Four Hakuhodo DY Group ADFEST judges talk about Asia today

Apr. 13, 2017
  • Viewpoints
  • Awards

Celebrating its 20th year this year, ADFEST 2017 was held over March 22 – 25 in Pattaya, Thailand. Four Hakuhodo representatives served as jurors at ADFEST: Woon Hoh from Hakuhodo Asia Pacific, Kok Keong Chow from Hakuhodo Indonesia, Miki Matsui from Hakuhodo, and Sanshiro Shimada from Hakuhodo DY Media Partners.

This report presents the Grande winners in each category these four judged, the secrets to winning, and insights from a juror’s perspective.

Direct Lotus & Promo Lotus Jury President

Woon Hoh
Chief Creative Officer, Hakuhodo Asia Pacific

Samsung’s Touchable Ink dazzled as the Grande Direct Lotus winner. Touchable ink is ink used to print raised braille dots for people who are blind or visually impaired. What was impressive about this entry is that it generated a conversation between sei-katsu-sha and the brand, fostered a brand image both innovative and compassionate, and elicited direct and positive responses from sei-katsu-sha toward Samsung.

The Grande Promo Lotus was awarded to Nescafe’s The Dead Hour by Nescafe. This superb campaign used radio, one of the oldest media in the industry, to successfully promote the brand to its young target audience. The agency took the initiative to create a radio program with user-generated content by and for a young audience, making use of radio’s “dead” hour when there are almost no listeners. The idea was to invite young people under tremendous pressure at work or school to a radio station, where they could voice their anger and frustrations on air. The campaign was successful in persuading the target to participate in the program and shift these traditional tea drinkers’ preferences from tea to coffee.

If I had to name the secrets to winning in these two categories, I would say that novelty, innovation, simplicity, and insight are central. And particularly this year, the key was ideas that pave the way to a better life for people.

Grande Direct Lotus

Touchable Ink, Thai Samsung Electronics / Thai Association for the Blind (J. Walter Thompson, Bangkok)
Note: The video can be viewed on the official website at the address above for a limited time.

Grande Promo Lotus

The Dead Hour by Nescafe, Nescafe (McCann Worldgroup India, Mumbai)
Note: The video can be viewed on the official website at the address above for a limited time.

Integrated Lotus / Innova Lotus / Lotus Roots

Grande Integrated Lotus

Adidas Odds, Adidas (Taproot Dentsu, Mumbai)

Grande Innova Lotus

Smile Lock Outlet, Toyota I-Road (Dentsu, Tokyo)
Note: The video can be viewed on the official website at the address above for a limited time.

Grande Lotus Roots

Correcting History, Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang (CARMMA) (TBWA\Santiago Mangada Puno, Manila)
Note: The video can be viewed on the official website at the address above for a limited time.

Design Lotus & Print Craft Lotus Juror

Kok Keong Chow
Executive Creative Director, Hakuhodo Indonesia

I was very intrigued by The Unusual Football Field, an entry from the large Thai real estate developer AP that won the Grande Design Lotus. The title refers to irregularly shaped, non-rectangular football pitches. AP was lauded for constructing gathering places that people latently wished for in tight vacant spaces within densely populated urban districts, thereby fostering a relationship between people and the brand. The seven jurors eventually decided to honor The Unusual Football Field “because [the campaign] not only pushes the boundaries of design but signals that a good idea can change society in a positive way.”

The secret to winning in the Design Lotus and Print Craft Lotus categories, in particular, is the huge emphasis on craft. There were entries with excellent ideas that lost out due to their craft execution. Presentation panels and supporting materials (such as life-size posters or actual products) are valuable references in the judging process. Entrants should strive to ensure their supporting materials are flawlessly prepared.

Grande Lotus Design

The Unusual Football Field, AP (Thailand) Public Company Limited (CJ WORX, Bangkok)
Note: The video can be viewed on the official website at the address above for a limited time.

Grande Print Craft Lotus

Not awarded

Film Lotus & Radio Lotus Juror

Miki Matsui
Executive Creative Director,
General Manager, Integrated Planning Division, Hakuhodo

A Grande candidate from the Hakuhodo Group emerged in the Film category. During the debate over selecting the Grande winner from the three Gold winners, several of the jurors pushed for the Grande to go a commercial that calls for donations for Parkinson’s Disease research. The commercial used real footage of an operation to stimulate deep parts of the brain to alleviate some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. The narrator calmly talks about how humans have yet to solve Parkinson’s Disease. At the end, the camera suddenly pivots around to reveal that the patient actually undergoing surgery is the narrator. It’s a very moving and shocking commercial.

The rules, however, state that a Grande winner cannot come from a public-service category, so the next Grande candidate that popped up was Lyrical School, a viral film from TBWA\Hakuhodo. The era when commercials were only viewed on TV is past, and smartphones are now the device of choice to watch videos. That a commercial embracing this change emerged from Asia was exciting to the jurors. But when the debate heated up, the jury president spoke up: “It definitely has newness. But is it an idea big enough to influence the world? What about the option of not selecting a Grande winner?”

All the jurors except me approved the decision not to award a Grande Lotus. So Lyrical School turned out to be an exceptional Gold but not a Grande, and the Hakuhodo Group lost out on a Grande Lotus. But what we came away with was the lesson that both newness and a big idea are essential when aiming for the world’s highest peaks.

Grande Film Lotus

Not awarded

Grande Radio Lotus

Not awarded

Media Lotus & Effective Lotus Juror

Sanshiro Shimada
Executive Manager, Media Content Creative Center, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners

I did my best to serve as a juror at ADFEST 2017 in two qualitatively opposite categories: Media Lotus & Effective Lotus. I’ll report here on what I saw from a juror’s perspective — things you can’t see from the entrant’s side.

Key point in Media Lotus judging

Distilling the media category’s identity and a subcategory’s essence into a single entry

“We are the Media category, not a category competing on craft!” “Accordingly, what’s imperative is whether the idea has been brought to fruition by making the best use of media.” In other words, a key point the entries were judged on was how well do they fuse the identity of the Media category with the essence of one of the 16 subcategories.

Grande Media Lotus

The Unusual Football Field, AP (Thailand) Public Company Limited (CJ WORX, Bangkok)
Note: The video can be viewed on the official website at the address above for a limited time.

This project by the large Thai developer AP Thailand converted vacant, irregularly shaped spaces in densely populated parts of Bangkok into football pitches. Normally, you would think these nonrectangular spaces, in the shape of trapezoids or 90-degree bends, could never be turned into football pitches. But they are more than adequate spaces for the pure enjoyment of football, where local residents come together and play for the future without winners or losers. The large-scale design of this entry treated the very spaces as a medium and pulled off a bold value transformation from have-not to have. The jurors were unanimous in their praise that The Unusual Football Field was deserving of the Grande Media Lotus.

Key point in Effective Lotus judging

Harmony between strategy and creativity and result

People tend to think the Effective Lotus is a category that looks only at effects or efficiencies. But that’s wrong. What’s critical is a harmonious balance between the three elements of strategy (33.3 percent), creativity (33.3 percent), and result (33.3 percent), which were the judging criteria as well.

Grande Effective Lotus

Ojigi, “Garigarikun” Ice Pops (Dentsu, Osaka)
Note: The video can be viewed on the official website at the address above for a limited time.

I’m sure a lot of people are familiar with this campaign, so I won’t describe it in detail. Suffice to say the entry displays outstanding harmony between strategy, creativity, and result and spices every element with humor and a sense of Japanese. The general consensus was this campaign surpassed all other entries.

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