AdFest reveals first day of sessions – exploring the battle between AI and the human brain

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AdFest reveals first day of sessions – exploring the battle between AI and the human brain

ADFEST 2024 opens this year with a line-up of stellar speakers on Day 1 to inform, unlock and inspire success. Confirmed first day sessions have a major focus on marketing’s greatest fascination right now, AI – the threat, challenger, ally and tool for humans all rolled into one.


Each speaker on the topic will explore the battle between AI and the human brain from a new and insightful perspective. Other sessions include a voyage into the new wonderland of challenges and opportunities in 3D environments such as Meta Quest 3 and Apple Vision Pro and an examination of the new powerhouse for brands, gaming.

The first sessions to be announced for the 1st day of ADFEST 2024, Thursday 21 March are:

Say H.I. to Gaming X Marketing: Connecting with Asia’s Gaming Communities
Rey Tiempo
Creative Gaming Brand Specialist & Gaming Columnist, Game On + Adobo Magazine, Manila

Brands have entered the world of gaming with gusto, their agencies capitalising on its power to reach audiences, especially in Asia – one of its biggest and most engaged audiences. The session, Gaming X Marketing, highlights the ever-increasing relevance and rich creative branding opportunities in gaming. The challenge now is to continue to stand out with work stemming from a strategic framework and creative thinking. The session will delve into powerful Gaming X Marketing works, not only in Asia, but in the world, and how brands can tap into this growing space, with fresh new insights on connecting with the ever-increasingly complex gaming communities, turning them into passionate brand-advocates.

The session will be led by Tiempo, a veteran creative head at the industry’s biggest networks, and also, quite possibly the industry’s biggest gamer – a hardcore gamer since childhood and gaming columnist for major industry publications, as well as multiple global industry awards winner for a branded gaming work.

Good Tech, Bad Tech
Nicole Ingra
Founder & Global Director of Insights & Strategy, & Ingra, Barcelona

It’s undeniable that technology has changed inherently how we communicate, connect and create. But has it changed our values? Our core human needs? Recent conversations have made much of technology’s negative impact on human connection. This session will restore the balance, showing how technology is being used to foster and advance humanity and inspiring with an understanding of the good it has to offer.

Ingra is a Global Director of Insights and Strategy and Workshop Leader with a decade of experience building bridges between culture, business & technology. She has worked with major brands such as WhatsApp, Uber, Beats, TikTok, Heineken, Johnnie Walker, adidas, on projects with global and local reach in the US, UK, Europe, China and Brazil, always with culture at the heart of it all.

The Art of Authentic Connections: Digital Persona Revolution 2.0
Nikola Stefanović
Director, The Mill, Shanghai

Stefanović believes in harnessing and embracing the huge strides taken by technology and AI to tell very human stories for today’s ever-evolving world. The Mill Shanghai Director, Visual Artist, award-winning Colourist and above all, pusher of technological and creative boundaries, will share his understanding of how advanced technology can be used to foster genuine connection.

A native of Serbia, Stefanović has worked in Asia for almost fifteen years and during his time at The Mill has been at the forefront of some of their most creative, award-winning and visually striking campaigns. He has worked across a range of features, short films and commercials with internationally acclaimed directors, including Gustav Johansson, Rob Chiu, Jovan Todorović, Paul Geusebroek, Wang LiMin, Dave Meyers, Kosai Sekine, Martin Werner and Salomon Ligthelm, for brands such as Nike, Adidas, Levi’s, Mercedes and Apple.

Clash of the Titans: AI vs Creative
Christian Greet
Animation Director, Cirkus, Auckland

AI vs human is a crucial clash for creativity’s future. In the left corner is the challenger, latent diffusion, the latest generative ai model, can improve the productivity of 61% of employees. By the end of 2024 it will give rise to 8.4 billion AI voice assistant units, exceeding the total global human population. In the right corner stands the defender, the human brain, with 86 billion neurons, 100 trillion synapsis, has been perfected by evolution over 6 million years. The brain has taken humans from simple apes to a highly advanced species, now walking on the moon. This session explores AI vs human brain to see who takes home the heavy weight title in creativity.

Speaker, Greet is the Creative & Animation Director at Cirkus. He was the first director to join the Cirkus at its very beginning back in 2006, bringing a fresh approach of mixing styles and executions to achieve the best visual outcome within budget. Greet’s real passions are storytelling and using real life tools where possible together with all sorts of animation at hand. This brings a unique, fully integrated style to his work.

Creative Shift
Mariko Kondo
Strategy Director, I&CO, Tokyo

Businesses in all industries are adopting AI increasingly, and this has already had significant impacts on content creation and the environment surrounding brands. The accelerating advancements of Generative AI have placed the marketing industry in the midst of a profound structural change. This session will analyse the implications of AI, the changing roles of humans, and paradigm shifts that brands need to embrace to remain relevant in the evolving landscape of AI.

It will be led by Kondo, Strategy Director at I&CO, the business invention firm founded by Rei Inamoto and Rem Reynolds to create an impact on the future by building new products, brands, and ventures. Kondo brought her experience as Senior Strategist at beacon/Leo Burnett and Project Manager For Digital Product Development at Hakuhodo i-studio, to lead projects at I&CO that create the ‘next’ for clients, be it corporate purpose or digital brand experience.

Battle of Talents: Human vs Machine
Valerie Madon
Chief Creative Officer APAC, McCann Worldgroup, Singapore

Who is winning the battle of human vs. machine? Does it even need to be a fight? Creativity is a complex human trait, says Madon, Chief Creative Officer, Asia Pacific, at McCann Worldgroup. It’s a product of emotions, culture, and experiences. Just as we harnessed word processors to make our work lives more efficient, there should be a role for AI in the creative department, she adds.

Madon’s session will take attendees on a world tour to see some ground-breaking campaigns that have used AI to add new dimensions and scale that humans could only dream of.

In Madon’s 20+ year career career, she has built presence and found creative solutions for major brands such as Zespri, Caltex, Hewlett-Packard, Procter & Gamble, Singapore Airlines, HSBC, Burger King, VISA, Singapore Tourism Board, Changi Airport, Central Provident Fund, Shell and GSK. This has earned her a reputation as one of APAC’s top creatives. Previously the Director of Creative Shop, SEA & Emerging Markets at Meta, Madon is responsible for creative product across the region. She also chairs McCann Worldgroup’s APAC Creative Leadership Community.

Is Spatial Computing the Key to a New Wonderland?
Ty Curtis
Founder & Managing Director, Activate Studios, Brisbane
Immersive Specialist, Fin Design + Effects (Asia)

The quest to find new ways of engagement and storytelling for brands in the age of Meta Quest 3 and Apple Vision Pro has discovered a new tool. Spatial computing is a major shift from 2D screen interfaces to immersive 3D environments, opening up a new wonderland of creative possibilities. This session will explore the profound impact this technology has on the advertising industry, revealing how it blends physical and digital worlds to forge deeper connections between consumers and brands and examining its role in evolving strategies and narratives. Its speakers will guide attendees on how to play, test, break, and explore the potentials of spatial computing to create immersive campaigns that merge the physical and digital worlds seamlessly. The session will reveal how spatial computing calls for a rethinking of traditional approaches and will address the challenges and opportunities presented by this technology, encouraging attendees to experiment and innovate.

Curtis, the founder of Activate Studios, has been designing and producing extended reality (XR) experiences since 2012. His ability to forecast future trends, coupled with a knack for risk-taking and commercial execution, has led to collaborations with global brands such as BMW, Free Fire, Suzuki, Lendlease, and Jimmy Choo. For the presentation, Curtis joins forces with Fin Design + Effect (Asia), a company celebrated for its highly crafted VFX and compelling storytelling. Curtis was instrumental in establishing Fin Design + Effects’ immersive branch, Imperfect Circle, in Shanghai and later played a pivotal role in managing the Shanghai studio’s business operations.

ADFEST 2024, under the theme “Human Intelligence”, is open for delegate registrations. Grab your tickets at