Malaysian Young Spikes 2021 Winners Announced!

young spikes malaysia 2021
By Raihan Hadi

The Young Spikes Malaysia Competitions of 2021 has finally ended, and I’m so proud to say that we had a blast this year. I could go on once again about how the pandemic has hindered things etcetera etcetera, but seeing how so much was accomplished, even in a virtual world, it would suffice to say that our minds have been “proper blown”. 

We took yet another opportunity and asked our judges to let our beloved readers know what inspired and WOW-ed them in this year’s competitions…so here we go!


Andrew Low, Group CCO, Dentsu

It’s been great judging the work to see how creativity is expressed across the campaigns presented.

The presentations that do jump out are the ones with a clear, simple creative idea with huge potential for seamless scalability. Almost effortless.

A creative idea that isn’t disguised or hidden under thick layers of media tactics, contextual content views, Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO) media plays or the technology the content is served on. Creative + Media should indeed co-exist.

However, for content to truly convert, the idea needs to be at the heart and transcend across the multiple points of viewer and engagement experience across media. As we plot out the mechanics and the tactics – hopefully we shouldn’t lose sight of what is most important. THE creative idea behind it all. Beyond just a clever campaign masthead name.

Much thanks to all the teams who have entered.

Farrokh Madon, Chief Creative Officer, PIRATE

One disturbing trend I observed during the judging is that tactics are being misconstrued to be ideas. Tactics are not ideas.

Ideas are the magic dust that light up the darkest market conditions.

An idea is often a simple yet irreverent thought that can be expressed in 1 sentence.


Engaging KOLs, doing Dynamic Creative Optimisation and using other such tactics are just that: tactics. Clients know these tactics and media agencies are already delivering them effectively. My advice to teams in the creative agencies would be to focus on finding that provocative idea and not settle for just tactics.


Edward Ong, Founder and Creative Director, Borderless

The teams had good insights about their audience and the thought flow was properly structured. There was a beginning, middle and end.

Excellent presentation skills too. If they were fearful or anything, they hid it well. All in, everybody did a marvellous job.

The effort you put in didn’t go unnoticed. Well done.

If you allow, I have three pieces of advice:

1. Get exposed to great work

Some of the best work I saw were ideas that, unfortunately, had already been done. I don’t think you copied the work- you were simply unaware of its existence. Find out/ study great work and let it inspire you to do better. Or at least, know what not to show during a creative awards competition.

2. Think bigger

The client did not provide a budget in the briefs. Most ideas were rather modest I felt. I was looking for big ideas, i.e. extravagant sets, engaging celebs and global influencers, tapping experimental technology, work that reached for the moon- literally. Not for the sake of doing big budget campaigns- but to show how far you can take the work given the opportunity.

3. Wear the client’s hat

That said, everything we do needs to be judged in the light of whether it’s relevant and makes business sense. Here’s the secret and this may come as a shocker to some people: Clients are technically not interested in advertising.

judges A young spikes
Judges for Group A

No client was ever promoted because their agency delivered a highly creative campaign. Clients are promoted because we helped them improve market position, find new markets, expand market share, make the competition irrelevant. That’s the end goal. That’s why we make ads. We don’t make ads for the sake of making ads or completing a checklist.

Every work presented needs to be able to solve a business problem. To me, that’s the ultimate benchmark of whether the work works.

Chan Woei Hern, Executive Creative Director, Malaysia & SEA at VMLY&R Commerce

I think the most inspiring thing was being able to connect with fellow judges.

It’s been a while since we’ve goofed around, laughed and checked in on one another. So it was great to be reminded we’re part of a larger community.


The wow factor. We were looking for more instances of it throughout the day. A lot of teams played it safe, did all the right things and checked all the boxes. Would have loved to see more risk-taking.

There were a couple of standouts. And it was inspiring to see ideas coming from all sorts of professionals, not just creatives. And that 5 minute preso blitz.

Kudos to the teams for having such a tight game given the presentation limitations. Don’t think any of us could’ve pulled it off.


Tak Shune Lee, Co-founder, Your Maker

I was looking forward to seeing clever simplicity in the work.

And I was pleased to see one or two duos with efforts that resisted the urge to be too much.

Because we can all get carried away when awards are on the line.

Some kids considered fancy media mixes to be ideas, and it’s really on us all, clients and agencies alike, to remind them that putting a bunch of tools together does not constitute a great idea.

The briefs were really interesting and extremely thorough. I’m sure the Gold winners will kick some ass when they take on the briefs to come at Spikes Asia.

judges B young spikes
Judges for Group B

Gigi Lee, Chief Creative Officer, TBWA\Group Malaysia

Judged digital and young marketer. Was glad to see some truly refreshing ideas that came out within 24 hours – never underestimate the young & furious!

I looked for 3 WOWs in the work I judged.

Regardless of platform and category, insight-driven ideas always get my vote for the first WOW.

gigi lee young spikes

Trends, new technology, and new media are all very nice and good to have. When these things are properly and creatively-harnessed to solve a business issue – that becomes a WOW for me.

And finally, a well-thought plan is the 3rd WOW. One thing I noticed in the digital category: It would be good if participants can present their decks. Some of us find it hard to read off the screen.

Anyhow, congratulations to all participants. No matter the outcome, you’re all champions in my book.

NEXT STOP: Spikes Asia!  

Before announcing the winners, on behalf of the MARKETING Magazine crew, I would once again like to express our sincere gratitude to our sponsors and supporters who have helped in making Young Spikes Malaysia 2021 such a great success.

This article and the results of Young Spikes Malaysia Competitions 2021 were first published in MARKETING Weekender Issue 312

appies asia pacific

APPIES Asia Pacific 2022 is happening in Malaysia!

Submissions Deadline: 15 November 2021

Announcement of Finalists: 29 December 2021

Judging & Presentations: 25 & 26 January 2022

Winners Announcement: 22 February 2022

Download the entry kit here.

Submit your entry here.

APPIES Asia Pacific is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

MARKETING Magazine is not responsible for the content of external sites.

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