This year's AdStars award judges select their favourite work from the Festival judging

Jacques Seguela.jpgCampaign Brief Asia has already shown off the major winners from this year's AdStars International Advertising Festival, but as with any awards judging there is often discussion, sometimes heated, on the results.

For instance, in conversations with jury president, Jacques Seguela (left), he believed very strongly that one of the Grand Prix of the Year prizes should have gone to "One Photo A Day in the Worst Year of My Life" spot from Saatchi & Saatchi Serbia for Fund B92. "This should have been the clear winner of the Grand Prix", stressed the emotional Seguela after the judging process had concluded. However the nice thing about the AdStars judging is that once the individual juries have concluded the judging of their categories, all 21 jurors get together in one room and decide the final two Grand Prix of the Year awards, that each carry a $10,000 cash prize.

Here's what the other judges had to say about their favourite work from AdStars.

20130226_img(43).jpgJosy Paul
Chairman & CCO
BBDO India

Overall best work at AdStars: The best of AdStars was the "TXTBKS" campaign from Philippines. The campaign made use of Smart SIM cards in storing textbooks condensed in SMS format. The SIM cards were launched in public schools in the Philippines, and students were able to use even old cellular phones as a sort of e-book reader. TXTBKS used a simple and low-tech solution to make a profound sustainable impact, allowing children to carry lighter bags. The idea is significant because it has the power to create profound change. When a communication idea becomes useful to society outside of mere commerce, you feel proud that your profession is truly contributing to the lives of everyday people and making the world a better place.

Sunlight Pig.jpgThe best from your own jury: The ad for Sunlight dishwashing detergent depicting an angry pig holding onto crockery is outstanding. The idea is surprising and something I had never seen before. The image hits you in an instant and stays with you forever. The execution is brilliant and dramatizes the power of Sunlight to remove stubborn food odors in the most unexpected way. Wish I had done it!

The ULTIMATE PENCIL.jpgStaedtler Japan's "The Ultimate Pencil" promoting the Mars Lumograph fine pencil is another one of my favorites. Still photography was used to capture the process of drawing this fine illustration of the "Old Man". It  is designed to show each and every wrinkle on the craggy face of the old man. The material was then produced and published in the form of graphics, television commercials and a book. It's a simple idea but the craft just lifts it to a whole new level of detailing and storytelling. It makes an ordinary pencil extraordinary.

20130128_img(11).jpgYukio Nakayama
Dentsu Inc Tokyo

Overall best work at AdStars: HomePro "The Other Side Project". The other side often means dark and hidden, but in this case it means bright and open. It is quite a different approach for Home Pro, which has already won awards, and was fresh to me.

The best from your own jury: the Politicians Work! Now I understand that creativity can move even Russian politicians. Given the present situation in Russia, the work is really brave.

Metro Trains "Dumb Ways to Die". If all the ideas for the work related only to Metro accidents, it would not have spread in this way. I feel it is real because there are millions of dumb ways to die in the world, such as dying in a war you are ordered to go to by someone else.

20130226_img(55).jpgAndrew Hovells
Board Planner
Jaywing, United Kingdom

Overall best work at AdStars: The standout entry for me was Brazilian giving blood campaign, partly it because planned media around building a story rather than just getting eyeballs, but most impressively, they created huge behavioural change by working out they could be part of what people were interested in and making a cultural contribution.

The best from your own jury: In my own judging category, the suicide bridge is a great case study because it saved lives. Too many campaigns hide behind soft 'brand measures' this idea teaches us we can change behaviour at the most profound level if we look for the right context to show up in. Finally, the Beijing Duck was just great, becoming a much loved part of Thailand's youth culture, actually imbedding itself in the rhyming slang. Few achieve that level of credibility and love. 

20130405_img(7).gifStone Lei
180 China, Shanghai

Overall best work at AdStars: The Bridge of life. It is an ad but different from common ads. Make a full understanding of the brand is the basic premise. Then the suited carrier of brand concept in reality was found, that is Mapo Bridge and its special stories. However, the essence of this campaign is far beyond these. Other than those abstract slogans and concepts presenting in print ads and TVCs, the campaign focused on specific actions to strike people more effectively. On account of the fitness between Samsung Life Insurance and Mapo Bridge and the insight to people's common emotion, the realization of core idea is filled with the milk of human kindness. The particularity of the campaign idea, that is reducing suicidal behaviors, is bound to cause attention and topicalities. Moreover, the creative and touching performance has an enormous impact on a much bigger audience.

The best from your own jury: My Blood is Red and Black. Creating an unexpected relationship, choosing a well-matched event and focusing on the right audience are three main factors of this successful interactive campaign. Common methods to call for blood donation often has little effect. People need a specific reason to stimulate their passion to do donation. Building a close relationship between blood donation and football game is a super excellent idea. And football game has characteristics of high attention and long duration, which are benefit to launch and advance the campaign. Moreover, crazy football fans are much more easily affected. Based on these, the creative relationship has successfully converted fans' passion for football to the will to donate blood.

Topicalities ran through the whole campaign. The idea of taking off the red from the football team's jersey was the beginning and the progress for the color to come back triggered continuous topicalities. The setting of specific donating reason and the direct presentation of donating result has raised people's engagement.

UNIQLO Dry Mesh Project. This is an interesting campaign to create a new way to run ads and expose the brand. Jumping out of the traditional thinking, they incisively found the potential usage for presenting ads on the existing media. With out media cost, the campaign has successfully achieved the high exposure degree and give people a entirely new experience to see brand information. How smart it is! The campaign has gave us the idea to break our formed views about existing matters and open up our minds.

20130226_img(15).jpgHector Fernandez
Publicis Mexico

Overall best work at AdStars: To me, the best piece of work of the whole festival is Dumb Ways to Die. It's not very often that a campaign can become part of the popular culture, even more difficult when the campaign is actually a Public Service Announcement. It's funny, well executed, simple and beautifully crafted (and on top of everything I'm sure it wasn't to expensive to produce). It's, definitely, the one campaign I wish I had done this year. By far.

The best from your own jury: To me there's one piece of work that rises head and shoulders above the rest. If we agree that creativity is our capacity to solve problems, then the most creative campaign to me in AdStars is the Smart Text Books, from the Philippines.  It goes beyond advertising, gives the brand a higher purpose and solves a developing country's problem with a simple, creative and resourceful idea. Using surplus simcards and old analogue phones to create one of the most innovative education tools for kids in the Philippines, and other countries with the same problem, is simply genius.

20130226_img(35).jpgDavid Guerrero
Chairman and chief creative officer
BBDO Guerrero Philippines

Overall best work at AdStars: I don't normally have much time for 'themes' of advertising shows. But I think the AdStars one (sharing creative solutions that can change the world) was quite useful - and of course plays squarely into our collective vanity. (We're not just in advertising - we're making the world a better place!) It did at least give something for our intensely bright and wonderfully diverse jury to get their heads round. On this score I continue to be impressed with the Smart TXT bks idea. It is simple, appropriate and can create real opportunity. And I think to get through this set of judges was no mean feat. Congratulations to all concerned. (Incidentally we also discussed how good it would be if Samsung Insurance took it upon themselves to spread the Bridge of Life idea around the world too.)

The best from your own jury: On our own panel it was a pleasure to see the craft of the Staedler Pencil work from Japan at close range. I'm not sure whether it makes you want to start sketching or vow to stick to photography. But it is compelling to look at just the same.

Sunlight Pig.jpgFilipinos are obsessed with pork at the moment (the local news is filled with scandals about misappropriation of 'pork barrel' funds). And perhaps appropriately I found the greedy hog on the washing up liquid ad standing out from the rest of the contenders. It may be repellent but it gets your attention. All we need now is for someone to share this creative solution with the anti-corruption campaigners. Then we really might start changing the world.

20130226_img(11).jpgMorihiro Harano
Mori Inc Tokyo

Overall best work at AdStars: Dumb ways to Die. Idea, craft and result, everything is perfect.

The best from your own jury: I love the Bento Box idea in Direct. It is based on the perfect insight and executed very simply.

20130128_img(3).jpgElvis Chau
Anomaly Shanghai
Overall best work at AdStars:
I was judging PSA and two of my favourite from this year's show are both from PSA so I'll answer both question together.

My personal favorite is "TXTBKS" from The Philippines. Great creative makes life better and this piece of work is a very good example. It solves real problems and I can see this idea being easily adapted in different markets to help more kids. Also, it helps the old phones to find new values.

I also love "My blood is red and black" from Brazil. Not many people are truly passionate about helping others, and this idea is very smart by making good use of football fan's passion. It is surprising, entertaining and it makes more people donate their blood.

20130128_img(7).jpgTomaz Mok
EVP Director of Professional Services
McCann Erickson China
Overall best work at AdStars:
Disregard the countless times I have seen The Dumb Ways to Die campaign, it still arrests my attention and it's my most favorite for all time. It's so genuine but highly contagious from repeating the tune to the thoughts of avoiding stupid acts. It is indeed the truth well shared.

The best from your own jury: The Samsung "Bridge of Life" and Brazil's Soccer Club Victoria "My Blood is Red and Black" are both well liked by the juries. Both are innovative and arousing emotion. The Bridge of Life does not stop people committing suicide but it injects the better side of life through the music idea, at the right spot. But I believe the bigger idea goes beyond the bridge by integrated communications. Same wise, the My Blood is Red and Black idea really touches the passionate soccer fans. What's better than the fans' support in building the spirit of their beloved team with their own blood? In reality, this passionate idea achieves two objectives - filling the blood bank and enhancement of the soccer team's image.

20130128_img(15).jpgEric Cruz
Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide Malaysia
Overall best work at AdStars:
The most interesting new work, (not necessarily the best work since I was familiar with most all the entries) is the One Photo A Day in the Worst Year of My Life. I thought it was brilliant, so relevant and surprising. It takes a common internet phenomenon of "a photo a day" and twisted it into a very chilling story of domestic abuse. I just loved the way that it told a very strong narrative, telling something that happened in 360 days into a 3.5min story that just really grabbed you. It was simply produced but delivered such a strong and potent emotion. As an awareness campaign it was super effective. We loved this one so much and it presented quite a good debate when we were judging the final Grand Prix. We didn't award it Festival Grand Prix simply because it wasn't an idea that would "travel" or have legs as a campaign. But just the same, it was a very strong film.

I also quite like the Uniqlo "pinterest storms" because it was a fresh way of doing something. Shows the way forward on "social experience content" generation. Its not a "big idea" per se, but a rather fresh way of executing something which you can only experience right now, speaks of the times... IOHO it only happens once and you have to be "on" to experience it.

The best from your own jury: I quite liked the Korean TVC for "Find The Words". It didn't win GP, I think silver. But i love that Korean TVCs are finally starting to come up to the same level as Korean Cinema, which I think is some of the most original and best in class worldwide. I always wondered why film directors weren't rubbing off enough on commercial directors, but were now finally seeing the work elevated.

I've been coming to Korea since 97, visited there with Jureeporn Thaidumrong in 2005 when she gave a lecture then to Korean advertising and even then the state of Korean advertising was still just coming up, it hadn't reached a state of critical mass. And in just the last 3 years, all of a sudden they got good and are competing on a global level.

The second piece I loved was HomePro "The Other Side". I just loved how it was two solutions in one, multipurpose, multifunctional... a billboard that can be utilised as a fully functional home appliance. Truly a solution that change the world. Just a truly moving piece of work.

20130612_img(7).gifHans Brindfors
The Brand Union Sweden
Overall best work at AdStars:
SunSnack "Beijing Duck", because it shows that humor has a strong attraction and engagement. It went straight into my heart. Simple idea, strong execution.

The best from your own jury: Beijing Duck and the Staedtler Pencil campaign.

20130226_img(19).jpgKit Ong
Y&R Vietnam
Overall best work at AdStars:
I really like "TXTBKS". I feel this is the best time to be in our industry because of ideas like this. The great ideas today are no longer just ideas that are messaged to the people. And great ideas have the power to become stories that are shared and spread. TXTBKS is another inspiring case study to show how far we can push this thing.

The best from your own jury: I believe being creative is also about being sensitive. When you are sensitive, you 'see' things. The guys who worked on The Other Side Project were probably sensitive to the possibility and the opportunity with signboards and dilapidated shelters for HomePro.

Another piece of work that I like actually came from outside the judging room. It was an idea posted under General Public (done by university students). It was an idea called Smile2. They thought of adding dental floss to a toothpaste cap. This design helps us to easily floss after brushing teeth as they all come together.

20130226_img(47).jpgFredrik Sarnblad
SVP, group strategy director
Mullen Boston

Overall best work at AdStars: We saw a lot of great work from Korea and around the world, both in terms of ideas and craft. In the public service category, the TXTBKS campaign from the Philippines stood out because of the strength of its idea and tangibly positive impact on society. And like a lot of the strong work that was recognized, this campaign transcended advertising to realize Adstars' vision of changing the world through creativity.

But the entry that made the greatest impression on me was "My Blood is Black and Red" from Brazil. Built on the insight that people only think about donating blood when someone they really love is in need, this campaign was equally irreverent and brilliant in its execution, let alone clearly effective. I tilt my hat to the creators of this campaign - not just to the individuals who came up with the idea, but to the entire agency team for its ninja project management effort to pull it off. Stripping the revered Vitoria team jerseys of their color red, only to gradually bring it back as fans began donating blood is an incredible accomplishment in itself.

Staedtler_OldMan.jpgIn the Design category, the The Ultimate Pencil for Staedtler Japan (awarded a Grand Prix) is a case of exceptional craft. The story behind the executions also helped give this work depth and richness to increase emotional impact, and doing so in a way that demonstrated the long tradition behind the Staedtler brand. Interestingly, while this campaign advertised old technology - pencils - the work was striking, different and fresh.

Picking up a Grand Prix in the Promotion category was the Thai campaign, Beijing Duck, or perhaps more appropriately, Flaming Duck. This campaign really deserves recognition for its, well, crazy creativity. It got all of the judges in our group laughing. While the idea is brilliant in itself, the real magic lies in the execution. You really just have to watch it to understand. Beijing Duck is great example of how a brand, on a small budget, hi-jacked a current news topic and spun it to the crazy extreme for unadulterated entertainment. Not the right approach for every category, but definitely spot on for promoting a product like the spicy, duck-flavored sunflower seed snack from SunSnack.

20130226_img(23).jpgAndi Sadha
Activate Media Nusantara
Overall best work at AdStars:
Dumb Ways to Die. Which was delivered with the very basic component (but often forgotten) of a campaign: great engaging content. And the ability of the content to morph itself to become stronger within each medium used (from a song, to a clip, to a game and a karaoke platform) should be meaningful learning for other brands thinking of executing a multimedia campaign.

The best from your own jury: My Blood is Red and Black. A campaign that understand the insight (the fanaticism of intended target audience with soccer and its club) and the courage of the brand owner to play with what must be one of the most sacred brand elements (the color) for greater cause.

Also SunSnack "Beijing Duck". Witty and daring, which needed to stands out for a brand within a highly cluttered and competitive snacks category.

20130226_img(27).jpgEddie Wong
National ECD
DraftFCB China

Overall best work at AdStars: It has to be the "Smart Txtbks" from the Philippines. It isn't an ad. It's a brilliantly effective idea that solves a society problem in a practical way.

The best from your own jury: "Dumb Ways to Die" is interesting and still very entertaining to watch. However my heart goes to the more emotional "Bridge of Life" from Korea which is about solving problem where the problem is. Again, it's another brilliant idea that's far more innovative, practical and effective than an ad.


Looks great. said:

Some very good work getting rewarded. Particularly like the bridge of life and the my blood is red and black - brilliant ideas. The crafting of the pig and the Staedtler print work is also outstanding.

Good to see different faces on the jury compared to the usual choices.

I obviously agree with the sentiment about the judges;)

PrimeMinister3 said:

I'm interested in the General Public Smile2 entry (dental floss on a toothpaste cap). Is there somewhere I can see this entry? Thanks!

Magnifique said:

I love the Uniqlo stuff!!! A PURE digital idea with style and excitement and don't get that everyday.

A lesson for those who only know how to create lame apps for charity and awards.

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