Byravee Iyer Nikki Wicks
Sep 29, 2014

Comments from the Spikes Asia 2014 jury presidents

SPIKES ASIA - Campaign Asia-Pacific caught up with some of the jury presidents for the 2014 Spikes Asia awards to get some of their impressions from their time behind the closed doors of the jury rooms.

CW from top left: Brain, Laffey, Lo, Godfrey, Sagmeister
CW from top left: Brain, Laffey, Lo, Godfrey, Sagmeister

Please see all of our Spikes Asia 2014 coverage here

See the full list of winners and photos from the awards ceremony

Design: Jury president Stefan Sagmeister (designer, Sagmeister & Walsh):

In general, very much because of the nature of the award show, I think Spikes Asia is very well respected as an advertising awards show and probably has less of a pull in the design world. So much of what we have seen came from design groups within ad agencies and not so much from design studios. Massive amounts of great work that I know was produced here in Asia was not presented. However, the work that we did see was excellent and hopefully that is reflected in the amount of prizes we gave out.

From a jury point of view, it was perhaps one of the most pleasant juries I’ve ever worked on. Mainly because there was a lot of rational people that argued well, but would hear other people’s opinions as well. Also I think we lucked out by the fact that there was one piece in the show that really stood out. The Grand Prix discussion lasted about 30 seconds, because it was so clear.

As a promotional item, this book [Mother Book] was extremely well conceived, beautifully illustrated, well-written, extremely well designed and gorgeously printed. So basically it had everything. It was the perfect item for the client and of the quality that we all thought could be presented to a publisher and made available to a much larger audience. It’s something that would also work very, very well as a product—that’s not very often you can say that about a promotional item.

2014 Design Grand Prix winner: Mother Book


PR: Jury president David Brain (president and CEO, Edelman Asia-Pacific & Middle East):

Oddly, the quality of the PR entries was much better than Integrated [Brain also served on the Intergrated jury]. I noticed this year we had really good work from Japan. Japanese entries used designs very well. Typically, we see good work from SEA but I was really disappointed this year. There were a few good ones from Singapore but not too much else. In PR, it’s important to have ideas executed not just in what the brand is saying, but getting other people to say it.

On Integrated: The judges were really disappointed with work in the integrated category. The overall standard wasn’t quite there. Certainly, not as high as it was before.

Branded content & entertainment jury president Connie Lo, chief creative officer, Southern China, Leo Burnett:

While the overall quality of shortlisted work this year for this category is nice, only a handful of them are standout brilliant. The branded content and entertainment category is still a relatively 'new' kid on the block compared to the other categories. To help us stay on track, when we see a good piece of work, we keep going back to ask ourselves, while it is a good piece of work, does it check the box for being a branded content and entertainment idea?

We established four key judging criteria that the work has to check off before it is awarded a Spike. It has to been a brilliant human idea; the brand is always the essence of the campaign; excellent craft and execution; it needs to be an engaging social piece of content that has the power to move people.

Creative effectiveness: Jury president Matthew Godfrey (Asia president, Y&R)

The exciting news is that when compared to previous years, 2014 was a much stronger field, which shows the growing importance of creative effectiveness, and long may that continue. The winners all have one thing in common, a clear and irrefutable link that proved that the innovation, ingenuity and creativity of the idea strategically solved the challenge faced by the business. They left everyone on the jury with an equal mix of pride in the industry and the hunger to both create and celebrate more of this.

However there are definitely learnings for Asia in particular. While the standards were high, the shortlist was dominated by entries from India, Australia and New Zealand, begging the question, where is the rest of Asia in competing at this level and in this category? China and Japan are leading economies of the world where success is mandatory for many brands. Indonesia and other fast growth markets are where brands are looking to rapidly win market share. The Creative Effectiveness success stories here were few and far between. Clients and agencies should both study and be inspired by the leadership of the winners, and set their sights on beating them in the coming years. It's critical to the entire industry that we focus on this.

Congratulations from everyone on the jury to the winners who showed us how truly effective creativity can be.

2014 Creative Effectiveness Grand Prix winner: How Brad Pitt's bro helped Virgin Mobile punch above its weight.


Healthcare: Jury president June Laffey (executive creative director, McCann Health, Sydney)

The quality of work was very good. Some real standout pieces. What was great about this competition—there was work I hadn’t seen before. It says to me that the region is doing some very smart thinking in developing communication pieces. As a jury, we had a lot of healthy debate.

We were looking for great ideas that were beautifully crafted. The simple, culturally relevant ideas. The ideas that won really touched us in some way. I think it was a nice that there was a range of work from around the region that came out from multiple agencies.

It’s important to get the show right for the first-time category. As it grows, it’s going to be easier for people to enter in the health and wellness category. We need to make sure the integrity of what this is set up for is not limited to just health and wellness, but also includes pharma. This year there were comparatively fewer pharma entries maybe because of the serious regulations in the category.


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