The Spaceship, in Sydney, Australia, won five Gold Stevie® Awards in the 2016 Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards: two in the Corporate Communications/Investor Relations/Public Relations Awards categories, for Innovation in the Use of Celebrities or Public Figures and for Innovation in the Use of Video; and three in the Marketing Awards categories, for Innovation in Branded Entertainment, for Innovation in Sponsorships, and for Most Innovative Marketing or Advertising Professional of the Year.
The 2017 Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards will open for entries in October.
Request your Entry Kit here.
We spoke with 2016’s Most Innovative Marketing or Advertising Professional, Kumar Manix, Founder and Creative Director of The Spaceship, about his company, his work philosophy, and what winning multiple Gold Stevie® Awards has meant to him and his team.
Kumar and his team at The Spaceship specialize in blending the creative and the commercial with an entrepreneurial flair, and bring to each project a deep level of strategic thinking and industry knowledge honed by years of experience working with blue chip brands.
The Spaceship team is talented and highly motivated, and they approach campaigns with a provocative and adventurous spirit, as well as a strong sense of fun, but are still relentless in achieving demonstrable results for their clients.
Kumar told us that winning in the Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards has been great for his team and his clients. “We take great pride in our work,” he told us. “We celebrate our success at the Stevie Awards and it is something each of us will hold close to our heart. Our clients also get to share in the win and it allows them to shine amongst their peers.”
Transforming Customers into Fans
Together with his team at The Spaceship, Kumar’s goal is to find innovative and inspiring ways to transform customers into fans, content into ideas, and ideas into experiences.
A great example of this is the Gold Stevie® Award-winning entry for their Rise of The Tomb Raider Asia Launch.
Tomb Raider is the iconic video game franchise starring its beautiful and fearless protagonist, Lara Croft, battling enemies through highly challenging environments using improvised weapons and gadgets. The exclusive launch of Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox made the event a natural magnet for worldwide attention, Xbox sought to elevate the game experience even further by bringing Lara Croft herself to life for fans in Asia.
The Spaceship team created and executed a clever stunt-led idea that developed into an all-encompassing, fan-focused campaign. It started with a death-defying stunt, and continued with fun interactive contests using Twitch, the leading video platform and community for gamers.
High Impact Stunt
Renowned Lara Croft cosplayer, Jenn Croft, leapt off the world’s highest bungee jump at Macau Tower, decked out in the latest Tomb Raider outfit and accessories.
Fans could #HackTheIce through the twitter hashtag to reveal prizes embedded in eight Rise of the Tomb Raider-themed ice sculptures.
Social & Digital
The entire event, from the death-defying stunt, fan engagement contests, unveiling of never-before-seen Rise of the Tomb Raider footage, meet-and-greets, and question-and-answer sessions were all streamed live over Twitch–a first for a game launch in Asia.
Fans who tuned in participated by tweeting in their questions bearing the #HackTheIce hashtag, and voted for the ice sculpture to be hacked by Jenn Croft, to reveal prizes for participating fans. This sequence of events was also amplified via Xbox and Microsoft social media channels across Asia. A media release on the #HackTheIce campaign was disseminated to media across Asia, and posted on the Microsoft Asia News Center.
In line with Lara Croft’s personal adventures in Rise of the Tomb Raider, the #HackTheIce Campaign has shown that the bold execution of big ideas and going off-the-beaten-track can lead to great rewards:
- The campaign generated the highest-ever digital sales for any Tomb Raider version on Xbox;
- The video game content created for the campaign was viewed more than a million times;
- The interactive live stream event saw nearly 600 questions tweeted over just two hours, and reached close to 600,000 fans from around the world via social media; and
- The media outreach garnered 66 stories across multiple markets in the region.
Bringing Crazy Ideas to Life
We asked Kumar how The Spaceship team keeps coming up with such amazingly wild and crazy ideas. He told us: “We are fortunate to have an incredible team that thrives on the challenge and relishes the buzz of bringing crazy ideas to life. We have a zest for doing amazing experiences. We want our clients to push us to create new and bold ideas. We don’t want to just emulate other best practices. We want to create them.”
A Bright Future for Brands in Digital and Social Media
Kumar added that the Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards are helping in broadening awareness of his company. “Being recognized as an ‘innovative business’ by the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards is helping to further open doors for us in new business development. It is also helping us to transcend the traditional events agency model.” As Kumar puts it: “We work on creating epic launches and experiences for brands across Asia.”
Looking ahead, Kumar sees a bright future. “We love the challenge of creating shareable experiences that go well beyond the moment and that extend beyond the audience at an event,” he explained. “We aim to transform customers into fans. Digital and Social are at the heart of what we believe is the start of an amazing era of rich experiences for brands all over the world.”
About Kumar Manix:
Kumar has led a wide range of high profile campaigns for clients such as Microsoft, Foxtel, Samsung, Intel, Coca Cola, and Adobe. He has achieved enormous success, driving millions of dollars’ worth of earned media and inspiring epic levels of fan engagement.
As a marketer, his campaigns have seen him collaborate with some of the greatest storytellers in the world including Oprah, the BBC, Disney and Marvel. Through his innovative use of video to drive engagement, Kumar has taken fans on numerous adventures to thrilling places, such as floating 100,000 feet into the sky on a space balloon, leaping off a high building with Lara Croft, and driving at 280 km/h in a racing car with The Stig.
He has worked extensively in the Asian market, primarily in China and Singapore, but also in Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. His deep understanding of the unique character and requirements of consumers in Asia has helped him to achieve extraordinary results, including working on the launch of the Xbox video game console in China in 2014 following a decade-long ban on foreign video game consoles.
Outside of his work, Kumar is happily married and the father of two children, Kiran and Ria. He is sports obsessed–something the Australians term a “sports tragic”–and a lover of street food from all over the world. He also owns an enviable collection of sneakers.
About The Spaceship:
The Spaceship is a brand activation agency that is based in Sydney and works globally.
For more information, go to http://thespaceship.com.au/