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Meet The Winners Of Vietnam Young Spikes 2014

Why did you apply for VYS 2014?

Chuong: I am very new to the industry and would like to see what it would be like to have the freedom to do creative work instead of following the process and dealing with client constraints.

Thuong: We both know that Young Spikes is one of the most important competitions for people working in the advertising industry and we took it as a chance to swim into the big ocean. It was also a chance to reflect on where I was in the industry benchmark.

What was it like during the actual 48 hours? Did things go as well as you planned?

Chuong: The experience was similar to that of summer camps long ago, rushing and doing a lot of fun things. We almost went with another idea until the very last hours before submission. New thoughts popped up and the whole deck was re-done from scratch. But we both feel it was the right thing to do and we tried to make it happen. It was an unexpected turnaround, but we’re glad we did it.

Thuong: First, my partner and I had a conflicting schedule until the day we got the brief. I was on a business trip so only Chuong could attend the briefing day. And when I came back, we missed half a day of the competition and that was our biggest pressure, but as a matter of fact, we pushed everything and treasured every moment until our work was finalized. One thing that went wrong with the plan was the poor internet connection at the time, but fortunately, we made it one minute before the deadline.

What was your experience competing in Spikes Asia?

Chuong: It did not feel like a competition at all. Teams from different countries were very open and likeable and the guest speakers were inspiring. Everyone was very relaxed about the competition and it turned out to be a learning experience for me rather than a competition.

Thuong:  The experience of joining an Asian scale competition proves our experience in this industry is just a grain of sand in the ocean and how small our market is. To be more than that, we should know how we should improve.

How did you find the Spikes Asia task? (Was it challenging? exciting? intriguing? etc.)

Chuong: First, the topic was not about brands/products, but corruption. I had a long pause on this topic as it is very familiar to Vietnamese, but I do not really have a great understanding of it.   

Secondly, since the brief was very wide, a challenge was to take a step back to narrow down the brief and determine what aspects we wanted to address before we actually started working on the creative.

There was virtually no limit on choice of media. So the brief, even though challenging, also intrigued us to think beyond conventions.

What was the most important thing you learned from the competition?

Chuong: I think the most important thing is learning from each other, from the experience of the competition, rather than winning the competition itself.  

Thuong: As I said, this industry is evolving everyday with regard to arts, technology and knowledge. Vietnam is still a developing country in this sense, and we need to adapt to the changing landscape in order to keep up with the growth of other countries.

Do you have any advice for this year’s applicants?

Chuong: First, try to expose yourself to as many of these kinds of competitions as many as you can.  I was a bit reluctant at first, but with a real push and encouragement from my boss at Ogilvy, I got myself in the competition and that was one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life. Secondly, the real jury is consumers. So, focus on producing work that consumers out there would actually love. Then the board will love your work, too.

Thuong: Join with passion; work with responsibility; think like a professional; present and convince like they (the judges) are your clients. The most important thing is, do not get distracted by your competitors.  

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