The Spikes Asia Awards 2023 shortlist has been unveiled and Campaign‘s editorial team has chosen some standout campaigns we expect to contend for the sharp, pyramidal trophies in this year’s awards.
Since the list is long, we’ll place our odds in two parts—today and Monday (6th March), selecting our front-runners from different categories. This is by no means an exhaustive list or an expert opinion, nor does it have any bearing on the independent juries. Really, it’s just a bit of a fun, and a chance for our uber-trendy team to highlight some good work, exercise their vocabulary and show off their best goofy poses.
Without further ado, today’s selection of contenders, in no particular order:
Quest for dyslexia
What it’s about: In China, there are over 15 million children affected by dyslexia, yet less than 5% receive a proper diagnosis. This leads to a lack of necessary support during a critical period of their learning development. To address this issue, Samsung partnered with Cheil Worldwide, Beijing to make changes. They used machine learning to track the players’ actions in ‘Young Warrior,’ the most popular adventure game in China. By analysing consistent misreading of quests, potential dyslexia cases were identified and notifications were sent to parents, encouraging them to seek further diagnosis. The hacked game served as an effective early detection tool, with over one million tests conducted in the first month and almost 25,000 potential dyslexia cases identified. Best of all, parents could easily test their children just by allowing them to play the game.
Nominated by: Shawn Lim, media and technology editor, Campaign Asia-Pacific
“I find Samsung’s campaign to be incredibly innovative and impactful. By using machine learning to track players’ actions in ‘Young Warrior,’ Samsung and Cheil Worldwide were able to create an early detection tool for dyslexia, which is a widespread issue in China. This not only raises awareness about dyslexia but also provides parents with an easy way to test their children for the condition. The campaign effectively addresses a critical issue and provides a solution that is both creative and accessible. I appreciate the use of technology in a way that positively impacts society, and I believe this campaign sets a great example for other brands to follow.”
This Daughter’s Day, tell your sons it’s just a period
What it’s about: This socially relevant spot by Stayfree is an attempt to normalise period talk in a regular Indian household. Many men grow up not understanding what periods are, the changes it brings to a woman’s body and mood, and why all of that is absolutely normal. Stayfree is tackling this cycle of ignorance by insisting on including boys and the whole family in period talk.
“Period is not a dirty word. It happens to half the population for most of their adult life. But ads leaning into nebulous euphemism or using blue ink for menstruation is beyond disgusting. And alienating. And further perpetrate the cycle of shame and silence for women. The ad fulfils two key criteria here. First, it shows leaks and stains, and that’s normal and refreshing. Second, it tackles the generational stigma and social conditioning of making periods a woman’s problem. It’s also serves as an important reminder that menstruation liberation can start with casual dinner table conversations—it’s that simple and that monumental.”
City Hall of Love
Brand: Closeup, Unilever
What it’s about: Shortlisted for two sub-categories, corporate purpose and social responsibility and use of social & digital platforms, in the brand experience & activation category, City Hall of Love in Decentraland celebrates all kinds of love and invites couples to register, host virtual weddings and get NFT certificate of marriage, forever immortalising the love on the blockchain. The Closeup City Hall of Love gives all couples an equal opportunity to get married and certified. Under the tag #FreeToLove, brand awareness rose as the campaign gained over 3 million impressions in just three days.
“It is one of Ad Nut’s favourite campaigns that made me remember this Unilever oral brand, Closeup and Decentraland. Metaverse marketing and NFT campaign might cool down after many years, but “dreamy idealism”, as Ad Nut said, will be remembered for the creativity and pursuit of happiness and equality, even just in the virtual world. The campaign connected virtual communities and people through social media and digital certificates. It also brought a new perspective, brave enough, for brands to review the purpose of the metaverse and virtual campaigns. “
Play Has No Limits Feat. Kenshi Yonezu
Brand: Sony PlayStation
What it’s about: Sony Playstation5 was launched in 2020 with the now famous tagline: ‘Play Has No Limits’. Hakuhodo-owned Six Inc truly put this brand message to the test by bringing in one of Japan’s most fun and creative musicians, Kenshi Yonezu, who loves PlayStation himself, to launch his new single with a cheeky music video in which he interacts with PlayStation games and characters. Yonezu himself had fun with the process, coming up with ideas for the film, designing the main characters and starring in the wonderfully childish film with rich cinematic elements.
Nominated by: Robert Sawatzky, editorial director
“This whimsical song in its accompanying music video is not only stunning in its effects, but is full of surprises that embody the idea of playfulness perfectly. Kenshi Yonezu’s shifty moves and goofy faces are a perfect foil for the Playstation game characters that interact with him. You can tell the artist is a gamer himself and in eleasing a new song through a brand campaign only proves that fun and play really does have no limits.”
Brand: Down Syndrome International
What it’s about: As metaverse began spawning avatars, it quickly became apparent that in the digital world, unrealistic beauty and body standards were being perpetuated as the norm. As virtual influencers were created, few were body positive and none had a disability. Down Syndrome International sought to change that by teaming up with Forsman & Bodenfors to create Kami – the world’s first virtual influencer with Down Syndrome. To ensure she was authentic to those she represented, she was co-created by 100 young women with Down Syndrome in 16 different countries whose bodies were scanned to collectively build Kami’s character and inform her looks, poses, movements and facial expressions. Complete with purple hair, the international colour of disability, Kami became available to bring her message of inclusivity to any digital venue.
Nominated by: Robert Sawatzky, editorial director
“The purpose behind the campaign, ensuring that people with Down Syndrome are represented in all of society’s different realities is what drives the digital craft. Witnessing how Kami was created gives you a full sense of the Down Syndrome community’s involvement in her every detail, from the global representation in rendering her avatar to the careful input and decision-making around how she looks and interacts in the most genuine way possible.”
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