In-Depth Feature: Nic Gabunada — The Best Fit For OMG
“The challenge is to make Omnicom Media Group along with its brands and specialized business units become the best in the industry—ahead of the curve when it comes to client servicing, strategic thinking, insights, tools, and talent. Being on top of the game will ensure that each of OMG’s brands and specialized business units wins in the market. The challenge fired up my competitive spirit and convinced me to go back to the corporate world full steam ahead.” –Nic Gabunada, OMG Philippines President and CEO
The other week, we at Pinay Media Planner wondered what could have compelled Nicanor “Nic” Gabunada Jr. to “leave the freedom of running his own business and working on a freelance consulting business to go back to the dog-eat-dog realm of the corporate world.” And this, dear readers, is the answer, straight from Omnicom Media Group’s President and CEO, Mr. Nic Gabunada Jr., himself.
In last week’s profile, we outlined the achievements and credentials that made Mr. Gabunada the perfect man to head OMG Philippines, including the three companies under its banner, OMD, PHD and M2M. For today’s in-depth feature, we give you the detailed stories behind those career highlights, straight from the press room of Omnicom Media Group Philippines.
Nic Gabunada Jr.’s Detailed Achievements, By Post & Company:
When he was General Manager of Media Pulse (now Nielsen Philippines), he led a team of local and foreign media measurement experts that introduced the TV people meter in the Philippines. He also defined the algorithms used to create an automated TV planning and buying system using people meter or diary data as inputs. The program was eventually adapted by the company’s regional software developers (then Media Pulse Asia) to create a TV planning software applicable region-wide.
As Head of ABS-CBN’s Research and Business Analysis Division, he initiated a comprehensive study that guided the network’s broadcast expansion plan. He also set up various research tools that helped in program planning,evaluation and efficiently pricing the networks’ radio and TV programs, taking into consideration their ratings and broadcast coverage.
Under his leadership of ABS-CBN’s Integrated Sales & Marketing Division, his team quadrupled ABS-CBN’s revenues from an average of Php 266M/month in 1997 to Php 1B/month in 2005. During his stint, he introduced the concept of cross platform campaigns using the various media platforms of the network: TV, radio, cable, print, online, regional and international program to create a fully integrated set of vehicles for a brand’s campaign. To facilitate the planning and implementation of cross platform campaigns, he championed within the network, the concept of synergy – where individuals representing various skills (marketing, news gathering, technical and creative communications management, sales) and coming from the company’s various business units (radio, TV, regional, cable, cinema, print and digital), worked together to create implementable, cost-efficient and effective integrated marketing communications projects of different magnitudes. It was a win-win situation for the network and its clients: the network got the lion’s share of the client’s budget and the client was able to implement a cost-efficient, fully integrated communications campaign.
On Nic Gabunada’s Hiatus:
From August 2005 to May 2012, Nic Gabunada temporarily stepped away from full-time corporate work: first, to pursue doing what he fondly calls as “The more important things in life”: drive his three adorable boys to school, see them grow up to be respectable young men, travel with his wife and three boys – and second, to make time for other interests: attend to his garden and dogs, dabble in real estate and agricultural projects, participate in socially relevant projects, and help friends and retirees launch business startups.
On “never really leaving advertising, even during his ‘off-duty years’”:
In 2006, Nic Gabunada Jr. heeded the request of then Cardinal Vidal of Cebu to help in the programming and marketing of the diocese’s fledgling UHF TV network. Gabunada conceptualized, trained local personnel and led the implementation of a network programming and marketing plan that served as a blueprint for taking the diocesan Cebu Catholic Television Network (CCTN) into the mainstream and get advertising support from advertisers and financial contributions from viewers.
In 2007, Nic set up ZOO Mobile Marketing Solutions (ZOOmms), where he mastered and leveraged mobile media management and wireless technology advancements, which led to providing advertisers additional venues to fully engage their markets. Immediately after it got established, ZOOmms got a contract to market mobile advertising for the leading wireless telephone company in the Philippines. Within one year, Nic turned over a profitable business venture to his partners which folded in the business as a full-service digital ad agency now known as Tribal DDB.
On Nic Gabunada’s Other Pursuits:
In 2009, and in partnership with award winning director Jim Libiran, Butch Jimenez’s Indie Films, Activ Asia and Mitch Moreno, Nic Gabunada produced an independent film called Happyland. Happyland tells the story of barefoot football players in Tondo awakened to the challenges of life. The film also highlights the importance of friendship, as embraced by the Tondo football players. After a brief theater run, the film was distributed locally through schools, campuses and grassroots communities. Other special screenings were also hosted. Happyland was also used as an introduction to teaching street football (FutbolsaKalye).
During the 2007 and 2010 elections, he was one of the great minds behind successful political campaigns. His most recent wins were for a presidential and a senatorial candidate during the May 2010 nationwide elections.
In order to have a hands-on experience on the digital and social media, Nic took a front-view seat of the process by providing consultation services to young entrepreneurs who wished to set up digital businesses. He helped set up a few online marketing companies and continued to advise several group sites and pages. He also started a weekly blog entitled “Wednesdays With Nic,” sharing his thoughts on current events, his experiences while travelling with his family and his natural love for nature and gorgeous sunsets. He also shares his bucket list which he hopes to cross out before he checks out. Nic Gabunada also actively posts on his Facebook and Twitter pages.
Around A Month In, As President And CEO Of OMG Philippines:
In just around a month, the people at Omnicom Media Group Philippines have already built a connection with their new CEO. Nic’s high regard for work-life balance, teamwork and open communications, coupled with his very positive presence sparked this instant connection inside his new corporate home.
As we industry observers can see, Mr. Nic Gabunada has achievement written deep into his DNA. Is it any wonder why OMG APAC CEO Barry Cupples has had nothing but good words for him? Or that we call him “The Right Man To Head OMG”?
With input from Micah Isla, Integration Executive, Omnicom Media Group.
Photo Credits: Wednesdays With Nic Facebook Page