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Spikes Asia Festival 2014: Day 1 by Adham Somantrie

Asia Pacific’s leading advertising creatives were in Singapore yesterday for the start of four days of seminars, forums and presentations at the 2014 Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity. Weber Shandwick’s Jye Smith and Moska Najib will be at the event all week talking to a selection of the festival’s speakers and delegates.

On Day One, they heard from Aseem Puri, regional brand director, Fabric Cleaner at Unilever, who spoke frankly about what he expects from his agency partners. Mirroring what he said in an earlier panel discussion, Puri stressed that he is looking for shareable content rather than traditional advertising campaigns.

Puri said that not only do agencies need to change their mindsets regarding content creation, they also need to think about changing something altogether more basic: “Let’s change every advertising executive’s business card to call it content, and that’s the first point where they will start to see that they need to do something different”.

Giving the ad agency perspective was Charles Cadell, president, Asia Pacific, at McCann Worldgroup, who agreed that agencies are evolving to the needs of both their clients and, more importantly, consumers. What agencies need to show to clients, he said, is that they are capable of operating in this new content model: “Agencies are stepping up to deliver always-on content and clients should be looking and demanding [that] from agencies.”