Staff Reporters
Mar 3, 2022

Spikes Asia X Campaign: Highlights

Our editors shared quotable quotes and observations from the three-day online creative festival.

Spikes Asia X Campaign: Highlights

Spikes Asia x Campaign: The Experience 2022 has concluded after three afternoons of creativity-focused content.

Campaign Asia-Pacific's editors sharing highlights throughout the festival in liveblog format (with the most recent additions on top).

Highlights from day 3: Thursday March 3

Posted at 4.39 pm

"There is a great diversity in terms of topics that people are interested in under the umbrella of purpose. We’re also seeing a great diversity in levels of trust in different markets with regards to the role brands have in getting involved in the purpose conversation. In Australia, 33% of consumers said they wouldn’t believe a brand was associated with initiatives for the good for society, but in markets such as Indonesia and Vietnam, this number drops down to 10% and 5% respectively. This makes it makes it very challenging for marketers to build a purpose agenda."

 — Anita Munroe, chief investment officer, APAC, Mindshare speaking about findings from the agency's Geography of Purpose research

Posted 4:30 pm

“At least in the USA, a country with 330 million people, there are only about 3 or 4 million people giving birth in any given year. That's 1%, so you're really targeting 1%, and typically they make a decision about diapers only over a couple of months. So if you're using broad-scale, television marketing for that group, 99-plus percent of your media is wasted. You really need a digital flywheel, one that can find those people, find them at the right time and bring them in as your customers.

—Mark Penn, chairman and CEO of Stagwell, on more marketers need to do more rigorous analysis of what they’re selling before deciding how to market it 

Posted at 4.20 pm

Ali Shabaz, Regional Creative Director, Freelance, M&C Saatchi shared his thoughts on Metaverse and Web 3.0.  The three trends he mentioned are story-telling, gamification of brand stories and massive interactive events.

“Authentic storytelling is all about connecting us with products at a very human level. ”

“Brands have taken to creating these huge virtual events to bring together users and fans so that they can interact with actually on also influence events in real-time.”

Ali Shabaz

Posted at 3.55 pm

"Our entertainment habits are shifting from passive entertainment towards interactive media, like gaming and social. The dynamics of societal power hierarchies are shifting as centralised hubs are being upended by decentralised networks like Reddit and WallStreetBets. The media ecosystems of marketing have shifted from mass market towards data-driven, highly personalised networks. And all these shifts in behaviour have only been accelerated in the past two years with pandemic lockdowns, remote learning, working from home, and the digitisation of shopping and commerce. And in order to remain visible, relevant and successful, brands must naturally infuse themselves into the ebb and flow of people's lives."
—Ville Vainamo, head of strategy, Iris Singapore

Posted at 3.10 pm

Yun Jeong Jang, Global Creative Director, Integrated Retail & Digital, Omni-channel Business, Cheil Worldwide shared cases from the Samsung omni-service launched in 2021, with pandemic as a catalyst.

“We are now at the very doorstep of this evolution of omnichannel experience. So customers are already used to coexisting between online and offline worlds. So we as brands need to catch up fast. ”

“These upcoming ecosystems allow have limitless possibilities for designers and become an endless Canvas for creativity.”

Yun Jeong Jang

Posted at 2.40 pm

Chen May Yee, APAC Director WT Intelligence from Wunderman Thompson shared the findings from a survey that covered five APAC markets, China, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan and Thailand. 

Wunderman Thompson found that “91% of those in China, 75% in India, Indonesia 71%, and Thailand 85%” are the percentage of people over 55 years old who are comfortable using digital technology. The survey also found that the rate in Australia and Japan was about 30%. However,  “in Thailand, Japan, Australia, the over 55 actually had a significantly more online spending power than the younger generations.”

“Chances are you already have a Gen Z strategy, you already have a millennial strategy, but do you have a senior strategy? Seniors really are the last untapped market for brands providing they can avoid stereotypes and connect well with older consumers. ”

Chen May Yee

Posted at 1.55 pm

Dentsu Singapore introduced its virtual influencer, Rumi, in a live Q&A at Spikes Asia today.

"I’m feeling kind of nervous today, but more than that I’m super excited to meet all of you here, and learn more about the real world. I mean, have you tried talking all day to an AI? Between you and I it does get a little bit boring."


"Anyone who claims that they have the definitive answer to the metaverse, they are either a fool or they are lying. This is one way for us to build a presence in the metaverse. [But] there will always be strong cases for brands to build virtual spaces and experiences in the metaverse. Just like a retail space will be nothing without its brand reps, we will always need a very relatable manifestation of their brand in a personified form. Don’t just stop at your virtual shop. Staff it with someone like Rumi who can bring your brand values to life."

—Stan Lim, chief creative officer, Dentsu Singapore

"If you ask me, there are [sic] lots of cool stuff you can do with virtual identities. I have performed as a brand ambassador for events like this one, for product and service launches. There are other VI’s out there who have been cast as digital retail store ambassadors and we’ve also seen so many of them host social commerce livestreams. All those are really cool and some have even gone on to become KOLs with close to a million fans and they have collaborated with some often biggest brands. So I’m just saying, if any of you know a gig like that, hit me up, I’m so down for it."


Posted at 1:45

Jean Lin, executive officer at Dentsu, spoke on diversity and sustainability in a conversation with Phil Thomas, president of Ascential’s marketing division and chair of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

On the fundamental importance of sustainability:

"Sustainability is my own passion point, something I put very close to my heart. I couldn't really tolerate when my kids are telling me that they hesitate to have children of their own in the future, because they don't know what the world will be like. That's really scary If you think about that."

On the way growth and sustainability must be linked:

“It is no longer growth and good in the boardroom as two separate agendas. It needs to be growth from good. … If it doesn't generate economic and commercial value, it's very hard to ask companies and enterprises and businesses to move forward and continue to do it. And we also want to ensure, since we are in an advertising, marketing and creative business, that consumers can play a key role. Because consumers’ push for a more sustainable solution for their lives, will as a result create a market push into businesses and society to really embrace that. It will help clients actually put a different agenda into the things that they do, into the business model that they deliver, into the products and services that they can innovate, to ensure that the sustainable business and the circular economy, the inclusiveness of the different communities that every brand serves, can create a cultural transformation that makes things work in a better way.”

On diversity as the source of innovation: 

“This is something that will keep pushing the industry forward. It's not just about diversity of gender, about race, about sexual orientation or where we come from. It's about the diversity of thoughts, and the diversity of culture. That's the fundamental source for any organization to get even more creative and innovative. And I think that's a lifeline of our business.”


Highlights from day 2: Wednesday March 2

Posted at 4.15 pm

"Is it fair to assume that Gen Zers only want to support brands that do their part to save the world? Day in and day out we are confronted with headlines that seem to support the idea that all Gen Zers want is for brands to do good and be purpose-led before they will buy into them. But the reality: one in two say brands should just focus on bringing good products to market instead of trying to fix the world."

—Valerie Wang, strategy director, Publicis Singapore

Posted at 4 pm

"Brand experience thinking would allow us to creatively destroy and rebuild our industry around the changes that our society is experiencing. From planning campaigns, we would design experiences and trade in value exchanges. From measuring creative cut-through and media ROI, we would measure a person’s time, attention and intent that we have managed to win, personified as the data they willingly share multiplied by the actions they take. It is both incredibly simple and complex at the same time. It is a world where storytelling and data will coexist."

—Averill Sequeira, chief product officer, MediaCom India

Posted at 3 pm

On expectations for post-Covid creativity

“From a client perspective, they’re not expecting you to hold back. They’re not saying because of Covid let’s be safe. If anything we have had to act a lot more nimbly or creatively because of limiatations that we had last year.” 

—Valerie Madon, chief creative officer, VMLY&R Asia 

The top post-pandemic creative skill: Storytelling

"One thing is critical that we need to take forward--that's storytelling. It’s the backbone of all great creative. It doesn't matter which era we lived in or we're going to live in, be it the pre-digital age, the digital age, the metaverse age in web3. We definitely need storytelling.

If you look back when brands were doing the transformation to digital, agencies shifted over and we started telling stories in shorter formats. We even got down to 6 second bumpers and TikTok formats. But with the metaverse we’re going to again relook at how does storytelling change for us with web3.0. I think it's very exciting because if we can that storytelling right, then brands start making some pretty awesome connections with consumers in very different ways."

-Ali Shabaz, regional creative director, freelance, M&C Saatchi

How the Great Resignation impacted creatives

“I think that the real big change happened when we had other players who offered equally good opportunities to creative, not just advertising. We had the startup world, we had the social companies that came up and we had in-house agencies getting involved. So a lot of that change in mindset for creatives came from saying ‘hey, do I need to stay with one agency all my life?’ It really challenged by the opportunities available out there which didn't come just with a new company, but with new ways of doing things.”

-Ali Shabaz, regional creative director, freelance, M&C Saatchi

Posted at 2.45 pm

"Attention is not new. It has been studied since the 14th century by writers, philosophers and psychologists, with the term ‘the attention economy’ coined in the 1970s. For the last 40 years it has attracted the interest of neuroscientists and machine learning experts all adding to the growing body of knowledge of how attention works. In advertising, attention has been incorporated into our thinking when we make choices around stories we seek to tell, in the channels we select, the platforms and formats and placements we pick, we have all been trying to grab and hold attention. Now it is about measuring it properly, and committing to having the recency of data that makes it accurate and actionable, and respecting the attention we are given."

—Chrissie Hanson, global chief strategy officer, OMD Worldwide

Posted at 2.30 pm

"Everyone is on the search for sustainable solutions on the metaverse, in the metaverse, for the metaverse…it is a bit early to predict if it is a hype or if it really has legs in the future because of Second Life. What is clear is that it is offering a total new experience where brands should step in."

—Alan Cerutti, cofounder and CEO, Happiness Saigon

Highlights from day 1: Tuesday March 1

Posted at 5 pm

Shortlists for all the Spikes Asia awards are now avaiblalbe for viewing. Most winners will be announced Wednesday afternoon. Grand Prix and special award winners will be announced Thursday.

Posted at 4.55 pm 

“In many ways the future development direction of marketing communications in Asia Pacific is quite clear. We're going to see more and deeper involvement by consumers and digital platforms, more which will be driven by AI, and which will be further engrossing through the development of the metaverse. What all this means for marketers is simple. They need to continue to up their game if they want to stay relevant with consumers that are relentlessly shifting both their time and their interests and their involvement in digital.”

—Kent Wertime, Co-CEO, Ogilvy Asia

“Public relations is  much more than just traditional storytelling without AI influence. So we're entering a new wave of influence engagement that does three things. Firstly it enables us to activate learning of what's trending in the media and society. Secondly, it informs us to connect with audiences at lightning speed at the speed of culture. Thirdly, it allows us to engage with audiences in new meaningful ways. So with this, we hope to help brands build connections and scale.”

-—Emily Poon, president of PR and influence, Ogilvy Asia

Posted at 4.35 pm 

In a 'fireside' chat, leaders from Kimberly-Clark and BBH shared their biggest learnings from leadership over the past two years.

“I think what we realized over the last couple of years is a few of those leadership muscles have just become much more important. I think the most important one is adaptability. If you think of the kind of chaos we've all been through...leaders have thrived when they approached it with not a preconceived notion of 'I know what the playbook is'. But 'Look, I'm happy to learn. I'm happy to adapt. I'm happy to embrace the unknown'."

—Mainak Dhar, CEO for India and South Asia, Kimberly-Clark

"The biggest learning is...collectively, we've become so close as an organization. … Everybody's standing shoulder to shoulder and saying, I will help you get past this.”

—Dheeraj Sinha, CEO and chief strategy officer, South Asia, Leo Burnett, Publicis Business and Publicis Health.

Posted at 4.06 pm 

“Gamers are no longer considered a niche tribe or sub-culture. The reality is more than 60% of the online population in APAC identifies as a gamer. For Gen Z and millennial audiences, playing video games is just about as mainstream as it gets. Gaming also leads the attention economy. An indication of this is Twitch viewership in APAC, which has increased 32% last year and is equivalent to 5000 years of content watched every single day. Every brand has the right to play in gaming, but you will need to find the right approach.”

—Gemma Battenbough, APAC lead, brand partnerships studio, Twitch

Posted at 3:50pm

How has the notion of ‘brands as a force for good’ evolved?

We need to be a force for growth in order to be a force for good. Because if you're just a force for good and not growing then then that's a philanthropy. And philanthropy is wonderful, but we’re a business. Brands that are a force for growth that then use that in such a way that is good --that improves communities, improves equality and inclusion, improves the environment--that's a virtuous circle that I think has become stronger and stronger and consumers are expecting it more and more.

-Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer, P&G

On dealing with disruption through creativity

“We try to what we call ‘constructively disrupt’. So disruption happens. It happens everywhere. The best way to deal with disruption is to lead it and to do it in a constructive way that actually builds markets or makes categories bigger and that is where innovation and creativity comes in. So we always have that mindset. And then we go focus on what consumers want, and figure out ways to bring things in a much more creative way.”

-Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer, P&G

Posted at 3:40 pm

"Ideas have never been more valuable. In a world of tech it is tempting to believe that creativity is dead. That math has taken over from the madness. One agency CEO I know said he was looking forward to that day. But then again, that person is no longer an agency CEO. Because on the contrary, leading clients and agencies seem agree that the need for ideas is very much alive. … There is no greater way to create value than with an original creative idea." 

—David Guerreo, chairman and chief creative office, BBDO Guerrero

In his entertaining session about how you have to go through a lot of crap to come up with good ideas, Guerrero name-dropped useful advice from Alex Osborne (the "O" in BBDO, see above), David Bowie and John Cleese, among others. Osborne invented the idea of brainstorming, witjh the important but often forgotten commandement that one musn't judge ideas during a brainstorm, just write them down. Bowie used a technique of literally mixing up scraps of paper with different phrases on them, which would often result in novel combinations that sparked new ideas. Cleese, as fans of Monty Python know, developed a very silly way of walking. And according to Guerrero, scientists have shown that walking in an odd way can actually help the brain to think in non-linear ways.    

Posted at 2:40 pm

Should brands go down the political/social route in order to take creative risks?

"I think we need to stop thinking that the consumers are following our brand 24/7. I don't think they keep track of not [a brand like] Nike is doing all year round. So in the end, consumers are going to react to what they see in an instance as long as it's meaningful to them. It doesn't have to be political, it doesn't have to be something socially sensitive in order for it to be meaningful. For example, the ‘Whopper Detour’ by Burger King was a risk. They took a risk in their tactic, and it didn’t require anything political. And people had fun with it, people talked about it. And that's what marketing and creativity is all about. It doesn't always have to be standing for a cause."

—Valerie Madon, chief creative officer, VMLY&R

What are the consequences of brands not taking risks?

"Risk is about doing something that no one has done before. And that requires bravery. So therefore, if you stop taking risks, you do what everyone else is doing. And we know one rule in marketing is you have to differentiate or die. As a brand, especially if you're wanting to be in the forefront, being a leader means being the first to do it. That requires bravery. So if you don't want to take risks, forget about your dream to be in the forefront."

—Francis Flores, global brand CMO, Jollibee

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