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:
'Burnt Christmas Tree' by DDB Sydney
Brand: Australian Red Cross
What it's about: Every Christmas, Sydney’s CBD is packed with festive decorations, including giant Christmas trees in every square. But as Christmas 2019 approached, bushfires were sweeping through rural Australia, destroying hundreds of communities. So to launch Australian Red Cross’ bushfire appeal, DDB Australia quickly mobilised to set up a 'Burnt Christmas tree' art installation made up of pieces of bush-fire-ravaged items including wood and branches and destroyed property like a child's bicycle along with remnant metal implements and materials.
Nominated by: Jessica Goodfellow, deputy editor and technology lead
"This visually striking installation was created in just one week and is not only inventive in its use of charred materials, but is incredibly effective at immediately evoking deep empathy—which is exactly what the Australian Red Cross required as it called out for donations to aid those devasted by the fire. It can be challenging for charities to know how to best illustrate why they need funds without being so provocative that it becomes hard to look, but this one strikes the perfect balance. The installation added a personal touch with audio stories from those who survived the fires, and presents under the tree had QR codes that onlookers could scan to donate to the charity—a nice touch that illustrated to passers-by how Christmas gifts could effect real change. The Australian Red Cross recently revealed it received AUD$240 million in donations to its Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund in 2020."
'Language Sanctuary – Ad Space for Protecting Endangered Language' by Dentsu Tokyo
Brand: Okinawa Times
Category: Print and publishing
What it's about: Since 2009, UNESCO has listed Okinawa's traditional language as endangered. In connection with its 70th anniversary, The Okinawa Times created a special ad space which local small businesses could use for free--but only if they used Okinawan. Ten local businesses took part, and the newspaper also held an exhibition that displayed the posters and other items that used Okinawan.
"This work combines a few elements juries often go for. First, it's a worthy idea from a cultural-preservation point of view. Secondly, it has an altruism angle. I think judges will like that for its own anniversary, the newspaper chose not to brag about itself, but to emphasise its place in the community by not only spotlighting local heritage but also providing small businesses with free advertising. Finally, the artwork is absolutely outstanding—often a key factor in this category where design quality is highly prized. The campaign also already won a graphite pencil at D&AD."
'Next% - Speed is your currency' by Mindshare China
Category: Creative ecommerce
What it's about: For Next%, Nike’s fastest running shoe ever, Nike launched a very special, creative, tech and data driven ecommerce campaign to increase brand favorability, create hype for the launch and drive purchase desire. By tracking runner’s speed via China’s most popular running platforms, the speed was identified as a currency to unlock the purchasing access.
Nominated by: Minnie Wang, senior reporter
"The creative idea was to monitor two types of runners—fastest runners and everyday runners. With data supporting, Nike would be able to sell the right products to the right runners. The strategy of unlocking the access to Next% by calculating the runners’ speed was attractive and effective. In the execution process, Nike collaborated with running community apps to reach their target audience easily and directly. The result is that Nike established Next% as an icon for speed, and successfully engaged 1,460,000 unique users to collect more data."
'Play NZ' by TBWA\Sydney, media placement by Mindshare Australia
Brand: Tourism New Zealand
What it's about: To keep New Zealand tourism top of mind during a pandemic when most people are confined to their houses, the campaign uses Aussie gaming influencer Loserfruit to walk viewers through what appears to be a new video game, but is really a gamified video that ends up showcasing NZ’s natural and cultural wonders.
Nominated by: Robert Sawatzky, editorial director
"It’s a double-spin on your traditional tourism promo, starting with outsider’s perspective, with a multimedia mix that’s fit for pandemic pastimes, seemingly bringing influencer videos and gaming together. It’s a strong audience fit with gamers and travellers both sharing a sense of exploration and adventure, appealing to them through not just regular social media channels like FB, Instagram and Tiktok but complete with a Twich launch and game teasers, banners and in-app ads across gaming media channels. With over 15 million views, 150+ earned articles (like ours) and a +387% intent to visit NZ, its results were solid."
'Safety Hub' by Che Proximity Melbourne
Category: Creative Effectiveness
What it's about: With money normally used for paying out after a disaster, NRMA vowed to pay people to be safer before a disaster. So it created an app called Safety Hub for people to carry out simple, personalised safety tasks such as checking for faulty flexi hoses or buying fire blankets. As a result, 16,964 safety tasks were sent out and hundreds of thousands of dollars of potential claims were prevented. Plus, engagement with the Safety Hub app was double that of the existing NRMA app.
Nominated by: Surekha Ragavan, experiential and PR editor & editor of PRWeek Asia
"Each time a task was completed, NRMA would pay them for reducing their risk. This way, the customer prevents the risk of their house being demolished during a flooding or fire; and the client avoids large payouts when a disaster hits. From that alone, it’s clear that Che Proximity used a deceivingly simple idea to craft a win-win solution for its insurance client and the client’s customers."
'The Perfect Voiceovers' by Edelman
Brand: Causes for Animals Singapore
What it's about: According to SPCA, over 1.5 million shelter dogs are euthanised every year. This is mainly because 3 in 4 households prefer to buy a pet from a store instead of adopting one from a shelter, leaving shelters unable to cope with massive numbers of unwanted animals. Edelman wanted to originate a campaign idea that would change the perception that shelter dogs are flawed, or imperfect compared to animals sold at pet stores. The insight behind the strategy was: Mainstream media often profiles people who have been through adversity in life, portraying them not as imperfect people with a past, but as survivors of life’s challenges who are worthy of being celebrated. Why not shelter animals – many of which have been through similar adversities themselves?
Nominated by: Rahul Sachitanand, associate editor
"All and any campaigns around dogs, especially rescues, have already won in my book. However, this campaign had zero-budget in paid media, implementation began with influencer outreach – not paid engagements, but purely on a pro-bono basis – further stress-testing the emotional appeal of the content. The main piece of the campaign, a four-minute making-of film was seeded to those who acted as ambassadors to the campaign. The campaign was widened across Asia, rallying 15 shelters in countries such as China, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore – making the campaign the largest cross-shelter collaboration in Asia. With zero dollars spent on media buy and relying purely on organic reach, the campaign hit 5.2 million impressions within the first two weeks."