ASIAN AGENCIES: HOW EAST DOES WEST

David Alberts is disappointed that when tackling global brands, work from Asia appears to lose its quirky edge and local focus.

When I was asked to review the latest and greatest work from Asia, I was looking forward to what the crazy Thais were doing, where our friends in Tokyo were placed and whether Shanghai advertising was moving ahead as fast as the rest of the nation.

So when I was presented with five brands that could have been advertised anywhere within a ten-kilometre radius of Great Portland Street, I was a little bit disappointed. Unfortunately, some of the most interesting and freshest work in Asia was always created on local brands when there was no interference from those wise folks back at head office.

The Coca-Cola spot from Publicis in New Zealand is just another Coke spot, just not as much "wow". It's a shame because the same agency created some of the most innovative Coke advertising in the world over the past 12 months.

TBWA's Adidas work feels like an OK Adidas ad with a tricky kind of demonstration.

As long as the creative team washed the city pollution out of their poster every week, I think this Ariel poster from Saatchis stands out on the side of the building alongside the rest of the dirty washing you see in Mombay,

In a country like Singapore, where there is general belief that stout has some Viagra-like side effects, Ogilvy & Mather's Guinness poster is a wonderful summation of men in Asia (and everywhere else in the world for that matter).

Finally, Euro RSCG's Get a Life Yahoo! spot is very Asian; but it just doesn't feel like it brings to life the great offering of Yahoo!.

The challenge working throughout the region was to take a global brand and make it feel as though it was executed with local understanding.

Unfortunately, some of these ads feel like a case of brands over-thinking global with not enough say to act local.