O&M bags top prize at SPH Ink Awards (ST)

BackAug 07, 2009

Agency's ads on death lauded for candour and strong emotive appeal

AN ADVERTISING campaign dealing with the sensitive topic of death, made for the Lien Foundation, has landed

Ogilvy & Mather Advertising the top prize at this year's SPH Ink Awards.

An independent panel of 11 judges praised the campaign for the "dramatic use of copy-text to bring out the salient message of managing death", said a Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) statement.

The Lien Foundation commissioned the ads as part of its longstanding drive to improve care for the dying.

The Ink Awards, organised by SPH, honour creative people who make a lasting impact with their work. They are open to advertising and advertising-related organisations.

One judge, Dentsu Singapore president Anthony Kang, said: "The Lien Foundation ad, although very much copy-based, has such strong emotive appeal."

The Life Before Death ads approached the sombre topic of death with candour.

A headline in one of the ads read: "Give up the ghost. Turn up our toes. Pass away. Push up daisies. Croak. Kick the bucket. Cross over. Take the final bow", followed by "The lengths we go to avoid saying death".

Mr David Brightling, general manager of One Degree 15 Marina Club, who was viewing the winning campaign at the awards ceremony held at Meritus Mandarin Hotel last night, said the headlines are powerful. "They make you want to read on, to think about death."

Mr Craig Love, the creative director at OgilvyOne Worldwide and the copywriter for the campaign, said: "People don't like to think about death, but it's utterly universal.

"It's black humour. In some ways, humour is the only weapon we have against death."

The campaign's art director, Mr Stuart Mills, said: "Because it's such a hard topic to approach, it works to be a bit more candid."

The ads were published in The Straits Times and The Sunday Times. Its creative director was Mr Eugene Chong.

Ogilvy & Mather Advertising won $10,000 cash as the Grand Prix winner. It also bagged the Gold award in the Press Ad Campaign (English) category.

TBWA/Tequila Singapore won top honours in the Press Ad Single (English) category for a Soo Kee Jewellery advertisement, and the very first award for the newly added Integrated Campaign category for Visa Worldwide.

The Ink Awards is in its fourth year and has garnered 275 entries from 43 agencies and 54 advertisers.

Mr Leslie Fong, senior executive vice-president of SPH's marketing division, said: "Seen against the steep decline in advertising, I would say they speak eloquently of that determination to keep our fighting spirit up no matter what else has gone down."

The top winners

Grand Prix Winner

Ogilvy & Mather for Life Before Death campaign for Lien Foundation.

Press Ad Single – English

Gold to TBWA/Tequila Singapore for its campaign for Soo Kee Jewellery.

Press Ad Campaign – English

Gold to Ogilvy & Mather for Life Before Death campaign

Press Ad Single/Campaign – Chinese

Gold to SPH Creative Services for Pu Tien ad for Pu Tien Restaurant

Press Ad Classified/Recruitment

Silver to Mandate Advertising International for The Steel Within for Army Recruitment Centre.

Press Creative Media Buy

Silver to SPH Creative Services for its Volvo Ocean Race Singapore Stopover 2009 ad for One Degree 15 Singapore Ocean Race.

Integrated Campaign

Gold to TBWA/Tequila Singapore & OPTIMUM for More People Around the World Go With Visa for Visa Worldwide.