Filipino agency Gigil expands to the US and Canada

The agency’s New York and L.A. offices are being overseen by U.S. Partners Jessy Daing and JV Valino, working with art director Jesse Castro. The partners did not disclose clients for New York or Los Angeles but said the agency is in various discussions and has already worked on one New York-based project that remains confidential. 

The Gigil Toronto office is being led by Rain Pengson, a Filipino advertising creative who relocated to Canada five years ago. That office will house the metaverse division, which already has ongoing projects. This includes work with telco Smart for the FIBA Basketball World Cup, and collaborations with the likes of Filipino doodle/illustration group WeeWillDoodle, comedy podcasters Kool Pals and NFT artist Punk Zappa for various NFT-related projects.

In L.A., the agency is keen to tap into the large Filipino-American community, said Gigil founding partner Badong Abesamis. However, it does not want to confine itself only to brands with Filipino heritage. “Of course, Filipinos are everywhere, so we felt it might be something that we could pull off,” he said. “But we also feel we have something of value to offer in terms of ideas and creativity, that has the stamp of Filipinos all over it.” 

Gigil was founded in 2017 and made its name with its outrageous ads for RC Cola, an underdog soda brand that was previously known primarily for its value. It attracted the spotlight when the agency debuted a wacky campaign targeted at Gen Z, in which a teenager’s unusual “condition” consisted of four drinking glasses growing out of his back.


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