Andre Amaral, Regional Executive Creative Director at Vocanic was at the recently held Spikes Asia festival. He made some interesting observations that are worth taking note of.
Spikes Asia is a yearly, 3-day festival of creativity hosted at Suntec City in Singapore. It is by the same folks that run the Cannes Lions, Eurobest, and Dubai Lynx. This year I was able to attend the event in full, while representing Vocanic, the agency I work for.
Photo Credits : Spikes Asia Facebook
And here’s what caught my attention among the various seminars, workshops, tech talks, competitions, video broadcasts, awards ceremonies and networking parties that happened this year:
#1 The Big Tech Three
Facebook, Twitter, and Google all had main stage keynotes this year. Our “frenemies”, as Martin Sorrell calls them, are ever more encroached and intertwined within the media and communication industry. Fergus O’Hare, the new Head of Creative Shop for APAC, presented for Facebook. A nice bloke from Ireland with a caustic sense of humor. He teased the audience with a few Facebook ad formats that are not yet available for sale. He also showed a handful of “creative data” campaigns, or pieces of communication that leveraged in full the targeting and format possibilities of the platform. Unfortunately, agencies are still struggling to make the most out of these. Facebook is aggressively pushing for Video Ads and Instagram Ads across the region, and that message was re-iterated by Fergus.
Google also showed off their creative capabilities, particularly highlighting a campaign they did for EA Sports’ Madden NFL, called #Giferator. Creative engines allowed users to generate an unlimited combination of animated GIFs with resources from the game, while at the same time, they leveraged precision targeting based on the game’s potential audience. Mobile, social, content, data, all boxes ticked!
Twitter’s Steven Kalifowitz (@skalifowitz) highlighted the #PowerOfNow. As the platform struggles with aggressive investors looking for a definition for the future, Twitter seems to be banking on the platform’s hold of the current moment and being the best companion for live experiences.I completely agree with this vision. Periscope is also a step in the same positioning (his team was broadcasting the presentation on it). Steven is a good presenter, and took questions from the audience using Twitter itself. Two nice little visions of what Twitter can offer for brands.
Key Take Away: Agencies, watch out! All major tech players are continuing/growing their investments on internal creative resources (Creative Shop is hiring across the region) and on beefing up their direct relationships with bigger clients. Either agencies adapt and move up their offerings one notch higher, as cross-platform consultants perhaps, or be ready to perish.
#2 Good Work But Lots Of Lost Work Too
Spikes Asia is also a creative awards competition. lMHO, most projects didn’t scale in the proportion that they could have. Agencies still treat their projects as campaigns with a start and an end date. They should treat them like products that are nurtured and grow with time. The advertising industry still hasn’t figured out how to monetize their work to its full capacity.
Some interesting work done across the region :
Volkswagen’s “Reduce Speed Dial” (New Zealand)
Uni-Noodle’s “House of Little Moments” (Taiwan)
Pedigree’s “Found” (New Zealand)
Culture Convenience Club’s “Panicoupon” (Japan)
#3 Insightful TechTalks
I attended two of them; one by R/GA Singapore, and one by some colleagues from Maxus’ Metalworks.
R/GA ran a demo of a dynamic visual storytelling tool that combines keywords with databases of videos and sounds to put together videos on the fly. It’s the beginning of a very interesting platform, one that could help innovative marketers create more tailored messaging for their audiences.
Alex Jaspers from Metalworks talked about process and technology, while Mithru and Daylon sourced a few volunteers from the crowd to have their arms controlled by someone else using electrodes. How cool is that!
#4 Lovely Student Briefs
I heard a few student ideas at the conclusion of the Spikes Young Creative Academy. The energy in the room was palpable even with very tough behaviour change briefs (education in Pakistan, food wastage in Vietnam, over-sexualized media in South Korea, lack of friendliness in China). All insights were bang on, although some ideas lacked the creativity or viability needed, students were on the right path
#5 Shy Networking
Met some interesting creative people from a creative technologist shop in Jakarta, talked to a handful of the speakers, but in general the networking vibe is very shy compared to Cannes Lions or Dubai Lynx.
So this was my overall experience with Spikes Asia this year. If you want to know more about it, drop me a tweet at @andregoiano.
Make sure you explore the winning work here.