There are a 682 pieces of work in the Spikes Asia 2021 shortlists, whittled down from 3,223 entries. That's a lot of work to review, so Campaign's editorial team has done the hard yards to pick out some standout campaigns we believe will take home metal in this year's awards.
Each day our editors will review different categories from the 24 total categories in this year's Spikes Asia Awards, not including the Grand Prix and special awards.
We'll select just one piece of work from each of the main categories—but with various subcategories by no means is this an exhaustive list. Really, it's just a bit of a fun, and a chance for our uber-trendy editors to exercise their vocabulary and show off their best creative poses.
Without further ado, today's selection of contenders, in alphabetical order:
'A Future Without Change' by VMLY&R Melbourne
Brand: Monash University
What it's about: When graduating high school students are bombarded by messages from dozens of universities every year, how can one university really stand out? This was the challenge facing VMLY&R Melbourne, which conceived a student recruitment campaign for Monash University that rather than showing students a perfect future, focused on what the world could become if we sit on our hands and don't address issues. Working with each of the univerisity's faculties, it created 17 products that shouldn’t exist, each based on a real problem that Monash researchers are working to solve. The products were displayed in a dystopian exhibit that aspiring students could interact with, and hopefully be inspired to be part of the solution.
Nominated by: Jessica Goodfellow, deputy editor and technology lead
"This campaign has also been nominated in the outdoor category, but I believe it is more worthy of recognition as a truly integrated campaign. As well as creating two physical experiences (one at Monash campus and one in Federation Square in the heart of Melbourne) with multi-sensory elements, allowing prospective students to touch, hold, smell or taste the products in the exhibit and also interact in VR, VMLY&R also created bold digital OOH, online films and social posts spotlighting some of the dystopian products to drive awareness of the activations. The innovative approach to recruitment proved wildly successful: over 12,000 people engaged across the two activations of which one-quarter registered to a faculty, making it Monash's most successful recruitment campaign ever."
'Good morning, world' by Special Group New Zealand
Brand: Tourism New Zealand
What it's about: Special Group New Zealand produced 366 short films—one every day for a year (including a leap day)—of New Zealand people saying good morning to the world from a fabulous location.
"Picking one standout in this category is exceedingly difficult; I beseech everyone to spend some time exploring the shortlist. (I highly recommend the hilarious 10-second films in season 2 of JMS's 'Stopline of Love' campaign by Hakuhodo. 'Please arrest me' by Ogilvy Singapore for RIT Foundation is a worthy watch about marital rape. And 'Thank you for cancelling our work', one of our favourites from last year, will earn metal.) But 'Good morning world' is a small miracle of simplicity and beauty. Charming people, jaw-dropping locations, heartfelt joy in each new dawn—the slogan '100% pure' is so apt. The campaign made good use of modern media habits (Instagram). And on a craft level, it's impressive that the films play as if they're spontaneous, crowdsourced material, when they're clearly professionally produced (and gorgeous). Not an easy trick to pull off."
'Letters' by Photoplay Sydney
Brand: Climate Act Now
Category: Film Craft
What it's about: Australia—often ravaged by flooding and bushfires as a consequence of climate change—needed to take action quickly and efficiently. Local initiative Climate Act Now decided to run a campaign to get Aussies to write to their local MP urging them to support the new Climate Change Act, a piece of legislation essential to meaningful climate change action. The film and accompanying campaign launched in tandem with Global Climate Change Week 2020 across social media.
Nominated by: Surekha Ragavan, experiential and PR editor & editor of PRWeek Asia
"The effects of climate change are dramatic and terrifying, and this film manages to portray that with commendable restraint. Positioned like the onset of an apocalyptic film, it centres the point of view of a young girl who is in a car ride with her sibling and mother. Her plans for the day ahead are altered—in small but consequential ways—because of climate-related things she cannot control. Everything—the script, performances, photography and sound design—is perfectly chilling. I felt it in my bones."
'Secret Menu' by Ogilvy Australia
What it's about: KFC hid a Secret Menu deep inside its mobile app, featuring never-before-seen creations invented by KFC crew members. In March 2019, a new version of the app was launched. If users spotted a new Colonel Sanders icon hiding in the menu, pulled down and held the screen for 11 seconds, then the Secret Menu would be revealed. But the idea went against every UX principle.
Nominated by: Minnie Wang, senior reporter
"After one month’s silence, an excited customer finally cracked the code and shared it in a Facebook group. On the day the Secret Menu story broke, the KFC app's daily download rate increased by 111%. Then the exploding effect of sharing made the average daily app downloads increase by 14%. It was a secret to discover and the creative concept evolved into a winning campaign. With 473 pieces of coverage and 460+ million impressions, KFC Secret Menu was a commercial miracle with $0 spent on media budget."
'The Punishing Signal' by FCB India
Brand: Mumbai Police
What it's about: If you have lived in Mumbai, India’s noisy, chaotic commercial capital, noise and chaos is part of your daily life. However, while its long-suffering residents have learnt to survive in the bedlam, the city’s noise is a worrying concern. As much as 70% of noise pollution on Mumbai’s roads happen due to indiscriminate honking. This has a disruptive influence on citizens’ physical and mental health. With just 1293 people booked in the last 10 years for reckless honking, the Mumbai Police was looking for a solution that did what fines couldn’t – generate instant results and create maximum awareness.
Nominated by: Rahul Sachitanand, associate editor
"In a country where bending and breaking the law has become the national past time, old world ideas needed a makeover. The Punishing Signal, implemented at five traffic signals, makes reckless honkers wait longer at signals by resetting the countdown timer for the red signal. This happens each time the noise exceeds 85 dB. As a film about this solution was spread on social media, it catalysed chatter around excessive honking and generated 6.6 billion impressions. By maximising awareness, creating instant results, and pushing a scale-up, it’s well on its way to change traffic behaviour: noise levels when measured at these signals a month later dropped by 32%, with several other cities looking to replicate this model. With zero media spend, Mumbai Police approval ratings hit an all-time high."
'The Sauce Bowl' by Sour Bangkok
Brand: Maepranom Chili Sauce
What it's about: A husband tries to make up with his wife by inviting her to a 2 am grilled chicken date. Unsurprisingly she’s not in a great mood, especially when he forgets their special sauce bowl. As she lambasts him, he’s unable to warn her that the chili sauce in a tube is not her nightly face cream before it’s too late. They bond over the saucy chicken which she can now dip on her face.
Nominated by: Robert Sawatzky, editorial director
"Why might this win? Reading the above description, one would think it wouldn’t. There’s no special sauce here… well, okay maybe there is, but it’s not AI data-enabled or AR visualised. Nor do the eating scenes make me hungry for chili sauce, though the tight grilling shots just might. It’s a gag. But the category is entertainment. And call me a sucker for deadpan Thai comedy films, but it’s the delicious self-deprecation here that makes it refreshingly human and relatable. Plus, the cast, characters and acting are spot on. This just might be enough of a winning recipe. All puns intended."