The unofficial winners of Spikes

Spikes AsiaAfter three days freezing in Singapore’s Suntec Convention Centre and one night in a casino – sorry, integrated resort – Mumbrella’s Robin Hicks has a few awards of his own to hand out.

"I made Martin Sorrell"

Jackie Stewart: “I made Martin Sorrell”

Most accurate prediction: most stuff that won at Cannes will win at Spikes.

Most common observation about creativity in Asia: where would we be without Australia?

Biggest take down of a senior ad man: F1 great Sir Jackie Stewart. “I made Martin Sorrell. He has used to carry my bags.”

Most common complaint about the venue: why is Suntec Convention Centre colder than Greenland?

Quirkiest award winner: ‘Batting practice center’ for Murata Kampo Chinese Herbal Medicine by Dentsu.

Most unfortunate incident during a presentation:  During a talk on how data can help creatives, a fly flew into the mouth of Matt Harty, APAC boss of Accuen, hit the back of his throat, and he swallowed it.

Best conference session: A Contagious talk on the fight for people’s time.

Best agency presentation: Hakuhodo on what ad agencies are capable of. Something new – and not a creds presentation.

Biggest question asked about the entries: what was that one that got thrown out by the media jury for having iffy results?

Biggest moan among journalists: Is it fair that only Campaign Asia gets the results under embargo? Yes, we know Haymarket owns half the festival.



Least trusting of Suntec audio technology: Sonal Dabral, chairman and chief creative officer of DDB Mudra Group (right), who said “check” every time he was passed the microphone during a panel discussion on creative bravery.

Most intriguing potential combination of event attendees: ad folk and the congregation of happy-clappy church City Harvest, who shared Suntec on Sunday.

Biggest gripe for media agencies: why are there so many creative agency entries in the media category, just like at Cannes?

Hmm, I wonder how times this ran?

Hmm, I wonder how many times this ran?

Most fun game: spot the real print ad.

Most surprising action of the judges: not handing out a grand prix in the print or print craft category.

Least admirable action of the judges: not awarding the kids anything in the Young Spikes Asia’s Agency Shoot Out Competition.

Agency most conspicuous by its absence in the running for Agency of the Year: Ogilvy, the global network of the year at Cannes, was beaten by McCann, BBDO and DDB.

Most common complaints about Singapore: why do the cab drivers not know where they’re going, and why does a beer cost S$20?

Who wants a free bag with an alien printed on it?

Anyone for a free bag with a robot on it?

Most popular sponsor stand: Androidify. Customised canvass shoulder bags, oh yes. Google comes second giving away free fruit juice.

Best dressed: former Fluid MD Andrew Au. Beautiful cream blazer. How much does this man spend on clothes?

Best ambush marketing: McCann. Brought their own ‘Truth well told’-branded lanyards to replace the ones Finch had paid thousands to sponsor.

Weakest round of applause: for Dumb Ways to Die by the time it had won its sixth grand prix.

In this case, not meaning getting very drunk.

In this case, not meaning being drunk.

Most awkward awards ceremony moment: A demo video of Amnesty International’s Facebook app that highlights the trouble people can get into if they break laws in strict countries. Made for uncomfortably viewing sitting in an auditorium in Singapore, particularly the bit about lashes. 

Most patronising presentation: Bates CHI & Partners founding partner Johnny Hornby. Had the faint whiff of a London ad man who jumps off the plane to tell Asians how good work is made.

YouTube presentation

Marquese Scott

Best dancefloor moves: Marquese Scott in the YouTube session.

Best insult in the opening line of a presentation: Naked’s global behavioural sciences Adam Ferrier refered to the round of applause his audience gave him as “piss weak”, then excuses his language with “I’m sorry, but I’m Australian.”

Most appropriate category for Dumb Ways to Die to win: Branded Content & Entertainment, according to the jury chairman of that category Anthony Freedman.

Biggest winner if Dumb Ways to Die didn’t enter: DDB DM9’s Smart textbooks campaign.

Liberation wrapper

Liberation wrapper

The ad the awards ceremony audience found the funniest: Liberation wrapper: the freshness burger by Dentsu.

Biggest local news story going on in the real world: Lee Kuan Yew’s 90th birthday.

Best quotes: “Only bad prostitutes advertise” – former adman, now founder of Ninety Nine Percent, Calvin Soh.

“It is my great hope that one day Americans finally realise that Singapore is not part of China” – Leo Burnett Asia’s strategy chief Saurabh Varma.

“There’s a generation of people looking down at their hand not up at the world” – Tom Uglow, Head of Google Creative Labs.

Games of Thrones

Best delegate freebie: A Game of Thrones book from director David Nutter’s session.

Most useless delegate freebie: A hand fan from Innocean. As useful as a chocolate teapot in the arctic conditions of Suntec.

Best party: JWT’s – until one of the neighbours on Scotts Road called the police and it was shut it down.

The best thing to happen to Singapore’s agency scene during the festival: News emerging of the launch of Dutch hot shop Strawberryfrog.

Prince of Wales

$30 a night and $5 a beer

Best hotel: The Prince of Wales in Boat Quay.

Biggest blooper in the awards script: in the creative effectiveness category. As far as anyone knows, the individual who collected the award for Share a Coke, announced as Ogilvy’s regional boss Paul Heath, has not started wearing high heals and green dresses.

Most awkward moment during the awards ceremony: The film category. After being asked for his reasons for choosing the winners, jury chairman Tham Khai Meng was clearly frustrated that all three minutes of the entry video for Unilever India’s ‘Lifebuoy’ campaign wasn’t played. He said to the MC: “Why didn’t you play the whole video? MC: “Don’t complain to me, tell the organisers.” Tham: “Sorry, what was the question again?”

For those who missed all of Unilever’s gold Spike-winning entry, here it is.

Best way to describe a big idea: a “moonshot”, according to Google Asia’s Tom Uglow, head of creative labs, in his talk about self-driving cars and wearable technnology.

Most shocking ad for the awards ceremony audience: A winner in the media category from India inserted scenes featuring condoms into soft porn films for an AIDS charity. View the video here.


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