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Lack of originality in Asia? Not true, look at creativity in mobile says Wayne Arnold

Mobile marketing example

Lyrical School’s iPhone takeover for ‘Run and run’

How marketers in Asia are using mobile is helping to dispel the myth that this region lacks originality and is only good at copying work done elsewhere, the CEO of digital agency Lowe Profero has suggested.

Writing on LinkedIn today, Wayne Arnold, who is based in Singapore but has a global role, said that what he is seeing instead in Asia is “the desire to leapfrog traditional creative thinking altogether, leaving legacy ways of working behind.”

Asia, he suggested, has embraced the shift to mobile a lot more readily than other markets, and marketers and individuals have responded quicker to create content for audiences using mobile devices.

Citing mobile as an example of where Asia is particularly creative, Arnold said: “In the West there are still very few truly great mobile-first examples, unlike here in Asia where mobile is normally the starting, and sometimes also the ending point.”

Arnold pointed to an example of creative work from J-Pop band Lyrical School that was produced exclusively for the iPhone for its new single, Run and run.

Arnold commented on the work: “Here, Asian creativity is giving the world an entirely new spin on mobile video. Crafted by an industry known for its eccentric taste, the content has been shot in portrait aspect and integrates Apple IOS notifications; Twitter, FaceTime etc., making it look like someone has taken control of your iPhone.”

“The video works by creating a feeling of immersion, making you feel like you’re a part of the process of creating and sharing the content across social media,” he said.

Arnold began the piece by saying that when he first moved to the region three years ago, he was often told that “in Asia I would see a copycat creative culture. I was assured I would witness few new creative ideas and definitely not encounter a rich ground for innovation.”

“If this was not bad enough; this lack of originality was caused by a huge gap in the level of local talent required to deliver great creative work,” he said.

“As with most sweeping generalisations of this type, the truth is actually very different. Whilst there is no doubt, finding great talent is a challenge in the region, isn’t it everywhere?” he said.

Arnold’s comments come the week after Singapore’s most glamorous shopping mall withdrew an image created by a local agency for a promotion after it emerged that it was a copy of the work of a British fashion photographer.

At the start of the year, the Agency of the Year award at Malaysia’s Kancil Awards was withdrawn after it emerged that the winning agency had copied the work of an overseas design student.

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