Disruptors are known for causing radical change through innovation, often revolutionizing industries. It’s a perfect word for describing Herbert Hernandez, a Filipino advertising executive by day and rock star by night. With almost 20 years of advertising experience under his belt, Hernandez is well-known for his viral and creative campaigns that push the limits and take risks.
Since 2017, Hernandez has been business partners with Badong Abesamis, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Creative Guild of the Philippines in 2010. Together the two helm ideas agency GIGIL, where Hernandez takes the lead on visuals and Abesamis brings his writing expertise to the table. In the five short years that they’ve been in business, they’ve watched their agency grow exponentially in every way – staffing, raises, billing, new clients, and net income.
Since starting in advertising in 2003, Herbert Hernandez has consistently been recognized for his unique work, earning awards by the handfuls. At his second advertising job, his projects won awards at Cannes Lions, Spikes Asia, Clio, Philippine Creative Guild, Ad Congress Araw Awards, and Tinta Awards, among others. As he climbed the corporate ladder and moved to a third agency, he continued to draw attention on a national and international level.
Success With GIGIL
The success that GIGIL has been able to achieve in a short time adds to the personal satisfaction that Hernandez takes from finally becoming a successful entrepreneur. Prior to GIGIL, he had tried his hand at running his own businesses, including an events agency and a restaurant, but all of his attempts failed. Despite his invested time and effort, he continued to make his living by working for someone else – until GIGIL.
GIGIL has garnered unbelievable attention and awards, including metals for marketing effectiveness in the APAC Effies 2020, 2021 an 2022; Top 10 Hottest Agencies in Asia; GIGIL is one of the most effective creative agencies in the Philippines, and one of the most effective independent agencies in Asia.
In 2020, Hernandez was named to the Campaign Asia 40 Under 40 list, and in 2021, Adweek, the “leading global source for news and insight on brand marketing,” put Hernandez and Abesamis on its Creative 100, a list of 2021’s “most fascinating and enviable creative professionals, ranging from influential icons to emerging game-changers.” They are the first from the Philippines to ever break into the list.
GIGIL is known as the agency behind the viral digital campaigns of RC Cola, Accenture, Netflix, Mega Tuna, Orocan, Julie’s Bakeshop, and Levi’s. Adweek International Editor David Griner called Hernandez and Abesamis, “two of the most creative leaders in advertising right now.’’
Clients Flock to GIGIL
Hernandez and Abesamis admit that there are many times they don’t pitch clients, but rather wait for clients to approach them. They’re never waiting long. Because of GIGIL’s risk-taking approach to just about everything, it’s important that the right clients connect with the team at GIGIL. Clients need to be ready to create great work and prepared to do anything but play it safe.
Each client at GIGIL is treated as an entirely unique entity, and their specific problem is identified before a solution is crafted for them.
There’s no denying that their approach works. Clients include KonsultaMD, P&G, Globe, Unilever, Cobra, Levi’s, 7-Eleven, Landbank, Sip, Joy-Nostalg Hotel and Suites, Honestbee, and Avon, and the viral campaigns just keep on coming. With ideas that “beg to be talked about,” Hernandez and Abesamis are able to move culture, move people, and most importantly, move products.
GIGIL has a bright future ahead, and Herbert Hernandez has no intentions of slowing down anytime soon. With a goal of opening multiple offices around the world and creating international buzz around Filipino brands and talent, he has his work cut out for him. But for a chronic overachiever, relentlessly hard worker, and energetic creative, nothing is out of reach.
As the man behind countless disruptive campaigns and endeavors thus far, we can’t wait to see what Herbert Hernandez disrupts next.