The 20th Annual Webby Awards December 21, 2015

Interview with Kinetic’s Creative Director Pann Lim

Tell us why the Internet can't be stopped in 5 words: Try staying offline... you can’t.

With so many places to visit online, and coupled with the connectedness of the Internet of Things, it’s a relief to take pleasure in the less ostentatious. The Singapore-based creative agency Kinetic exemplifies this sentiment as they turn a relish for the openness of the Internet on forum-like sites such as reddit and Buzzfeed to their excellent skill at crafting experiential campaigns.

With 7 Webby Wins and Nominations to their name, Kinetic’s most recent honor was for their work on Rubbish FAMzine, an art and editorial publication that is, in fact, published by a family of four. A quick survey of the current iteration of Kinetic’s homepage reveals a deep-knowledge of the humorous, quirky and not unserious areas of the Internet which they parlay into their products, services and communications.

As part of our ongoing 20th Annual Webby Awards celebration, we caught up with Pann Lim, Creative Director at Kinetic. Pann was the recipient of Singapore’s highest honor for creativity in advertising, the President’s Design Award in 2013. Here, he breaks down Kinetic’s “The Internet Can’t Be Stopped” design for us.

Kinetic's Winning + Nominated Work

2008 Nominee with Hearty Beef Bowl in Web - Best Visual Design

2008 Nominee with Hearty Beef Bowl in Web - Best Visual Design

2009 Nominee with Hello Sour Sally in Web - Food & Beverage

2009 Nominee with Hello Sour Sally in Web - Food & Beverage

2012 Webby Award Winner with Kinetic Fanzine Vol. 1 in Web - Best Visual Design

2012 Webby Award Winner with Kinetic Fanzine Vol. 1 in Web - Best Visual Design

Tell us about your depiction of “The Internet Can’t Be Stopped”

We use the Internet every day and the window to the Internet, so to speak, is the web browser. In our design, we formed a maze with these cascading browser windows which snake around, looking like they’re popping up ceaselessly and you can’t do anything to stop them.

What’s the best thing to happen to the Internet in the past 20 years?

Too many best things. Access to information is a real equalizer and the Internet has been so instrumental in enabling that. Social media of course makes the list, how it has transformed not only the way people communicate, but the people themselves. Armed with smartphones and keyboards, even introverts become outspoken online. And that’s when you also discover that there are so many funny people in the world (phew, so we’re not alone!). With 9GAG, reddit, Buzzfeed, Youtube, trollers, memes and more, the Internet is like life’s comedy channel. And wait, have we talked about online shopping yet?

Artist Spotlight - Kinetic

What are you most excited for in the next 20 years of the Internet?

The Internet is virtual but it’s definitely seeping into the physical world with the technologies it has helped create. In the future, this integration will become even more seamless. Like the Internet of Things, where you have smart everyday objects equipped with sensors to read their surroundings, and communicate the data to relevant centers to be analyzed and acted upon. An example would be smart cars which can ‘talk’ to a smart city grid; traffic lights can then respond to real-time traffic flow rather than coming on at fixed intervals. We can just see it now, a future where kids simply can’t wrap their heads around the idea of being offline… On a more personal level though, we’re looking forward to the day when you can download and print lunch.

Your team has helped shape the last 20 years of the Webbys. What are you working on now?

There is so much talk about the future, it makes us pine for the past somewhat. We’re interested in how we can bring together the two, and we’re constantly exploring and experimenting with old things, to make them new and desirable again. We would love to say that we’re hard at work on our new website, but that would be a blatant lie.

How is Kinetic using technology to connect consumers to clients at the moment?

The corporate website seems to have gone the way of the dinosaurs; in their place, the ubiquitous social media. From Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Weibo — you name it, we’ve thought of how to use it to the best advantage for our clients. But we’ve always placed more emphasis on content rather than the mode of delivery. And technology should be precisely that, a means to an end.

Tell us in 5 words why the Internet can’t be stopped.

Try staying offline… you can’t.

For the Call for Entries for our 20th Webby Awards, we have partnered with 20 Webby Winners – who throughout the past 20 years have shaped not only The Webby Awards, but the Internet itself. Read more about our 20th Webbys collaboration here.

Don’t forget you can watch all the highlights from the 20th Annual Webby Awards now!