David Guerrero: Entertainment rules at the Spikes Asia shortlist judging stage

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David Guerrero: Entertainment rules at the Spikes Asia shortlist judging stage

BBDO Guerrero’s Creative Chairman David Guerrero shares his Spikes Asia judging notes.


Brands across Asia are turning to longer-form dramatic video as well as a good deal of humor to capture audiences during the pandemic. At least that’s my impression having completed the first round of judging this year.

Film in general is as healthy as it has ever been. The best of what has been produced this year is indistinguishable from what might have been seen in a ‘normal’ year in terms of scale and quantity. There is an encouraging range of advertisers and markets represented.

And quite a bit of spending by government and official entities who have maintained their non-pandemic communications as well as the greater number of safety messages. Quite a few have taken the approach of lockdown as metaphor for other causes. And only a few have behaved as if they had not seen the ‘every pandemic commercial looks the same’ spot.

Same goes for case videos. We know. We are living through it too.

There is a fair amount of radio to listen to – and now a podcast category as well which has yielded one or two very promising results to my ears.

Meanwhile there is a very limited amount of print and publishing. Although the best of what there is will likely be worthy of some important recognition. Entries in this category are surely about to come full circle with some hardy pioneers trying some experiments in the medium. It is now as non-traditional as it gets, the action having well and truly moved on to digital and social categories. However the opportunity is there for someone to take this by the scruff of the neck and come up with something new. And I look forward to that happening in future.

Conceptually there is a quite a bit of compare-and-adapt. Ideas that we may have sort of seen somewhere coming through the wash and emerging in different colors but often shrunken in size. But really the breakthroughs are being made in sounding out authentic tones of voice. Hearing what people are saying and showing them in turn that we have been listening.

The best of what we are seeing in film can compare to seeing a good batch of Netflix trailers. The feeling is actual – as we like to say in The Philippines. And as always the commitment to execution is what gets a lot of the scripts over the line. Or at least, a line.

I’m not sure where the judging will end up – we are a diverse, talented and opinionated group. But I’m excited by what we are seeing so far. And look forward to the chance to share it with the world when we get to the conclusion of our deliberations at the Spikes Festival (22 – 25 February, online).