Retrospective: What spiked at SPIKES Asia 2016

Attracting a grand total of 5,132 entries across 20 awards, the 29th edition of SPIKES Asia was an event where the best of the region’s leaders and experts in the field of creative communications came together to celebrate and set the standard for the region’s growing industry.

From the much anticipated awards ceremony to numerous exhibitions and presentations through the three days, this was the event to be at if you are intrigued by the creative.

Zooming into the awards ceremony where 20 SPIKES were given out across categories like innovation, entertainment, public relations as well as the brand new category of digital craft, BBDO emerged as the one of the most acclaimed organisation across the region.

They racked up gold awards across several categories including the digital category and the grand prix award, the highest prize attainable, for the creative effectiveness category amongst numerous other awards.

Another competition that was held during the festival was the Young SPIKES competition where students from all across the Asia Pacific region competed to produce winning campaigns and take part in unrivalled tailored training programmes.

The winners of Young SPIKES received a gold medal and a full complimentary delegate pass to SPIKES Asia 2017. For a full list of winners of SPIKES 2016, you can head on down to

While the award ceremony was very much the highlight of the 3 day festival of creativity, there was a lot else to do as well.

Delegates could visit the exhibition halls where many of this year’s shortlisted works were showcased. Attendees also had the chance listen to over 100 speakers across three stages to gain inspiration for their next creative idea. 


This year’s shortlisted works consisted of many amazing innovative ideas. One example of such an idea comes from J Walter Thompson Bangkok who created the Touchable Ink project.

Touchable Ink is a special kind of ink that transforms home printers into braille printers by infusing special compounds in the ink. Thus, when the ink is heated, it will emboss the paper.

This goes a long way in helping those with eyesight disabilities gain access to an affordable way of printing braille on paper, and helps them to live life more independently.

For something that might hit right home for us here in Cambodia, we can look at BBDO Bangkok’s project – Moto Repellent. It’s a really simple idea on paper – attach a mosquito repellant to a motorcycle’s exhaust pipe, then the repellant can be used in the hard-to-get-to alleys as the motorcycles drive through them. This was done in an effort to fight dengue fever.

Right here in Cambodia, this might be something we are able to adapt. After all, motorbikes are still one of the main forms of transportation.

In terms of the different presentations across the stages, one particular project that might be of interest comes from Wayne Arnold, the co-founder and global CEO of MullenLowe Profero.

Exclusively at Spikes Asia, he launched “The Naked Portfolio” at the Silent Stage, where participants were required to wear headphones in order to hear what the speaker was saying. This presented a chance for delegates to get lost in a world of ideas.


In this particular project, Wayne hosts a series of intimate one-to-one interviews with some of the industry’s most creative minds, and will be uploading these soundbites in the form of podcasts.

He then went on to explore 5 different pillars that the individual interviewees had in common, including family DNA, being humble, having endless passion, being patient, and having leadership skills.

In terms of family DNA, many of industry’s greatest turned out to have one sensible parent, and another parent who was more out of the box. This created a balance of linear and lateral thinking which has been cited as one of the key reasons for their successes.

With various activities to take part in, projects to admire, and inspirational presentations to listen to, SPIKES Asia was indeed an intense three day getaway into a world of creativity.

Look out for SPIKES Asia 2017 and keep your creative juices flowing!

Written by Rizqina Mahdzar & Joseph Soh