This year’s INNOVA finalists presented their work live to an audience of ADFEST delegates and were questioned on-stage by our panel of eight Jury Presidents. There were 40 entries to the INNOVA Lotus category with 4 INNOVA Lotus winners and 3 finalists.

This year’s INNOVA Lotus winners are Grey Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur for Tesco Malaysia ‘Unforgettable Bag’, BWM Dentsu, Sydney for The ALS Association ‘Project Revoice’, Leo Burnett Colombo / Leo Burnett Toronto for JAT Paints ‘Petal Paint’ AND FP7 McCann Dubai for Babyshop ‘Al Umobuwah: Putting ‘mum’ into ‘parenthood’.

“Creativity is a deep understanding of human behaviour that we translate into transformative solutions for our clients. We solve business problems by creating human value through creativity. The level of creativity in this future-facing category was outstanding. Highly innovative ideas that challenged the status quo and moved the industry forward,” stated Jury President Mark Tutssel, Grand Jury President and Executive Chairman and Global Chief Creative Officer at Leo Burnett Worldwide, Chicago.

“The four winners of this prestigious award were all outstanding examples of the alchemy of creativity, data and technology creating remarkable Human Value.”

The Lotus Roots category represents the heart of ADFEST and is inspired by work that draws on the different histories and cultures of the countries and people of Asia Pacific and MENA regions. The category recognises and encourages great ideas inspired by the diversity of cultures represented at ADFEST every year. 

From 146 entries, there was 1 Grande Lotus Roots winner: FP7 McCann Dubai for Babyshop ‘Al Umobuwah: Putting ‘Mum’ into ‘Parenthood’. Babyshop became the first brand to create a new Arabic word, giving mothers across the Middle East an equal place in the Arabic word for “Parenthood”, challenging deep-rooted biases and conventions. 

“This brave new word champions Mums, and has woven itself into the vernacular, and is on the verge of being included in the Arabic dictionary,” explained Grand Jury President, Mark Tutssel, Executive Chairman and Global Chief Creative Officer at Leo Burnett Worldwide, Chicago.

“The future will be one where fortune favours the curious, the change agents, the new creative thinkers and most importantly, those who best understand humankind. Advertising today doesn’t compete with advertising: advertising competes with popular culture. Our work has to be irresistible and more interesting and immersive than anything else people are searching for. The Lotus Roots exist to reward that level, and quality, of thinking.” 

This year’s six Lotus Roots winners presented breakthrough ideas that demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of human behavior and local culture: 
Colenso BBDO, Auckland for Spark New Zealand ‘Kupu’
Hakuhodo Kettle Inc., Tokyo for Takasaki City ‘Red Restaurants List’
Dentsu Inc., Tokyo for Kobe Newspaper ‘Since 1995’
Leo Burnett Colombo / Leo Burnett Toronto for JAT Paints ‘Petal Paint’
R/GA Tokyo / Shiseido Co. Ltd., Tokyo for Shiseido ‘My Crayon Project’
Rabbit Digital Group Company Limited, Bangkok for Siam Commercial Bank ‘Mae-ma-nee Money Solution’.

4 Bronze, 3 Silver, 8 Gold and 1 Grande Lotus trophies were awarded. The Grande Lotus for Direct was awarded to CHE Proximity, Melbourne for ‘AutoAds’, which also won two Gold Lotuses.

“Auto Ads was unanimously chosen by all of us. It's a really smart campaign that tailors the business of selling used cars directly to consumer's needs. Consumers have a wonderful experience with their uploaded cars and even their names appearing on TV and online in cool advertisements. It is a perfect campaign in terms of scale and outcome,” stated Brand Experience & Engagement and Direct Jury President Kate Hyewon Oh, Chief Creative Officer at Cheil Worldwide, Seoul.

In terms of emerging trends, Oh, commented, “We are seeing more and more consumer involvement in the creative process, and creating results together. Consumers are no longer audiences, but colleagues and competitors on the creative stage. Sometimes I'm afraid of those changes as a creator, but if we accept that creative is not a one-way show, but a journey that's being made together with consumers, we'll find many possibilities in this trend.”

The Gold winners in Direct were:  Hakuhodo Kettle Inc., Tokyo for Takasaki City ‘Red Restaurants List’, which won two Golds, The Brand Agency, Perth for Foodbank WA ‘Hungry Puffs’,  Cheil Worldwide, Seoul for Firevase ‘Firevase’, CHE Proximity, Melbourne for Cochlear ‘Hearprint’ and BWM Dentsu, Sydney for The ALS Association ‘Project Revoice’.
Outdoor Lotus received 211 entries, with 6 Bronze, 5 Silver, 4 Gold and 1 Grande Lotuses awarded. The Grande Lotus for Outdoor was awarded to J. Walter Thompson, Bangkok for Netflix ‘Narcos The Censor’s Cut’. 

 “The quantity of finalists might have gone down in the Outdoor and Press categories, but the quality of the winners retains its high standards,” said Outdoor and Press Jury President Yang Yeo, Asia Pacific ‘Creative Kaiju’ at Hakuhodo Inc., Tokyo.

“Reflective of the current media landscape, Print as a medium continues to dwindle, but Outdoor on the other hand is getting more exciting – especially when mobile, tech and social are incorporated seamlessly into the idea and the execution,” says Yeo.

This year’s Gold Outdoor winners are: Wieden+Kennedy, Shanghai for Nike China, ‘Nike React Stunt’,  Innored, Seoul for The North Face ‘Super Air Down Drone Attack’,  Ogilvy Hong Kong for KFC Hong Kong ‘Hot & Spicy Campaign’  AND  TBWA\Thailand, Bangkok for McDonald’s ‘The All Nighters Campaign’.

Follow this year’s winners via #ADFEST2019 and #TMRRWTDAY on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn (

24 March, 2019            
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