Matt Eastwood
Jul 29, 2015

Spikes Asia 2015: The human touch remains as important as ever

In the first of a series of four pieces from Spikes Asia 2015 jury presidents, Matt Eastwood of J. Walter Thompson explains why humanity tops his list of criteria when selecting the best work.

Matt Eastwood:
Matt Eastwood: "Ignore the technology. Ignore the trends. Ignore the data"

Editor's note: We have not asked the jury presidents to avoid mentioning work by their own agencies.

With the dust still settling from Cannes, I’m excited to head into Spikes Asia with the opportunity to narrow the global lens offered in France and put Asia’s creative muscle under the microscope.

As president of the Promo & Activation Jury in Cannes, I looked for work that really connected with the consumer, and as Spikes’ Film, Print, Print & Poster Craft and Integrated jury president, I’ll still be looking for the humanity in the creative.

In the midst of technological advancements including expanding mobile and digital landscapes, and amid the ebb and flow of innovation that pushes our society and our industry forward, humanity is the solid rock we should cling to. The cutting-edge pieces in Film and Print, this year and every year, will be the ones that do not let the shininess of what’s new and what’s now distract from placing people at the center of their creative crosshairs.

So, yes, good work in Film will address the onset of multiscreen distribution and good Print work will grab the attention of a world that is—if you believe the stats—slowly but surely turning its back on traditional media. But the great work, the work that wins awards, the work that effortlessly turns consumers into champions of the brand, will follow a simple motto: Ignore the technology. Ignore the trends. Ignore the data. Create work that touches people in an extraordinary way.

While data, trends and tech might help us better understand and access the consumer, they are no proxy for what people want: to be moved, inspired, enraged, provoked.

Resonate in your audience’s heart and mind, and you’ve found your way to the cutting edge. These pieces in particular hit the nail right on the head:

Nutri-Grain’s ‘Unstoppable’ by J. Walter Thompson Sydney: This is a refreshing creative and strategic platform that encourages teens to have the strength, courage and determination to overcome anything that stands in the way of them achieving their goals. Each film focuses on the stories of real-life unstoppable heroes; risk takers who have dared to be bold and fearless, all in the name of making their aspirations a reality.

Hyundai’s ‘Brilliant Memories’ by PostVisual Seoul [part of J. Walter Thompson]: Focusing on the emotional connection people form with their cars, “Brilliant Memories” features four short films in which real-life drivers are reunited with their sold or junked cars. It extends Hyundai’s ‘Live Brilliant’ brand campaign, which underscores what many people already know: your car is more than just something that gets you from one place to the next; it is a space where you experience unforgettable emotions and moments.


Skinfood/New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation’s ‘A Cream That Gives You Wrinkles’ by Colenso BBDO: Earlier this year, the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation and beauty products brand Skinfood partnered to launch Breast Cream, a skin cream that encourages women to inject a new step into their beauty routines and check their breasts for lumps. Colenso BBDO’s print ad for the cream positions it as the first skin cream that gives you wrinkles, because using it as a means of breast cancer detection could allow you to live a much longer life.

KitKat’s ‘Lonely Astronaut’ by J. Walter Thompson India: Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights, is the nation’s most important holiday of the year, and a time to spend with friends and family. This spot by J. Walter Thompson India, which captures an astronaut in a vulnerable moment of feeling homesick during Diwali, is a beautiful ode to the many Indians who are unable to spend the holiday at home.

Matt Eastwood is worldwide chief creative officer of J. Walter Thompson

See all of Campaign Asia-Pacific's Spikes coverage

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