Campaign Brief Asia asks two creative thinkers from the region to highlight recent great work that caught their eye from around Asia and globally. Creative Circle contributors this week are Jessica Tan (above left) and Jax Jung (right).
Digital Creative Director
Asia: My pick for Asia is an anthology of films from SK-II STUDIO that celebrates their longstanding #ChangeDestiny purpose, and features six female athletes, including gymnast Simone Biles, and table tennis player Kasumi Ishikawa, as part of their campaign for the Tokyo Olympics. The films are visually stunning, using styles from anime to futuristic 3D to depict the women facing down fears and obstacles that have grown into larger than life monsters: their personal kaijus. In particular, I love the film with surfer Mahina Maeda: it is a beautifully edited film that plucks expertly at the tension between traditional societal expectations and the freedom of diving headlong into the thundering waves that call to us.
This is a great example of purpose-driven, creative communication from SK-II. The universal human stories connect deeply with customers who now expect companies to be more responsible and conscientious about the impact they have on society. Beyond the films, there are also virtual and physical pop-up activations, and a charity pledge to help tackle social pressures impacting women today through the power of film and storytelling. Bravo!
Global: Virtual production is not new: brands like Volkswagen, BMW and Garena have embraced it in recent ads as a more sustainable and flexible alternative to expensive on-location shoots. This is powered by breakneck advancements in game engines, driving ever more realistic environments and animation in real-time.
In an exciting recent development, Unreal Engine, the leading game engine behind Fortnite, has released early access to Metahuman Creator, their new online tool which allows users to create realistic digital humans in minutes. While I don’t feel the uncanny valley has been completely conquered, the characters are very realistic since they are based on scanned data. More impressively, they can be customised to great detail and animated in real-time. This is a great advancement on a historically difficult problem and I can’t wait to see future applications of this technology.
Global Creative Director
Asia: Judging a batch of advertising shows this year, there has been a handful of ideas I’ve seen that tackles the marketing challenges of advertising amongst the year affected by the global pandemic. There has been so many genius ideas that have impacted lives, changed perception, and solved creative solutions to a much changed industry. As I found myself judging the work that had more meaning, more value, more sympathy, I couldn’t help but to remember the campaigns that just made me laugh. At the end of the day, 2020 was a year everyone wants to get rid of right?
One of my picks for best work coming out of Asia goes to Ogilvy Hong Kong for the Pizza Hut x IKEA SÄVA campaign. It’s a brilliant collaboration between two brands. IKEA and Pizza Hut Hong Kong had partnered on a new pizza recipe that uses IKEA’s famous meatballs as a topping. But the collaboration didn’t stop there — it also includes a life-size version of the tiny table that comes in pizza boxes called SÄVA. The special edition pizza-themed furniture came in flat-packed inside a pizza box. The case film was witty, and the craft and presentation was an added bonus. I couldn’t help but to feel jealous of this campaign and wish I had done it first. It’s so simple, like why didn’t I think of that?
The partnership couldn’t have happened at a better time, where everyone was forced to stay home, eat at home, work at home. Pizza and a fun piece of furniture from Ikea would have definitely been what everyone needed. Kudos to the team who brought this match-made-in-heaven collaboration to life. And thank you for keeping a sense of humor during the roughest pandemic year.
Global: Not only has Pizza Hut and Ikea furniture win my heart over during the year of the pandemic. How can anyone get used to work life on endless zoom meeting calls? Those calls that would have been done an hour ago if we were all in one place, now becomes a new norm as we shift our focus onto a screen. A global favorite of mine was The Coors Light Clone Machine by Leo Burnett that allowed you to create 30 second looping videos of themselves acting engaged in a conversation. The Zoom background captured you pretending to attend (and stay focused) during the meeting so that you can actually grab a beer and sit back and have your cloned-self attend to your needs. It’s entertaining, clever, simple and really tapped into a human insight of video-conferencing fatigue. Again, a lot of great work coming out of 2020, but the ones I remember the most are the ones that made me smile or laugh. Definitely, a campaign I wish I’ve done.
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