The Fairmont Hotel on 2nd June was the venue for another SPH extravaganza. Singapore’s leading print media company has now accepted that is no longer tied by paper and ink but has become a truly cross media organisation. When senior staff members led by Leslie Fong, Senior Executive VP of Marketing pressed and lit six buttons, it marked a significant moment in the 166 year history of the newspaper. ‘SPH is ON!’ was the rally cry and each button represented the various platforms that SPH now offers advertisers – newspapers and magazines, online, mobile, radio, outdoor, digital and screens. As one SPH sales head told AdAsia, the days of offering other media platforms as part of a deal with a newspaper campaign are over.

Geoff Tan, Senior Vice-President and Head of Strategic Marketing at SPH, said, “Marketers also recognise the fact that multi-pronged cross-media campaigns are critical to their brand’s success. SPH… is the perfect strategic partner for advertisers and agencies out there who are always on the lookout for innovative advertising solutions.

Mike Blinder from the USA was the Keynote speaker and he said in his opinion there were only two print media groups who currently understood the future of publishing and were actively participating in the change – one was in Austria and the other was SPH in Singapore.

The organiser made sure the agency and media buyers understood the range of media vehicles by asking the audience to visit a presentation booth from each and thereby earning a sticker. Once all stickers were collected and added to a postcard, this became a lucky draw piece, with prizes which included three iPads.

The Pitch competition

The night also gave the guests the chance to see three shortlisted agencies pitch for major media credits, cash and the Gold, Silver and Bronze Cleavers (the competition theme was based on butchery – and idea strangely at odds with the actual project which was rebranding the elegant Paragon Shopping Centre owned by SPH). Of course, an integrated campaign, using all of SPH’s media platforms, was at the heart of the project.

Brave representatives from JWT Singapore with Mindshare, Bates 141 with Maxus Global and BBDO/Proximity with media partner PHD, had 15 minutes on stage to present their ideas to the judges and their peers in the audience. In the end it was BBDO/Proximity with PHD that walked away with the top prize. JWT was first runner up and Bates 141 was the second runner up.

Winning team of The Pitch (from left): Business Manager Cheri Kim Lim from PHD, Planning Director Tan Wee Hoon and Creative Group Head Daniel Kee from BBDO/Proximity).

The winning agency got $250,000 in media credits and $20,000 in cash.

AdAsia doubted when ‘The Pitch’ was announced that many agencies would have the time or inclination to enter but we were proved wrong. Twenty-four agencies entered.

We hope to show you all three campaigns soon and get your opinion on the work.