AdFest 2010: Review of the category winners

Funeral.jpgMore than 50 advertising executives gathered in Tokyo last week to judge the 2010 AdFest Lotus Awards. Not only was it the biggest international advertising event ever held in Tokyo, but it was also the first time AdFest has moved its Jury session outside of Thailand in the festival's 13-year history.

"People might think this year's AdFest is less important this year because the results are posted after Cannes. But I think differently. Cannes is over. The Cannes Jury, as hard as they try, don't pick up everything. Sometimes really, really good work doesn't make it in Cannes," says AdFest judge Ted Lim, Executive Creative Director and Deputy Chairman at Naga DDB Malaysia (Pictured below).

Ted Lim .jpg"There is a second consideration, which is quite critical as well. In Asia, there are a large number of quite small agencies comprising of 10 to 50 people - agencies that do not have the funds to enter their work in big award shows like Cannes and D&AD. AdFest plays an important role here, because it is comparatively affordable. These smaller agencies could be producing Cannes material, so AdFest is a good place for their work to be spotted."
AdFest is stressing this year more than previously that jurists were committed to rewarding work that is truly representative of Asia - made in Asia, for Asian consumers. As a result, the winners of AdFest 2010 differ significantly from the winners at other global award shows.

This year, seven Jury panels scrutinized almost 3,000 entries to the AdFest 2010 Lotus Awards, and only a small percentage of cutting-edge entries were shortlisted to win.

Victor Ng.jpg"Before we began judging I told the other Outdoor judges that the important thing we're doing here today isn't to decide the winners, it should also be to direct next year's winners. Essentially we're sending a message to the rest of the industry about the progression and the direction of advertising. When all is said and done, we can now say that this year's Lotus winners are the few shining examples that will lead the industry into 2011," says Victor Ng (pictured left), the former Chief Creative Officer at Euro RSCG South East Asia & Singapore, who is this year's Jury President for Outdoor.

Japan once again dominated the Cyber category, winning 9 of 17 Lotuses awarded. Best of Cyber went to Uniqlo Lucky Switch by Dentsu Inc (which also won this year's Grande INNOVA), while 2 Gold Lotuses were awarded to Uniqlo's 'Collection Tokyo 2009' campaign by Dentsu Inc and 'Uniqlo Calendar' by Projector Inc. Japanese agencies also won 5 Silvers and 1 Bronze in Cyber.

BBDO Singapore won 3 Silver Lotuses, and the other Silver Lotus went to Bartle Bogle Hegarty China in Shanghai.  Ogilvy One Shanghai won 2 Bronze, with Droga5 Sydney, Wieden + Kennedy Tokyo and JWT Melbourne winning 1 Bronze each.

Brett.jpg"In order to win Gold, you have to create work that makes you go, 'Wow, that's amazing, I wish I'd thought of that or done that". This year's Gold Lotus winners are all singularly unique and new ideas," says Brett Mitchell (Left), Digital Director at Droga5 Sydney and Jury President of Cyber.

Mitchell admits this year's Cyber Jurists were difficult to impress. "We saw many fantastic bits of work that didn't get up for a bronze, and I thought perhaps they deserved to. But although our Jury was quite tough, this means that even the Bronze Lotus winning campaigns are great pieces of work. We've set a very high level."

Leo Burnett / Arc Worldwide Singapore's 'Funeral' campaign, written and directed by the late Yasmin Ahmad, won the Best of Film Lotus.

Steve_Henry.jpg"It's just a stunning piece of work: it's emotional, powerful, beautifully scripted, acted and directed. I challenge anybody to watch that piece of film and not feel emotionally engaged with it. It is very difficult to celebrate family values in a way that isn't cheesy - when I think of family I think of things like the Hallmark Channel and Disney, whereas this approach is very adult. The bravery of the idea is so powerful," says Steve Henry (pictured left), Grand Jury President, who also oversaw the Film Lotus and Radio Lotus juries this year.

Overall, Bangkok won the highest number of Gold, Silver and Bronze Lotuses in Film, winning 9 of a total 33 Lotus awards. Agencies and production companies in Sydney and Melbourne won 7 Film Lotuses, on par with Tokyo, while Mumbai walked away with 7 Lotuses in the Film category. In total, there were 8 Gold, 13 Silver and 21 Bronze Film Lotuses awarded this year, plus 1 Best of Film, from a total of 464 entries.

The Gold Film Lotuses were awarded to: Publicis Mojo Sydney, 'Pure Waters', James Boag's Draught. Leo Burnett Sydney, 'Crowd Rider', Subaru. JWT Bangkok, 'Ballroom', Top Charoen Optical. Leo Burnett Limited Hong Kong, 'Murder', Breathable Pillows. Ray Corporation Tokyo, 'Gardening Ship/Cockroach', Television Saitama. JWT Bangkok, 'Bridge', Muang Thail Multiple CI campaign. Ogilvy & Mather Bangkok, 'Que Sera Sera', Thai Life Insurance and Ogilvy & Mather Taiwan, 'Deaf Father & Daughter', Franz Collection

vespa_she_hated.jpgPRESS & POSTER
More than 800 entries were received into this year's Press Lotus and Poster Lotus categories, but only a handful of Gold, Silver and Bronze winners made the cut this year. "Less is more," says Ted Lim, who is Jury President of the 2010 Press Lotus and Poster Lotus judging panels. "This year, we've tried to only award the best pieces, so if you win a Lotus this year, it's very valuable."

The Best of Press Lotus went to Ace Saatchi & Saatchi Manila for Vespa 'Our Ride She hated' (pictured), thanks to its charming use of copywriting. "If you look at what's happening in Asia Pacific, there's a lot of spectacular craft and execution, but here the proposition is expressed in a very tongue-in-cheek, funny way. It's really, really charming and from a guys' point of view, it says, 'Even if I'm a born loser, I want a Vespa'. It's fresh because it stands out from the rest of the work that's won, and for that reason we felt that it deserved Best of Show," says Lim.

3m_Marble.jpgFuji-1.jpgFan Ng, Executive Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi Great Wall, Guangzhou, was also impressed by the two campaigns that won Gold Press Lotuses: JWT India's 'Funeral' for Fujifilm Finepix Cameras (left); and Creative Juice\Bangkok's (TBWA) 'Marble' for 3M (Left).

"It seems we haven't awarded a lot of work in the Press and Poster categories, but the winners we chose are really outstanding. Especially, I think the Gold winners are campaigns we'll remember. It's not the trends or techniques that make them so good, it's the emotional change you experience when you see them," says Ng.

Overall, there were 1 Best of Press, 2 Gold, 7 Silver and 12 Bronze Lotuses in the Press Lotus category.

In Poster, there were even fewer Lotuses awarded: 1 Best of Poster, 1 Gold, 5 Silver and 10 Bronze. Creative Juice\Bangkok's (TBWA) 'Marble' for 3M won Best of Poster; while JWT India's 'Funeral' for Fujifilm Finepix Cameras won the only Gold Lotus in the Poster category. Three agencies in Mumbai picked up 3 Silver Lotuses in Poster: JWT India (Fujifilm Finepix Cameras); Ogilvy & Mather Mumbai (The Economist); and Taproot India (Conqueror paper). The remaining 2 Silver Lotuses both went to Creative Juice\Bangkok (TBWA) for the 3M Cushion Wrap campaign.

AdFestJudging.JPGINNOVA & 360 LOTUS
Grand Jury President Steve Henry said he feels inspired by the experimentation that is taking place in the Asia Pacific region. "It's been a difficult time for creativity generally for various reasons thanks to weaker financial conditions and changes in the media marketplace. Certainly in London there seems to be low morale within advertising agencies at the moment, and yet here in Asia there seems to be more confidence and experimentation. There's some real innovation and some great fresh thinking going on," says Henry.

Overall, Henry was impressed by the quality of winners, but said the quantity of good ideas in the 360 category was underwhelming.

"To be honest, I'm slightly disappointed with the 360 entries. The winners are very, very good, but I wanted to see more of it. The quantity wasn't necessarily very good, but the winners were very fresh, very brave, and very interesting," says Henry.

Three other agencies walked away with INNOVA Lotuses this year: Bartle Bogle Hegarty China for WWF 'Fate's in your hands'. Projector Inc in Tokyo for Uniqlo Calendar and Beacon Communications K.K. in Tokyo for Yubari City Project. Leo Burnett Sydney also won Finalist for its EOS Photochains campaign for Canon.

This year, New Zealand's DDB Auckland walked away with the GRANDE 360 Lotus for its '4th Best' campaign for Moro in a very close battle with 'New National Animal' for Sanctuary Magazine by Contract Advertising in Mumbai, which won a 360 Lotus instead.

The Moro '4th Best' campaign is inspired by Auckland's recent ranking as the world's 4th most livable city, while 'New National Animal' highlights the alarming plight of the Indian tiger, which is fast becoming extinct.

"Using typical New Zealand humour, DDB built a campaign around the number four and coming fourth, which is quite a nice idea. The 'New National Animal' idea was possibly stronger, but from a 360 perspective, Moro just had more spokes in the wheel and a whole lot more elements to the campaign, so it won on that basis. I think the Jury made the right call on that," says Brett Mitchell.

777interactive also won a 360 Lotus for the Lupin Steal Japan Project, while there were two Finalists awarded in the 360 category: BBDO Guerrero/Proximity in Manila for 'Lola Techie' Bayan DSL; and Ogilvy & Mather Mumbai for Vodafone 'ZooZoos'.

From a total 195 entries in the Print Craft Lotus category, just 3 Gold Lotuses, 7 Silver Lotuses and 4 Bronzes were awarded.

Ogilvy Shanghai won Gold for Art Direction for 'Weave' Garmin GPS; and Remix Studio Bangkok won 2 Golds - one for its Retouching/Image Manipulation for 'Lung' Madhop; and another for its 'Intestine/Heart/Lung' campaign for Madhop.

In the Design Lotus category, there was just 1 Best of Design, 3 Gold, 2 Silver and 4 Bronze were awarded from a total of 164 Design Lotus entries.

Thirasak pic.jpg"The quality of winners in Print Craft and Design sets a very high standard not just in Asia but internationally, it was a world-class level. Our shortlists were not very big, but the campaigns we gave metal to were very strong," says Thirasak Tanapatanakul (left), Worldwide Chairman at Creative Juice Bangkok, who is Jury President of the Print Craft & Design Juries.

Dentsu Inc Tokyo won Best of Design for OLFA Cutter; it also won a Gold Design Lotus for its Thunder Night fever Campaign. SenseTeam in Shenzhen, China, won Gold for SGDA & LOOOK, while Creative Juice\Bangkok won Gold for Tamiya Model Kits Shop.

The Outdoor Lotus Jury awarded 1 Best of Outdoor, 2 Gold, 8 Silver and 7 Bronze.

"The Outdoor category is growing by leaps and bounds," says Jury President Victor Ng, Chief Creative Officer at Euro RSCG South East Asia & Singapore. "We are seeing a true evolution of great outdoor ideas thanks to the growth of technology. Agencies are really being a lot more mindful of the strategic insights that inspire an idea, so it's no longer about 'Hey let's vandalize this street'. It's more about asking, 'Why are we doing what we're doing in terms of results and effectiveness?' It just shows how quicly this industry is maturing, and I think that's really encouraging."

GT Tokyo won Best of Outdoor for Hills Post 2009 (Japanese New Year Cards), while the 2 Gold Lotuses were awarded to McCann Worldgroup Mumbai (Onida Washing Machines) and Grey Hong Kong (Umbrella Bag / Bucket).

From a total 158 entries, there was 1 Best of Direct, 2 Gold, 14 Silver and 8 Bronze Lotuses awarded in the Direct Lotus category.

Ravi.jpg"Normally you get a lot of trash entered at award shows, and you have to weed out the best entries from there. But this year, there wasn't much trash entered. The work definitely had a high standard to it, I think the entries were of good quality, and the few that made it right to the top were truly disruptive in their thinking, not to mention well-executed," says Ravi Deshpande (left), Chairman & Chief Creative Officer at Contract Advertising Mumbai, and Jury President of Direct this year.

"Typically you see a lot of work that is typical of Direct as a category. This year, we saw winners that were very unlike 'Direct' - the whole ballgame has shifted towards digital, field marketing and integrated campaigns, and that diversity was refreshing," says Deshpande.

adfestJudging 3.jpgContract Advertising Mumbai won Best of Direct for 'Donkey Thrashes Tiger' / Sanctuary Asia Magazine, which also won a 360 Lotus. The 2 Gold Direct Lotuses were awarded to Leo Burnett Sydney (Canon EOS 'Photo5') and Phoenix Colombo (Iodex 'Little People').

There were only 4 Lotuses awarded in the Radio category this year, and just 5 finalists, with Mumbai taking home 3 of the 4 Radio Lotuses awarded. Despite the fact there were no Gold Lotuses awarded, Leo Burnett Mumbai did win Silver for its sexual abuse campaign for Akshara Helpline.

"This campaign deals with sexual harassment in a horrible, slimy way so the narrator is actually laughing about the issue. I love pieces of work where the creatives and clients take a risk. This is a very serious issue, and it would have been very easy to tackle it in a very straight, serious way. But I think the courage of using dark, satirical humour to get the message across makes it 10 times more powerful. It dramatizes the way people don't take the issue seriously in a very subversive way. It is a stunning piece of work," says Steve Henry.

Leo Burnett Mumbai also won Bronze for its 'Mandatory Voice Over' campaign for SuprActive Complete, while Taproot in Mumbai won Bronze for 'Gargline' for Nirma Shudh Salt. The final Bronze Radio Lotus went to Leo Burnett Melbourne for 'If it Exists' and Seek.

While Bangkok won the highest number of Lotuses in the Film category, Australia and New Zealand dominated the Film Craft Lotus category, winning 11 of 16 Lotuses awarded. (Bangkok won just two Lotuses in Film Craft, equal with Tokyo.)

McCann Erickson in Bangkok won this year's only Gold Film Craft Lotus for Ivy Thai Traditional Coffee in the Production Design category.

AdFestCraft.jpg"The set design in this commercial was interesting and clever. The agency used very primitive materials to create a modern factory, so the set design became a huge part of the idea. It was very well done. The humor felt particularly Thai, but the quality of the crafting felt international," says George Mackenzie, Managing Director at The Sweet Shop in Sydney, who was one of 7 Jurists on the New Director and Film Craft jury panel.

Yasmin Ahmad's 'Funeral', by Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide Singapore, also won Silver for Directing, as did 'Pure Waters' by Publicis Mojo Sydney for Boags Draught, while The Sweet Shop won Bronze in the Directing category for Pure Blonde 'Dove Love'.

This year's Film Craft and New Director Jury were particularly tough critics, with only a handful of Lotuses given out - in fact, many campaigns that won Gold at Cannes this year only won Silver or Bronze at AdFest. However, despite the small number of Lotuses awarded, Jury President Kazuyoshi Hayakawa believes the standard of film craft in the Asia Pacific is impressive.

"Some members of our Jury thought the quality of entries in the Film Craft category wasn't that high, but I personally didn't think so. We didn't give out more than one Gold, although I thought there was one campaign that qualified. Of course advertising has a lot to do with the economy and market situation so from that point of view, I think there were some very good spots - especially from Australia, we saw a lot of good ideas. Unfortunately Thai and Indian advertising has been a hot topic over the past few years, but this year I think we saw a lot less of that," says Hayakawa, who is Director at Camp KAZ Productions Inc in Tokyo.

In the New Director Lotus category, only 2 Bronze Lotuses were awarded to DDB Singapore and WOW Inc Tokyo.

AdFest's newest award category, Lotus Roots, is uniquely designed to celebrate the rich diversity of cultures in the Asia Pacific. This year, seven agencies from six cities won Lotus Roots awards, while Beacon Communications K.K. in Tokyo walked away with the Grande Lotus Roots for its Yubari City Project campaign. In 2007, Yubari City was declared bankrupt and needed an advertising campaign that would help the city reverse its debt of $330 million. Beacon Communications devised a delightful campaign that repositioned Yubari as a city of lovebirds, because married couples enjoy the lowest divorce rate in Japan. Thanks to this campaign, more than 3,000 newlywed couples have traveled to Yubari to bless their marriages, with a 10% increase in annual visitors.

The other Lotus Roots winners were: Contract Advertising Mumbai for 'New National Animal' and Sanctuary Magazine, Dentsu Inc in Tokyo for 'Toto Talk', chinaMMIA in Beijing for CCTV-Ink, Ogilvy & Mather in Gurgaon for India Posts, Taproot India in Mumbai for Conqueror Paper, Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide in Singapore for 'the Ministry of Community Development, Youth & Sports and Ogilvy Shanghai for Unicef.

Full results on the AdFest website.

AdFestJudging 2.JPG


Anonymous said:

Come on Lynchie this is lazy reporting who in Australia and NZ won what? Where is the headlines etc. There where a lot of winners it would be nice to credit them if you are going to make this show part of your rankings.

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