Spot the difference

Here’s a print idea created way back in the early 90’s at DMB&B for client Burger King.

As you can see, it’s a tongue-in-cheek topical piece we created on the day of the fire at Burger King Robinson Road to apologize for the restaurant closure. The premise was simple. While we know our loyal fans love our flame grilled flavours, occasionally we burn the food…

The client loved it. Too bad they didn’t have the money to run it. Nor did the agency.

Fast forward to today and here’s the same tongue in cheek approach using a series of fires at Burger King restaurants around the world to celebrate the chain’s heritage and point of difference.

BS_ItalyIt’s just picked up the Cannes Gold Lion in Print.

BK_BS_Oregon_Creativity01

What separates them?

BKburnout

Not the theme or the sentiment. Both use humour to celebrate Burger King’s flame grilled flavours. To create an opportunity. To tell their story.

The answer is 26 years.

Fran Luckin, Chief Creative Officer, Grey, South Africa and Print & Publishing Lions judge said DAVID’s Grand Prix-winning campaign was “playful, authentic, and (had) a sense of being a little more edgy. Embrace your imperfection. It was brave and young, created in a social media age.”

Which just goes to show that there’s no such thing as a new idea.

Just new ways to say it with more reach. Chapeau to Burger King and the David team for making it happen.

Blak Labs does jury duty, the Grand Prix edition. 

Today is “Brexit” voting day in the UK. And after a week of jury deliberation, discussion and impassioned defences, we have just witnessed the effect our votes had on the winners of the 2016 Cannes Cyber Lions awards show. Before we get to the winners, let me take you back over the last couple days of being in the room.

Blak Labs Singapore in the company of inspirational Jury members during a break in our final Lions deliberations. L-R: Blak Labs Singapore, Ignacio from Google Argentina, Ravi from Whyness India, Fred from Mirum NYC, Chloe from RGA NYC, Bob from Host Sydney, Kris from Happiness Belgium.

Total number of entries reviewed. 2800. Total entries judged in Cannes: 1700. Final shortlist: originally 280. After a final prune: 230 if memory serves me correctly. http://www.canneslionsarchive.com/winners/entries/cannes-lions/cyber/

Chloe gives some last minute advice before we head back in.

 

We can award three Grand Prix. But will we?

Of those that made it through, you have already achieved something truly significant. Your work beat some world class crud. Our final list of golds looks like this. Not nearly enough from Asia.

 

 

The game-changing Gold winners. I wish I’d done any one of them. 

And after one round of voting for the Grand Prix, we have eliminated all but two pieces of VR. We pause and take a moment to discuss what that outcome would say about the category and our industry, not to mention our collective reputations. We vote again on just keeping these two exceptional pieces as golds. It is just too early for VR to lead the way. The craft has a long way to go. The experience needs to be more inclusive.

 

After the struggle, and the respectful discussion on our choices, we review, debate and vote on our final Grand Prix contenders. When we’re done, there is a huge cheer and lots of hugging followed by champagne to celebrate.

Cheers to an inspirational jury. Amazing people. New friends.

We realize what we have just achieved. And in record time apparently. So we head out to celebrate.

Prelim celebrations.

 

L-r: Megan from New York, Dirk from Germany, Ignacio from Argentina, Bjorn from Sweden.
A few hours later, we all attend the press conference for the announcement of the 2016 Cyber Lions and the Innovation Lions.

 

At the Press conference. Smile…you’re on Chloe’s camera.

After the intro from Phil Thomas, the Cannes Lions CEO, Chloe Gottlieb, our jury President and a Grand Prix Winner herself, takes the mic along with the President of the Innovation Lions, apparently the ‘fun’ jury…

Chloe kicks off the press briefing with an update of the key trends.

With the new filters that the jury has defined over the past week, we think that the biggest ideas deliver on several levels.

Final category defining filter notes.

They are seamless in how they travel between the cyber or digital world and the real world, i.e., no clunky tech getting in the way of the storytelling.

They’re beautifully crafted and above all, the thinking and approach deliver magic in how they touch people’s lives and move us towards ideas, brands and causes.

We decided to award gold to ideas that are game changers. To achieve a Grand Prix the thinking has to be iconic, enduring, universally appealing and live seamlessly in whichever part of our connected world you experience it in.

The two Grands Prix are quite ‘amaaaaazzzzing’ as Ignacio, everyone’s favourite Argentine from Google, occasionally says.

Jurors with everyone’s favourite Argentine. L-R: Ignacio from Google Argentina, Fred from Mirum NYC, Ravi from Whyness India, Blak Labs Singapore

One of them showcases how tech and AI has helped create a new Rembrandt centuries after his death. It’s brave and beautifully crafted.

 http://www.canneslionsarchive.com/winners/entry/754936/the-next-rembrandt

The other is the unbelievably charming story of Justino. He is the night security guard who engages the staff he never sees with simple beautiful stories and pranks told on Instagram and Facebook. The quality is Pixar-level, and the individual stories just make you laugh, cry and much more. (I am a huge fan, having followed Justino on his Instagram during the campaign.) ICYMI, it’s for El Gordo, the Spanish Lottery. Take a look http://www.canneslionsarchive.com/winners/entry/756159/justino

The team behind Justino. They arrived earlier in the afternoon. So it could only be gold. Little did they know that we gave them the Grand Prix. Lovely bunch. And that’s the lovely Teresa from Shackleton in Madrid in the middle foreground.

This is where ‘Cyber’ has its true strengths. As a means to connect and unite people behind a single possibility over a variety of digital and ‘real world’ channels. Which of course is the point. The category has evolved so much that the best work is alive wherever you experience it.
We hope you’re happy with our votes. It was exhausting, exciting and eventually extremely rewarding. Thank you to my wonderful fellow jurors, thank you creativity and thank you Cannes Lions and Mediacorp.

And congrats to Team Singapore for winning the Young Cyber Lions!

 

 

Blak Labs does jury duty

Well hello Cannes. What a pleasure to be here. It’s my first time – so a quick thanks to MediaCorp for putting me forward to judge the CyberLions. And thanks to the organisers for the lovely welcome kit. The welcome drinks were welcome too as I caught up with my fellow juror from Spikes, Kazu from Japan. 
The preliminary judging has reduced our task…slightly. So far we have collectively viewed over 2800 pieces of work. Individually we have gone through more than 500 entries online during the prelim round a few weeks ago. We’re still in our judging groups, which means no one has seen everything yet.

In the jury room, the shortlisting takes place in silence, which is occasionally broken by snorts, giggles, guffaws and sighs.  We view the work on desktop workstations with earphones listening intently to the carefully crafted case studies…which by now are all beginning to blur into one.

It’s a bit like being in a call centre. Except we’re not solving customers problems…There’s absolutely no chance of help if your idea is woolly, your case study not sharp enough, your objective irrelevant, your results less than convincing.

At the breaks and meals, there’s a fair bit of discussion about what exactly we have just seen. Is it a data idea? Who makes microsites any more? Why? Where are the Asian entries?

Each day, Chloe our president and previous winner, captures a new set of filters which we will use to define this year’s CyberLions.

Every now and then jurors get the chance to check out new tech. One bunch went to try the VR experience from the movie the Martian. I got to have a virtual knock up with Marina Sharapova.


We’ve had a couple of lovely dinners. At the first, the waiter was superb. His description of veal as baby lamb had everyone stumped. He could be the French equivalent of Borat.


That’s it for the time being. Tomorrow we do a final cull of the shortlist, before we get down to the real business of awarding the Lions.

Quick shout out to my long-suffering wife and partners for looking after things back in Singapore @blaklabs while I do this. Love you all!

I’m no expert…but this guy is

In the world of influencers, social media experts and of course, our own industry’s ‘creative experts’, there are few who actually know what they’re talking about and many more who just regurgitate other people’s hard work. @seanblanda has nailed it. Well written, well said and well worth your time.

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 17.38.19.pnghttp://99u.com/articles/53863/the-creative-worlds-bullshit-industrial-complex?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+The99Percent+%2899U%29

The power of email and good social content

I get a ton of emails every day, most which I just delete after a cursory glance.  But newsletters from the chaps at Bluewire Media always get read. The reason? I often learn something new. Plus they believe in the power of sharing and the “thank you economy”. They freely share their own social media planning tools and templates, which I find useful and they also do a bunch of podcasts, webinars and monthly giveaways. Which are also filled with good usable stuff. My advice? Check them out!
Yesterday Bluewire Media turned 10. So congrats to Adam (@Franklin_Adam) and Toby (@Toby_Jenkins) on achieving that milestone, from an independent agency owner here in Singapore! Your reach extends way beyond the shores of Oz, and your monthly competition does too!
Which is why I’d like to say thanks to Adam and Toby for letting me win their December competition.
The prize? Their top 25 marketing books, including their own publication.
Here’s my reading list for the next few months
  1. The New Rules of Marketing & PR by David Meerman Scott
  2. Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah
  3. Permission Marketing by Seth Godin
  4. Trust Agents by Chris Brogan
  5. Platform by Michael Hyatt
  6. Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk
  7. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
  8. Purple Cow by Seth Godin
  9. Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi
  10. Youtility by Jay Baer
  11. Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
  12. Content Rules by Ann Handley and CC Chapman
  13. The New Experts by Robert Bloom
  14. Content Chemistry by Andy Crestodina
  15. Reality Marketing Revolution by Mike Lieberman and Eric Keiles
  16. Spin Sucks by Gini Dietrich
  17. What’s the Future of Business by Brian Solis
  18. Power Stories by Valerie Khoo
  19. Unknown to Expert by Catriona Pollard
  20. Love At First Site by Jon Hollenberg
  21. microDOMINATION by Trevor Young
  22. Become a Key Person of Influence by Daniel Priestley
  23. The 7-Day Startup by Dan Norris
  24. Engagement from Scratch by Danny Iny
And of course their own book…
25. Web Marketing That Works by Adam Franklin and Toby Jenkins
I’ve no idea how much this competition set them back in terms of book purchases etc. But I do know that Adam and Toby have created something of real value with Bluewire News. If you’re interested to learn from a couple of chaps who’ve done it for themselves, then you can sign up for the newsletter here. I hope you enjoy their content as much as I do. 
And here’s a couple of little flipagram thingies I made over lunch using nothing but an iPhone, a pair of scissors and some sticky back plastic. 
Here’s to learning more and being open to trying new experiments in 2015 at Blak Labs. Thanks again guys.

Blak Labs young bloods win NexGen Challenge at the Singapore Gong Show

Occasionally we win things at Blak Labs. Here’s some news from last night’s Creative Circle Awards. V Proud of our young guns!

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A young team from Blak Labs emerged as champions of the NexGen Challenge at the 2013 Singapore Creative Circle Awards.

NexGen is a 48-hour team challenge for young agency creatives to submit a digital pitch for a real life client jointly presented by Hyper Island and Singapore 4As, sponsored by MediaCorp, Official Media & Strategic Partner for Young Professionals Programme.

Out of dozens of entries from the country’s top agencies, the winning idea by Royston Ang, Regina Lee and Elon Law of local creative collective, Blak Labs, struck a chord with judges for the clever use technology to connect with consumers.

“MediaCorp is turning 50 and over the years, TV consumption habits have changed dramatically,” says Royston Ang, Art Director. “Young Singaporeans are watching programmes on their tablets or phones. TV is no longer a social activity but a solitary one.”

“We used technology to bring people together around their favourite TV shows,” explains Regina Lee, Digital Designer. “We’re delighted that this union of psychology and technology made an impact on the jury,” added Elon Law, Copywriter.

The team will each attend a weeklong lab of their choice at Hyper Island Singapore, the world’s leading digital training institute.

According to Joji Jacob, Group ECD, DDB Singapore, this year’s Chairman of the Gong Show and NextGen jury member, “The international jury was unanimous in picking the three top contenders for the NexGen Challenge. The three teams presented their ideas to MediaCorp’s senior marketing team. The team from Blak Labs impressed with a great idea and a brilliant presentation.”

“Blak Labs is committed to fostering the next generation of creative talent in Singapore. We’re thrilled that our young guns have risen to the challenge and delivered a truly robust idea for a live brief against the clock,” said Charlie Blower, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Blak Labs.

For more details, please contact Charlie Blower at charlie.blower@blaklabs.com

About http://www.blaklabs.com/ Continue reading “Blak Labs young bloods win NexGen Challenge at the Singapore Gong Show”

Dell

The mother of all pitches and one that most agencies would shy away from. Dell wanted to build its brand and connect with customers. But it didn’t want to lose its original direct, transactional model. Apart being a drawn out exercise in procurement and technology planning, the pitch and the concept needed to be managed centrally for Asia-Pacific and allow for a high degree of customisation by the markets. We had the business for a year before it was realigned into the now-defunct Enfatico. The clients we worked with weren’t happy. Anyway, check out the case study and see how we moved them forward, ending up eventually with a new model that included retail outlets across Asia-Pacific.