Tamon Fujimi
Oct 4, 2018

Music Spikes judge: Advertising cannot operate within an echo chamber

Tamon Fujimi of MassiveMusic Tokyo describes getting his 'groove on' as a judge of the Music category at Spikes Asia.

Tamon Fujimi
Tamon Fujimi

Tamon Fujimi, director of creative development APAC at MassiveMusic Tokyo, was a member of the Music jury at Spikes Asia 2018. The jury awarded a Grand Prix to #GiveABeat for Max Healthcare and Max Group by Propaganda India. 

I’ve attended Spikes Asia for the past three years but this year I was representing MassiveMusic as a judge on the Music jury for APAC’s leading creative festival. In the past, I’d enjoy exploring the festival at my own pace, taking in the numerous talks and workshops on offer, and getting my networking ‘groove on’ at the many parties and events scattered around the Suntec Exhibition Centre. This year however, my judging responsibilities meant that I had a very different type of experience, whereby I had huge visibility of the varied, wonderful (and sometimes moving) creative projects that had been submitted.

The sub-categories within the blanket of music spanned all aspects of the ever-changing world of advertising and communication, from the use of licensed or adapted music, to the use of music technology and innovation. Overall, it was great to see how the work in question tended to reflect cultural nuances from the place in which it had been developed, and this was one of the biggest trends that I noticed. You could very clearly see the thought process behind the entries, with the history, background and cultural experiences of the country or region in question integrated into the submitted projects.

One project in particular embodied this: ‘Disgusting Stories’, created by TBWA\Santiago Mangada Puno for Bahay Tuluyan Shelter House (video below). This was work was able to clearly convey the very serious and disturbing issue of child abuse in the Philippines. They were very precise about how they wanted to communicate their message through both the visuals and music. The latter in particular was very moving, relentlessly reinforcing the emotions of the harrowing visuals. The jury decided to award the Gold Spike for Music, and rightly so.

Although this project really stood out from a musical perspective, it’s hard to say what separated the best projects from the worst. Creativity can be very subjective and I’m not ashamed to say that I can be quite opinionated! However, I tried to be as fair as possible in the sense that I looked at all of the entries from the perspective of a consumer as opposed to that of someone immersed in the industry.

There was of course a degree of critical analysis involved and we can always talk about how creative work can be technically improved, but advertising is for consumers—we can’t operate within an echo chamber. We have to make sure that campaigns are as attractive and engaging for them as possible. So, in my judging, I considered the following questions:

  • Does it sound good?
  • Does it make sense sonically?
  • Did I enjoy it?

Anything beyond this was a bonus!

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