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Bates bags top prize at SPH Ink Awards - Jul 28, 2007 (ST)

BackJul 28, 2007

The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

Bates bags top prize at SPH Ink Awards

Judges bowled over by its campaign showing damage to marine life.

By Nicholas Fang
Jul 28, 2007
The Straits Times

BATES Singapore scooped the top prize at this year's SPH Ink Awards for its innovative work using a traditional Japanese printing technique.

The awards, organised by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), recognise the best creative print advertising developed here in Singapore.

Bates beat 36 other finalists to clinch the coveted award with its advertisements for scuba diving centre Gill Divers.

It campaign, entitled Bag Fish, Umbrella Fish And Bottle Fish, was published in the bilingual newspaper My Paper and depicted the damage being done to marine ecosystems.

It was hailed by an independent panel of 10 judges for its creative use of a printing technique known as Japanese fish printing.

Originally used by Japanese fishermen to record the size and type of fish caught, the technique involves using a fish to make an imprint on fabric or paper which is then touched up to create a print.

The prize provided a bright spark for Bates, which lost out to TBWA in the fight for the Singapore Airlines account earlier this year.

The runner-up to Bates was the Chinese edition of the SPH Ink Awards ad campaign calling for competition entries.

Forty-five ad and media agencies submitted entries for this year's awards, which were presented at a ceremony attended by 300 guests at Raffles Hotel last night.

Bates, which also won two other gold awards, took home $20,000 in cash while Gill Divers will receive full-page full-colour ad spaces in SPH's flagship papers The Straits Times or Lianhe Zaobao to put across its message again.

It is the second Grand Prix award in a row for Bates executive creative director Robert Gaxiola, as he led the Draft FCB agency team to the accolade last year. But he had already left the company by the time the awards took place and he was not allowed to go on stage with the winning team.

'It's great to be a repeat winner of the Grand Prix, and it's even better this year because I get to go on stage and enjoy the moment with the team,' said the American-born Mr Gaxiola.

The most awarded agency was DDB Worldwide, which bagged eight awards, largely for its work for retailer Robinson & Co.

DDB Singapore chief executive David Tang said the Ink Awards had differentiated themselves from other Singapore ad prizes by focusing on craft and creativity.

'If you look at the other awards, the Effies focus on strategy and effectiveness while the CCAs are more quirky and fun,' he said, referring to the Creative Circle Awards.

'The SPH Ink Awards definitely reward creativity and attention to the craft and we have spent the past two years focusing on these elements.'

Ink Awards chairman James Heng said the event, which is in its third year, has received increasing support from the industry.

'There were 60 per cent more entries this year and we are very heartened by this increase in support,' he said.


The best in creative print ads

THAT WINNING FEELING AGAIN: This year's Grand Prix award win is the second one in a row for Bates executive creative director Robert Gaxiola, as he led the Draft FCB agency team to the same accolade last year. Bates, which also won two other gold awards, took home $20,000 in cash. Photo/ DESMOND WEE
GRAND PRIX WINNER: Bates Singapore won the Grand Prix, the highest prize at the awards, for its work for Gill Divers, a scuba diving centre. The campaign, titled Bag Fish, Umbrella Fish And Bottle Fish, was published in My Paper and was hailed by the judges for the creative use of Japanese fish printing technique to illustrate the damage to the marine ecosystem. Japanese fish printing provides the use of an actual fish to make an imprint on paper or fabric, before the artist completes the print by hand. It originated as a way for fishermen to record the size and type of fish caught before the fish was consumed. Photo/ BATES SINGAPORE
READERS' CHOICE WINNER: Graphikate won the Readers' Choice Award for its campaign for the Veterinary Authority (AVA) called Don't Get Pets On Impulse. More than 10,000 votes were received from newspaper readers through SMS and online to vote for their favourite ad campaign. This is the second year in a row that AVA has won this award. Photo/ GRAPHIKATE