September is a busy month, and we’re back covering the events at Spikes Asia in Singapore. We are continuing the Creative Debates series after its lauded success in Cannes. Also, we have scheduled more Black Cab Interviews so please stay tuned! In case you haven’t heard of Spikes, it is part of the Lions Festivals, providing the Asia Pacific creative communications industry with a platform to network and exchange ideas.
In collaboration with jones knowles ritchie for our first debate, we’re discussing a bold topic for this setting: "Are awards just for egos?" Arguing FOR the motion, we have Nick Fawbert, Founder of The Creator Collective; Steve Walls, Head of Strategy at Publicis Singapore; and Harriet de Swiet, MD of Brand Learning. Battling it out AGAINST the motion, we have Katie Ewer, Strategy Director at jones knowles ritchie; Maciek Nowicki, CCO at Isobar Southeast Asia; and Richard Bleasdale, Managing Partner for Asia Pacific at Observatory.
Moderating the debate is Michael Tomes, Founder of Creativepool. It was Harriet who opens with a bang, “The only way businesses can grow in the long term is through customer centricity.” She also believes awards are the opposite of what clients are looking for, and by doing so it agencies are not interested in driving commercial performance.
Richard counters his argument by making very strong points about how the group boasts about award wins on their Linkedin profiles, websites, and in photo galleries. “Awards are about shining the light on the best work in the industry” and it’s about highlighting the work that is taking risks and innovating.
“Agencies' desperation to win awards is evil,” Steve replies. He also argues against by stating why there is no business case for award wins. With the rebuttal, Maciek stated, “I think awards can be abused like everything else in life” This is proven with a great analogy with a car & a kitchen knife, along with how we shouldn’t be scared of our egos because it is essential for propulsion.
Nick ends the debate on the opposition with a story about cargo cults. In a dramatic reading he elaborates on islanders in the South Pacific with pointless rituals and imaginary prises. “If there is meaning to these rituals they are lost somewhere in the mists of time,” he says.
Katie closes the debate, “Most of the things we will accomplish in our careers can only be measured behind closed doors.” She continued to expound on the statement above with one of the most dangerous assumptions made: creativity and effectiveness are mutually exclusive.
Michael then leads the debate into an open discussion about how “Awards are just for egos” and if that truly matters. The debate has proven to be both very interesting, and insightful points from both sides.
What are your thoughts? Stay tuned for our next debate on Agencies only talk about innovation.
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In Collaboration With
Creative Debates is a tonic to the endless one-way talks that are in abundance within our sector. The debates will tackle some of the most difficult questions and topics being faced by our industry, modelled on the old-school debate format with 2 teams opposing each side of the argument. The aim is to provide a broader understanding of the topic both for the participants but also with the Creativepool members and the industry as a whole.