The illustrious Spikes Awards, for creativity in communication, were held at the Suntect in Singapore last week.

The annual awards festival is a celebration of Asia’s growing creative communications industry, offering a platform for the region’s finest creative thinkers to network and exchange ideas.

This year’s winners did not disappoint!

Spike Awards Asia 511x300 2013 Spikes Awards Asia

PLAY would like to give a special mention to South Korea’s, CHEIL WORLDWIDE for taking out the Grand Prix in the Outdoor/Ambient category. 

Check out their “Bridge Of Life” campaign for Samsung Life Insurance here:

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A new book by Mason Curry has given us a sneak-peak into the world’s most creative people, and how they kept inspired.
‘Daily Rituals: How Artists Work’ reveals some of the cool, quirky, wonderfully weird, and in some cases, downright strange habits of renown novelists, composers, writers and screenwriters.

As a company that likes to nurture our creative talent, this was particularly of interest to us, and highlighted some important points;

Firstly, this really proves that there is really no ‘black or white’ answer in producing great creative work. Every person had their own unique way, and each way worked for them, which highlights the importance of having your own, unique, creative process. For example, Gertrude Stein would only work for 30 minutes each day, at the exact same time.

It also demonstrates the importance of taking breaks and rejuvenating, a particularly important side note for the crazy, deadline-driven marketing industry! It could be anything from a simple coffee break, to making like Igor Stravinsky and doing handstands!

Some people needed to do something before work to get themselves in the mindset. This was a popular theme, with activities ranging from bathing to having breakfast at sunrise. Choreographer Twyla Tharp would literally ‘warm up’ for the day ahead by starting her day with two hours at the gym – funnily enough, part of her routine was getting a cab there and back each morning.

One of our favourite (and most common) elements were place and surroundings; and ensuring that the person was comfortable and in the right environment and mindset. Novelist Patricia Highmith could only work in her bed. We’ve always been advocates for this – for one, our office is a creative sanctuary in Surry Hills, a warehouse space with battered-timber floors and exposed ceiling beams, natural lighting, hand made furnishings and plant life and giant, 12 foot windows that give us fresh air, rather than artificial cooling or heating.

To see how we compare, we asked some of the creative PLAYmates to share their cool habits or rituals, below. Enjoy!

“If I’m stuck, I invest time to learn something completely random and off topic e.g. finding out how a helicopter gets its lift. Random, but it’s crazy how your mind works afterwards” – Jarryd, Art Director

“I have most clarity after yoga” – Johannes, Founder & Strategy Director

“I have a playlist in Spotify titled ‘Concentration’. Every day, I pick just one song from it and play it on repeat. Today, it’s Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D Major” – Cindy, Designer

“I cannot write an idea down in pen. I don’t know why, but it has to be in pencil or marker or I struggle to believe it” – Jarryd, Art Director

“I get most inspiration when I’m walking home from work” – Carlen, Senior Designer.

“Most of my best ideas come in the shower. I literally draw on the screen as if it’s the canvas” – Jarryd, Art Director.

“I like to do things completely unrelated like check the news in South Africa, or go for a walk. Even if it’s just a bathroom break” – Carlen, Senior Designer.

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A recent article we saw on Sponsorship News has revealed something very exciting, and something we’ve been anticipating. The music festival market in Australia is growing rapidly – in fact, so rapidly that in some cases, it is now rivaling sports budgets!

Sponsors are now tapping into the very targeted communications efforts that can take place at festivals, and are spending much more money on tier one partnerships.

Obviously, alcohol and beverage companies were pioneers of this trend, however there is an increasing trend for online music streaming services and financial services, who are all wanting to engage the youth market.

A great example of this was Barclay’s sponsorship of the London Wireless Festival last year, the first UK music event that enabled fully contactless payment through NFC technology. Barclay Paybands (a branded wristband) were given to festivalgoers, enabling them to pay for goods on the day using only contactless technology. To pay, users simply had to tap their band on the payment terminal and wait for confirmation of approval. As well as this, the Payband offered event tips, site maps and even a PayBand activated photo booth! A perfect fit between a financial brand and a music festival, and more importantly, a great example of a brand adding REAL value to the experience.

On the online music streaming front, last year one of our favourite brands Spotify, partnered with a number of music festival sponsors, including Heineken, to help amplify their music sponsorships. In Finland, the beer brand built a tool on their Facebook page enabling users to create Spotify playlists for three Finnish music festivals. The idea was quite simple – users would select a festival, create their own playlist and then encourage consumers to vote for their playlist to be in the draw to win tickets. In addition, their playlists were then played on a popular Finnish radio station! Such a simple idea, yet such an effective means of amplifying the sponsorship and maximising reach!

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In light of the recent news that approximately half of Australia’s population are on Facebook, we thought we’d share this exciting video featuring the latest social media stats.
It’s a great video that we saw on Digital Buzz Blog, and is indicative of what the exciting future holds for social media.

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travelator  TRAVELATOR

We saw this cool experiential campaign that Qantas and Tourism New Zealand did together recently. The ‘Travelator’ is a moving walkway at Sydney Domestic Terminal that resembles an aircraft fuselage. It aims to showcase the best of New Zealand.
Having worked with Tourism New Zealand, and now being a part of the Qantas agency roster, we are absolutely thrilled to be put in line with other great agencies.

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Screen shot 2012 08 22 at 4.28.47 PM To Facebook or not to Facebook?

On a recent trip overseas, I challenged myself to not use Facebook for as long as I could.

As a Facebook addict, the reason behind the challenge was so that I could truly get away from home, and from what I consider to be ‘normal’. I felt that eliminating Facebook would enrich my overseas experience, as I’d be spending time doing more, well, travelling!

Before we jetted off, I did the mandatory check-in at Sydney International Departure Terminal. Oh, how I loathe it when I see this on my news feed and it’s not me!

It was then, after I had checked to see how many ‘likes’ and ‘Have a great trip!’ comments that I realized I actually looked a little sad, and took the challenge on.

I lasted a week. Some might laugh, but I’m actually quite proud. I was away for 12 days, my hotel offered free WIFI, and there were plenty of opportunities for me to showcase my Instagram photography skills.

But apparently, I’m one of the few.

According to a new study by CNN, the most popular ‘stories’ people post on Facebook are travel stories. Travel stories make up 42% of the ‘major moments’ in people’s lives, topping moving and relationship statuses. Of course, we travel more than we move and change relationships (hopefully!), but the additional insights were what fascinated me.

The article suggests that the days of going through your photo album, with your friendship circle, a week after your holiday are gone. Travellers are increasingly posting while they’re on holiday.

It made me wonder why on Earth would we pay so much money for a unique experience when most of us end up back in our own little world within 5 minutes, posting to our friends and family on Facebook.

Has the nature of Facebook made us afraid to explore things outside our comfort zone?

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Net-a-porter, the high end fashion retailer took window-shopping to the next level in January this year. To promote the launch of KARL by Karl Lagerfeld, a line that would be exclusive to the online store, an Augmented Reality shop window was created, and rolled out globally across storefront windows in Paris, New York, London, Munich and Sydney.

Ahead of time, customers had been encouraged to download the KARL app on their iPhone or iPad. This meant they could point their device at various parts of the storefront image to activate an augmented reality shopping experience.

Participants were encouraged to search for five silhouettes of Karl’s head to potentially win prize money to spend online. The app was used to scan images of Karl’s head to gain a sneak preview of the collection and be the first to purchase when it went live.

Net-a-Porter employees were on site handing out leather gloves and collars – signature items from the collection – to the first fifty arrivals to arouse excitement and attendance. In addition, goodie bags and t-shirts were handed out to latecomers to keep people engaged.

We think this is an excellent fit between the campaign strategy and Net-a-porter’s target market. Playing on the characteristics of the Net-a-porter audience – fashionistas who love being the first ones to access a new line – Net-a-porter successfully brought the idea of window shopping to life with the ease, speed and mobility of a smartphone or tablet. This empowered the fashion-forward audience, and strategically drive immediate sales, and built brand love.


nike rsvp twitter 00 Nike Twitter based RSVP system

When a new, hyped up Nike product is released in the US it often results in riots, violence and complete havoc, with die hard fans trying to get their paws on the latest kicks – think Myer on Boxing Day x1000. Not only did this result in bad publicity for the brand, but it also became a deterrant for other people to shop there on the release date.

So, to solve the problem Nike developed a Twitter based RSVP system for new product launches in April to manage the release days better.

Nike stores released a randomly timed tweet, with a product specific hashtag on RSVP day. From there, customers have 1 hour to RSVP to Nike via Twitter using the hashtag, providing their size, and the last 4 digits of their ID number. If you were successful and nabbed a pair, you would be notified via direct message. Products that weren’t claimed within a specific timeframe became available again on Twitter.

It’s a ‘first in best dressed’ system – not only does this solve the problem of massive lines and store havoc, but its also a great way to create some more hype about the release!

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maleshopper1 Times they are a changing

Here at PLAY, we get new statistics, information and trends daily. Sometimes it seems as though consumers change their habits every minute – there’s always a new report challenging yesterday’s theories (literally!).

Our Junior Strategy Planner, Anna is always ensuring that the PLAY team finds out about the latest trends, as soon as they happen.

Learning about how consumers behave can be really insightful, especially when you learn something that challenges traditional norms. So when Anna shared this particular trend about Australian grocery buyers, the whole team was staggered.

According to Torchmedia, over the last 10 years, the ‘shopper mum’ demographic has halved, and now only accounts for 18% of current grocery shoppers.

A staggering 42% of grocery shoppers are males, which is up from 13% in 2003.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that this was a long time coming – after all, women’s working trends have shifted significantly in the last 10-20 years – and cheers to that, I say. But I still find the actual numbers fascinating, particularly as to how rapidly the male shopper target has increased.

It seems the marketing industry has been a little blind to these trends, and the shift has just creeped up on us!

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google 468x300 What makes a brand trustworthy?

I recently saw a story on AdNews about the most trusted brands in Australia. It stated that Google, Apple. Ikea, Paypal and Youtube are the most 5 trusted brands according to Australians.

The article really got me thinking – with such a diverse range of brands in the top 5, what exactly are these companies doing right? What makes a brand trustworthy?

There’s the obvious reason we could put this down to – consistency of service and product quality, but surely there have to be more factors.

Looking at the top 5 list, one similarity I noticed between all of them is the level of interaction we have with each of these brands. I’m sure you use at least one of these brands daily like I do.

The top 5 brands have successfully allowed themselves to become a part of our lives, in way where we don’t even think of ourselves as consumers. Obviously, the abundance of digital brands is a reflection of the shift in our lifestyles but I have never once thought of myself as a consumer of Google – for me, typing something into Google is a no -brainer – and obviously, Australia agrees!

This is a real asset for any brand, and any brand who is able to achieve this level of trust in a push-pull consumer environment is fascinating to me.

To read the full AdNews article, click here

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