Advertising agencies in Asia call their work crap

Spikes Asia is an annual get together for the creative communications industry to share ideas, network and possibly drink too much. It is considered by many to be a melting pot of creative talent from the east and the west and anyone who is anyone in the industry should be there.

There are lots of seminars, workshops and exhibitions. Work exhibited at the event is judged by leading creative minds and awards are handed out to the winners. A Spikes award is much coveted by anyone in the creative industry. The 2013 event was held in Singapore in September.

You are probably wondering why I am commenting on such an event, especially as I have written before that I think there are too many of these events and as a result creative people focus less on delivering value to clients and more on winning awards. Few people agreed with me. I remember some years back we interviewed a creative guy who had won nearly 200 awards and he was only 22!

I’m commenting again because I came across an interesting article on the mumbrella site about comments made at during Spikes Asia. Sonal Dabral, Chairman and CEO of DDB Mudra Group India said, “There is a restlessness among creatives to achieve fame fast without really understanding the consumer or the client’s product.”

Advertising in Asia is crap
Advertising in Asia is crap

He went on to say, ““Greed and shortcuts” are partly to blame for why there is “so much crap” advertising in Asia.”

Calvin Soh, the former creative head of Publicis Asia Pacific and now founder of Ninety Nine Percent said, “If you have a truly great product, you don’t need to advertise.”

You can read the full article here. Leading minds in the creative industries saying that a lot of what they do is crap, that many in the industry don’t understand their clients and that many companies don’t need to advertise does make me wonder why companies continue to let advertising agencies take responsibility for the success or failure of their brands.


4 thoughts on “Advertising agencies in Asia call their work crap

  1. Some companies have truly great products (one may cite Apple). How come they still advertise. I disagree with Soh’s statement to a certain degree…


    1. Hi Stefan

      For a long time Apple didn’t advertise. Nor did Starbucks. Personally I think Apple has to advertise because it doesn’t do social! If it were feeding the narrative it wouldn’t have to advertise.


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