Spikes Asia 2015: Celebrating Asia Pacific’s Most Creative Works

This year, Geeks in Cambodia had the chance to visit Spikes Asia; which was held at Suntec City, Singapore, from the 9th to 11th of September. The Asia Pacific Festival of Creativity featured speakers from big name global industry creatives such as Matt Eastwood from J. Walter Thompson, as well as a diverse range of speakers from varied creative industries. Exhibitions and screenings were also set up to showcase Asia’s most creative communication works; which were both inspiring and innovative for tech geeks like us. Shortlisted entries from the various categories of the Spikes Asia Award were also displayed at the exhibition area.

A key takeaway that we noticed was that digital strategies are becoming increasingly important in the tech scene. This insight was gathered by the various segments and activities that Spikes Asia had in stall for us over three days.

Throughout the entire event, industry leaders gave their unique insights during seminars while covering topics like technology’s fusion with creative and interactive content. Forums, tech talks and seminars across the “Inspiration, Silent and Discovery” stage offered over 60 different sessions to choose from.

Big names in the industry were sharing their expertise, such as Google’s Senior Marketing Manager, Mike Glaser who talked about Google’s Art, Cope and Code advertising initiative. He touched on how to engage one’s consumers through a 3-step process: learning the behavior, finding your moment and being simple but deep. He also cited various case studies such as Target’s in-store campaign, Bullseye’s Playground, and an interactive phone application to explain his point. He challenged the floor to think out the box in this digital age, demonstrating the importance of technology in marketing and implementing the right digital strategies.

Fergus O’Hare, the head of APAC for Facebook Creative Shop, was another inspirational speaker at the event. “Creativity in the Mobile World” was his message, showing the audience various online functions which companies could utilise to better interact with their target consumers. He emphasised on the potential that technology had to offer in bridging the gap between companies and consumers.

On a lighter note, Geeks in Cambodia had the pleasure to explore really interactive exhibitions this year at Spikes Asia 2015. Several international brands that were part of the creative industry could be found at the exhibition area over the course of three days. It featured renowned names such as Ogilvy & Mather, Edelman, Modelēz International, Instagram and so on.

One such exhibition that relied heavily on the engagement of attendees was the Instagram booth, which we had a crush on. There were two sections from you to choose from – a usual white squared border which acted like an instagram post, and a more interesting three dimensional set-up that made it look like you were hanging from a ceiling. It made you think out of the box yet have fun at the same time! We were delighted and waited patiently at the booth to receive the little print out of our picture after we uploaded it onto Instagram and hashtagged “spikesasia”. There were also wooden standees with works from various brands to illustrate how they incorporated Instagram to help in their branding.

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Photo Credits: facebook.com/SpikesAsia

Photo Credits: facebook.com/SpikesAsia

Photo Credits: facebook.com/SpikesAsia

Amongst the exhibition, the Pepper robot stood out. Pepper is a new humanoid robot that is designed to live with humans. Created by Aldebaran for SoftBank Mobile, Pepper is able to understand humans’ emotions and translate the state you are in by analysing your facial expression, body language and words you use. He then adapts his undersanding accordingly to the changing of your emotions. As you gradually continue interacting with Pepper, he will intelligently recognize you and learn new things about you.

Photo Credits: facebook.com/SpikesAsia

To wrap up the eventful three days, the Awards Ceremony this year was held at the grand Ritz Carlton Ballroom in Singapore. Pre-ceremony, many queued anxiously outside the ballroom to find out the results of this year’s prestigious Spikes Asia 2015 awards. As we stepped into the ballroom, we were greeted by stunning lights that illuminated rainbow streaks and upbeat music pumping in the atmosphere. Lions Festivals CEO, Phillip Thomas, kicked off the event by thanking the various 93 judges from across APAC. This year, an astounding number of 4, 351 entries from over 18 categories were submitted and 421 winners were chosen, setting a new benchmark ever for Spikes Asia and the region. The festival inspires creativity and celebrates innovation, seeaing many winners bag home awards that they have worked hard for.

Many submitted works this year were to create awareness of social causes and in a way or another helped to solve issues in society.

One such work that left a lasting impression was the Look at Me campaign, an initiative aimed to help autistic children improve their social skills and interaction with people. This campaign took home the PR Grand Prix: Cheil Worldwide Seoul, South Korea, Samsung Electronics, ‘Look at Me’ Print. It made use of Samsung smart devices and collaborated with doctors, professors and app developers to come up with this app. The campaign was launched on a microsite and online media. It leveraged on various social media platforms and traditional media to successfully launch it. There was a significant improvement in how children made better eye contact and could express themselves better.

Another campaign that helped cope with issues in society was the Life Saving Dot campaign by Grey Group Singapore that bagged home the Grand Prix Innovation Award which was sponsored by RadiumOne. Iodine deficiency was a problem for most women in rural India and although supplements were available, women did not have a habit of consuming them. However, almost every other women in India wears a bindi so the clever idea of integrating iodine into a bindi was developed and put to action. To view a full list of Spikes Asia 2015 winners, click here.

Through the many works that were showcased this year, Spikes Asia managed to show how crucial a solid digital strategy can  in this ever evolving digital age. We left feeling both inspired and encouraged as many works not only tugged us at our heartstrings but also served as a reminder on how any idea can grow into something.

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Written by Andrea Tan and Valencia Toh