Kumkum of Lowe Vietnam wins the Ad Age Cannes Cover competition Posted on

Ad Age Cannes Cover 2014

Contest Winner Fernando of Lowe Vietnam Explains His Design

There was a day to go until the deadline for the Ad Age cover contest. Kumkum Fernando of Lowe Vietnam was at work on his submission – involving a complicated array of props, from a bottle of Absolut to a Mr. Potato Head to a real fish — and it was almost ready to be photographed.

Then there was a power outage, relatively common in Ho Chi Minh City. This one lasted more than five hours. The fish was starting to smell.

“I had to keep watering the fish to keep it looking fresh,” Mr. Fernando said.

The winner of Ad Age’s fifth annual cover contest for young creatives, Mr. Fernando, 28, is a Sri Lankan, Australia-educated associate creative director for Lowe Vietnam. The win includes a trip to the Cannes Lions festival.

Mr. Fernando started out at Grant McCann Erickson in Colombo, Sri Lanka before moving to Lowe Vietnam, where he’s worked for clients including Coca-Cola, Unilever and Dutch Lady milk.

On the side, he makes art installations for cafes and bars, drawing on a huge stash of objects he’s collected since he was 12. Favorites include World War II circuit boards, antique spoons and African masks.

For the cover challenge, the brief was to show “the meaning of creativity in 2014.” Mr. Fernando created an installation to show that everything is connected in the contemporary world. “I feel like brands also have an invisible line connecting them to each other,” he said.