Campaign Asia-Pacific is presenting a new top-5 list every day until we send our last daily bulletin of the year on December 19. We've had fun pulling this annual review together, and we hope you'll enjoy it too.
Please follow along as we spotlight the year's highlights and lowlights. And if you think we've screwed up—either by inclusion or omission—please let us hear about it in the comments and/or on Twitter @CampaignAsia using the hashtag #CampaignBestOf2014.
Without further ado, here are the...
('Diary' is a section on the back page of Campaign Asia-Pacific (available only to subscribers), that collects "stories we could tell".)
1 - Perilous midnight swimming
We were impressed with our columnist Craig Davis’s recent skydiving feat, but even more death-defying was a certain senior WPP person’s (hint: not Sir Martin) midnight swim to an island at the company’s Stream ‘(un)conference’ in Langkawi in March. The move was both romantic and highly inadvisable, and our hero returned with cuts all over from the razor sharp coral beneath the ocean. A solid effort.
2 - Method planners
Wieden+Kennedy’s Rob Campbell didn’t feature as prominently as usual on our back page this year, but he did deliver a very respectable April Fool’s Day prank in the form of ‘method planning’. Campbell told the tale of Leon, a W+K planner, who went undercover at a bank in Wuhan. Describing it as “both a risky and questionable strategy”, he suggested that method planning offered agencies “a whole new approach to gaining powerful and influential audience insights”.
3 - Ice bucket challengers
We chose to feature Doctoroff as our ice bucket pin-up partly because of the formality of the person who tipped the bucket over him: Doctoroff chose to do the challenge outside the Westin in Tokyo’s Garden Place with the help of a tuxedo-wearing staff member who, after ceremoniously drenching him, looked deeply apologetic.
4 - ‘Competitive Dad’ induction
We were also quite taken with Cheil’s rather less sporting behaviour in thrashing a group of aspiring young agency people at a ‘friendly’ football match. Cheil United sent the hopefuls packing after a 3-0 win that seemed indicative of the ‘take no prisoners’ world of Korean advertising and business. On further reflection though, we decided the students were probably just too deferential to risk the fallout of scoring against their future employers.
5 - Showing face
Lastly, for visual appeal, we think Bryce Whitwam deserves another airing. The Wunderman Shanghai MD had his photo taken by French street artist JR, which was then blown up into a gigantic poster to adorn the side of a building along with thousands of others. Another agency exec who did not wish to be named graced the side of a bus this year too, but that is a story for another time.