Cannes Lions

Winners of Ad Age Contest Put Raw Meat on Our Cover

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Ad Age's June 12 cover
Ad Age's June 12 cover Credit: Carlos Quimpo and Byron Co

Perhaps you're wondering what the deal is with the raw beef on the cover of Ad Age's June 12 print edition. The design comes courtesy of this year's cover contest winners, a pair of 23-year-old junior art directors in the Philippines. The brief for the contest was to "create a visual capturing the essence of the creative process today." Their concept: "Great ideas marinate."

Carlos Quimpo and Byron Co are both in their first jobs in advertising, at TBWA Santiago Mangada Puno. In addition to seeing their design on the cover of Ad Age, winning the constest got them a trip to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. For both, it's their first time in Europe.

While their winning design was straightforward and striking, they initially planned something complicated. They wanted to build a Rube Goldberg machine-like contraption -- a "machine that generates ideas" -- and photograph it.

"Midway through we realized we were kind of overthinking it," Quimpo said. "We took a U-turn and decided a simpler solution would be a better idea. That was around 2 a.m. in a coffee shop." By letting the idea float around their heads for a while, they found the right direction. In other words, they let it marinate.

Ad Age's contest, now in its eighth year, was open to any creatives age 30 and under. Co and Quimpo are recent college graduates. Co studied advertising arts at the University of Santo Tomas, and Quimpo has a degree in visual communication from the University of the Philippines-Diliman.

Carlos Quimpo and Byron Co.
Carlos Quimpo and Byron Co.

At TBWA, they're working for clients including Johnson & Johnson, Del Monte and Champion, a local brand whose products include detergents and fabric softeners.

Co loves photography, and Quimpo likes to cook, so for their cover design they "were able to use each other's passions and strengths," Co said. They decided not to compare their idea to past Ad Age contest winners. "You wouldn't normally see raw meat on the cover of a magazine," Quimpo said.

Before the shoot, they headed to a wet market in the early morning so they could have their pick of fresh cuts of beef. Quimpo styled the food, sprinkling it with rosemary, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. They covered the tray with cling wrap, and Co photographed it in a borrowed studio. They're accustomed to food shoots through their work with Del Monte.

In case you wondered, the choice marinated beef sadly never got eaten. By the time they were done with the shoot, Quimpo says, "we had touched it a lot and it was starting to stink."

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