The Asian equivalent of the Cannes Lions took place last week in Singapore – The Spikes Asia 2012 Festival of Creativity (see their website here). The focus of the festival is to highlight the best creative work within Asia Pacific. When we look at the results, the quality and thinking of the work has reached new heights and is equal to, and in some cases better than, that of other global creative centers.
The areas that I am very impressed with are in print, digital, and trans-media storytelling. The print work that is showcased (see Coke and VW below) is not only brilliantly conveying the intended message, but does so in a clear and telegraphic way. These works could work in any geography, with any consumer and the message would be understood. The need for brutally simple messaging is clearly important and should be appreciated in other geographies where creatives sometimes get carried away and forget that simplicity trumps all else every time.
With a region that tends to leap-frog others in technology adoption, utilization, and often innovation, the natural result is great creative work. The Honda work from Japan is a case in point. Instead of simply talking about an interesting technology, they showed how it worked in a situation that had huge emotional value to its consumers – using onboard technology to help find open roads within the tsunami disaster-stricken area. While this initiative was a reactionary one given the unforeseen disaster, the clear understanding of the value of the technology and its emotional resonance was simply perfect.
When it comes to telling stories across media, the Asian creative industry is really amazing. On judgment, it is understandable that a more creative approach is required when trying to tell a multi-dimensional story in places where the media mix is quite different and the consumer behaviors with media can also be different. Discovery and the hunt for “new stuff” is also something that is more common across some of the geographies where state infrastructures force this kind of behavior. Even those geographies that have more democratic systems, their distance from other cultural and creative centers in the West increase the hunt behavior. The winning examples (see NAB, Ikea, and Air New Zealand) are brilliant. I’ve written about the Ikea example in the past so I won’t post it again (see here if you are interested). For the National Australia Bank (NAB) case study, the guys from the Inspiration Room did a great write-up (see it here). The Air New Zealand work was new to me. It is a simple content-driven program that helps convert Australians who “are Kiwi skeptics”. Have a look at the videos below that bring the campaign to life.
For those of you who want to know the final winner list, here it is:
Branded Content and Entertainment – Air New Zealand “Kiwi Skeptics” (see above)
Creative Effectiveness – NAB “Break-up” (see above)
Design – MT Ex Taipei (see on Spikes site)
Digital – Honda “Connecting Lifelines” (see above)
Direct – Melbourne Writers Festival “Wi-Fiction (see here)
Media – Kissang Ketchups “Where what you grow is what you eat” (see on Spikes site)
Mobile – Sony “Make TV” (see on Spikes site)
Print – VW “Parking perfection” (see above)
Promo & Activation – Ikea “Catalogue Rental” (see above)
Radio – Lux Soap “Radio prank” (see on Spikes site)