Spikes Asia – the walls are talking

This year we had two acclaimed judges from Malaysia at Spikes Asia: Grey’s Graham Drew as Jury President of Direct & Outdoor (a first for Malaysia), and Havas’ Donevan Chew who served on the Healthcare Jury.

They were there in person in Singapore for the judging. We now go behind the walls to get their takes.

Graham Drew hamming it up

Graham Drew – Chief Creative Officer, Grey Group….

“Direct, isn’t everything?”

This category is always home to the widest range of work – if your work isn’t provoking some kind of response, is it working at all? The campaigns that really shine are those that focus on a more specific and defined call and response from a precisely identified target audience. Why should ‘this’ person particularly resonate with your message and what ‘exactly’ do you want them to do?

In the end, the winners really showed the way for the industry of how to harness creativity in all aspects – from ideation, to strategy, to media buying to find cunning and clever ways to win the battle for attention – and ultimately drive business results.

“Technology can be incredible. It can also get in the way”

We’re seeing the latest wave of tech coming of age. Last season so much work was using the metaverse…because, yay it’s the metaverse! Thankfully, this year we saw some genuine use of the alternate realities that actually served a purpose, using that space to enable communities to connect, where they could not in the physical world.

Using NFT’s as a utility, creating meaningful assets and functionality, not just a vacuous piece of electronic art…of a monkey..on a surfboard…

“Equality isn’t anywhere”

Equality remains a key challenge across all markets. The challenge is universal, but the cultural barriers are nuanced – from financial freedom for the unbanked, to the need for the entertainment industry to recognise definitions of consent.

Some genuinely smart and effective means of embracing both tradition and technology to try and redress the balance is coming in from all regions.

“Ideas that Fit”

Above all, the work that’s really shining are the ones that back up their sparkling creativity with a true, cohesive understanding of the brand and what it stands for. There’s no shortage of great ideas and activations, but when it comes to the crunch, who that idea comes from has to feel authentic.

Does the brand have a right to speak here? When the work that shows the currency of creativity from both sides – to both inspire and to drive business – these are the ones that show the world what we are all capable of.

Donevan donning the role

Donevan Chew – CCO of Havas Immerse, a self-proclaimed fly on the jury room wall…

“Healthcare Professionals yearn a breakthrough”

We saw no campaigns targeting healthcare professionals (HCPs), health facilities and organisations. Understandably so with the many regulations governing this aspect. But the tougher it is, the more brilliant the solution. I believe creativity will find a way.

“Craft Matters”

The work which rose above the rest had exceptional craft. Every element in the campaign was well designed and looked stunning. Beautiful work sticks. They cannot be unseen and are impossible to go unrecognised. There were times when craft was the difference between winning a metal and staying in the shortlist.

“Culture is cool”

Local stories will always fascinate. It makes a brand or an issue relevant. It makes the message relatable and stops the jury from skipping to the next idea.

“Context is Key”

How you set up the idea is as important as the idea itself. A clear and relevant cultural or social context will magnify the idea and will make the jury appreciate the idea or execution even more.

Spikes Asia 2023 Results:

Spikes Asia, now on its 36th edition, has released shortlists across 20 of the Spikes Awards. Of the initial 3005 entries from 21 countries, 601 entries made it onto the shortlists and competed to be awarded APAC’s most prestigious creative branded communications accolade.

108 Jurors from locations across Asia Pacific and a wide range of creative industry disciplines and backgrounds convened in person, for the first time since 2019, to judge the work.

The Gold, Silver and Bronze winners will be announced tomorrow, Tuesday 7 March

Grands Prix and Special Award winners announced on Thursday 9 March.

Young Spikes Asia 2023 results will also be out tomorrow…Malaysia has teams in the competition this year and we wish them well.


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