Who’s Winning Digital In Asia-Pacific?

We take a look back at last month’s Adfest in Thailand and handpick some of our favorite work.

by Philippe Paget , Maydream

When you’re around the awards circuit as much as we are, even the best work can look a little tired the third or fourth time around. So when we decided to pick the best of last month’s Adfest winners in Thailand, we took a more personal approach. Here’s a selection of some campaigns that appealed to us.

It’s no secret that AI and voice technology are creating wonderful opportunities for innovative campaigns – as last year’s “JFK Unsilenced” from Rothco/Accenture in Ireland demonstrated – but few are as touching as “Project Revoice” from BMW Dentsu in Sydney, Australia. The work won a clutch of awards at Adfest, including the Innova Lotus and the Grande for Humanity. As the agency succinctly puts it: “We gave people with Motor Neurone Disease the ability to speak freely in their voice, even after they’d lost it.”

One of the big winners in this year’s Adfest was the Hakuhodo network, and we found much to enjoy in their entries. From Japan, there was a useful yet uplifting idea in the form of the Bird Hearing Test. This allowed older people to diagnose hearing loss in one of the sweetest ways imaginable – and it won a Gold in “Best use of technology for mobile.”

Although we’d watched it a few times before, Hakuhodo’s transformation of a traditional Japanese hotel using Nissan’s “ProPilot” technology still made us chuckle. It’s a good lesson in how to express a technological advantage in an entertaining way. Nissan may be going through some turmoil at the moment, but at least it has a sense of humor, which is always an attractive trait in a brand.

Let’s stay with Hakuhodo for a moment. Or rather, for 720 hours. That was the length of its 24/7 online teen drama for Y!Mobile, which had young viewers all over Japan riveted to their screens. It won a Gold in “Best use of digital & social.” Big, brave and totally 21st century, it also had a neat “live” twist at the end, proving that kids still dig analogue too.

Moving on, here’s the “Super Air Down Drone Attack” from Innored, Seoul, for The North Face. It won a Silver in the guerrilla marketing category. While not exactly digital, it’s certainly technological. Come on! It’s drones delivering anoraks! Are you not entertained?

Finally, one winner that had us nodding our head in appreciation was the Design Lotus, perhaps because the case study references Magritte. Inspired by climate change and born from the creative talent of TBWA/Santiago Mangada Puno in the Philippines, this is a can of paint that’s also (sort of) a tree.