Effort has its reward

The year 2022 has only just begun and yet already, the world seems to be rapidly accelerating out of the previous years of despair with unbridled energy, optimism and desire to forge a happier, more prosperous future, now.

For us at Ross | ReThink, this has been the mindset that has been propelling us into new realms of innovation and accomplishment in the quest to survive amidst the adversity that faces us all and to share what we’ve learned so that others can do the same.  These are the reasons why it is our privilege and our purpose to share our journey for the year thus far with you… we hope you’ll join us and enjoy the ride!

Effort has its reward

For everyone in the advertising industry, 2021 had been a tough year, and we all did what we could to make the best of it. At Ross | ReThink, hours, days, nights, weeks, months of endless toil took their toll, but we had to constantly regroup and encourage each other to keep forging on, for we knew that constant, collective effort would reap its reward.

And for the first three months out of 2021, this couldn’t be any more the truth, than when the American Advertising Federation (AAF) declared Ross | ReThink to be the region’s most awarded winners for the Caribbean Advertising Federation’s (CAF) ADDY Awards 2022 Competition. For us it wasn’t about winning a heap of awards. It was about giving each of us, in the midst of the challenges, something else that was positive to work towards, a goal to keep us focused, resilient and hungry, to stay ‘alive’ and thrive.

Competing against 46 entrants and more than 670 entries in the midst of a devastating pandemic, Ross | ReThink captured the lion’s share of awards with an unprecedented record-breaking 63 awards, including 7 District, 21 Gold and 23 Silver ADDYs, 6 Angel Awards, Best of Integrated Campaign, Judges Choice, and also the coveted Best of Show Award for the year.

This year’s Best of Show was awarded due to a collaboration between Ross | ReThink and Carib Brewery Limited for the launch of Carib Beer’s Global Campaign.  Entitled “Can You Feel It,”  the campaign launch kicked off with a music video featuring DJ Khaled and the talents of Soca artiste Kerwin Du Bois and Jamaican dancehall sensation Shenseea, against a breathtaking backdrop of Caribbean celebration and pride, showcasing national flags, people, lifestyle and heritage in a way never portrayed before on such a grand scale to the world.  With the Carib brand subtly blending naturally and seamlessly into every scene, this visual and musical spectacle meaningfully connected Carib as the embodiment of Caribbean lifestyle to millions in the region and across the globe, as evidenced by the over 20 million views of the music video on various online platforms altogether. As the CAF put it, the campaign even “had the judges longing for a trip to the islands.”

But there was also a longing amongst many in the Caribbean for their favourite pastime, Carnival. At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic had shut down bars, restaurants and the very essence of Caribbean celebration,  Ross | ReThink initiated a multimedia campaign for Carib entitled “Hold on to the Carnival”. It created a viral sensation on every platform, as it inspired everyone to relive and celebrate the intangible essence of joyous Carnival celebration within themselves and each other in the confines of their homes, personal spaces, and memories, despite the tangible absence of the festival itself during the period. The outpouring of nostalgia that emerged, caused an unexpected and unprecedented 10.3% surge in sales for Carib Beer in 2022 over the previous year, showing how forging meaningful human connections could turn adversity into inspiring optimism and opportunities.

Ross | ReThink’s continued success in applying its award-winning and increasingly popular Intangience™ methodology was further evident in the agency‘s winning the Judges Choice Award, for another collaboration with Carib Brewery on the Stag “MoveMENtoRespect” campaign. Targeted to encourage men to improve their behaviours and attitudes towards women, “MoveMENtoRespect” initiated a groundswell of positive response, intense public dialogue and admiration for the way Stag, known as “ A Mans’ Beer”, would promote this call for men to take up responsibility for their actions and to protect our nation’s women against gender violence.

Another effort that incited a spirit of optimism and the judges’ nod for a Specialty Advertising Gold ADDY, was the Guardian Group’s 2022 Calendar, which brought the art of ‘living easy’ to life with vibrant, impressionist-styled renditions of human connections, winning the Specialty Advertising category for its visual and verbal messages of hope. This win, as simple as it may have seemed, was the reflection of a bigger picture in which intangible values, innovation and the science positivity were to have an impact upon thousands.

Launching in March, this bigger picture manifested itself in the form of a programme on financial and personal well being, a freely gifted Guardian Group-Ross | ReThink collaboration called Happytalism. The concept of Happytalism having been originated by Jayme Illien and Luis Gallardo as a new economic and human development philosophy and paradigm, Ross | ReThink partnered with the Guardian Group to expand the concept into a three-month immersive online series of insights and guidance for everyone to partake of. The sessions were led by world renowned positivity and happiness expert, best-selling author and former Harvard professor, Dr. Tal Ben Shahar, Founder of the United Nations University for Peace Centre for Executive Education, Mohit Mukherjee and branding-innovation expert, founder of Ross | ReThink and creator of the award-winning Intangience™ methodology, Ernie Ross.

With over 3,000 people registering to be a part of this Caribbean based initiative, this humanitarian collaboration between Guardian Group and Ross | ReThink revealed just how dire the public need is for resources  that can provide guidance and emotional relief through one of the most challenging periods in human history.

A Wave of Positivity

This wave of positivity continued far beyond, sending us across the globe to other shores, such as the beautiful country of Costa Rica, where in the midst of its peaceful mountain woods, we met with over a hundred like-minded professionals committed to spreading positivity across the world, at the 2022 Gross Global Happiness Summit held on 4-6 March at the United Nations-established University for Peace (UPEACE). With the focus being on the science and pursuit of happiness and how to surmount challenges to achieve it, the Summit attracted some of the finest minds on the practice of positivity psychology. This year our team from Ross | ReThink, along with some of our clients, were happy to participate, with our very own Ernie Ross, being among the cadre of world-renowned lecturers, sharing Intangience™ amongst the other profound insights on positive well-being. 

With a lecture entitled, “If Coke were an NGO”, Ross shared thought-provoking observations while engaging the audience in interactive sessions that took participants on a journey which merged the principles of intangible values with the science of human connection. Amidst immersive exchanges and real-world examples, Ross revealed how unique insights derived from techniques used by Coke and some of the world’s most successful brands, can actually be used by NGOs and anyone, to achieve meaningful, positive change in society. Received with overwhelming appreciation by participants at UPEACE, the wind of Intangience™ then took us to another destination eastward, a little under 9,000km away…to Europe.

Forging memorable Human Connections

Indeed, word of the Intangience™ message was spreading far and wide, touching soil in the heart of France, where the Ross | ReThink team met with a group of elite students from world-leading Parsons School of Design in Paris. The high-level exchange of ideas and concepts left a strong impression upon the students, who now had an additional tool in their arsenal of well-honed skills to conquer the world of branding.

Our journey into the world of academia took us even further, into the classrooms of the prestigious Ecole des Ponts, one of France’s oldest established centres of higher learning, and the home of some of the world’s greatest inventors, pioneers and innovators, located in Burgundy.  Ross | ReThink was right at home here as well, with the school’s principal, Alon Rozen saying that Ross, though his innovative methodology found “a way… to do things that you don’t generally expect branding to do”. This was an evident, and overwhelming realisation, given the record number of 145,000 people who joined Ernie online, in one afternoon’s session of his Intangience™ MasterClass hosted by Ecole des Ponts Business School.

This Intangience™ MasterClass was broadcast live online from The House of Ichigo, “a comforting tribe, a safe harbor, and a resource-rich platform that makes gatherings more transformational, learnings more valuable and experiences more memorable.” The synergies shared between House of Ichigo founder Sabri, his ‘Tribe of Mentors’ and the Ross | ReThink team, were an unforgettable experience that forged meaningful relationships that have left an indelible impression upon us, adding new life to ‘the science of human connection’ for all of us.

For all of this – every trial and every triumph, every lesson learned, every celebration of life, we are all truly grateful. As Ernie said, commenting on Ross | ReThink’s achievements,  “These record-breaking wins, along with the other achievements Ross | ReThink gained… stand as a testimony to all of our clients, friends, vendors and suppliers for their invaluable partnerships with us during such challenging times. They also resonate in tribute to you the public, who joined with us in celebrating the best of life as we tried to capture it, to bring out the best in you, and everyone of us. Thank You”.

So far the journey has been quite an interesting one hasn’t it? Well, stay with us for the ride over the next few months…you don’t want to miss a beat!