Well, It’s Not Cannes: A Case for Spikes Asia

Well, It’s Not Cannes: A Case for Spikes Asia

It may not have the glitz and glamour of the Northern Hemisphere awards, argues young Spikes attendee and creative at DT, Sam Dickson (pictured above). However, returning from this year’s Spikes Festival which celebrates creativity in advertising, Dickson is a changed man.

The elevator conversations always started the same way: “Oh hey, you’re going somewhere soon aren’t you? Sparks or something?”

Fair question. If I hadn’t been lucky enough to win Young Spikes I wouldn’t have known much about it either.

I assumed that it would be something like Cannes, only slightly tweaked for the Asia Pacific. It wasn’t, but that’s what I ended up liking most about it.

You assume that by September you’ve seen every good creative for the year .If you missed the case study at D&AD, you’d seen it at Cannes.

Which is why when the Spikes shortlists came out, I wasn’t bursting at the seams to go and check out the work. I thought it would pretty much be a re-hash of everything I’d seen in the past 3-4 months.

Sure there were a couple of award magnets still doing the circuit, but (to my surprise) I saw some really brilliant work I’d never seen before…and much of it was region-specific. For example, ‘The Life Saving Dot’ from Grey Singapore. If you haven’t seen it, check it out below.

It’s a genius initiative to help women in rural India with iodine deficiencies (a major cause of disease in the region). They turned the bindi that all married Hindu women wear into a disposable patch that gives them their daily dose of Iodine.

Oof…take that iron fish!

Another great one is the mosquito repellent newspaper from Leo Burnett in Sri Lanka. They partnered up with national newspaper Mawbima to help fight Dengue Fever by infusing citronella into the ink printed on every page (case study here). A great idea born out of local insight.

Even some great Australian work that had flown relatively under the radar at Cannes struck a chord at Spikes. ‘Melanoma Likes Me’ from George Patts Melbourne picked up the Grand Prix for good (check it out below).

In a time where brands are being asked to stand for something and work to make positive change and not push product, it’s great to see our region is at the forefront of some this thinking.

Which is why I’m surprised that there aren’t more Aussies/Kiwis in attendance.

At the award show, it was obvious how we feel about Spikes. We’ll enter our work, we’ll send over our CEO or CCO to pick up the awards, but we won’t send over a hoard of creatives and clients to immerse themselves in the Festival like we do at Cannes.

Sometimes the glitz and glamour of the northern hemisphere agencies and award shows make us forget about the great work that’s being made on our doorstep. As a product of Australian adland, if I was guilty of this mind-set I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Spikes only crime seems to be is it’s not big enough…yet.

So when you’re divvying the award and training budget next year remember: Spikes isn’t Cannes and that’s why you should go.


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