AME’s award-winning Grand Jury members have a world-wide reputation for innovation, creative excellence, strategic prowess, and the ability to deliver distinctive and effective results for global brands.
The AME Awards honors not just campaigns that are creative, but campaigns that hit the bullseye for brands, triumphing in both creativity and effectiveness and AME’s Grand Jury are the genius minds behind many of AME’s award-winning entries.
2020 AME Grand Jury member Baggio Xiaofeng Song is Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Inspire Communications, one of a few truly integrated agencies from China. Having over 15 years’ hybrid experience in developing brand strategy, integrated communications campaign, media strategy and technology solutions from Leo Burnett, BBDO/Interone, Google and Omnicom Media Group, Baggio leads an integrated team of brand strategists, media planners, content planners and data analysts, providing omni-channel strategy for many reputed international and local brands.
A graduate in Communications and Advertising from Shanghai International Studies University, Baggio also holds an MBA from TsingHua University and a Global Executive MBA from China Europe International Business School. He has worked with brands from diversified industries such as Audi, BMW, Clarins, Coca Cola, Castrol, Deutsche Bank, Oreo, Disney Resort, BOSCH, Hilton, Dyson, Oppo, Unilever, Tiger Beer, Caterpillar and many others.
AME Awards: Tell us about your process of creating and delivering effective results.
Baggio Song: As a matter of fact, it’s always a bit chaotic than ‘standard procedure’ of many agencies, but it worked quite well.
We make sure the project team consists of people of all discipline to make things work: project management to watch business requirements, brand planners to own insights and cultural, media planners to integrate resources and partners, creative to guard organizing ideas and execution, data person to look at proofs and calculations, and everyone to be led by usually a business partner level leader to make sure things come up together with sense. We have group meeting to feed each other information/ideas and brainstorm, we take group decisions back to our desks and work individually, and back to group discussions and repeat. We make sure a flat and lean org structure, break silos to improve synergy and communication, have one top leader to ensure consistent strategy and execution. All these adds up to more effective results.
AME Awards: Why are effectiveness competitions like the AME Awards important?
Baggio Song: When the industry focused too much on single components like strategy, art, data or execution which are the ‘multipliers’, we lost focus on the root cause. Every business success is the result of combining many consistent factors from strategy to delivery, plus a bit of macro environment and luck. Effectiveness awards like AME gives all of us a chance to step back and look at a bigger picture, to understand how exactly all of those components worked together, and how exactly the synergy that creates the business impact. It’s the portal to the facts and truth and how marketing and communication really works.
AME Awards: What is your favorite most effective ad and why does it hit the bullseye for the brand?
Baggio Song: So far it has been the Nike 30 years campaign from 2018, featuring Colin Kaepernick and other real human beings including legendary athletes and extraordinary everyday people. Every ‘Just do it’ action of any ‘great athlete’, is inspired by greater beliefs, pushed by bigger courage, and strengthened by relentless efforts. There is no better way than using real human being’s real stories, to touch and move the audience. In light of cultural and political conflicts, Nike dared to make a stand to defend values, to me is the ultimate leadership of a brand can ever achieve. And it turns out to be successful.
AME Awards: Any advice for entrants? Will you share your tips for entry success?
Baggio Song: Tell a simple and logical story, cut jargons and use simple human language, and make sure to link the solutions to results with sense. Don’t list 100 factors, list maximum top three which made a real difference. Try to dig into facts and data to find the real ‘leverage’ and explain well how exactly it worked.
AME Awards: Who is your inspiration and how has this philosophy made you who you are today?
Baggio Song: David Bowie. Never satisfy with status quo and be creative. Push things forward with a balance of artistic breakthrough and mass audience acceptance. Adapt to the time and still keep your signature at the same time. Never set a fixed frame on your evolving self.