Sunday, September 20, 2009



The Spikes were once the symbol of cream of the crop in Asian creativity in advertising, organized by the region’s most dominant and knowledgeable trade magazine Media. It coined the phrase “Best of the Best” in fact, that it became word-of-mouth.

Until Asia Pacific Advertising Festival, now known as Adfest, came and took a few carats away.

Established in 1986 to reward the most inventive Asian advertising campaigns, Media's Spike was the sole award giving body for Asian creativity where the likes of Neil French, David Droga, Craig Davis, Mike Fromowitz, Steve Elrick, Bhanu Ingkawat, Suthisak Sucharittanonta and other Asia-based creative directors made marquee-size names in the region.

In the same awards show, the Philippines made history by winning a first gold after many years of trying in a tough show of global caliber. Leo Burnett Manila won it in 2002 for “Lolo”, a tv spot for McDonald’s.

With Adfest aggressively positioning itself as the “Cannes of Asia”, the original Asian Advertising Awards rebranded last year, a bid to bring back its old luster and give Asia a wider forum to celebrate creativity. To toughen the act, it partnered with International Advertising Festival (IAF) – organizer of the world’s biggest and most prestigious, the Cannes Lions.

When the joint venture between IAF and Haymarket, publishers of Media, was inked, a global organizational expertise, an award show that is timely, including assembling the strongest and most relevant juries possible dawned on the relaunched Spike Asia – the first Asian Advertising Festival.

Last week, in Suntec Convention City, Singapore, Terry Savage, chairman of Cannes Lions, opened what is supposed to be the region’s largest venue for individuals involved in creativity and communications.

World-class speakers delivered 26 insightful seminars, including collaborative workshops. Screenings of Cannes Lion winning Titanium and Integrated campaigns were held and delegates were exposed to revolutionary campaigns that changed the face of the industry.

Filled to capacity crowd were David Droga’s (founder and chairman, Droga5) “President’s Address: Where To Next?”, David Elsworth’s (VP Creative Excellence Coca Cola Japan) “Creating Creative Excellence”, Tim Isaac (Ogilvy Asia chair), Prasoon Joshi (McCann Asia Pacific ECD) and Atifa Silk’s (Editor-in-Chief, Media) “Is Asian Creativity Up To The Task?”, John Hunt’s (TBWA Worldwide Creative Director) “The Art of the Idea”, and Kentaro Katsube’s (Creative Management Director, Global Marketing & Communications Japan) “Creativity: From Tokyo To The World.”

Laura Desmond, CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group, one of the world’s largest media communications organizations chaired the Spikes Media jury; Fred Koblinger, CEO of PKP Proximity BBDO Holdings Austria, chair Digital, Direct and Sales Promo Jury; Rodney Fitch, chair of Fitch London, chair Design Jury; Piyush Pandey, Executive chair, O&M India and South Asia, chair Craft Jury, and David Droga, chaired the most awaited of them all – TV/Cinema, Print, Outdoor, Radio and Integrated jury.


Creative Guild of the Philippines 2008 TV Ad of the Year “Riles”, an anti-corruption spot made by TBWA-Santiago, Mangada & Puno for the U.P Alumni Association did the country proud and won a Gold Spike in TV/Cinema, aside from snaring a total of ten (10) Silver Spikes to put the country in stellar billings. All TBWA-SMP’s ten Silver Spikes came from Print and craft categories.

BBDO-Guerrero brought home four (4) Silver Spikes (Pizza Hut “Hate Late” Integrated campaign, 2 for Fed Ex and Piza Hut Outdoor entries “Mud” and “Bike Clock” respectively and bagged yet another one for the latter’s Radio version.

Lowe Worldwide added another Silver Spike to the Philippines scorecard for its Outdoor entry “Video City Joint” for Viva Entertainment. JWT Manila won three Bronze Spikes for its Nokia Dangerous Driving Awareness radio campaign, DM9 won two Bronze Spikes for Pro-Life and Schering Plough radio entries,
While DDB, Ogilvy, Universal McCann, Y&R and TBWA-SMP won a Bronze Spike each.

JWT was named Network of the Year having won three Grand Prix Spikes. Ogilvy & Mather Bangkok received the Agency of the Year honors for winning the Grand Prix in TV/Cinema. OMD Hongkong picked up the Media Agency of the Year plum while Robot Communications Tokyo won the Digital Grand Prix.

McCann Worldgroup Hongkong, which made a big splash in Cannes this year by winning the Design Grand Prix duplicated its feat by bagging the same award. Dentsu won the Outdoor Grand Prix for its Uniqlo “Human Vending Machine World Tour.” BBDO Proximity Malaysia, as expected, won the print Grand Prix for Jeep, becoming the most internationally awarded Asian ad agency this year.

Network of the Year: 1. JWT 2. Ogilvy & Mather 3. BBDO

Agency of the Year: 1. Ogilvy & Mather Bangkok 2. Saatchi & Saatchi Malaysia 3. BBDO Proximity Malaysia
Media Agency of the Year: 1. OMD Hongkong 2. JWT Singapore 3. Dentsu Tokyo

With the reinvention of Spike Asia and success of the 1st Asian Advertising Festival, it can now perhaps claim the official title of Cannes of Asia.