Raymond Otene McKay (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rongomaiwahine and Ngaati Maahuta), chief creative officer at RUN represented New Zealand on the Spikes Asia Direct and Outdoor jury in Singapore, here McKay shares his insights…
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Singapore judging Spikes Asia. It was the first in-person judging since 2019 and I felt the energy that it was good to be back. The diversity at the table was especially enjoyable, connecting with many different cultures in one space, while taking in the best work from the region and around the world for Direct and Outdoor.
There were three trends I noticed coming through the work across the these categories.
Something that really showed this year was a lot of creative shops weren’t relying solely on tech. Some campaigns were actually implementing pretty low-fi tech and media solutions to amplify their ideas. Basically, if it’s a great idea it doesn’t need all the fuss.
There was a notable decrease in the use of NFTs. After judging a number of ceremonies in recent years, seeing this trend drop away has been a welcome change. Although, in this case, those that did use NFT and blockchain technology used it in surprising and innovative ways.
A positive trend I observed this year was corporate and large brands trying a lot harder to connect to social movements or conversations in an authentic way. This isn’t always the case, in recent years we’ve seen a number of brands take undeserved cultural currency while riding the coat tails of charity work or social impact ideas. Great to see genuine engagement becoming the norm over lip service.
Overall, it was a fantastic experience to be on this jury. It’s great to see all the creativity and a shift towards doing things the right way from our industry. Plus of course to see our mahi from Aotearoa stacking up with the best from around the world.