Welcome to "FTW or fail", a new weekly opinion column where we'll select both winning work and work that went off the rails. Good work will be praised, questionable work will be questioned.
About the "fail" part, we don't intend to mock. OK, we don't intend merely to mock. We know good work is tough to do, and it's our hope that this column will start a conversation that might help everybody do more of it.
But that will only happen if you take part, so please give us your thoughts in the comments section below, on our Facebook page (look for a post relating to this article) or by Tweeting at us using @CampaignAsia.
Without futher ado.
Of the work we covered this week, we were impressed by a sugary video for Nestlé Fruitips in Hong Kong (by Leo Burnett), and we liked the way Ford (with JWT) made its own hot sauce for a unique promotion in New Zealand.
But we'll give this week's FTW to the ambitious augmented-reality game developed by KDDI (with Dentsu, Glider and Rhizomatiks), which turns all manner of ads into game-play opportunities and supports 432 different scenarios.
We're giving out two fail 'awards' for this inaugural edition.
In Singapore, AXA Life Insurance staged some 'flash mob' skits last weekend to promote a new offering that provides holistic cancer care, including counselling services. It's a noble idea, addressing a serious, sensitive situation.
So 30-second skits in public places, by young actors wearing hardhats and giant plastic pills on their heads, do not seem to strike the appropriate tone.
The whole something-unexpected-happens-in-public thing works best when the unexpected thing that happens is fun—for onlookers and the later online viewers. This just isn't. (It's also not a 'flash-mob', but that's another rant.)
Onlookers seem puzzled at best, uncomfortable at worst. And given the noisy environments and the density of the terribly wooden script, it's doubtful any members of the public walked away understanding what just happened, let alone the product or brand values.
Spokespeople for AXA claim the videos of the skits reached more than 50,000 people, and perhaps that's enough. But such a respected brand deserves better. In the right hands, this product presents an opportunity to forge a real emotional connection.
Our second fail goes to Nokia for the ad below, featuring a situation that echoes the plight of Aron Ralston, the hiker who got pinned by rocks in a remote area in the US and had to choose between his arm and his survival (and whose story was dramatized in the film 127 Hours). We're all in favour of amusing, over-the-top dramatizations of product benefits, but this isn't amusing. It's just contrived.
Disagree or have other nominations for FTW or fail? Comment below, on our Facebook page or by Tweeting to @CampaignAsia.