a Southeast Asian creative head with lots of passion for creativity, love of life, nature and metals. I am the Chief Creative Officer and General Manager of Pencil Advertising, an all-creative, “cut-the-crap” ad agency based in Kuwait. I hate clichés, rip-offs and am really mad about ads too.
Q2. Tell us about the advertising agency scene in Kuwait at the moment. Do budgets support excellence in creativity? Is the market dominated by network agencies, are locals strong, is there space for creative hot-houses like the one you've just started?
A: The big boys still dominate the scene but the number of local agencies with much more creative ammo is growing and coming up strong.
3. Kuwait has always been a pioneering gulf state in advertising. How do you evaluate the state of creativity in Kuwait now, compared to Dubai?
A: Pioneered, got stuck and Dubai’s gone ahead, well, I guess that won’t be for long. Watch out.. Kuwait’s coming at you:-)
Q4. What are the main obstacles to creativity in Kuwait, if any.
A: There’s a lot actually, I got a long list.
Q5. Has your work been nominated for or won awards, locally and regionally?
A:The local ad agency I worked for bagged the most awarded & creative ad agency at the KAAA, also some of the work got Gold at the International Summit Awards.
6. Tell us about some of the major campaigns your agency has been
involved in and what was achieved.
A: Pencil just started months ago and the jobs are pouring in like crazy, we did some campaigns and rebranding for some of our clients and the results were overwhelming..we are working on a huge project right now
and it is going to be something fresh for 2008. You’ll be the first one to blog about it.
Q7. Have websites and blogs featuring the work of the region's creative staff enhanced the exposure of the region? What's your personal experience in this regard, as one of the most featured creatives on these sites?
A: Of course it does! Through these creative blogs and sites, we can monitor and see what’s happening around us,
keep us updated, see what’s hot and what’s not.. It also help us showcase our work, get feedback and most importantly-- learn from it.