The Crowbar Awards 2014

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About Crowbar


Organised by the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Singapore (4As), The Crowbar Awards is an annual platform for emerging young 'creatives' to showcase their best works and learn from their peers.

The need for a student's creative awards was tabled back in 1998, but there were never the right resources or setting to introduce it. In 2000, serious planning and consultations were set in place to launch the show in 2001. It was decided that the industry needed this impetus to ensure that local talent is developed and nurtured to raise the already high standards of creativity that Singapore is known for.

The first Student Creative Awards was held in 2001, where students were encouraged to "grab a crowbar and break in to the industry", thus it was affectionately dubbed The Crowbar Awards. From a local event to one that reaches beyond boundaries, The Crowbar Awards has certainly evolved over the years. Turning international has attracted entries from countries as close as across the causeway to as far away as the United Kingdom, China, Australia and New Zealand. Annually, The Crowbar Awards attracts an average of more than a thousand entries. Today, it has evolved into a holistic year-long program from talent recognition through talent development and beyond. In 2012, The Crowbar Shine program was announced in an effort to fast track and retain talented creatives into the industry.

The Crowbar Awards is an excellent example of how the advertising industry and educational institutions have come together to provide a platform for healthy competition and at the same time have helped in raising the bar in creative thinking. With industry practitioners judging the entries; the award is a recognised and invaluable means for the recipient to gain entry into the advertising industry.

As the industry trade body, the 4As is committed to develop and nurture young talents for the creative sector. Through the awards and other educational & training initiatives, we continue to foster their strengths and shape them as global leaders for the creative world.


All full-time students currently enrolled in any school, or those who graduated within 2013, are eligible to submit entries to The Crowbar Awards 2014. We leave it to each school to define what constitutes a "full-time student."

Your entries must be produced during the course of your enrolment in school or produced during your school attachment/internship period with an organisation or agency. Please note that your work must be of your original ideas and produced solely by yourself. Work that is found to be not original or to be adaptations of existing advertising material in terms of concept, layout or subject matter will be disqualified.

Best of Show and Category Crowbar Winners (Advertising, Design, Interactive, Film, Photography) from previous Crowbar Awards are eligible. However, entries submitted for previous Crowbar Awards are NOT eligible.

Online submissions begin 7 May 2014.


  • Advertising
  • Design
  • Photography
  • Interactive
  • Film


Entry Deadline

16 JUNE 2014, 5.00PM



Gary Steele

Regional Creative Director

Gary Steele is the world’s youngest advertising veteran. He went straight from school into the industry; and hasn’t skipped a day since. In a career spanning a mere thirteen years he has practised his craft on three different continents. And in that time, his keen eye for classy art direction has spotted some of the world’s most celebrated logos in the bottom right hand corner of his layouts.

But the bottom right hand corner is about the only ‘rule’ Gary follows. Because what sets him apart from his peers is his burning desire to create advertising that doesn’t resemble advertising. His most awarded work falls into categories beyond the ordinary – and as he will tell you, it’s no coincidence that the same work is also his most effective.

Mel du Toit

Global Creative Director

Mel was raised and educated in Cape Town, and has had the opportunity of living, working, or traveling around five continents. Before relocating to Singapore, he spent the past 14 years in a low-energy, passive solar house in the woods of Castlecrag, Australia.

His leadership roles included ECD tenures at TBWA, Lowe, Publicis Mojo and FCB. In 2001 Mel started his own agency, which he ran successfully until it was acquired in 2005 by DDB. He has worked across all major brand categories with particular experience on P&G, Singapore Airlines, Standard Chartered Bank, Visa, J&J, Unilever, Citibank, The Commonwealth Bank, Qantas, Lexus, Nestle, ebay, Toyota, HP, Coke, Burger King, Shell and Pernod Ricard.

In 2010 Mel was part of the team that initiated the P&G Vicks Road to Relief Project, which to date has helped vaccinate over 4.5 million kids in developing countries. The project was recognised by UNICEF with an award for Consumer Engagement. He is highly awarded and has won metal in most international award festivals.

Currently Mel is Global Creative Director on Singapore Airlines at TBWA Group Singapore. When he’s not busy with work, Mel enjoys spending time in nature, travelling, and immersed in other human-powered activities like drumming, leather carving and art. He is married and has a daughter and son.

Edmund Choe

Chief Creative Officer
TBWA\Singapore and Southeast Asia

Malaysian-born Edmund began in the advertising industry at ADCOM & GREY in Singapore. He moved to Batey Ads and then Ogilvy & Mather before starting a long and illustrious era at Saatchi & Saatchi.

His first nine years at Saatchi & Saatchi were spent in Singapore in the 90’s – the agency’s “Golden Era” – where in 1997, the agency won the acclaimed Advertising Age ‘Agency of the Year’ title.

Edmund moved to Kuala Lumpur in 2000 to take on the Executive Creative Director role and rebuild an agency that had been badly affected by the 1997 Asian financial crisis. During his time there, the agency won ‘Agency of the Year’ four times. In 2005, Edmund was made ECD of the Indonesia office as well, which subsequently won Indonesia’s ‘Agency of the Year.’

In 2008, Edmund took on the Regional ECD role for Greater China and was made a member of Saatchi & Saatchi’s Worldwide Creative Board. In the following years, his team picked up numerous awards, including three Cannes Lions for their biggest client, P&G.

In May 2011, he joined TBWA\Greater China as Co-President and Head of Creative. In less than two years, Edmund helped to grow the agency into the fifth largest operation within TBWA’s network. The agency saw 220% growth in 2013 alone.

In January 2014, Edmund returned to Singapore to take on the newly created role of Chief Creative Officer for Singapore and South East Asia.

Edmund is one of the most awarded creative directors in Asia, having won many regional and international awards including 18 Cannes Lions. He regularly participates on juries at major award shows, including the Cannes Titanium and Integrated jury in 2009 and more recently, the 50th ANDY Awards by special invitation from David Droga who was the Jury President.

Ronald Ng

Chief Creative Officer
BBDO & Proximity Singapore

Ronald graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism sometime in the mid-90s.

After doing his agency rounds, he joined BBDO/Proximity Malaysia in 2004. During his tenure there, the agency proved to be a truly integrated office winning awards across all disciplines.

The Big Won Global Report ranked their HELP University ‘Wheelchair’ idea as the 6th most awarded ‘Innovative and Alternative Media’ campaign in 2008. The 2009 Big Won Report ranked BBDO/Proximity Malaysia as the 13th most awarded agency in the world. In 2010, the Gunn Report ranked the Jeep ‘Two Worlds’ campaign as the No.1 outdoor campaign in the world, and the agency the 8th most awarded worldwide. In the same report, Ronald was ranked as the 4th most awarded Chief Creative Officer.

In 2009, Ronald joined BBDO New York as Executive Vice President/Executive Creative Director. He led successful pitch wins for Orbitz and the Johnson & Johnson global baby business. Honours were received at D&AD, Clio, One Show, Cannes and the Webbies. In 2012, his interactive installation for Autism Speaks was accepted into the New York Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) permanent archives.

In August 2012, Ronald took on the role of Chief Creative Officer of BBDO and Proximity Singapore and was appointed head of the BBDO Asia Creative Council. At the 2013 Singapore Creative Circle Awards, the agency was crowned Agency of the Year.

All in all, his proudest achievements are his sons, Jonah and Noah – great ideas, beautifully produced.

Thomas Yang

Deputy Executive Creative Director / Head of Art & Design
DDB Singapore

When Thomas Yang was at the tender age of three, his mother walked in one day to find him on the living room floor happily doodling away. Since then, she’s found Thomas to be happiest when he has a pencil in his hand and paper to doodle on.

So it came as no surprise to her, or to anyone else, that Thomas would eventually complete his education from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in 1992. Obsessively passionate about drawing, design, and ideas, he discovered advertising after he graduated. And there, found his true calling.

Thomas’s big break came in 1998 when he won Best New Art Director at the Singapore Creative Circle Awards. After which he went on to bag over 300 regional and international awards at major shows such as D&AD, The One Show, Cannes, Clio, AdFest and The Spikes. In 2011, besides winning The Creative Director of the Year in the Hall Of Fame award, he was also one of the top 10 highest ranked creative directors in Cannes.

Thomas believes that strategic thinking precedes craft. And that the mark of any great art director is flexibility – having a design sense that is unrestricted by a particular style.

For the last 17 years, he has been earning his stripes with stints at Lowe, BBDO, O&M, M&C Saatchi, 10am Communications, JWT, before landing his current position at DDB Singapore.

As a Creative Director at DDB, he has forged relationships with both clients and within the creative department with one goal in mind: To create work that does wonders and delivers results in the market place. During his time at the agency, Thomas has helped create work that has made DDB the most awarded Singapore agency at Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, Spikes Asia, AdFest and the Creative Circle Awards, three years in a row.

Besides winning awards, Thomas is a fan of giving them out to worthy winners too. He has helped to judge at shows both regionally and globally. In 2012 alone, Thomas has judged at the Kidlat Awards and ADOBO Design Awards (Philippines), the Citra Pariwara (Indonesia) and Cannes (France). He has also recently judged at one of the biggest stages in advertising and design show – D&AD 2014.

Yet, this through and through local boy has never forgotten about the hand that fed him. A fierce supporter of the Singapore advertising scene, Thomas has been consistently judging and supporting local talent for the past 10 years at the Singapore Creative Circle Awards and the Crowbar Awards.

In his life outside the advertising world, Thomas is a hardcore cyclist. In an attempt to blur the lines between the two, he has combined his love for the sport and his passion for design into a collection of limited edition cycling-related prints and tees. “100copies” ( is already a runaway hit.

But above all the accomplishments in his life and everything that can be said about him in his biography, Thomas firmly believes he will never be prouder to say that he is a father of two lovely daughters – the Grand Prix of his life.

Valerie Cheng

Chief Creative Officer
JWT Singapore

Valerie stumbled into advertising, starting the first 10 years of her career in digital but has since evolved to do more brand building, integrated creative solutions for major brands such a Hewlett-Packard, Procter & Gamble, Singapore Airlines, HSBC, Burger King, VISA, Singapore Tourism Board, Tiger Beer, and many others.

In 2010, Valerie was made the first female chairperson in the history of the Creative Circle Awards Singapore and went on to judge at Spikes Asia 2011, Cannes Lions 2011, D&AD 2012, Clio 2013 and London International Awards 2013. She has most recently been invited to judge at Cannes 2014 on their Cyber panel.

Over the years, she has made her mark at Cannes, One Show, London International, Effies, Golden Drum, Spikes Asia, Adfest and the Webby’s. Under her leadership, JWT Singapore picked up the Best Of Show award, at Creative Circle Awards 2012. That same night, they were also awarded Digital Agency of The Year and the Grand Prix for Digital/Mobile.

For all her achievements, she was awarded Singapore’s first Digital Creative Director of The Year award at the 2011 Advertising Hall of Fame event and she continued to defend this title again in 2012. She has also been voted as one of Singapore's Most Influential Creative Directors for 2011, 2012 and 2013 by IAS.

Stefen Chow


Stefen is grateful to witness the world through his camera. His versatility in photography is proven through his work that spans different genres in the industry across 6 continents.

He counts winning the World Press Photo, summitting Mount Everest and being a failed scholar in University as his life's highlights.

Stefen is also the co-founder of ‘The Poverty Line’, a global visual project that contexualises poverty. It was nominated for the Prix Pictet and won the Arles Photography Open Salon. He is currently based in Beijing.

Farrokh Madon

Chief Creative Officer
Y&R Singapore

In a career spanning Singapore, Amsterdam and India, Farrokh has garnered over 150 prestigious advertising awards. These include a D&AD Silver Nomination, Grand Prix at AdFest and numerous accolades at Cannes, One Show and Spikes Asia in categories spanning Outdoor, Cyber, Direct, Promotions, Press, TV, and Mobile.

Work done on his watch has featured on CNN’s Anderson Cooper show & FOX TV in America. He has also worked with international celebrities ranging from Jessica Alba to the inimitable Super Mario.

Farrokh was presented the Creative Director of the Year Award in 2013, at the Institute of Advertising Singapore’s Hall of Fame Awards. Over the last decade, he is also the only creative leader to be nominated as one of Singapore’s Most Influential Creative Directors by the IAS, for 7 years.

Outside advertising, Farrokh has written a novel, which briefly sat on the Top Sellers shelf at Kinokuniya.


Crowbar Marketing Challenge

October 2014 - February 2014

Would you like a chance to learn from experts in the local marketing industry? Keen on working in one of Singapore's most innovative F&B companies? Raring to see your marketing plan come to life?

If any of your answers is a resounding YES, hesitate no more and register now for the first-ever Crowbar Marketing Challenge – a creative marketing challenge open to all tertiary students (diploma or undergrad) now!

Registration Period:

All registration forms must be emailed to

How to Register

Registration form available soon.

For further enquiries, please write to

Crowbar 24 - Hour Advertising Challenge

15 - 16 September 2014

The Crowbar 24 Hour Advertising Challenge aims to push the creativity boundaries of students in a time-pressed environment and give them a first taste of the realities of life in an agency. In teams of 5, they will be given 24 hours to crack a live brief given by companies. The brief will be assigned to the teams and they will have access to mentors who are some of the leading creative directors in the industry. It will be a test of creative finesse and wits as they convene for a pitch 24 hours later. The team that emerges top will win a Crowbar Award. Participation in this challenge creates a good opportunity for the selected students to gain first-hand learning experience of working on a live brief alongside with veterans of the industry.

Event Venue:


Registration Period:

Completed applications must be handed to the school staff representative by 15 August 2014

How to Register:

Download registration form here.

For further enquiries, please contact The 4As at 6836-0600 or email

The Big Crowbar Break / The Winner’s Workshop

November 8, 2014

The ad industry’s first Mentoring and Placement Program – The Big Crowbar Break comprises a careers fair, workshops and a mentorship program. Here, you will meet Singapore’s most prestigious agencies and brands who are looking for young talent like you. You will also be given an intimate view of the workings in the advertising and creative world through these experts’ eyes.

Event Venue:

National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road, Singapore 188969

Registration Period:

All registration forms must be received by November 4, 2014.

How to Register:

Download registration form here.

For further enquiries, please contact Mike at 6836-0600 or email


Maik Lutze

Executive Creative Director
BBDO/ Proximity

Khalid Osman

Creative Director

Nrusingha Choudhury

Associate Creative Director
Grey Group

Adrian Yeap

Senior Copywriter
Ogilvy & Mather Singapore

Rohit Malkani

Creative Director Regional

Douglas Goh

Creative Group Head
TBWA\ Group Singapore

Emir Shafri

Digital Creative Lead
Y&R Singapore

Strategic Partners

Friends of Crowbar

Supporting Partners

Awards Show

26 September 2014

Event Venue:



5:30pm to 9:30pm


$75 per person (1 free ticket with every 5 purchased. Students only.)

For reservations, please email


  • What is the nearest MRT Station to the 4As office?

    Clarke Quay MRT Station.

  • What is a campaign?

    A campaign is a theme series of ads for one product carrying the same concept throughout. In our reference, a campaign consists of no less than 3 and no more than 6 items.

  • What is an integrated campaign?

    In our reference, an integrated campaign refers to the use of various types of media using the same creative concept to deliver a consistent message in a campaign (e.g. Radio, bus-stop poster and newspapers) as part of one campaign for a product or service.

  • I have entered and won (Best of Show/Best of Category) in this competition before. Can I enter again?

    Yes, you can! Best of Show and Best of Category winners from previous Crowbar Awards are eligible. However, previously submitted entries are NOT eligible.

  • Can I make up a product or service for my ads?

    Yes, you can make up a product or service. It does not have to be a real company or brand.

  • Should I submit hard copies of my artwork?

    No. Hard copies of the artwork does not need to be submitted unless it is for Design categories B2 (Packaging) and B3 (Editorial Design). For these two categories, you may submit the original item.

  • Is there a limit to the number of entries I can send in?

    No, there is no limit to the number of entries you can send in. However, you have to pay for EACH entry submitted.

  • Why must I submit a short synopsis on my work?

    The synopsis provides you an opportunity to communicate the concept or purpose of your work to the jury panel, so that they gain a better understanding on the thought processes behind your idea.

  • Why must I submit RGB/Low res & Mid res and CMYK/High res files?

    RGB/Low red & Mid res files are required as only RGB files appear in the software used for Judging. CMYK/High res files will be used for printing of the exhibition posters, should your entry make it as a finalist.

  • Do I need to submit another set of files if I am entering the same work for the same category?

    No, you don't. Just indicate the same file name on the checklist. However, you will have to submit another set of files for the same work if you are entering it in different categories (e.g. For categories A01 and B01).

  • When will the results be released? Will the winners be notified?

    Results will be announced during the Awards Show (Date of Awards Show to be announced later). It will be available on the website or Facebook page after the Awards Show. We will inform the school of the shortlisted entries, NOT the winners so your lecturers will inform you. A list of finalists will be posted on the Crowbar Facebook page. Please check the Crowbar Facebook page for updates.

  • Can we use images from the Internet?

    You may use Royalty Free stock images or images from the internet that are NOT copyrighted, but these entries should not be entered into categories that are judged on image itself (e.g. Photography, Illustration).

  • Must I be a final year student to enter this competition?

    No, you can enter at any level as long as you are a full time student in a school.

  • I am an overseas student and would like to take part in the Crowbars. What is the payment mode accepted?

    The preferred payment is a Bank Draft. Details of beneficiary can be found on the Payment Form. For Payment via Remittance, all bank charges including the remitting; corresponding and receiving banks are to be paid by the Entrant.



About 4AS

Founded in 1948, The Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Singapore, better known as 4As, is a non-profit association which actively represents advertising, media and marketing communications practitioners, agencies and related businesses in Singapore.

Since then, the local advertising industry has evolved rapidly with the advancement of technology offering exciting new prospects for advertising and media, which among them include the internet, mobile/smart phones and social networking sites. Yet while the days where predominantly black and white media advertisements reigned have given way to modern-day full, living colour ones, the purpose of 4As remains the same.

Its key objectives are to elevate the stature of the advertising, media and marketing communications industry by providing a collective voice for the industry while at the same time, nurture talent and creativity. To fulfill these goals, the association works closely with key industry stakeholders, such as trade associations, educational institutions and government bodies.

Over the years, 4As has introduced a series of industry awards and annual events to recognise outstanding talents in advertising, media and related fields to motivate those in the industry to achieve greater heights. Prominent among them are the Singapore Creative Circle Awards or the Gong Show; the Students Creative Awards, affectionately referred to as The Crowbars; and the Singapore Media Awards.

Contact Us


If you have any queries about Crowbar 2014, please contact us at:


38A North Canal Road
Singapore 059294
Tel: +65 6836 0600