ASIA: CREATIVE LANDMARKS - Asian ads are just crude hard sell, right? Wrong. Craig Davis of Saatchi & Saatchi presents the evidence

The measure of great advertising in Asia is now the same as in any other market - Cannes, D&AD and One Show. Given Asia’s recent successes at these events, the hardest part for me has been choosing just five examples to make the point.

The measure of great advertising in Asia is now the same as in any

other market - Cannes, D&AD and One Show. Given Asia’s recent successes

at these events, the hardest part for me has been choosing just five

examples to make the point.



Volvo (Safety Pin)



Dentsu Young & Rubicam, Japan



Whaah! Whaah! Whaaaaghh!



The sounds of a new-born being inadvertently disembowelled by a

snaggishly enthusiastic first-time father armed with this pointy

nappy-fastening device.



Remarkably similar to the cries of creative people all over the world

who wished they’d thought of the idea first.



Singapore One (Benny)



Saatchi & Saatchi, Singapore



As a foreigner, you need to spend a little time in Singapore to

understand that ’upgrading’ is right up there with shopping, soccer and

self-improvement as a national obsession. (The average time it takes to

grasp this varies by nationality. For an Australian it takes nine

seconds, for Britons 11 minutes and for Americans it’s three days - wind

assisted.)



Before the paint dries on any kind of public works project here, it will

already have been slated for upgrading. It’s a natural extension of the

philosophy introduced to Singapore by the British. That is, anything

shiny and new is better than whatever preceded it.



Luckily, this work makes all that history seem a very small price to pay

indeed.



PTT Performa Gold (Apollo)



Leo Burnett, Thailand



The Lizard is back!



This time as the accidental hero for BP in a script that would have Ed

Wood turning fits of laughter in his grave. What makes it so good are

the witty turns and changes of pace that keep you guessing so hard at

the outcome. What’s even better is that this commercial doesn’t smell

like a commercial at all, which is one hell of a head start in earning

consumer attention and retention.



It’s one for all those who thought Asian advertising didn’t have a funny

bone in its body. Or that only the British know how to do a

side-splitting spoof.



Black Cat Thai Whisky



O&M Results, Thailand



They do a lovely pie floater at Harry’s Cafe de Wheels in Wooloomooloo,

a lovely Devonshire tea at Lucy’s in Lower Hutt and, now, to bring in

the pan-Asian trifecta, a lovely pastiche in Bangkok. This film wraps up

every B-grade movie genre in one A-grade idea for Black Cat Thai

Whisky.



Bikini-clad babes dancing poolside to the mobster king’s tune, a

sycophantic snitch, monster Mercs and martial arts air moves, none of

which phase the film’s laconic hero.



Frankly, it’s a healthy sign that Asian advertising is now mature enough

to take the piss out of so much TV tripe.



Hewlett Packard (Aliens)



Saatchi & Saatchi, Singapore



Americans, not noted for their capacity to laugh at themselves, may be

the only ones who wouldn’t find this film funny. Here, the Mars landing

probe and America’s finest boffins at mission control are duped by

little lime Martians and their photo-quality printer courtesy of Hewlett

Packard.



(Oh, the irony.)



Speaking of irony, it puzzles me that so much advertising for IT, itself

an intensely creative industry, offers so little in creative terms. We

are certainly trying our hardest here in Asia to remedy that.



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