I arrived with absolutely no preconceived notion of what to expect. It was my first trip to Singapore and my first time ever at Spikes. The thickness of the humidity hit me hard and I doubted I’d make it through the week alive.
Fortunately I was sharing the Direct and Promo judging with a talented, passionate group of people who made the experience a smooth and enriching one. That and the air-con helped a little.
We rolled up our sleeves and began sorting the greatness from the good. With entries up on last year our first day quickly became a long night, so we kept each other alert with green tea and jokes, because you never know - your last case study of the day could very well be your Grand Prix. Some campaigns quickly stood out, like; Words Can Be Weapons from China and Animal Strike from NZ.
By day three we were deliberating metal from an incredibly high quality shortlist. To me, Bronze feels like the new Silver. Winning one is a massive achievement in itself. The work that rose to Silver, however, was exceptionally brilliant on multiple levels, and to take home a Gold Spike was a piece of work that everyone was unanimously blown away by. Rice Code was untouchable as was the beautifully crafted Mother Book.
We came away inspired and proud of the amazing body of work we’d curated.
I’d also been invited to judge the Young Spikes Integrated competition and on the Friday morning heard presentations from 17 countries. As a former Young Lion winner in Cannes, 2007, this was a very surreal moment for me. Having come full circle to now being on the other side of the room, I could completely identify with these young teams putting everything on the line after only 24 hours with a brief.
The Direct and Promo jury kicks back
It was refreshing seeing the rawness of their thinking and passionate presentations, instead of super-polished case studies. The moment we saw the work from the Philippines we knew we’d found Gold.
The power of a great idea is something we should continue to strive for each and every day, no matter how blurred the lines get between mediums, the crazy advancements in technology or the ever-complicated business processes we’re guided by.
It was an extremely rewarding and invigorating few days and I couldn’t imagine a better time to be in the creative business.
Iggy Rodriguez is creative group head at Leo Burnett Sydney