People ask how life’s been after winning the ‘Healthcare Agency Of The Year’ at Cannes. And the first answer that comes to mind is ‘busy’. Cannes is over and seems to have happened a long while ago. In fact it got over the moment our entries were sent out. And we’ve been on to new clients, new work and new challenges since then. From which I’m looking forward to taking a slight breather to reboot with new insights, learnings and conversations, while judging at Spikes Asia this week.
While the Spikes awards have come home (or rather to office) many times, I have never been to the Spikes Festival. In that sense, I am a Spikes virgin.
So what’s the big deal about Spikes? Or is it just another award festival vying for your money. The big difference for me is that it is a festival along with an award show – so there are three days of workshops, seminars, etc. and that always comes with a huge learning. The second difference is that this is a festival focussed on Asia. Like we know, Asia comes with its unique insights and therefore unique work.
In fact, while it’s not fair to generalise, some regions come with their own distinct kind of work. I am looking forward to seeing some left-field ideas; some emotional, some whacky – amazingly executed in print and television from Thailand. Some high-end use of technology from Japan coupled with some unexpected thinking driven by their unique culture. I am looking forward to bold, gutsy and witty ‘Dumb ways to die’ kind of integrated work from Australia and New Zealand. Large, empowering campaigns like ‘Share the Load’ and ‘6 Pack Band’ from India and China.
I am also looking forward to interacting and learning from a jury of my peers. Seeing how they react to work, hearing what they think the trends are. I am looking forward to learning from each piece of work we judge. And there are going to be a lot of them, there were 72 per cent more entries in the Healthcare category this year!
Most importantly I’m looking forward to work from India getting its due and standing out amongst its Asian counterparts.
(Amit Akali is managing partner, What’s Your Problem and CCO, Medulla Healthcare Communications. He will be judging the Healthcare category at Spikes Asia, being hosted in Singapore from 21 to 23 September.)