Spikes of inspiration

We delved into the digital award winners of the recent Spikes Asia competition to pick our favourites.

par Mark Tungate , Adforum

One of the interesting thing about creative awards is that they tend to reflect society’s current concerns and preoccupations. So what do some of the more striking digital winners at Spikes Asia have to tell us?

Travel was certainly a theme, perhaps due to the various forms of disruption facing the industry: the shift to digital (which contributed to the recent demise of Thomas Cook), enhanced security, and growing concerns about pollution, weighed against a natural desire to see the world.

The most remarkable example, however, was all about time travel. The “Timeless Journey”, from Dentsu for the Stradivarius Festival, is a remarkable blend of data, design and creativity – all in aid of an analogue expression of beauty. It won the Digital Craft Grand Prix.

On the more conventional travel front, we loved the “Earnbassadors” campaign by Che Proximity in Melbourne, for Velocity’s frequent flyer programme. By giving away points in return for eye-popping social media videos, it provoked a countrywide outburst of creativity. It won a silver.

A silver winner in both craft and mainstream digital was the “City of Possibilities” campaign from TBWA Singapore. It involved shipping an exquisite miniature version of the city to a trade fair in Germany and allowing attendees to explore it with an avatar. Singapore has always looked like the future.

Ah, yes, the future. Many campaigns had an eye on it, with plenty of nods to climate change and the need to reduce waste. Australian clothing brand Bonds, with help from Leo Burnett Melbourne, cleverly launched a new line of recycled clothing by recycling its advertising, too. The idea reaped a silver.

A bleak future was at the centre of Sony Music Entertainment’s silver-winning campaign for the rock band Amazarashi, from Six Tokyo. The band’s social streams, its latest single and even its live concert were all censored.

Even more alarming – perhaps because it’s real – was a campaign featuring a city where the ageing population is accelerating the closure of family-run restaurants, which struggle to find customers and new owners. The solution, a guide to “endangered restaurants”, is both clever and touching. It won a silver in the Integrated category.

Talking of food, we were charmed by this amusing digital Gold winner from India, which encouraged people to make odd sounds into their phones in order to score a free meal. The fact that the agency was Dentsu Webchutney only added to its appeal.

Finally, we had a good laugh at the case film for the Polo “Unfail” stunt for VW by DDB Sydney. Your eyes may widen in alarm – but there’s a twist at the end.