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Ogilvy Auckland ECD Kristal Knight on One Asia 2023: ‘Asia is a powerhouse’

SHANGHAI, CHINA — In October, The One Club for Creativity’s One Asia 2023 jury gathered in Shanghai to determine Asia’s best works this year. As one of the region’s most prominent creative leaders, Kristal Knight, Executive Creative Director at Ogilvy Auckland, joined her fellow creatives in discussion to handpick the campaigns that shone the brightest among hundreds of entries. 

In this story, Kristal shared some insights from inside the jury room with adobo Magazine, specifically on the following categories: Design / Print / Out of Home / IP & Product Design / Branded Entertainment / Experiential & Immersive. She lent her expertise on these categories with over 20 years of experience in the creative business, working between London and New Zealand, with international awards to her name across brand, digital, and direct. 

Furthermore, Kristal has worked on some of the world’s biggest brands, such as American Express, IBM, and Toyota, while also creating award-winning work for some of her favorite causes including the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation and Global Women, which picked up multiple golds at the One Show. Her work has also been recognized at Cannes, D&AD, Spikes, LIA and more. She has also served as a juror for Cannes, LIA, Spikes, and Caples.

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As One Asia is all about the “best of the region, on display to the world,” Kristal shared her thoughts on this year’s quality of entries: “What I love about the work that comes out of Asia is the diversity. There are so many different styles and perspectives and tone of voice. I always find that interesting, and it’s the same this year. There’s just such a huge variety of work, and some really insightful work [at that]. I think it’s really interesting to see the insights that have been leveraged. Especially for me, coming from outside the region.” 

One of this year’s hot topics not just in the region, but all over the world, is Artificial Intelligence. When it comes to integrating this to creativity from this part of the world, she admits to being quite scared of the implications it has to the industry as a whole. She stressed, “I can see that it’s kind of terrifying in some ways because you can see how easily clients could use it in place of us. But I think what the industry would lose in, and what the customers would lose, is that human insight, that relevance, and that sense of respect for the people on the other end of our communications.”

“For me, we’re entreating on their lives, and turning up on their feeds or on their TV shows; we’re forcing our way into their lives. The least we could do is to reward them for looking. That’s why I think we won’t lose that creativity, because we need creative brains to find new ways to entertain, or create an emotional response in people, that will make them remember the brand,” Kristal explained. 

Among the categories she judged this year, Kristal underlined Branded Entertainment as the category she was most dreading, but also where she found one of her favorite works: “Airtel 175 Replayed” by Leo Burnett India for Airtel.

“It’s this amazing story how when India won their first World Cup, there was an amazing match that never got covered. And we know how much of a religion cricket is in India, and how incredibly important this moment was for this entire region. But due to a strike in the BBC, it was never covered,” she started. 

To showcase Airtel’s 5G capabilities, it recreated the match out of merely three images from the match, and the memories of those who were there. “I think it’s fascinating: the juxtaposition of amazing technology, but being fed by human memories, rather than more data. In the end, India relived this moment again. I think that, for me, was the perfect example of Branded Entertainment. It was something everyone desperately wanted to watch; it was tightly knit to the brand; and it made the connection between the audience and the brand very tight,” Kristal shared. 

Winners for the 2023 One Asia Awards will be announced on December 12, 2023, with creatives looking forward to the works that stood out from the region this year. As Kristal put it, creativity from this side of the globe has always been more diverse and varied, and it’s exciting to see how this will come into play in the results. 

“Asia is just a powerhouse, creatively. There’s such a diversity in perspective and style of work, and I think the more the region shares opinions, perspectives, and thinking like this, the stronger and more powerful this region is going to get. I’m really excited about it, and hoping it comes to New Zealand!” Kristal concluded. 

Watch her full interview with adobo Magazine President, Founder, and Editor-in-Chief Angel Guerrero below:

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