'Toys' win big at SPH iink awards

SINGAPORE - It recalled the film Toy Story, with toys that come alive, and it stirred the judges' imaginations.

A Procter & Gamble International print advertisement campaign for Duracell showing discarded toys returning - batteries still running - to their owners emerged the big winner in Thursday night's Singapore Press Holdings iink Awards.

It won four top awards to make Grey Group Singapore the big winner, sweeping the overall Grand Prix award, the English categories for single advertisements and campaigns, and best creative agency.

The SPH iink awards, now in its ninth edition, honour the best print, digital, radio and out-of-home advertisements on SPH media.

"It took an unexpected treatment to an otherwise very common item," said vice-president for consumer banking marketing at DBS, Ms Fiona Chan, one of the judges, of the winning campaign, which ran in tabla!, a weekly English-language newspaper aimed at the Indian community.

It was the way the campaign told a story so simply that was its winning edge, added fellow judge, Mr Ajay Thrivikraman, executive creative director at Publicis Singapore.

Grey Group Singapore's chief creative officer Ali Shabaz said the print campaign's success showed how advertisers and creative agencies can still "push boundaries in craft and storytelling" in the medium.

"Print still remains very important. But it's no longer in isolation like it was five years ago," he said, adding that advertisers now seek out not just print but also digital and outdoor advertisements.

New technologies that emerge, such as QR codes, could provide "huge" opportunities for print if embraced, he said.

Mr Thrivikraman also noted the promise of mobile advertising. SPH senior executive vice-president for marketing Leslie Fong said he was impressed by this year's nominees and winners.

"Print ads have only become better and better by the year," he said. "This augurs well for newspapers."

Other winners on Thursday night included a Health Promotion Board campaign conceived by creative agency DDB Group Singapore, enticing readers to find out how healthy they really are.

The advertisement ran online on news portal AsiaOne. It won the award for best digital advertisement.

An advertisement for airline Garuda Indonesia topped the Out-of-Home category, while an ad for the Volvo XC90 won the best radio advertisement award.

Winning print advertisers will each receive a full-page advertising space in either The Straits Times or Lianhe Zaobao.

The winning digital, radio and Out-of-Home advertisers will each receive $30,000 worth of advertising space in their respective media category.



Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.