As this year’s Spikes Asia Festival of Creativity nears, the excitement for the three-day celebration filled with awards and conferences are building up for its attendees. To be held in Suntec, Singapore, the gathering of creatives all over Asia will see this year’s best creative works and hear from the people working behind the scenes.
Merlee Cruz-Jayme, DENTSU Jayme Syfu’s Chairmom and Chief Creative Officer, and Spikes Asia Jury President for the Outdoor and Radio & Audio categories shared with adobo magazine what she’s most excited for, how she plans to conduct the judging, and why she decided to talk about the invisible barriers that face women and minorities in the industry.
What are you most excited about for this year’s judging for the Outdoor and Radio & Audio categories? What’s your criteria for them and what are you most looking forward in their entries?
Today, when everyone seems to be looking at their phones all focused on their private little worlds, OUTDOOR has that big role of getting people’s attention all at the same time, and provide a live engaging experience. We will still see beautifully crafted flat pieces, but outdoor has evolved into purpose or relevant messaging, well thought of pieces seamlessly demonstrating a brand promise, all leading to scalable impact. One that builds genuine connections and great conversations on ground and online.
Radio & Audio on the other hand is imagination at play. It simply celebrates sound to produce vivid imagery in people’s minds. This has definitely evolved to a mind-blowing experience. But what I’m excited about are beautifully written, emotional, funny, witty, and intelligent stories rich with cultural context. I’m still all for brands bringing their stories alive through technology and sound design.
You’ll be talking about the invisible barriers women face in the industry. Tell us about your session, and why is it important to talk about this now more than ever? Did you choose the topic on your own?
I was asked to choose a topic that is close to my heart. Women leadership — particularly creative women leadership is something I am passionate about. This is my 30th year in this industry and I can tell you that it has never been easy to smash the glass ceiling. It has many layers that just keeps on appearing, blocking my way every time an opportunity comes. If you ask me, my toughest glass ceiling is first, being a woman, secondly, being a Mom and third, being Asian.
What defines a creative in the Philippines and how do you think your cultural context will factor in your judging process?
Philippine work with great insights are the best. We sometimes think that these are based on just our culture. But, in reality, we’ll discover that people from all parts of the world can actually relate.
Coming from a poor country, we’re also good at coming up with brilliant ideas that solve problems like pollution, traffic, hygiene, violence and health problems like dengue. Creativity with genuine purpose is something we love doing.
What’s the most important thing you learned as the Chairmom and the Chief Creative Officer of DENTSU Jayme Syfu?
Putting creativity at the heart of everything.
How can you apply this in the judging for Spikes as the Jury President of Outdoor and Radio & Audio?
Be it in the agency or in the jury room.
How different do you think would this be from how you go about with Cannes judging? Is there anything more specific to Spikes than Cannes?
Judging really depends on the following things: the vision of the show, the categories, and the. Jury. Every time I judge, there’s a totally different experience. I judged the Glass category in Cannes and we immersed ourselves in ideas that globally addressed gender inequality issues. The jury was a diverse group from the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The process was different in a way that shortlisted work was presented live to us by the agency or the client.
In Spikes, on the other hand, I am in the Radio and Outdoor category. The criteria is different. Plus, all the members of my jury are from Asia.
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