Blue449's diary from Spikes Asia

Blue449's Laura Tran and Sophie Liu
By Blue449's Laura Tran and Sophie Liu | 11 October 2018
Laura Tran and Sophie Liu

This September we had the pleasure of representing Australia in the Young Spikes Media Competition, held in Singapore as part the Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity.

Day 1: Briefing

Our task was to convince Singaporean schools to sign up to the Girls2Pioneers program – an initiative that encourages girls to pursue careers in STEM through day camps, field trips and mentoring experiences.

Within the media category there were 6 other teams competing from India, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. For the next 24 hours we were in this experience together.

Most of Day 1 was spent researching, brainstorming and debating. It was exciting and exhausting at the same time, but totally worth it when we finally cracked the insight and landed our Eureka moment! Once we had our big idea, we felt a huge weight had lifted off our shoulders and excitement overcame fatigue as we rushed to put pen to paper and bring the response to life.

Day 2: Submission

With kaya toast and teh tahrik as sustenance, all guns were blazing from the morning up until our 4pm deadline. Our focus was to nail the presentation, and leave ample time to practice, practice and practice our presentation (with some breaks at the hotel pool and naps to maintain our sanity).

Day 3: Presentation

We were the first team to present, with five minutes to pitch our idea to the judging panel followed by 5 minutes of Q&A. Once the adrenaline kicked in, everything was a bit of a blur. But we felt a wave of a relief once we realised we were done, and proud of the work we had put forward.

With the hard yards done, we had the next day and a half to experience the rest of the festival.

Industry speakers from all backgrounds around the APAC region addressed topics from blockchain and how it can help address privacy concerns, to insightful presentations on branded experiences in China and their obsession with delivery food services, as well as many discussions on how AI has well and truly arrived.

The Young Spikes Media results were announced the same afternoon we presented. Vietnam was awarded Bronze, Korea Silver and we Aussies brought home the Gold.

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We were so stoked! After messaging our family and friends the exciting news, we celebrated with the rest of the Aussie teams we befriended post Young Lions at the Shutterstock after party held at the Smoke & Mirrors rooftop bar.

Day 4: Final Day at Spikes

Still running on a high from the day before, we were keen to soak up as much as we could in the remaining hours of the festival.  

Our favourite talk of the day was delivered by BBDO Pakistan’s Ali Rez and Assam Khalid who spoke about the power of design to spark positive social change with some amazing examples:

  • The ‘Bridal Uniform’: a campaign where a typical school girl’s uniform was styled as a bridal dress and paraded at the Bridal Couture Week runway to petition against child marriage in Pakistan

  • ‘The Bulletproof Novel’: a book designed with a cover made of actual bulletproof material to raise money for schools teaching orphans of Taliban victims.

The week was rounded off at Marina Bay Sands for the award ceremony and after party, where the Aussies celebrated 2 gold Young Spikes awards - wins in both the Media and Digital categories!

Looking back at the three rounds of award submissions we have worked on this year, we have learnt a lot about the process and also each other, both as individuals and teammates. We have definitely seen improvements in the way we work with every new brief.

Our main tips and tricks from this experience would be:

  • Conduct your own market research – don’t just rely on Google. Go out and talk to people!

  • Tell a story – you don’t have to use a template or all 10 slides. Ensure your presentation complements your pitch, versus tailoring your speech around whatever is on your slide.

  • Go big – to be engaging and memorable, think of ways beyond a Powerpoint slide to sell in your idea.

  • Snacks – a crucial factor to maintain one’s sanity. Always over-stock as it will get eaten eventually.

Thanks for the incredible week Spikes Asia. Can’t wait to do it again next year.

Blue449's Laura Tran and Sophie Liu

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