Adfest: one of the first award festivals of the year, and certainly one of the most colourful… The humidity, the street food, the evening excursions into town and of course, creativity at its sexiest… After missing the last three years, it’s been really good to be back and it’s even better, to be here as a Jury President, it’s truly an honour to be given this opportunity.
Adfest has always been the show that’s fun and is relaxed, yet serious in its competitiveness. It’s a truly Asian show. It’s also unique in that it is the industry’s first glimpse into the year’s best ideas from the region – the work that will eventually go on to win awards across the world.
Though Asia is kicking ass across all categories today, Press has always been, and remains, an Asian stronghold. Over the last five years, three Gunn Report #1 print campaigns have come from Asia – being Jury President for this category is a daunting task. The standards are high and the bar gets raised each year – this is seen in the quality and execution of the idea.
If you’ve been at Adfest this year, appreciation for such work can be witnessed in the entry exhibition hall. Attendees bending over to get a closer look, squinting and snapping photos with their phones. If you’re a serial eavesdropper like me, you’ll have heard creatives muttering, “how the hell did they do this?” or “who did the retouching?” And then there’s one of my favorites: “Damn! I had the same idea, but my client didn’t buy it!”
So, what were the jurors looking for this year? Trends and creative expressions change every year, but some basic ingredients will always feature: the human insight that inspires the idea; the bespoke voice of the brand; the way the idea makes you feel.
Great ideas will always rise to the top. They win Gold and Grand Prix. But even more exciting is that today, they’re shared and talked about. I love to see ideas that people want to tweet, or post on Facebook. Ideas that affect even our non-advertising friends.
It’s those ideas that will make me jealous, and even feel very small. Ideas that make me go, “Shite. I wish I did this!”
Well done to everyone.
Ronald Ng - Chief Creative Officer - BBDO Proximity Singapore