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MARKETING MAGAZINE JUNE SPECIAL ANNUAL EDITION

AGENCY OF THE YEAR 2019


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CONTENTS

Editor’s Letter ...................................................................... 3 Judges panel ........................................................................ 4 Methodology ........................................................................ 5 Overall Agency of the Year...................................................... 6 Best Agency Culture .............................................................. 8 Best Client-Agency Collaboration ..........................................10 B2B Agency of the Year .........................................................14 B2C Agency of the Year..........................................................16 Best Acquisition/Retention Agency of the Year........................18 Best Performance-Based Agency of the Year..........................22 Best Start-Up Agency of the Year...........................................25 Boutique Agency of the Year..................................................28 Brand Consultancy of the Year...............................................30 Content Marketing Agency of the Year....................................32 Creative Agency of the Year...................................................34 CRM & Loyalty Agency of the Year..........................................38 Design Agency of the Year.....................................................41 Digital Agency of the Year......................................................44 E-Commerce Agency of the Year............................................46 Event Agency of the Year.......................................................50 Independent Agency of the Year............................................52 Industry Specialist Agency of the Year...................................55 Innovative Agency of the Year................................................57 Integrated Marketing Agency of the Year................................59 Market Research Agency of the Year ......................................62 Media Agency of the Year.......................................................65 Mobile Marketing Agency of the Year......................................67 Production Agency of the Year...............................................69 Programmatic Agency of the Year..........................................71 Public Relations Agency of the Year.......................................74 Search Agency of the Year.....................................................77 Social Media Agency of the Year.............................................80

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HONOURING THE BEST AND THE BRAVEST

Editorial Rick Boost, Editor Simon Yuen, Senior Journalist Sharon Kwok, Journalist Tracy Chan, Bilingual Sub Editor James Foster, Sub Editor Advertising Sales Karen Yung, Sales Director Alvis Ng, Senior Account Manager Sandra Lui, Senior Account Manager Design Production Julia Li, Senior Graphic Designer Circulation Deborah Quek, Circulation Manager Marketing Cyrus Ching, Marketing Executive Event Production Andrew Wright, Head of Events Production & Content Selina Kwok, Event Producer Event Services Melissa Tam, Senior Event Manager Sharon Chu, Senior Event Executive Fiona Ng, Event Executive Event Delegate Sales Nicholas Lam, Senior Project Executive Gloria Yam, Senior Project Executive Management Vivien Peters, Publisher

Since taking over the editorial leadership for Marketing magazine I have repeatedly stated how busy hitting the ground running has kept me. Yet, I must confess the hurly-burly involved in my hazing period has kept me away from one of the most rewarding elements of this job, and by that, I mean the judging. I am a vocal advocate for retrospection and the old adage of looking back at where one came from to see where one is going. I don’t believe in any magical muses or spirit of pure originality and am wary of self-styled prophets. We do not conjure genius from the ether; we – whether we realise or acknowledge it – only evolve, mutate and shatter the ideas of the before to form the visions of the next. Which is part of why I loved taking my place as part of the judging process, and specifically, why I was glad my first foray into it for Marketing magazine was for our Agency of The Year awards. These proceedings are no mere pat on the back crossed with a lobby shelf decoration supply service. They are an essential part of this industry’s growth. Though impressive, we are looking beyond the collection of magnificent work presented. We are examining the people and cultures from which they were crafted to better understand ourselves. In their isolation, each agency is a solar system of team members, projects and accounts, and gathered together,

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Lighthouse Independent Media Ltd. Printed in Hong Kong by Asia One Printing Ltd. For subscriptions, contact circulations at +852 2861 1882 or email subscriptions@marketing-interactive.com. COPYRIGHT & REPRINTS: All material printed in Marketing is protected under the copyright act. All rights reserved. No material may be reproduced in part or in whole without the prior written consent of the publisher and copyright holder. Permission may be requested through the Hong Kong office. Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in Marketing are not necessarily the views of the publisher. Hong Kong: Lighthouse Independent Media Ltd, publisher of Marketing magazine 16/F, Yardley Commercial Building, 3 Connaught Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Tel: +852 2861 1882 Fax: +852 2861 1336 Singapore: Lighthouse Independent Media Pte Ltd 100C Pasir Panjang Road, #05-01 See Hoy Chan Hub, Singapore 118519 Tel: +65 6423 0329 Fax: +65 6423 0117 To subscribe to Marketing magazine, go to: www.marketing-interactive.com SCAN TO SUBSCRIBE

Rick Boost Editor 3

they form a galaxy of potential. And just as no piece of content springs out of existential nothingness, neither does a great agency. Sitting in the conference room with our judges I noticed how easily they could identify the companies that had strived to better themselves, to embolden their staff, encouraged kindness within the community and challenged their own way of thinking. These are who we honour each and every year at the AOTY. I hope that we all continue to grow and be the very best we can be. Thank you.


JUDGES MAGGIE CHENG

EMILY LEUNG

General Manager – Marketing BMW Concessionaires (HK)

Associate Director, Marketing Capital Group

VIVIAN CHAN

CECILIA YIM

Head of Marketing Communications Cathay Pacific Airways

Group Director – Marketing Chow Sang Sang Jewellery Co

CHERRY HO

Assistant Vice-President, Customer Segments and Experience Wealth Management DBS Bank (Hong Kong)

BRYAN TURPIN

JANICE LEUNG

Head of Marketing and Communications Emperor Watch and Jewellery

KAREN TAM

Head of Digital Marketing, Asia Pacific Fidelity International

Assistant General Manager (Strategic Marketing) Wharf Estates

TAMARA GRINDROD

ANNIE HO

Vice-President, Marketing and Sales, Asia Pacific Hasbro

Marketing and Development Director Hong Kong Arts Centre

JENKIN HO

CHLOE KWOK

Director, Commercial Strategy, Content Management Hong Kong Disneyland Resort

Head of Marketing, Consumer Division Johnson & Johnson Hong Kong

CONNIE NG

TAK LEE

Marketing Director Kimberly-Clark (Hong Kong)

Head of Retail Marketing Swire Properties

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KIM PLAGGENBURG

KEVIN SHUI

Group Marketing Director The Greater China Restaurant Company

General Manager, Hong Kong Travelzoo

SILVER WONG

FIONA KWOK

Former Chief Customer Officer Ztore

Chief Marketing Officer Zurich Insurance (Hong Kong)

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HOW THE WINNERS WON

Marketing magazine’s Agency of the Year Awards stands as the annual industry standard of excellence for Hong Kong’s marketing community. The 2019 awards were open for submissions from all agencies and companies based in Hong Kong or the Hong Kong office of a global or regional corporation. Winners were 100% selected by client-side marketers during a rigorous judging process of agency performance from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2018. All entrants were evaluated across four key business areas: performance, product, people and perspective. 25% Performance Agencies had to outline the measurable metrics/statistics on the success of their business strategies. Indicators included commercial success, client retention and growth, as well as any notable new business.

JUDGING CRITERIA Performance Product People Perspective

25% Product Agencies had to show how their products and services stood out from others in the industry and demonstrate what made them significant and unique. These included significant campaign launches, fresh marketing initiatives and new business offerings. 25% People Agencies had to describe how they succeeded in managing their key resource – people. Judges looked at how key hires, internal promotions, training and staff incentive programmes shaped the teams on hand. 25% Perspective Agencies had to illustrate how they had been communicating their company’s perspectives and vision. This included participation at industry events or conferences, contributions to publications, research, awards or other recognition, and contributing to the overall growth of the Hong Kong ad market.

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Why did Accenture Interactive win Overall Agency of the Year? While any agency winning gold in its respective category was eligible for the Overall Agency award, Accenture Interactive scored the highest number of accumulated points across all categories, including seven gold, two silver and one bronze award.

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OVERALL AGENCY OF THE YEAR

ACCENTURE INTERACTIVE, GREATER CHINA OWNED BY: ACCENTURE COMPANY HEADED BY: JASON CHAU, GREATER CHINA LEAD

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This agency helps its clients better understand and keep the attention of their audiences. Accenture Interactive provided Asia Miles with a new design and features for its loyalty programme and assisted Shiseido to develop a global solution for its own loyalty programme. What’s more, the company helped AIA build a customer-centric digital ecosystem which enabled customers to stay connected, while empowering financial planners to have a 360-view of the customers. Accenture Interactive has also embraced the importance of mobile technology to the modern consumer wholeheartedly, revamping the SmarTone CARE mobile app and developing the extraordinarily successful HSBC PayMe. But what’s more, this agency has also built bridges between brands themselves. It guided Google towards better understanding the China market and its key prospects by assisting in the joint development and implementation of the WeChat marketing, content and operation strategy. From these examples, it is clear Accenture Interactive is certainly a company with an eye to the future. But rather than merely taking advantage of that future, it is putting its resources and influence towards building a better one. Championing greater inclusion and support for diversity in the marketing industry, the agency launched Girls Go Tech, in partnership with The Women’s Foundation. And with the aim of banishing stigmas and encouraging the dreams of those with incredible potential, Accenture Interactive held its Technology Fun Day for students with high functioning autism to visit its interactive studio and develop their interest in a career in the innovation and technology industry. Put simply, Accenture Interactive not only deserves this award for being the best, but for continuously striving to be better.

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It is a major achievement when an agency is named Agency of the Year, and even more meritorious, to receive the honour for a second time. But to be bestowed with that title by one’s peers in consecutive years is an astounding achievement. Over the past year, Accenture Interactive has proven it represents and elevates the greatest ideals of the marketing community. In addition to the grand prize, it took home seven golds, two silvers and a bronze from a wide array of categories. Not only has this agency proven the quality of its work across multiple categories and specialisms, but it has also demonstrated a commitment to better industry communication. This talented team of more than 600 staff maintains a 92% rate of satisfaction and is housed in a digital studio – a 40,000-plus square foot “playground” – for exploration, experimentation and co-creation that nurtures innovative ideas. A range of activities, including monthly parties, trash recycling days, panel discussions, lunch learning sessions and workshops, keep the team close and stimulated. In addition, training sessions with organisations such as Rise provide the skills for advancement. And the results of nurturing these team members to be at their peak are on show. With Accenture Interactive’s collaboration with adidas, the agency took up the challenge to use its digital capabilities and broad understanding of the retail market to create several successful campaigns. Accenture Interactive tailored end-to-end digital solutions that connected consumer communities with relevant products, activations and retail experiences, strengthening adidas’ relationship with its customers. The “Create Your Pitch” campaign alone drew massive foot traffic, along with 9,000-plus online registrations and 76,000-plus game participations.


BEST AGENCY CULTURE

Gold

ACCENTURE INTERACTIVE, GREATER CHINA Headed by: Jason Chau, Greater China Lead Owned by: Accenture Company

FINALISTS • Accenture Interactive, Greater China • Edelman Hong Kong • Fimmick • First Page Digital • Xaxis Hong Kong W W W . MA R KE T I N G — I N T ER A C TI V E . CO M

Following on from last year’s success, Accenture Interactive once again wins gold in Best Agency Culture. Serving as a go-to destination for its clients to co-create, innovate and apply the latest digital technologies and experiences to shape the way we live and work, this agency helps to transform and transcend businesses. In the pursuit of unlocking growth, Accenture Interactive positions itself as an amalgamation of business consultancy, creative agency and technology powerhouse. In a pleasant and enjoyable workplace that encourages experimentation, exploration and co-creation, the company is at the forefront of cutting-edge innovation. “We designed the space to be a manifestation of our principles – it’s all about the experience, for our people and for our clients”, explained Jason Chau, head of Accenture Interactive in Greater China. With the marketing landscape dramatically changing, consumers expect their interactions to be seamless and frictionless. There is now a powerful convergence of marketing and technology, and brands are now being established through experiences instead of advertising. 8

Not settling for marginal improvement, but instead striving to enrich lives, Accenture Interactive takes advantage of its breadth of talent and services, access to clients, as well as its reach across industries and geographies. The agency also holds numerous workshops for innovation technology, aiming to balance forward-thinking innovation with the practicality of applying it in an environment that promotes agility, co-creation and experimentation to support client innovation. Collaboration and co-operation are closely connected with inclusion and diversity. With this in mind, the agency strongly believes that age, ethnicity, gender, religion and other differences should not cross paths with discrimination. To support and promote these core values, it has continued to partner with forward-thinking organisations such as The Women’s Foundation to launch Girls Go Tech – a highimpact programme designed to spark the interest of young females in pursuing STEM learning and technology careers. Among the many other activities and training programmes held by Accenture Interactive was a Technology Fun Day for children with high-functioning autism to learn more about the innovation and technology industry. Looking into the future, Accenture Interactive envisions becoming the foremost partner of the world’s leading brands, helping them to transform experiences and drive superior digital E2E business performance. Its mission is to make every experience meaningful and productive, while also improving the lives of others.


BEST AGENCY CULTURE

Silver

XAXIS HONG KONG Headed by: Andy Chung, Managing Director Owned by: Xaxis Hong Kong

Xaxis Hong Kong has won silver this year. Offering simplicity and accountability to clients, Xaxis Hong Kong combines unique brand-safe media access and unrivalled programmatic expertise to help global brands achieve their targets. Seeing itself as one big family, the company maintains a positive and healthy work environment by holding regular team-building activities, hosting sharing sessions with clients, and participating in local sporting competitions – all of which contribute to building individual employee confidence and stronger working relationships. Since 2018, to better facilitate effective internal communications and to stay current with regional and global events, Xaxis Hong Kong began using a cloud-based digital platform, resulting in smoother workflows and easier project management.

Bronze

The company also releases a monthly newsletter on what’s happening across Asia Pacific and produces an annual report, outlining the previous year’s events, as well as the goals ahead. Attracting, nurturing and retaining talent is of paramount importance for Xaxis Hong Kong, which is why new staff are given six months of training on joining. Staff are also encouraged to participate in local, regional and global workshops to keep up-todate with the latest technology, trends and best practices. They are also given the unique opportunity to take part in various in-house competitions, where they get to showcase their work to their peers. Describing itself as a “results-driven company”, the agency pays close attention to employee wellbeing and always strives to provide a friendly, transparent, encouraging and happy workplace.

Local Hero

FIMMICK

Headed by: Willy Lai, Co-founder and CEO Owned by: Fimmick

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and academic institutes, holding weekly sharing workshops where “Fimmickers” are encouraged to share their experiences, and running numerous training sessions throughout the year to equip staff with essential skills. In addition to having a strong, caring and fun company culture, Fimmick implements a flat organisational structure to enhance collaboration among the team. Staff also participate in morale-boosting and team-building events such as craftsmanship workshops, festive gatherings and an annual dinner. In its new Hong Kong office, Fimmick has incorporated a host of modern design features to create an engaging and healthy work environment, including collaborative work spaces, eco-friendly appliances, ergonomic furniture and a modern interior design.

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This year, Fimmick takes away bronze and the Local Hero award in the Best Agency Culture category. After celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018, the company continues its journey in becoming a leading full-service digital marketing agency. With offices located in Hong Kong and Taiwan, Fimmick has a dedicated team of digital marketing professionals who are committed to delivering creative, innovative, data-driven and integrated marketing solutions that drive tangible value and return on investment for its clients. Believing that teaching is the best way to learn, it encourages continuous learning and development using a three-step approach: listening, sharing and teaching. Fimmick’s philosophy includes training other organisations


BEST CLIENT-AGENCY COLLABORATION

Gold

ACCENTURE INTERACTIVE, GREATER CHINA Headed by: Jason Chau, Greater China Lead Owned by: Accenture Company

FINALISTS • Accenture Interactive, Greater China • Fimmick • PRIZM • Xaxis Hong Kong • You Find W W W . MA R KE T I N G — I N T ER A C TI V E . CO M

Taking home gold in this year’s Best Client-Agency Collaboration is Accenture Interactive. Delivering transformational outcomes in today’s demanding digital world, Accenture Interactive offers unparalleled services in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Over the past year, the company has seen an increase in local and global revenue, as well as year-over-year growth of almost 30%. Believing that human experience is the “new win”, Accenture Interactive provides end-to-end capabilities that not only delight its customers, but drives superior marketing performance. By offering new products and services, engagement and communication, in addition to experience platforms and operations at the C-suite level, Accenture Interactive is able to connect directly with a project. This strategy has seen it form long-lasting and strong relationships with some of the biggest global brands. Since 2014, Accenture Interactive has partnered with adidas to help it become top-of-mind for sports brands with consumers. Using its vast digital capabilities and broad understanding of the retail market, Accenture Interactive has created numerous successful campaigns for adidas, which connect consumer 10

communities with relevant products, activations and retail experiences to strengthen the brand’s customer relationships. These have included the building of three “experience” zones, which used a points and rewards system and involved more than 76,000 participants; the establishment of the adidas Sports Base, where gamified sports challenges and digital installations were set up to drive engagement; and the adidas Training Academy, which allowed members of the public to enrol in sports training classes via an online platform. The trust adidas has shown in Accenture Interactive has allowed the company to challenge itself and apply cutting-edge technology to its marketing efforts. Investing more than US$400,000 in training and professional development, Accenture Interactive understands that at the core of its exceptional business performance is its people. The company’s RISE leadership training equips newly promoted or hired employees with all the tools necessary to succeed. Providing a learning platform allowing peers to continuously improve and collaborate better, Accenture Interactive also holds regular project management workshops, project-sharing sessions and innovation technology-sharing sessions. In addition, to promote teamwork and build individual confidence, the company supports a wide range of social events. Key to the company’s success is its clear strategic vision. From STEM education to career development, it continues to support women in technology. Partnering with The Women’s Foundation, Accenture Interactive joined the Tech Challenge Day to celebrate students who completed the Girls Go Tech programme. Fundamental to Accenture Interactive’s culture is diversity, and it is one of the top priorities on its global agenda to make sure there is an inclusive workplace where everyone feels comfortable and valued.


BEST CLIENT-AGENCY COLLABORATION

Silver

PRIZM

Local Hero

Headed by: Jeffrey Hau, Director Owned by: Legend World Technology Development

PRIZM grabs silver and the Local Hero award in Best ClientAgency Collaboration. Firmly believing that digital marketing is not simply migrating printed work onto an online platform, PRIZM strives to break through conventional boundaries and design highly profitable campaigns for its clients. Serving numerous big-name brands and handling thousands of high-profile projects, the company had a memorable year. Working closely with Nestlé Group, Shiseido Group and Illuma, to name a few, PRIZM also manages social media traffic and customer relationships for IPSA. In addition, not only has the company strongly retained its existing client base, but has also won significant new business and expanded its team across all offices.

Of particular note, PRIZM is now entering into its fifth year with China Mobile Hong Kong and has helped rebrand the client’s social identity as one of the most socially active and relevant telecommunication brands in Hong Kong. At the heart of the company’s performance is the management of its talent. To this end, PRIZM provides regular training sessions on various trending topics, including machine learning, big data, AI, China marketing, and crossboarding eCommerce. Not only that, but it also participates in a number of undergraduate programmes, sharing sessions and speaker events. A winner of many awards, PRIZM’s long-term strategic vision sees it maintain its place as an industry leader.

Bronze

XAXIS HONG KONG Headed by: Andy Chung, Managing Director Owned by: GroupM Hong Kong

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measurable and valuable results. For instance, since the beginning of its long-standing partnership with MGM China, it has continuously proposed ways to improve workflow and campaign performance for easier collaboration and successful outcomes. Taking advantage of cutting-edge AI technology also allows the agency to process large data sets in order to find patterns that humans cannot, automate repetitive tasks, and use custom in-house algorithms to align with client goals. This well-crafted combination of configuration, execution and analysis ensures that Xaxis Hong Kong stays ahead of the game by outperforming its competitors and delivering impressive results.

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This year, Xaxis Hong Kong receives bronze in this category. Offering programmatic media that is outcome-driven, simple and accountable, the agency combines unique brand-safe media access to help global brands achieve their desired digital media investment outcomes. Xaxis Hong Kong has been widely recognised for its programmatic expertise and continues to be recognised as a best-in-class media vendor, which is evident in the many awards it has received in recent years. With an impressive track record of achieving its goals by jointly defining custom metrics that connect directly with clients’ real objectives, the team at Xaxis Hong Kong has been able to successfully deliver campaigns with


BEST CLIENT-AGENCY COLLABORATION

Bronze

YOU FIND Headed by: Jeffrey Chu, Company Director Owned by: You Find

Securing bronze in this year’s Best Client-Agency Collaboration is You Find. Established in 2005, You Find has become one of the industry’s leading online PR and digital marketing agencies, offering search engine marketing, social media marketing, ZMOT, influencer marketing and social monitoring. Believing that “creativity is key” and that good, long-term client relationships are based on collaborative partnerships rather than transactional vendors, You Find makes sure to identify the target audience before creating engaging and shareworthy content. Based on strong analytics, You Find focuses on the pain points to provide an effective digital strategy. Going further as a professional digital consultancy to achieve its clients’ goals, You Find has partnered with numerous global

brands; most recently with Wilson Communications for its 20th anniversary campaign and Amoy for a new product launch, both of which saw an increase in social engagement and brand image. You Find’s ethos is that the best digital marketing strategy comes from understanding people. With this in mind, it always strives to provide a comfortable working environment, and has tailor-made numerous incentive programmes, professional training workshops, team-building activities and development initiatives for all its staff of “YouFinders”. Helping clients explore new business opportunities through the best mix of marketing strategies, You Find has been consistently recognised for its outstanding quality, reliability and innovation.

the agency, in particular, creating a “For working environment and atmosphere

that stimulates and embruces creativity is important, supported with infrastructure, company activities, and programmes.

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Connie Ng Marketing Director, Kimberly-Clark (Hong Kong)

AOTY 2019 JUDGE

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B2B AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

ACCENTURE INTERACTIVE, GREATER CHINA Headed by: Jason Chau, Greater China Lead Owned by: Accenture Company

FINALISTS • Accenture Interactive, Greater China • Fimmick • FleishmanHillard • Pico Group • UM W W W . MA R KE T I N G — I N T ER A C TI V E . CO M

Accenture Interactive wins gold for B2B Agency of the Year. Providing unparalleled services in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations, Accenture Interactive delivers transformational outcomes in today’s demanding digital world. Building upon the successes of last year, the company exceeded its yearly business target by 25%. Seeing itself as “experience architects”, Accenture Interactive avoids prioritising witty tag lines and pretty visuals and instead focuses on delivering transformative experiences that drive customer and business value. To do so, it goes in at the C-suite level with big disruption projects in three key areas: new products and services, engagement and communication, and experience platforms and operations. This strategy has seen it form long-lasting and strong relationships with some of the biggest global brands. Since 2015, Accenture Interactive has worked closely with Google to better understand the China market by developing and implementing a WeChat marketing, content and operation strategy – enabling scalable education, conversion and an enhanced user experience. Over the course of the partnership, Accenture Interactive has helped form an effective strategy and 14

initiative road map, developed an internal playbook programme, designed a co-marketing programme to drive awareness and traffic, and implemented various initiatives to meet specific business objectives and user needs. From insight generation, design work streams and account planning to function design, user flow design and project management, Accenture Interactive stands head and shoulders above the crowd with its product and service offerings. The key to Accenture Interactive’s exceptional business performance is its people. Over the past year, it has strategically invested over US$400,000 in training and professional development for its staff. The company’s RISE leadership training equips newly promoted or hired employees with all the tools necessary to succeed. It also holds regular internal project management workshops, project-sharing sessions and innovation-technology sharing sessions. These provide a platform for learning that allows peers to continuously improve and collaborate better. In addition, the company supports a wide range of social events such as cooking classes, yoga and sports – all of which promotes teamwork and builds confidence. A winner of numerous awards, Accenture Interactive has a clear vision going forward. From STEM education to career development, it continues to support women in technology. As the partner of The Women’s Foundation, the company joined the Tech Challenge Day to celebrate students who completed the Girls Go Tech programme. Moreover, fundamental to Accenture Interactive’s philosophy is inclusion and diversity. As such, it has implemented a number of initiatives to ensure an inclusive workplace where everyone feels comfortable and valued.


B2B AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

FIMMICK

Local Hero

Headed by: Willy Lai, Co-founder and CEO Owned by: Fimmick

Fimmick receives a well-deserved silver and Local Hero award in the B2B Agency of the Year category. As a digital agency full of creative spark, it has been successfully adding great value in social media and marketing strategies for a number of top names such as Heineken, BMW, and Kenwood, to name just a few. Being one of Hong Kong’s leading independent digital marketing agencies, it describes itself as having an open environment that encourages employee decision-making to achieve self-actualisation. Priding itself on being the go-to agency for all-around solutions, Fimmick is leading the charge when it comes to maximising the success of businesses. It achieves this by providing

a holistic digital marketing approach that encompasses social media, lead generation, digital advertising and social CRM. Staying true to its promise of being an invaluable marketing partner to its clients, Fimmick places a great deal of focus on producing online visibility and lead generation. For Mannings, with both high-level project design and customer data management, Fimmick was able to demonstrate its expertise by helping the company meet its business objectives. The team’s seamless integration of offline data and online social data also allowed Mannings to easily see which of its marketing efforts were producing the most amount of traffic and leads.

Bronze

UM

Headed by: Alice Lee, General Manager Owned by: IPG Mediabrands

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mentor across any discipline, with the aim being to broaden their perceptions and perspectives. Based on its core business analytics engine – a set of people, tools and data assets – UM continues to develop and implement state-of-the-art, market-leading innovations to meet the growing needs of its current and prospective clients. These include its Audience Management Platform, which handles data across third-party platforms to power highly personalised marketing campaigns; its proprietary, multimedia channel Moments Tool that allows for optimisation across 78 touch-points in Hong Kong; and the Brand Heat and Brand Profiler tools that measure brand momentum and profile across different attribute dimensions relative to the competition.

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Clinching bronze in the B2B Agency of the Year category is UM – an industry-leading, full-service content creation team that helps marketers turn professional creative capability into precise media targeting. UM is built upon the unerring belief that better science and better art delivers better outcomes for its clients. Through the transformational power of business analytics and real-time data intelligence, as well as “creating moments that matter”, UM’s philosophy has certainly resonated with new and existing clients, resulting in a historic year of profit growth. A testament to this growth has been the promotion of CEO Kasper Aakerlund to APAC President. Furthermore, UM’s connect mentor programme allows its talent to apply for a


B2C AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

REPRISE Headed by: Penny Chow, Managing Director Owned by: IPG Mediabrands

FINALISTS • CMRS Digital Solutions • Fimmick • OMD Hong Kong • PRIZM • REPRISE W W W . MA R KE T I N G — I N T ER A C TI V E . CO M

Deservedly taking gold this year in the B2C Agency of the Year category is REPRISE. Firmly believing that a data-driven approach is the key to success for every client and campaign, REPRISE is redefining the B2C relationship by seamlessly translating clients’ business plans with consumer behaviour. Every aspect of the process is examined, from understanding the brief and developing the creative strategy to delivering the campaign to the consumer. In this way, REPRISE has transformed itself from a socialfocused agency to a truly integrated, creative one. The success of this approach is reflected in winning the 2018 Coca-Cola summer campaign and in the rapid expansion of its list of new clients, including global brands such as BMW, LVMH, L’Oréal, and De Beers. Achieving record-breaking revenue growth this year, the wide-spectrum of work demonstrates the company’s impressive versatility. By utilising an array of tools, REPRISE is able to gather the necessary data to understand the target audience and identify consumption behaviour. From this, it can then formulate the right strategy and creative ideas to connect the clients’ plans with the consumers’ needs. For example, REPRISE recently partnered with 16

Nike to create an extensive database of its football fan members for its “Believe to Unlock” campaign; and with La Roche-Posay to redefine its target market. Both campaigns saw exceptional results and helped set REPRISE apart from the rest. Diversity, teamwork and streamlined workflow are central to REPRISE’s exceptional performance. Bringing together a talented pool of diverse people from a broad range of disciplines, the company has created a positive, cohesive and unique culture. Knowing its people are the key to success, REPRISE holds regular social events and team-building activities. It also believes that on-the-job training is the best way for senior staff to connect with juniors and pass along their knowledge. As such, REPRISE offers numerous workshops, sharing sessions and presentations to build a stronger sense of belonging and increase motivation. Although still a relative newcomer in the industry, REPRISE creates outstanding digital ideas and delivers high-quality campaigns that engage with the new generation of consumers. Not only that, but its perfectly executed, business-driven strategies achieve record-breaking sales for its clients. As consumers constantly change the way they engage and interact with brands, REPRISE not only consistently leverages the talent of its team, but continues to incorporate data science, new emerging technologies and performance marketing in its campaigns.


B2C AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

OMD HONG KONG Headed by: Gary Wong, Managing Director Owned by: Omnicom Media Group

OMD Hong Kong wins silver in B2C Agency of the Year. The key to growth is being able to make better decisions, at a faster rate. With that in mind, OMD Hong Kong reinvented itself to become more innovative and agile than ever before. By combining this with consumer empathy and evidence-based marketing, it is able to help clients move faster, reach further and take smarter risks. A winner of numerous awards every year, OMD Hong Kong measures its success by its clients’ success. As an outcomes-focused agency, OMD Hong Kong drives performance and growth through integrated expertise, as well as the application of evidence and data-based solutions. With innovation and effectiveness at its core, the company leads the

Bronze

PRIZM

industry in ground-breaking business solutions that generate a higher return on investment. To truly create the best solutions for its clients, OMD Hong Kong understands it needs a strong talent pool. As such, it created the OMD Changemakers Programme, which provides a series of cross-learning sessions and workshops aimed at developing new skill sets and boosting confidence through recognition. Leading the industry in diversity and inclusion, OMD Hong Kong continuously re-energises itself through strategic hires and promotions. It believes a supportive and understanding environment helps individuals realise their maximum potential.

Local Hero

Headed by: Jeffrey Hau, Director Owned by: PRIZM

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during festive seasons. Another resounding success story was the development of an on-site pre-ordering system for Dior, which saw a marked increase in sales. Of course, PRIZM understands the key to its outstanding performance is the management of its talent. With this in mind, the company offers regular training sessions on various trending topics, including machine learning, big data, AI, China marketing, and cross-boarding eCommerce. It also participates in various undergraduate programmes, sharing sessions and speaker events. As an award-winning agency, PRIZM’s long-term strategic vision sees it maintain its place as an industry leader.

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PRIZM takes home the bronze and Local Hero this year. As a team of experienced digital marketers that serves clients across numerous industries, PRIZM adheres to a simple recipe for success: dedication, innovation and communication. 2018 was a tremendously successful year for the company. Serving a wide range of global brands, PRIZM has seen a steady increase in its client base and revenue, and it has expanded its operations worldwide. One of PRIZM’s key projects this year was the creation of an eCommerce platform for Häagen-Dazs, in which it developed a system to monitor and control the product redemption process


BEST ACQUISITION/RETENTION AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

Local Hero

FIMMICK CRM Headed by: Matthew Lee, Head of CRM Owned by: Fimmick

FINALISTS • ANON • Fimmick CRM • FleishmanHillard • OMD Hong Kong • PHD Hong Kong

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Sweeping in to take gold and Local Hero in Best Acquisition/ Retention Agency of the Year is Fimmick CRM. The agency stands out from the crowd with its pioneering CRM model, which integrates traditional CRM with social media, mobile and other technologies. Its aptly named SMART CRM model, which stands for “social mobile analytics relationship management technology”, focuses on growing businesses by optimising the customer service. With big data analytics, Fimmick CRM leverages cross-channel real-time data for more actionable insights to deliver profitable customer experiences. To advocate identification, it also helps businesses evaluate their fans and customers by identifying core influencers and by recognising the further benefits from those spheres of influence. With its four-step strategy of “employ, work, grow, retain”, Fimmick CRM is able to maintain a high level of staff retention and satisfaction rate, along with a low year-on-year staff turnover percentage. Adding to this, the agency offers an 18-month programme to nurture CRM talent through job rotation, equipping them with both front-end business experience and back-end 18

data analytics skills. In addition to holding various staff training programmes – using its philosophy of listening, sharing and teaching – the agency operates under a flat company structure to achieve higher autonomy and job satisfaction, and also provides clear career paths and work-life balance policies. When dealing and acting upon the sheer amounts of data at its disposal, the agency uses a well-crafted business strategy of the FOSO system implementation, marketing automation, data analysis and consultation, mobile integration, social CRM support, and chatbot integration. As a team, Fimmick provides a holistic marketing service for a wide variety of brands, including Acuvue, Wyeth Nutrition, and Mannings, among many others. Being able to connect with audiences across a broad spectrum, the agency helps its clients acquire new customers, retain existing customers, reactivate inactive customers, and ultimately stimulate higher spending. One such example was for Puyi Optical, in which the agency built a CRM app that delivered a powerful tool that integrated marketing, customer service and operations in a seamless manner. As a result, Puyi Optical was able to further enhance each customer experience, and completely raise the bar for luxury shopping. Offering more than just a platform, Fimmick CRM works closely with clients to design and execute detailed strategies to achieve unparalleled success. By harnessing influencer marketing and advocate marketing, the agency is also able to amplify the influential power of its clients’ social advocates to drive sales leads and increase profits.


BEST ACQUISITION/RETENTION AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

OMD HONG KONG Headed by: Gary Wong, Managing Director Owned by: Omnicom Media Group

Taking silver this year is OMD Hong Kong. Priding itself on helping its clients deliver “better decisions, faster”, OMD Hong Kong has reinvented itself into becoming more innovative and agile than ever before. To do so, the company has strengthened its product offerings to move its clients from traditional mass media to a datadriven, customer-centric, predictive marketing approach, with the goal always being to increase ROI. Built on its evidence-based, precision marketing and insights platform, it provides an integrated structure in a faster and more responsive manner. Winning local and international recognition, the company continues to deliver market-firsts for its clients, and has strengthened its ability to produce ground-breaking results.

Understanding that better business solutions come from human insights and data analytics, OMD Hong Kong connected all of its teams to create the Performance Marketing Hub of Excellence. Being more responsive to business needs, it captures and correlates data to construct consumer journeys and make realtime behavioural targeting possible. However, it is the strong talent pool that underpins its success. To ensure it attracts and retains the best, the company provides regular overseas knowledge transfers, business planning workshops and cross-industry learning sessions. Moreover, as a diverse and inclusive company, it always looks to re-energise itself through strategic hires and promotions.

Bronze

FLEISHMANHILLARD Headed by: Patrick Yu, SVP and Partner, General Manager Owned by: Omnicom

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2018 saw it create numerous campaigns, such as the Manulife Retirement Solutions campaign; Construction Safety Week, co-organised with the HKSAR Government and the Construction Industry Council; and a public forum on sustainability hosted by Jessica Alba at the Landmark Atrium. At the heart of FleishmanHillard’s success is its talent. With this in mind, the training of its people is an ongoing priority and investment. This year, in addition to the regular in-house workshops and knowledge exchanges that cover practical and soft skills, the company ran the Omnicom Talent Exchange, which encourages more collaboration with other Omnicom agencies through one-month secondments.

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FleishmanHillard shares bronze in Best Acquisition/Retention Agency of the Year. FleishmanHillard is an industry leader with an impressive portfolio of local and global clients. The company sees its mission as delivering business-changing results through best practices and collaboration. This commitment extends beyond the agency to the wider industry, where its input is longstanding and long-lasting. In a demanding year for the PR industry, the company continued to perform at the highest level, seeing record-high profits, growth, new business and industry recognition. Its depth of knowledge across the board is also second to none, including fintech and start-up, finance and insurance, technology and sports.


BEST ACQUISITION/RETENTION AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Bronze

PHD HONG KONG Headed by: Clement Chung, Managing Director Owned by: PHD

Sharing bronze this year for Best Acquisition/Retention Agency of the Year is PHD Hong Kong. As a global communications planning and media buying agency network, PHD Hong Kong delivers smart, strategic thinking and creative innovation for the world’s leading brands. To better serve its clients, the company spent 2018 remodelling its business, reimagining its products, restructuring its teams and re-engineering its processes. In this regard, it set up an eCommerce division to move towards accountable awareness to be marketplace-ready; enhanced its digital services by integrating AI and data into day-to-day planning; embedded strategists and digital specialists within teams to nurture proactive thinkers; and created a performance marketing hub to streamline resources and accelerate best practices.

However, PHD Hong Kong knows its greatest asset is its people. As such, the company champions diversity and inclusion at every turn, as well as ensuring a healthy and happy work environment. It also recognises that good talent craves continuous development and opportunities to differentiate themselves from their peers. By regularly sending its teams to regional knowledge transfer workshops, the company maintains its exceptionally high standards and keeps itself at the forefront of innovation. As an award-winning agency, PHD Hong Kong always stays ahead of the curve by retooling its talent with technological and analytical know-how to continuously deliver data-driven strategies and form long-lasting and strong relationships.

learning and always be on the “Keep pulse of new market trends.Dare to try something new and innovate. WORK SMART, PLAY HARD. ” W W W . MA R KE T I N G — I N T ER A C TI V E . CO M

Kevin Shui

AOTY 2019 JUDGE General Manager, Travelzoo

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BEST PERFORMANCE-BASED AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

FIMMICK

Local Hero

Headed by: Willy Lai, Co-founder and CEO Owned by: Fimmick

FINALISTS • Fimmick • Mindshare Hong Kong • OMD Hong Kong • PRIZM • UM

W W W . MA R KE T I N G — I N T ER A C TI V E . CO M

Adding to its string of successes, Fimmick takes gold and Local Hero in Best Performance-Based Agency of the Year. Founded in 2008, the agency’s team of talented digital marketing professionals has been committed to delivering creative, innovative, data-driven and integrated marketing solutions to a number of top names such as Sennheiser, McDonald’s, and Kenwood, to name just a few. Being one of Hong Kong’s leading independent digital marketing agencies, it describes itself as having an open environment that encourages employee decision involvement to achieve self-actualisation. To help achieve this, Fimmick provides an array of training and development initiatives for its team – creating a perfect environment for maximising business performance. Always looking to recruit fresh talent, Fimmick has a graduate training programme, summer internship programme and holds career fairs to recruit university and college students. Encouraging continuous learning and development using a three-step approach of listening, sharing and teaching, the agency also organises internal training sessions, annual meetings and weekly 22

departmental sharing sessions. In the spirit of giving back, senior representatives from Fimmick are often invited to share their knowledge and expertise at numerous trade shows, public events and academic organisations. Being the go-to agency for all-round solutions, Fimmick is truly at the forefront of maximising the success of businesses. It does so by providing a holistic digital marketing approach that encompasses social media, lead generation, digital advertising and social CRM. Staying true to its promise of being an invaluable marketing partner to its clients, Fimmick places a great deal of focus on producing online visibility and lead generation. For Wyeth Nutrition, the agency helped to launch a social CRM programme that integrated Mannings’ membership programme, which was a first for the industry. This enabled Wyeth Nutrition to find the missing pieces of the data puzzle to understand its customers’ habits and preferences. As a result, new insights and opportunities were created to re-target and engage with customers on a whole new level. Creating a solid platform to maximise productivity and growth in the workplace, “Fimmickers” have access to cuttingedge hardware and software, as well as other modern online tools. In addition to having a strong, caring and fun company culture, its staff receive attractive benefits packages and a clear career path – from entry-level positions to becoming business unit leaders. All of this, combined with a flat company structure, allows Fimmickers to achieve higher job satisfaction and work with greater autonomy.


BEST PERFORMANCE-BASED AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

UM

Headed by: Alice Lee, General Manager Owned by: IPG Mediabrands

Taking an impressive silver in Best Performance-Based Agency of the Year is UM. With a focus on developing creative and effective business solutions that produce sustainable communications advantages for its clients, UM remains one of the world’s largest media communications networks and a primary element of Mediabrands, which is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies. As a full-service content creation team, UM helps marketers develop the best messaging for the right touch-points and measurements. The agency is driven to outperform its competition by fusing together professional creativity into

precise media targeting. In terms of business strategy, UM has pioneered the integration of advanced analytics and big data science to create a business analytics engine that combines people, tools and data assets, which aims to understand the impact of media on businesses, while using real-time data intelligence to drive the best outcomes for its clients’ investments. UM continues to deliver on its philosophy of creating “moments that matter” for both new and existing clients, which as a result, gave rise to a historic year of profit growth. A testament to this growth has been the promotion of CEO Kasper Aakerlund to APAC President.

Bronze

OMD HONG KONG Headed by: Gary Wong, Managing Director Owned by: OMD Hong Kong

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A special congratulations goes to OMD for receiving bronze in Best Performance-Based Agency of the Year. With a wide range of specialist services that deliver more effective business outcomes for its clients, it’s no surprise OMD continues to achieve tremendous growth and success. Recognising that better business solutions come from human insights and science, OMD has been driving its performance and growth through integrated expertise and the application of evidence and data-based solutions. With innovation and effectiveness at its very core, the team at OMD remains an industry leader, with ground-breaking business solutions that generate a higher return on investment. 24

While clients and its talent are extremely important to OMD, it is also conscious of how the industry and its people play a role in its growth and development. Living up to its promise, it never forgets to give back to the industry, and carefully invests in areas that reflect its goals. To create the best solutions for its clients, the agency launched the OMD Changemakers Programme, which provides a series of cross-learning sessions and workshops aimed at developing new skill sets and boosting confidence through recognition. In addition to diversity and inclusion, the agency believes that a supportive and understanding environment helps individuals achieve their maximum potential.


BEST START-UP AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

Local Hero

FRENGERS COMMUNICATIONS Headed by: Joe Ng, Director, Communications Planning

FINALISTS • Adfocate • FABCOM • frengers communications • LORE • REPRISE

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Sweeping in to take gold and Local Hero in Best Start-Up Agency of the Year is Frengers Communications. Established in 2017, Frengers – a portmanteau of “friends” and “strangers” – is an integrated creative agency that aims to bring people closer together. In only a couple of years, the agency has formed an impressive résumé, working with top brands such as Oral B, JobsDB, Gillette, Chow Tai Fook, and many more. As a start-up agency, instead of working on numerous shortterm projects with different brands to boost temporary revenue, it believes the best way to truly communicate a brand’s story and vision is by forming long-term partnerships. With these values, Frengers Communications fully understands its clients’ campaign objectives, business incentives and underlying challenges. Frengers Communications also believes that preparation is the first step towards grabbing attention and creating a buzz. As such, it spends time investigating local insights and developments, which as a result, achieves real business impact. Demonstrating impressive creativity with a human touch, Frengers Communications sets itself apart by remaining agile and responsive.

Since its early beginnings, the agency has always carried the vision of contributing to society. To achieve this, every year Frengers Communications sets a goal of partnering with an NGO to bring a positive impact to Hong Kong. In 2018, it partnered with A Drop of Life to form an integrated creative campaign to raise awareness about the importance of clean water. With the agency’s creative expertise, the event attracted a number of first-time participants and formed a solid foundation for its long-term commitment to giving back to society. Additionally, for the “Touching HK Ladies’ Hearts – Whisper #LikeAGirl Campaign”, the agency partnered with Watsons and HKGGA, together with female athletes, entrepreneurs and artists, to create a movement that focused on boosting the self-esteem of girls in Hong Kong. The campaign received a lot of attention on social media and exceeded expectations by raising over HK$50,000 to HKGGA with a Buy-1Pack-Donate $1 promotion at Watsons. Understanding, “it’s not the company that matters, it’s the people inside”, the agency invests a great deal in looking after its talent. Not only does it run numerous activities to boost morale and increase teamwork, it also offers regular training workshops and sharing sessions to improve its people’s capabilities.


BEST START-UP AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

ADFOCATE Headed by: Meggy Cheng, Influencer Marketing Manager Owned by: Fimmick

Adfocate takes home silver in Best Start-Up Agency of the Year. Founded in 2016 as a subsidiary of Fimmick – one of Hong Kong’s leading digital marketing companies – the agency has already been able to firmly establish itself as a leader in the influencer marketing industry. Adfocate aims to nurture content creators into leading influencers and amplify brands’ voices through these influencers. By providing exclusive training workshops, personal consultations and attentive back end support, the agency focuses on building a strong community of influencers that are ready

to meet its clients’ diverse needs. With a community of more than 2500 Facebook pages, over 20 million fans and a monthly reach of over 315 million social media users, it has been doing exceptionally well in leading the way to a better future. For Hong Kong food-based company Lee Kum Kee, Adfocate’s team was able to deliver on its objectives with its expertise in influencer marketing. From identifying the right influencers, creating top performing content, to advertising, Adfocate supported Lee Kum Kee from end-to-end to raise brand awareness and drive consideration.

Silver

REPRISE Headed by: Penny Chow, Managing Director Owned by: IPG Mediabrands

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REPRISE has also been awarded a silver in this category. The agency was launched by IPG Mediabrands in 2018 by consolidating the content arm and digital media team under one roof. The unified REPRISE marked the company’s determination to expand from a supporting social arm to offering all-round digital creative media services housed within a single agency. Together, its team provides audience-first, end-to-end solutions that incorporate a unified marketing strategy alongside its heritage and performance. However, being a newcomer in the highly competitive agency market is never easy. That said, in order to differentiate from other industry players, REPRISE carved out and refreshed a dynamic

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proposition for digital transformation in Hong Kong. Since its beginnings, REPRISE has employed a future-oriented working model that marries creativity, digital media and performance expertise together, which aims to put consumers and its clients’ businesses first. Impressively, the agency won 32 new clients in just one year, which included some top names such as BMW, LVMH, De Beers, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal Group, and Citizen Watch, to name but a few. By utilising the resources of IPG Mediabrands, REPRISE is able to reach out to numerous proprietary tools that supply useful data for developing relevant insights and strategies.


BEST START-UP AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Bronze

FABCOM Headed by: Phoebe Yeung, Business Director Owned by: FABCOM

With tough competition this year, FABCOM clinches bronze in Best Start-Up Agency of the Year. As a results-driven media and consultancy agency that provides 360-degree online solutions for its clients, FABCOM specialises in programmatic display, social advertising, search engine marketing, direct media buying, KOL collaboration, path to conversion tracking and creative production. As one of the few independent local agencies that provides programmatic solutions to the market, FABCOM has partnered with key publishers in Hong Kong (for example, MyTV, weekendHK, etc) to get access to their top-layer inventory through programmatic platforms, thereby, providing its clients with the flexibility to shuffle their budgets across these

inventories, and overlay specific targeting. As an agency, FABCOM works closely with its clients to drive synergy on all solutions and to ensure speed to market. With rapid market updates, best practices and all-rounded services, the agency is exemplary when it comes to planning and executing strategies. From the objective alignment, media proposal and technical support to dedicating operational excellence, constant reviews and learning, FABCOM ensures its clients capture maximum opportunities. There has always been innovation in the market, but with a team of talented and dedicated professionals, FABCOM is able to deliver on its objectives with passion and professionalism.

has been truly enlightening to witness the “Itvaried range of approaches towards the work and to building strong teams with a united purpose. ”

Marketing Magazine Editor

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Rick Boost


BOUTIQUE AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

ANON

Local Hero

Headed by: Simon Handford, Chairman Owned by: ANON

FINALISTS • ANON • FABCOM • Fimmick CRM • frengers communications • What If W W W . MA R KE T I N G — I N T ER A C TI V E . CO M

Following on from its success last year, ANON once again takes the gold and Local Hero award in the Boutique Agency of the Year category. Founded in 2013 by Simon Handford and Sandy Chan, the company has gone from strength to strength, seeing an increase in annual turnover, profits and staff numbers. Not only has ANON been able to retain its significant client base of highprofile brands such as Nike Hong Kong, Swire Properties, and Moët Hennessy, but it has also successfully won a large amount of new businesses, including New World Development and Netflix. Of particular interest this year was the campaign for Glenmorangie, in which ANON introduced the science of multisensory learning to fine whiskey appreciation. By combining a tasting experience with virtual reality, audio and scent cues, more intense flavour profiles were created. 2018 also saw the relaunch of the Tong Chong Street Market – an activation to drive interest and weekend traffic to the Taikoo Place district and bring gourmet street food to Hong Kong. This year was even bigger than before, with a giant outdoor games area and the world’s first video arcade located inside a double-decker bus. Sweeping numerous awards, ANON sets itself apart from 28

others in the industry through its unique approach to promoting its services, whereby it tries to avoid using social media and only makes itself known through word of mouth, and the recommendations and endorsements of its clients. For ANON, the agency wants to take its image out of the equation and focus squarely on making its clients famous and its work speak for itself. Key to achieving its success are ANON’s training and development programmes, as well as its approach to business. ANON actively seeks out projects and assignments that are outside of its comfort zone. This way, its talent are continuously exposed to new challenges and takes on responsibilities to which they would not otherwise have access to. Interestingly, there are no strict layers or titles at ANON. Instead, while its people have specialised skill sets, an environment of collaboration, creativity and teamwork is fostered. For ANON, it is important not to keep its partners at arm’s reach. As such, the agency ensures its clients always have access to its resources as if they were their own. This close and collaborative approach allows clients to be much more involved and take ownership of the work, and it also streamlines the whole process and helps to avoid any miscommunication. As insightful strategists who fully embrace clients’ briefs, ANON creates work with stopping power, wit, passion and creativity that challenges the norm and produces compelling campaigns.


BOUTIQUE AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

FRENGERS COMMUNICATIONS Headed by: Joe Ng, Director, Communications Planning

Frengers Communications takes silver in Boutique Agency of the Year. Founded in 2017, Frengers Communications is a local boutique agency that provides integrated creative solutions that brings people closer together. Dedicated to forging strong and long-term partnerships, last year saw it work with a number of global brands, including Gillette, Olay, LG, and Chow Tai Fook. As a local agency, Frengers Communications has a deep understanding of Hong Kong consumers and culture. With this knowledge, the company finds creative solutions that fit with the clients’ ethos and vision, resulting in real business impact. Demonstrating impressive creativity with a human touch,

Frengers Communications sets itself apart by remaining agile and responsive. Understanding, “it’s not the company that matters, it’s the people inside”, the agency invests a great deal in looking after its talent. Not only does it run numerous activities to boost morale and increase teamwork, but Frengers Communications also offers regular training workshops and sharing sessions to improve its people’s capabilities and to help them grow. Part of the company’s mission is to give something back to society. As such, Frengers Communications partnered with A Drop of Life to raise awareness about the importance of clean water.

Bronze

WHAT IF Headed by: Jean-Marc Guignard, Co-Founder – Director Owned by: What If

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continuously helps its clients exceed their brand goals. Starting from a strategic base, the company helps brands navigate the landscape of product campaigns, activations, consumer engagements and public relations. By understanding the market, the competitors and the contemporary zeitgeist, What If is able to set clear objectives and deliver outstanding results. Two of the standout projects of 2018 included the Dom Pérignon Vintage 2008 Legacy Edition event and the Shiseido Ultimune Immunity Journey. Seeing exponential growth over the past year, What If continues to nurture, build and broaden its portfolio across a wide range of sectors, including beauty, art, spirits, media, automotive, corporate and fashion.

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Winning bronze in Boutique Agency of the Year is What If. A creative and event agency based in China and Hong Kong, it develops live and impactful experiences for luxury brands. It also believes in giving sense to each event, and creating stories that connect people to a brand. As a boutique agency, What If has established a strong network of relationships and takes a human approach to market challenges. In doing so, the company is able to stay flexible and deliver perfectly tailored solutions to its clients. Part of its success comes from operating without the rigidity and hierarchy of a big company, where everybody is on the client team and is able to take ownership of their ideas. Understanding that creativity and content is key, What If


BRAND CONSULTANCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

ANON

Local Hero

Headed by: Simon Handford, Chairman Owned by: ANON

FINALISTS

W W W . MA R KE T I N G — I N T ER A C TI V E . CO M

• Accenture Interactive, Greater China • ANON • Pico Group • PRIZM • Spectra Partnership • UM

Securing gold and Local Hero in Brand Consultancy of the Year for the second year in a row is ANON. Founded in 2013, ANON is an agile team of insightful strategists at the cutting-edge of their craft. In the past year, the agency has seen an impressive increase in annual turnover, profits and staff numbers. Retaining its sizeable client base of global brands such as Nike Hong Kong, Swire Properties, and Moët Hennessy, ANON has also brought in a significant amount of new business, including New World Development and Netflix. One of the highlights of 2018 was the campaign for Glenmorangie – a multisensory approach to the appreciation of fine whiskey. ANON paired the tasting experience with virtual reality, audio and scent cues to create more intense flavour profiles. The year also saw the relaunch of the Tong Chong Street Market – an activation to drive interest and weekend traffic to the Taikoo Place district and bring gourmet street food to Hong Kong. This year was even bigger than before, with a giant outdoor games area and the world’s first video arcade located inside a double-decker bus. 30

As an award-winning agency, ANON is unique among the industry in its approach to promoting its services, whereby it tries to avoid using social media and relies on the recommendations and endorsements of its clients to make itself known. Its philosophy is to remove its own image from the equation, focus entirely on making its clients famous, and let the results speak for themselves. Building strong and collaborative partnerships is a fundamental part of ANON. Part of this is making sure its clients always have access to its resources as if they were their own. This type of approach allows ANON’s clients to be more involved throughout the whole process, helps to avoid any miscommunication and saves a great deal of time. At the heart of ANON’s success is its approach to business. By actively seeking out projects and assignments that are outside of its comfort zone, ANON ensures its talent are continuously exposed to new challenges. In terms of structure, there are no established layers or titles in the company either. Instead, while its people have specialised skill sets, ANON has built an environment of collaboration, creativity and teamwork. Furthermore, the company’s regular training and development programmes help to disseminate and improve its people’s knowledge and ideas.


BRAND CONSULTANCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

UM

Headed by: Alice Lee, General Manager Owned by: IPG Mediabrands

Grabbing silver in Brand Consultancy of the Year is UM. 2018 was a turbulent year for media agencies. With heightened anxiety around data security, and consumer behaviour evolving faster than brands, clients were looking for companies to be more than just media partners, but rather agents for change. With this in mind, UM repositioned itself to deliver better data analytics and human insights through its unique business analytics engine – a set of people, tools and assets that understands the impact of media on a business, then optimises performance in real-time to drive the best outcomes. In a historic year of new business and profit growth, UM continuously made sure to not only work with clients, but to grow with them as well.

Using its Audience Management Platform, Moments Tool, Brand Heat, and Brand Profiler tools, UM has initiated a number of hugely successful campaigns this year, such as Carlsberg’s “Audience Revolution”, Coca-Cola’s “Coke with Food Director Mix”, and Somersby’s “Apple Dance”. Aware that its success comes from its people, UM ensures the nurturing and development of its talent through a wide range of initiatives, including its unique Connect Mentoring Programme, which allows for anyone to apply for a mentor from any discipline, thereby broadening perspectives and perceptions. Through its depth of knowledge, strategic vision and brand passion, UM ensures it maintains its position as an industry leader.

Bronze

ACCENTURE INTERACTIVE, GREATER CHINA Headed by: Jason Chau, Greater China Lead Owned by: Accenture Company

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Kong, handling everything from brand positioning and strategy to CI and brand-book development. It also worked with Marriott to achieve more business value and build brand image by refining its social brand strategy via the WeChat ecosystem. Accenture Interactive understands, however, that the key to its exceptional business performance is its people. That is why it has invested so heavily in their training and professional development by regularly holding workshops, sharing sessions and hosting a wide range of social events. The company also takes great pride in its diversity and inclusivity, making sure to create a healthy and happy workplace where everyone feels comfortable and valued.

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Taking home bronze in Brand Consultancy of the Year is Accenture Interactive. Providing unmatched services in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations, Accenture Interactive delivers transformational outcomes for a demanding new digital world. Winning a large number of new clients, Accenture Interactive has had an incredible year, seeing it exceed its yearly business targets across the board. To drive superior marketing performances and exceed its clients’ expectations, the company prides itself on creating meaningful human experiences. For example, Accenture Interactive helped a joint venture of three well-known brands launch the first virtual bank in Hong


CONTENT MARKETING AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

Local Hero

CMRS DIGITAL SOLUTIONS Headed by: Mark Chan and Ralph Szeto , Managing Partner Owned by: CMRS Group

FINALISTS • ANON • CMRS Digital Solutions • Fimmick • PRIZM • REPRISE W W W . MA R KE T I N G — I N T ER A C TI V E . CO M

CMRS Digital Solutions takes both gold and Local Hero in Content Marketing Agency of the Year. The agency operates under the umbrella of CMRS Group, which is one of the leading digital and social media communications consulting companies in Hong Kong. As a brand custodian group, CMRS endeavours to enable brand communication excellence in the digital space. Drawing upon its team of more than 130 dedicated digital and social media marketing professionals, it delivers tailored solutions to clients in Hong Kong, Macau and Southern China. Some of the agency’s key offerings include social media insights and monitoring, content marketing, creative strategy and consultancy. Harbour City formed a strategic partnership with CMRS in 2009, at the very beginning of CMRS’ founding stage. During that time, even when social media was still a new concept, CMRS and Harbour City spotted the enormous potential and value of social media, and worked together to form various social media campaigns. Along the way, with CMRS’ professional insights, Harbour City has been able to strengthen its position as a market leader. With CMRS’ comprehensive range of services, its scope 32

of work for Harbour City includes daily social media monitoring, formulating social media tactics and various levels of online exposure in different formats. To step further into social media marketing in both visual content and cross-border aspects, followed by the expansion of CMRS Group in 2017, Kaho Yue, group director of Visualution Labs, and Jasmine Tsang, group director of CruiSo, were both promoted to the board of directors of CMRS Group. The promotions facilitated CMRS to seamlessly orchestrate its strengths and expertise to constitute integrated marketing strategies. CMRS invites practitioners from different industries (movie production, photography, etc) to train its staff with the notion of turning hobbies into professional skills. The agency also focuses on acquiring and nurturing new talent by offering summer internships, which cover content marketing, content creation, insight analysis, visual production, and more. Additionally, the founders of CMRS are frequently invited to share their experiences and insights on digital marketing to industry leaders and the public through various media outlets such as television, radio and newspapers. Management and seniors from CMRS have also been actively participating in sharing their knowledge and expertise with clients and academic organisations. The agency has partnered with Google to organise workshops designed to empower its ability for digital and social media marketing.


CONTENT MARKETING AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

REPRISE Headed by: Penny Chow, Managing Director Owned by: IPG Mediabrands

Reprise takes away an impressive and well-deserved silver in Content Marketing Agency of the Year. The agency was launched by IPG Mediabrands in 2018, by consolidating the content arm and digital media team under one roof. When it comes to content marketing, REPRISE’s approach has always been “content first, marketing second”, which is what the agency believes is required to thrive in this age of a connected world. In fact, REPRISE feels that content marketing should not be seen as one single strategy. Instead, it explains that “everything in the campaign could generate buzz value if we start with an audience-centred perspective”. REPRISE’s content marketing mindset business model has

been a well-proven success among its key clients. Last year, Coca-Cola saw the evolution and ambition in REPRISE's service offerings and appointed it as its main creative agency for its Coke Summer Campaign 2018. The agency is also dedicated to turning possible executions into sociable moments. A couple of examples included retail digital interactive experiences at Estée Lauder stores, as well as countless photo opportunities and social-sharing happenings at Atelier Cologne’s Mega Event. With its social mindset proposition, REPRISE has successfully retained and expanded its business and has seen impressive revenue growth across many of its key clients.

Bronze

PRIZM Headed by: Jeffrey Hau, Director Owned by: PRIZM

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through conventional boundaries and aims to design highly profitable campaigns for its clients. One such example was the creative approach it applied to 3M, which successfully altered the audience’s perception of the 3M brand. From this, PRIZM helped in showing that 3M wasn’t only focused on selling functionality, it was also a brand that has character and is personally relatable. With new developments in chatbot technology and its expansion into CRM systems, PRIZM has started to utilise big data and analytics to drive content creation. This methodology enables the agency to accurately craft content that is tailored to its target audience.

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PRIZM has been awarded bronze in Content Marketing Agency of the Year. As a team of experienced digital marketers that has served clients of different scales and industries, PRIZM adheres to a simple recipe for success: dedication, innovation and communication. Helping to make the “impossible” possible, PRIZM firmly believes that digital strategies, creativity and innovative technology are the winning formula when it comes to redefining marketing. With this philosophy, its team goes above and beyond what an average agency can do. Believing that digital marketing is not simply migrating printed work onto an online platform, the agency strives to break


CREATIVE AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

DDB GROUP HONG KONG Headed by: Irene Tsui, Managing Director Owned by: Omnicom

FINALISTS • Accenture Interactive, Greater China • ANON • DDB Group Hong Kong • Fimmick • REPRISE W W W . MA R KE T I N G — I N T ER A C TI V E . CO M

Deservedly taking home gold in Creative Agency of the Year is DDB Group Hong Kong. Over the past five years, while other network creative agencies were struggling to adapt to the changing market, DDB Group Hong Kong maintained a steady and healthy growth by adopting an entrepreneurial mindset towards change and creativity. Not only that, but the company continued to strengthen its long-term partnerships with brands such as McDonald’s, ExxonMobil, and Hang Seng Bank. Sizeable wins of new business included Hotels.com, Dairy Farm Group, and Sun Hung Kai Properties. Setting itself apart from the industry, DDB Group Hong Kong thinks of itself as creative change-makers, helping brands navigate the array of new platforms, new consumer behaviours and new challenges. By re-establishing Hong Kong as its regional hub for business, developing a proprietary planning tool that uses game-like co-creation to push the innovation agenda, as well as initiating an in-house multimedia content production hub, DDB Group Hong Kong has excelled in achieving its business objectives. 34

According to DDB Group Hong Kong’s founder, Bill Bernbach, “creativity is the most powerful force in business” – a philosophy the company keeps at the heart of all of its campaigns. Highlights for 2018 included the “Shake N’ Dip” campaign for McDonald’s; “Family is at the Heart of Wealth” for Hang Seng Bank; and “Care More Xmas” for Mannings. All of which saw significant brand growth and impressive sales figures. Strategic hires to strengthen DDB Group Hong Kong’s creative firepower, as well as deserved in-house promotions, were also integral to the company’s success. Not only does the agency motivate its people by enabling them to grow, but it also actively helps them grow in the directions they want and celebrates their successes together. With this in mind, DDB Group Hong Kong invests a significant amount of capital back into its talent in what it calls its “People Programme”, which offers training and development opportunities, incentives for performance, better internal communication channels and social events to build team spirit. In addition to its internal offerings, the company also sponsors its staff to attend external workshops, seminars and exhibitions. In its effort to be “the game-changer agency”, DDB Group Hong Kong delivers transformational business solutions, as well as re-inventing the agency model itself. The company has successfully proved a large agency can also be agile, and that with an integrated network agency, there can be a start-up-like feeling of entrepreneurship. Taking advantage of its unique position in the industry, DDB Group Hong Kong launched an internship called “Equator” at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to offer students a hands-on experience of real-life projects.


CREATIVE AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

ACCENTURE INTERACTIVE, GREATER CHINA Headed by: Jason Chau, Greater China Lead Owned by: Accenture Company

In pursuit of defining, designing and delivering transformative experiences that drive new consumer and business value, Accenture Interactive was awarded silver in Creative Agency of the Year. Accenture Interactive has a team of experienced architects who drive superior market performance by providing end-to-end capabilities for its customers. Instead of prioritising witty tag lines and pretty visuals, the agency creates meaningful experiences that make everyday lives better, more productive and more efficient in an authentic manner. Focusing on customer experience revamps, mobile application development, campaign management, digital transformation, etc, Accenture Interactive uses its expertise to help

top brands, including Cathay Pacific, HSBC, and AIA, to name just a few. The agency is always looking to nurture its talent by holding internal project management workshops, internal project-sharing and innovation-sharing. To improve employee advocacy, it also organises entertainment and social events such as cooking classes, yoga sessions and various team-based sports activities. To help empower women in technology, Accenture Interactive has also continued to partner with forward-thinking organisations such as The Women’s Foundation to launch Girls Go Tech, which is a high-impact programme catered towards sparking the interests of young females in pursuing STEM learning and technology careers.

Bronze

REPRISE Headed by: Penny Chow, Managing Director Owned by: IPG Mediabrands

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Clinching bronze in Creative Agency of the Year is REPRISE. Launched in 2018 by IPG Mediabrands through the consolidation of the content and digital media teams, REPRISE provides an all-encompassing digital media service. Differentiating itself from the competition, the agency believes creativity must be a sustained effort that yields powerful results, not something with only a short-term impact. For REPRISE, creativity stems from an amalgamation of strategy, digital media and performance. This new approach has seen REPRISE partner with some of the world’s biggest brands, including Nike, Coca-Cola, Olay, and Wyeth. As well as extensively adding to its already impressive portfolio, the company has also seen healthy business growth and has substantially increased the size of its team. 36

REPRISE positions itself as not just another agency; rather it is one that makes deeper and true connections, creates content worth amplifying and delivers real results. To achieve this, the company uses objective data to drive better business outcomes by combining the power of intelligence with the art of creativity. Using its extensive resources, REPRISE is able to gain meaningful insights and develop the ideal strategies for its clients’ needs. All of this success is built upon the strength of its people. As such, REPRISE has brought together talent from a broad range of disciplines to form a diverse and unique team. Practical training in the form of workshops and sharing sessions, as well as numerous social events, underpins the healthy work environment.


CREATIVE AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Local Hero

FIMMICK Headed by: Willy Lai, Co-founder and CEO Owned by: Fimmick

A finalist in Creative Agency of the Year, Fimmick also won the Local Hero award. Founded in 2008, Fimmick is a leading fullservice digital marketing agency that offers creative, innovative, data-driven and integrated marketing solutions. Delivering tangible value for its clients, the agency’s unique strategies and cutting-edge technology produces impressive results. Fimmick’s success over the year is reflected in the number of long-term partnerships it has built with global brands such as BMW, 3M, and Bupa. It can also be seen in the amount of new business it has won, all of which has resulted in significant business growth and impressive annual turnover. A winner of many prestigious awards, 2018 saw Fimmick develop creative, innovative and interactive animations and

graphics for McDonald’s. The company also helped 1010 Business Solutions tap into Hong Kong’s SMB market by designing a range of creative animations, interactive posts and videos. From high-level project designs to customer data management, Fimmick demonstrates its expertise in helping its clients meet their business objectives with insightful data. Key to the agency’s success is its talent. By adopting a flat organisation structure and creating an open work environment, Fimmick is able to encourage more discussion and teamwork. Offering cutting-edge tools to help its talent excel, it also prides itself on its caring, diverse and inclusive culture – represented by the Fimmick Caring and Fimmick Learning awards, as well as the many social events it regularly holds.

you to our awards judges for taking “Thank your time to particpate in the live judging sessions, and making such difficult choice from an amazing list of finalists. ”

Marketing Magazine Journalist

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Sharon Kwok


CRM & LOYALTY AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

Local Hero

FIMMICK CRM Headed by: Matthew Lee, Head of CRM Owned by: Fimmick

FINALISTS • Accenture Interactive, Greater China • Fimmick CRM • PRIZM • WeMine • XGATE W W W . MA R KE T I N G — I N T ER A C TI V E . CO M

Fimmick CRM deservedly wins gold and Local Hero in CRM & Loyalty Agency of the Year. With its pioneering CRM model, the agency sets itself apart from the competition by integrating traditional CRM with social media, mobile devices and other technologies. Its social mobile analytics relationship management technology, or “SMART”, drives business growth through the optimisation of customer service. Using big data analytics, Fimmick CRM leverages crosschannel real-time data for more actionable insights to deliver profitable customer experiences. The agency also helps businesses evaluate their customers by identifying core influencers, and then by recognising the benefits they bring to the table. Fimmick CRM maintains a high level of staff retention and satisfaction rates, as well as a low year-on-year staff turnover percentage through its four-step strategy of, “employ, work, grow, retain”. The agency also offers an 18-month programme designed to nurture talent through job rotations, thereby giving them both front-end business experience and backend data analytics skills. In addition to its numerous staff training programmes, all of which follow the philosophy of 38

listening, sharing and teaching, Fimmick CRM operates using a flat company structure. This results in higher autonomy, job satisfaction, clear career paths and a better work-life balance. When dealing with and acting upon the amount of data the company has at its disposal, Fimmick CRM uses a well-crafted business strategy of the FOSO system implementation, marketing automation, data analysis and consultation, mobile integration, social CRM support and chatbot integration. Offering a holistic marketing service, Fimmick CRM has established strong and long-term partnerships with a wide range of big-name brands such as Acuvue, Wyeth Nutrition, and Mannings. Being able to connect with audiences across a broad spectrum, the agency helps its clients acquire new customers, retain existing customers, reactivate inactive customers, and ultimately, stimulate higher spending. For example, Fimmick CRM launched a marketing platform for Mannings that bridges the gap between the offline Mannings Card database and social data, ensuring that customers only see products that fit their interests or profile. Overall, this not only transformed the brand’s social CRM and increased onlineto-offline store traffic, but it also provided an all-round better customer experience. More than just being a platform, Fimmick CRM works closely with its clients to design and execute detailed strategies which achieve unparalleled success. By harnessing influencer and advocate marketing, the agency is also able to amplify the influential power of its clients’ social advocates to drive sales leads and increase profits.


CRM & LOYALTY AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

ACCENTURE INTERACTIVE, GREATER CHINA Headed by: Jason Chau, Greater China Lead Owned by: Accenture Company

Securing silver in this category is Accenture Interactive. Offering unequalled services in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations, the agency provides transformational outcomes in today’s demanding new digital world. 2018 was an outstanding year for Accenture Interactive, seeing it exceed its yearly business targets and add a great many new clients to its already impressive portfolio. To achieve its superior marketing performance, the company makes sure to create meaningful human experiences. For example, Accenture Interactive partnered with Asia Miles to design a new loyalty programme. This included UX/UI design, content curation and translation into multiple languages,

image sourcing and user testing. The company also helped to create the very first marketing campaign based on blockchain technology, thereby improving business efficiency. Accenture Interactive also worked closely with Shiseido to develop a global solution for its loyalty programme and CRM. The key to the agency’s outstanding performance is its talent. As such, it invests heavily in their training, professional development and wellbeing by holding regular workshops, sharing sessions and social events. Diversity and inclusivity are of paramount importance to Accenture Interactive and it makes sure to create a healthy and happy workplace where everyone feels comfortable and valued.

Bronze

PRIZM Headed by: Jeffrey Hau, Director Owned by: PRIZM

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Over the past five years, the agency also consolidated Friso’s CS data to tailor-make a customer-oriented chatbot that handles the brand’s daily customer service functions. By applying sentiment analysis, PRIZM was able to quickly process enquiries, then categorise and distribute messages to the corresponding departments for a response. Similarly, PRIZM worked closely with KFC to develop a chatbot experience that seamlessly helps participants navigate the membership process, make purchases and set pick-up times for their orders. As an award-winning agency that offers a wide range of training workshops, knowledge-sharing sessions and participates in various undergraduate programmes, PRIZM’s long-term strategic vision ensures it maintains its position as an industry leader.

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PRIZM shares bronze in CRM & Loyalty Agency of the Year. Serving clients across a wide range of sectors, PRIZM’s team of expert digital marketers follow a simple philosophy for success: dedication, innovation and communication. Already partnering with a wide-range of top brands, the company added to its impressive portfolio in what was an extremely successful 2018. In co-operation with Pizza Hut, PRIZM became the brand’s first CRM agency to manage and analyse its membership database. After PRIZM reorganised the data architecture and implemented a thorough data-cleansing process, the agency’s insights were able to identify several major customer behaviours, which were then translated into executable marketing campaigns that enhanced sales performance and customer retention.


CRM & LOYALTY AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Bronze

XGATE Headed by: Xen Chia, Strategic Marketing Director Owned by: XGATE

Sharing bronze in this year’s CRM & Loyalty Agency of the Year is XGATE. Founded in 2004, the company offers a complete range of multichannel marketing and technology services. The platform also integrates marketing automation, CRM, big data analytics and loyalty management into a single environment. Over the past year, the agency has helped a wide range of global brands transform their digital practices through its XGATE digital marketing suite by providing advanced CRM and loyalty management, multichannel marketing automation and social media marketing services. Based on a proven methodology of consumers’ shopping behaviour, XGATE’s digital strategy consulting, technical expertise and creativity are aimed at finding simple solutions to complex challenges with beautifully crafted work. A particular highlight was the launch of an integrated

rewards programme for J Select, Dyson, Ya-Man, Stadler Form, and Jebsen Group. Through centralised registration across retail stores, websites and WeChat, the XGATE platform consolidates online/offline transactions and social behaviour to enhance the omni-channel retail experience. Using smart segments, automation programmes and CRM metrics reporting, XGATE is able to improve customer loyalty and profitability. As a leading agency, XGATE has been instrumental in contributing to the digital marketing industry. In addition to its numerous in-house training and development workshops, the agency also works closely with various external partners to share the latest developments in CRM and digital marketing practices.

a great opportunity to sit down with “Itthewasjudges and study the entries. I've learnt a lot from their insights and experiences. ” W W W . MA R KE T I N G — I N T ER A C TI V E . CO M

Simon Yuen

Marketing Magazine Senior Journalist

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DESIGN AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

ACCENTURE INTERACTIVE, GREATER CHINA Headed by: Jason Chau, Greater China Lead Owned by: Accenture Company

FINALISTS

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• Accenture Interactive, Greater China • ANON • MAKEITLOUD • PRIZM • Spectra Partnership • Whazzup

Coming in with gold is Accenture Interactive in Design Agency of the Year. Providing unparalleled services in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations, Accenture Interactive delivers transformational outcomes in today’s demanding digital world. Building upon the successes of last year, the agency exceeded its yearly business target by an impressive 25%. Seeing itself as “experience architects”, Accenture Interactive focuses on delivering transformative experiences that drive customer and business value. To do so, it enters at the C-suite level with big disruption projects in three key areas: new products and services, engagement and communication, and experience platforms and operations. Notably, Accenture developed a comprehensive digital plan for Fidelity International Management, focusing on improving its competitive positioning in Hong Kong’s MPF market. With its expertise, the agency was able to help maintain their leading role in the industry and find new opportunities and solutions to better engage their customers. Accenture also had to fully understand the business working model of its client, and

hence, needed to be innovative and practical at the same time when designing end-to-end solutions. After extensive research, ideation, understanding and validation through workshops, interviews and focus groups, Accenture designed a comprehensive digital ecosystem for the whole MPF business, which included new services and features. From insight-generation, design work streams and account planning to function design, user flow design and project management, Accenture Interactive stands head and shoulders above the crowd with its product and service offerings. The key to Accenture Interactive’s exceptional business performance is its people. The company’s RISE leadership training equips newly promoted or hired employees with all the tools necessary to succeed. It also holds regular internal project management workshops, project-sharing sessions and innovation technology-sharing sessions. These provide a platform for learning that allows its staff to continuously improve and collaborate better. In addition, the company supports a wide range of social events such as cooking classes, yoga and sports – all of which promote teamwork and builds confidence. A winner of numerous awards, Accenture Interactive has a clear vision going forward. From STEM education to career development, it continues to support women in technology. As the partner of The Women’s Foundation, the company joined the Tech Challenge Day to celebrate students who completed the Girls Go Tech programme. Moreover, fundamental to Accenture Interactive’s philosophy is inclusion and diversity. As such, it has implemented a number of initiatives to ensure an inclusive workplace where everyone feels comfortable and valued.


DESIGN AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

ANON

Local Hero

Headed by: Simon Handford, Chairman Owned by: ANON

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ANON grabs both Local Hero and gold in Design Agency of the Year. Founded in 2013, ANON is an agile team of insightful strategists at the cutting-edge of their craft. In the past year, the agency has seen an impressive increase in annual turnover, profits and staff numbers. Retaining its sizeable client base of global brands such as Nike Hong Kong, Swire Properties, and Moët Hennessy, ANON has also brought in a significant amount of new business, including New World Development and Netflix. As an award-winning agency, ANON is unique when it comes to promoting its services, whereby it avoids using social media and instead relies on the recommendations and endorsements of its clients. The agency’s philosophy is to remove its own image from the equation, and focus its attention towards its clients – letting the results speak for themselves. At the very core of ANON’s success is its approach to business. By actively seeking out projects and assignments that are outside of its comfort zone, ANON ensures its talent are continuously exposed to new challenges. There are no established layers or titles in the agency either. Instead, its team has specialised skill sets, and encourages collaboration, creativity and teamwork. 42

Furthermore, the company’s regular training and development programmes help to disseminate and improve the knowledge and ideas of its team. Establishing strong, collaborative partnerships is also a fundamental building block of ANON. Part of this is making sure its clients always have access to its resources as if they were their own. This type of approach allows its clients to be more involved throughout the whole process. With a combination of big-agency talent and small-agency agility, ANON’s team of insightful strategists is fully able to embrace and execute client briefs with passion. Its experienced senior management work closely with the team on a daily basis to produce cutting-edge one-of-a-kind creatives, which always generate fresh customer insights and compelling ideas. One of last year’s highlights was a campaign for Glenmorangie, which featured a multisensory approach to the appreciation of fine whiskey. ANON paired the tasting experience with virtual reality, audio and scent cues to create more intense flavour profiles. The relaunch of Tong Chong Street Market was also a key moment for the agency, where it helped to drive interest and weekend traffic to the Taikoo Place district, bringing gourmet street food to the city.


DESIGN AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

SPECTRA PARTNERSHIP Headed by: Yves Ngakoutou, Managing Partner Owned by: Spectra Partnership

Taking home silver in this category is Spectra. Its award-winning creative team brings strategy to life through design and content across multiple channels, creating a holistic brand experience that helps drive tangible business results. The leadership team of Spectra has a solid branding and design background with notable projects completed in the past decade, including the rebranding of Cathay Pacific and the launch of Dyson’s communications efforts in China. In 2018, the team expanded with key hires from public relations, graphic design and copywriting. Its creative team covers a wide range of practices – from brand, packaging, print and graphic to UX/UI design. Aside from other notable client

work, individual team members also have their own creative pursuits with designs that serve a purpose. Senior Designer Claudia Chan has created graphic design works on the topic of gender equality and hosted solo exhibitions in Miami, London, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo. Spectra also hosts internal initiatives for its staff to develop a brand positioning story or design within an hour, which is then presented to the office. In addition to having a laugh at the crazy ideas that are created under such time pressure, the initiative allows team members to train up their strategic and creative mindsets, while also learning from the different approaches that other team members develop.

Bronze

WHAZZUP Headed by: Adams Chow, Director Owned by: Whazzup

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These, together with design, illustration and production skills allow Whazzup to offer a breadth of expertise that other agencies struggle to match. In conjunction with its wide range of skills, it tossed out the old silo agency structure in favour of a flat co-operative working model that enables it to quickly and efficiently deliver innovative ideas in a manner that gets real results for its clients. Positioning itself beyond a typical advertising agency, Whazzup also offers events, pop-up stores, concert premiums, TV drama art direction and styling support, all in a one-stop, easy-to-access format. Its key accounts include Starbucks, FWD, Hopewell, and W Hotels, among many others.

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Walking away with a well-deserved bronze in Design Agency of the Year is Whazzup. With an entire suite of consultancy and advertising services, Whazzup is dedicated to offering management, communication strategies, holistic planning, multi-media campaigns, branding consultancy, and much more. In today’s evolving marketplace, the needs of clients are rapidly changing. People are looking for innovation, speed, flexibility, digital expertise and multiple in-house skill sets, which is exactly what Whazzup delivers. The agency is built around a broad set of integrated strengths in digital and social media, marketing strategy, event management, production and artist collaboration.


DIGITAL AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

MINDSHARE HONG KONG Headed by: Caroline Chan, CEO Owned by: GroupM

FINALISTS • Guru Online • Isobar Hong Kong • Mindshare Hong Kong • OMD Hong Kong • PHD Hong Kong W W W . MA R KE T I N G — I N T ER A C TI V E . CO M

Mindshare Hong Kong deservedly takes gold in Digital Agency of the Year. As one of the industry’s leading media agencies, Mindshare Hong Kong is always at the cutting-edge of innovation. A winner of numerous awards, this year saw the company focus on four specific areas: data management and technology, performance marketing, integrated solutions and a healthy working environment. Outstanding results in all of these areas saw an unprecedented number of business wins and was proof of Mindshare Hong Kong’s excellence. Thanks to the successful implementation of its business strategy, the company not only retained its extensive portfolio of big-name brands, including Hong Kong Airport Authority, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Nespresso, but also strongly added to it with names such as LVMH, Genting, and China Mobile. Working as an extension of its clients’ marketing teams, some of 2018’s highlights included the creation of a leading-edge programmatic and data analytics platform; the unlocking of new audience segments for acquisition through a more optimised approach; and a new algorithm that goes beyond simple keywords to determine customised ad copy in the form of a 0-2-0 44

framework. The result for Mindshare Hong Kong’s clients was an increase in return on investment and impressive revenue growth compared with the year before. In partnership with Google, Mindshare Hong Kong created data-driven, dynamic creative results and business opportunities for Chow Sang Sang’s e-shop. Using rich first-party data, it was able to design specifically tailored ads based on the target audience. The agency also developed the industry-first, “Search Excellence Playbook”, which identifies 24 critical items that can improve a client’s SEM performance. Following the success of this tool, Mindshare Hong Kong applied it to other performance-based channels such as Bing Search and programmatic advertising. To equip its talent with the best tools to achieve an outstanding business performance, Mindshare Hong Kong collaborates with various strategic partners. It also holds regular training sessions and workshops to share ideas, knowledge and experience, thereby empowering its talent to be future leaders. In addition, Mindshare Hong Kong’s impressive staff retention rates, key hires and promotions keep it consistently at the forefront of the industry. As a top agency in Hong Kong, the company runs a number of external workshops on digital acquisition, data and content. It also runs an internship programme in partnership with the Hong Kong Baptist University, which gives students a taste of a real-world work environment.


DIGITAL AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

ISOBAR HONG KONG Headed by: David Jessop, Managing Director Owned by: Isobar Hong Kong

Isobar Hong Kong wins silver in the Digital Agency of the Year category. Setting out with a clear vision for 2018, Isobar Hong Kong re-engineered its digital service offerings by providing complete end-to-end solutions. Bringing the point of inspiration and the point of transaction closer together, the company saw phenomenal business growth and continued to win new business through its market-leading solutions, proven ability to deliver results and its full-service team of local and international digital experts. To provide “experience-led transformation powered by creativity”, Isobar Hong Kong uses its own NowLab – a global virtual community of technology and innovation experts – to collaborate, create and innovate. Its new Isobar Commerce capability and Isobar Transformation Consulting service also

Bronze

allow the company to deliver best-in-class e-com solutions, as well as help brands reimagine and reinvent their businesses. A successful operating model and a constant drive to evolve its products and offerings, combined with a collaborative, progressive and inclusive culture, has created a working environment in which its talent is cared for and made to feel important. This is also achieved through a number of health and wellness programmes, and training and development workshops. As an award-winning digital agency, the company continues to help develop the digital landscape of Hong Kong and nurture young talent by sharing knowledge and experience internally and externally through discussions, debates and strategic partnerships – most recently with HandsOn Hong Kong.

Local Hero

GURU ONLINE Headed by: Alan Yip, CEO Owned by: AdBeyond (Group)

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Citibank, but also significantly added to it with AlipayHK and China Mobile International. 2018 saw Guru Online help launch the first unmanned shop in Hong Kong, use its proprietary technology to develop new and innovative chatbots, and to take advantage of real-time data visualisation and analytics to generate impactful insights. Guru Online knows its foundation is its people, as well as its collaborative team spirit, energetic working environment and diversified learning culture. As such, the company regularly hosts knowledge-sharing sessions, workshops and numerous social events to broaden its talents’ skill sets and perspectives.

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Securing bronze and Local Hero in Digital Agency of the Year is Guru Online. Acting as a gateway for China to reach Hong Kong and the global market, Guru Online leads its clients to be forward-thinking leaders in their respective industries. In the course of building strong and long-term strategic partnerships, the company makes sure to stay true to its vision of being “exceptional and unique in digital marketing”, and this is reflected in the numerous awards it has received throughout the year. Through the successful implementation of its digital strategy, as well as competitive pitching, Guru Online not only retained its portfolio of global brands such as Audi, L’Oréal, and


E-COMMERCE AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

ACCENTURE INTERACTIVE, GREATER CHINA Headed by: Jason Chau, Greater China Lead Owned by: Accenture Company

FINALISTS

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• Accenture Interactive, Greater China • Aloha Group • iProspect Hong Kong • PRIZM • Xaxis Hong Kong

Deservedly winning gold in E-Commerce Agency of the Year is Accenture Interactive. Seeing itself as a combination of consultancy, creative agency and technology powerhouse, Accenture Interactive helps transform businesses and drive growth by co-creating, innovating and applying the latest digital technologies to shape the way people live and work. In recent years, the marketing landscape has changed dramatically, with consumers expecting their interactions to be seamless and more streamlined. As such, Accenture Interactive has remained agile and responded to this shift in demand by offering experiences instead of simple advertising. It does this through a clever mix of its talent and services, forward-thinking attitude and reach across various industries and geographies. For example, 2018 saw Accenture Interactive partner with one of the largest travel retail brands in the world to overhaul its entire e-commerce business, covering everything from UX/UI design, logistics flow and digital marketing to content management, data analytics and customer care. Accenture Interactive was able to redefine the digital customer journey by providing a seamless online and in-store experience, a digital platform for improved 46

communication, enhanced CRM capabilities with a single view of the customers, and by developing the brand’s mobile capabilities. The key to Accenture Interactive’s success is its diverse, inclusive and enjoyable workplace, designed to be a physical representation of the company’s principles: experimentation, exploration and co-creation. The agency strongly believes that age, ethnicity, gender, religion and other differences should not cross paths with discrimination. To support and promote these core values, it has continued to partner with forward-thinking organisations such as The Women’s Foundation to launch Girls Go Tech – a high-impact programme designed to spark the interests of young women in pursuing STEM learning and technology careers. Investing more than US$400,000 in training and professional development, Accenture Interactive understands that at the core of its exceptional business performance is its people. The company’s RISE leadership training equips newly promoted or hired employees with all the tools necessary to succeed. Providing a learning platform allowing peers to continuously improve and collaborate better, the company also holds regular project management workshops, project-sharing sessions and innovation-technology sharing sessions. In addition, to promote teamwork and build individual confidence, Accenture Interactive supports a wide range of social events and activities. Looking ahead, the agency sees itself becoming the go-to partner of the world’s leading brands, helping them to transform customer experiences and drive business performance.


E-COMMERCE AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

PRIZM

Local Hero

Headed by: Jeffrey Hau, Director Owned by: PRIZM

Grabbing silver and the Local Hero award in E-Commerce Agency of the Year is PRIZM. Believing that dedication, innovation and communication are the key to success, PRIZM’s team of expert digital marketers serve a wide range of wellknown brands such as Sun Hung Kai Properties, Watsons Group, and Hong Kong Express. Deployed across multiple hotels, including Sino Group hotels and Marco Polo Group hotels, 2018 saw PRIZM launch a powerful e-commerce solution for making restaurant reservations called “Clickabite”. Wing Wah and DR-Max also used Clickabite for its offline store purchases. PRIZM was also responsible for creating an e-commerce platform for Häagen-Dazs to monitor and control the product redemption process from store front to corporate batch

delivery. The result not only helped to increase sales, but it has also streamlined the whole administrative process. Users are now able to receive real-time sales performance for faster and more responsive inventory control. Further helping the agency stand out from the competition, PRIZM partnered with KFC to develop a chatbot experience which assists customers when signing up for membership, making purchases and setting pick-up times for their orders. As an award-winning agency that offers a wide range of training workshops, knowledge-sharing sessions and participates in various undergraduate programmes, PRIZM’s long-term strategic vision ensures it maintains its position as an industry leader.

Bronze

IPROSPECT HONG KONG Headed by: Lawrence Yang, Managing Director Owned by: Dentsu Aegis Network

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Grabbing bronze in E-Commerce Agency of the Year is iProspect Hong Kong. By combining its unrivalled specialism in digital activities with a strategic and differentiated approach, iProspect creates simple and effective campaigns that drive growth and connect with people across every channel. With data being the new currency in this new digital economy, iProspect designed two proprietary technologies this year to deliver outstanding campaign results for its clients – iProspect i-Suite and Facebook Product Suite. In addition, the agency transformed its business to focus on four key areas: consulting, commerce, programmatic and content. Taking a digitally centric marketing approach which is optimised around data, iProspect Hong Kong uses a customer-led 48

strategy to deliver an omni-channel experience across all points of transaction to drive optimal value. Furthermore, while taking highly segmented data and audience insights to more intuitively target consumers, the company has also created a messaging strategy that spans all digital channels and uses intelligent data to ensure relevancy, visibility and performance. Aware that its people are at the heart of everything it does, iProspect offers numerous training courses and workshops that are designed to develop its talent, as well as provide them with accelerated career opportunities. Furthermore, as a leading digital marketing agency that prides itself on influencing and inspiring, iProspect makes sure to play an active role in a wide range of industry events.


EVENT AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

Local Hero

PICO GROUP Headed by: Lawrence Chia, Pico Group’s Chairman Owned by: Pico Group

FINALISTS • Clearwater Communications • LORE • MAKEITLOUD • Pico Group • What If

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As a global leader in total brand activation, Pico Group takes gold and Local Hero in Event Agency of the Year. With just over 50 years of experience under its belt, Pico Group continues to deliver its industry-leading practices of engaging people, creating experiences and activating brands. The agency is a key contributor to global mega events – activating its corporate sponsors’ presence at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in Russia. Pico Group delivers comprehensive services to a wide spectrum of industries and clients in Hong Kong such as Mercedes, Art Central, Hang Lung Properties, Volvic, and HKTDC, among many others. With this, the agency has been able to attract private and public sectors to diversify its client base. Digital transformation helps Pico Group connect with its audiences in new and innovative ways and drives growth into the future. Group Chief Digital Officer Fareeda Cassumbhoy externally develops digital products, platforms and tools which add value to its “Pico+ strategies”, as well as its experience design solutions, bringing greater client satisfaction. 50

Internally, Cassumbhoy strategically accelerates the agency’s digital transformation, efficiently pairing the relevant expertise with the right technology to ensure efficiencies and cost savings. Character-building and training initiatives are incredibly important to the agency. Therefore, “Pico Global Care in Action” – a global CSR commitment that is integral to its culture – involves Pico staff from all around the world giving back to the community by participating in volunteer activities and helping children in need. In terms of training initiatives, Pico’s Talent Acceleration Programme (TAP) provides intensive training and characterbuilding activities that cultivate its future leaders from around the world. Run by university professors, as well as internal and external trainers, it covers creative sales techniques, customer relationship management, digital transformation, leadership and project management. TAP has been running for over 30 years and has more than 1,000 graduates. To continue its industry-leading practices into the future, the agency has embarked on a strategic digital integration initiative called Pico X. This initiative draws on the latest technologies and integrates them with its external offerings and internal operations to better achieve its clients’ objectives. As a result, the agency has accelerated its digital transformation while effectively pairing the relevant expertise with the right technology. This also enables Pico to seize new emerging opportunities created by Gen Z, who are rapidly becoming a dominant force in the consumer market.


EVENT AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

WHAT IF Headed by: Jean-Marc Guignard, Co-Founder – Director Owned by: What If

Taking home silver in Event Agency of the Year is What If. Based in Hong Kong and China, What If is a creative agency that offers live and impactful experiences for luxury brands. It believes in giving sense to each event and creating stories that connect people to a brand. What If isn’t your average event agency. Instead, it is a strategic partner that helps brands navigate the interconnected landscape of product campaigns, brand activations, consumer engagements and public relations. All of its partnerships start from a strategic base – understanding the current brand or product situation vis-a-vis

the market, competitors, and the contemporary zeitgeist, to identifying clear objectives. It then looks for the best tools – from venue to material, performance to format – to achieve these objectives, without falling into the trap of using digital for the sake of digital if it doesn’t make sense. At What If, every staff member is a multi-functional entity that is indispensable to the overall team. Being a small boutique agency, it operates without the rigidity and hierarchy of a big set up. This also means that each team member is expected to take ownership of their station and go above and beyond expectations to exceed job descriptions and client expectations.

Bronze

LORE Headed by: Beatrice Remy, Managing Director Owned by: LORE

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Dubuis, Tommy Hilfiger, and Parfums Christian Dior, among many others. The future is looking bright for LORE. Its team combines a perfect blend of creativity and technical wizardry, connecting storytelling and craftsmanship to create a powerful vision, in addition to fusing strategy and design together. LORE adds an element of fun to create an office environment that is great fun to be in. It often celebrates with various activities, work perks and barbecues on its office balcony. The team also supports positive change and participates in recycling programmes, event donations, upcycling and offering its expertise at charity events.

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As an independent experiential marketing agency in Hong Kong, LORE takes home bronze this year. With roots in live theatre and business, LORE creates, crafts, produces and stages live immersive experiences, stories, event engagements and environments for brands and corporations. Using theatrical mastery as well as marketing and communications acumen, the agency relays the most critical business messages and stories that last. LORE embodies an astute entrepreneurial agility, strong values and a world-class standard, and has a dedicated network of specialists. Some of its key accounts include Tumi, Roger


INDEPENDENT AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

ANON

Local Hero

Headed by: Simon Handford, Chairman Owned by: ANON

FINALISTS • ANON • Fimmick • frengers communications • New iMedia Solutions • XGATE W W W . MA R KE T I N G — I N T ER A C TI V E . CO M

ANON celebrates both Local Hero and gold in Independent Agency of the Year. Founded in 2013, ANON consists of an agile team of insightful strategists at the cutting-edge of their craft. In the past year, the agency has seen an impressive increase in annual turnover, profits and staff numbers. Retaining its sizeable client base of global brands such as Nike Hong Kong, Swire Properties, and Moët Hennessy, ANON has also brought in a significant amount of new business, including New World Development and Netflix. As an award-winning agency, ANON is unique when it comes to promoting its services, whereby it avoids using social media and instead relies on the recommendations and endorsements of its clients. The agency’s philosophy is to remove its own image from the equation, and focus its attention towards its clients. Sitting at the very core of its success is its approach to business. By actively seeking projects and assignments that are outside of its comfort zone, ANON ensures its talent is continuously exposed to new challenges. There are no established layers or titles in the agency either. Instead, its team has specialised skill sets, and encourages collaboration, 52

creativity and teamwork. Furthermore, the company’s regular training and development programmes help to disseminate and improve the knowledge and ideas of its team. Forming strong, collaborative partnerships is also a fundamental building block of ANON. Part of this is making sure its clients always have access to its resources. This type of approach allows its clients to be more involved throughout the whole process. With a combination of big-agency talent and small-agency agility, ANON’s team of insightful strategists are fully able to embrace and execute client briefs with passion. Its experienced senior management works closely with the team on a daily basis to produce cutting-edge, one-of-a-kind creatives, which always generate fresh customer insights and compelling ideas. A particular highlight from last year was a campaign for Glenmorangie, which featured a multisensory approach to the appreciation of fine whiskey. ANON paired the tasting experience with virtual reality, audio and scent cues to create more intense flavour profiles. The relaunch of Tong Chong Street Market was also a key moment for the agency, where it helped to drive interest and weekend traffic to the Taikoo Place district, bringing gourmet street food to the city.


INDEPENDENT AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

FRENGERS COMMUNICATIONS Headed by: Joe Ng, Director, Communications Planning

With some close competition this year, Frengers Communications walks away with silver in Independent Agency of the Year. Established in 2017, Frengers – a portmanteau of “friends” and “strangers” – is an integrated creative agency that aims to bring people closer together. In only a couple of years, it has worked with top brands such as Oral B, JobsDB, Gillette, Chow Tai Fook, and many other household names. As a start-up agency, instead of working on numerous short-term projects with different brands, it believes the best way to truly communicate a brand’s story and vision is by forming long-term partnerships. With these values, Frengers Communications has a solid

grasp of its clients’ campaign objectives, business incentives and underlying challenges. Frengers Communications also believes that preparation is the first step towards grabbing attention and creating a buzz. As such, it spends time investigating local insights and developments, which as a result, achieves real business impact. Demonstrating impressive creativity with a human touch, it sets itself apart by remaining agile and responsive. It also pays close attention to looking after its talent. It does so by running numerous activities to boost morale and increase teamwork, as well as hosting regular training workshops and sharing sessions to improve the capabilities of its staff.

Bronze

FIMMICK Headed by: Willy Lai, Co-founder and CEO Owned by: Fimmick

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Being the go-to agency for all-round solutions, Fimmick is truly at the forefront when it comes to maximising the success of businesses. It achieves this by providing a holistic digital marketing approach that encompasses social media, lead generation, digital advertising and social CRM. Staying true to its promise of being an invaluable marketing partner to its clients, it places a great deal of focus on producing online visibility and lead generation. Encouraging continuous learning and development using a three-step approach of listening, sharing and teaching, the agency also organises internal training sessions, annual meetings and weekly departmental sharing sessions.

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Fimmick takes joint bronze in Independent Agency of the Year. Founded in 2008, its team of digital marketing professionals has been committed to delivering creative, innovative, data-driven and integrated marketing solutions to a host of top names such as Sennheiser, McDonald’s, and Kenwood, to name just a few. Being one of Hong Kong’s most sought-after independent digital marketing agencies, it describes itself as having an open environment that encourages employee decision involvement to achieve self-actualisation. To achieve this, Fimmick provides an array of training and development initiatives for its team – creating a perfect environment for maximising business performance.


INDEPENDENT AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Bronze

NEW IMEDIA SOLUTIONS Headed by: Sandy Ho, Chief Executive Officer Owned by: New iMedia Solutions

New iMedia Solutions also receives bronze in Independent Agency of the Year. As a Hong Kong-based digital marketing agency, it offers search engine marketing services and fullservice digital marketing solutions. It strives to be the most trusted digital marketing partner in the industry, with a view of building and sustaining mutually beneficial collaborations. Through conceptualising and executing differentiated one-stop digital marketing solutions for its customers, riding on experience, creativity and technological expertise, it works side-by-side with its customers to achieve their business goals. The agency stays abreast of innovation trends and pushes beyond the limits to provide one-stop digital marketing

solutions. Its management team has been working at iMedia for 11 years and maintains the philosophy of nurturing the agency as a trusted and reliable digital marketing solutions provider. It has 170 teammates working in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, serving over 10,000 customers with around 77,000 digital campaigns launched so far. New iMedia Solutions is a Premier Google Partner and Gold Authorised Reseller of Yahoo. It has also worked with Facebook, Baidu and 100-plus portals and has a proprietary system for managing customers’ orders and campaigns. In addition, it deploys various platforms and systems to optimise customers’ campaigns and deliver campaign services reports via systems automatically.

clear vision could guide the people to go “Awhere the agency has to be, the purpose could give the people a meaning to work, and the values could give a hint on how to deliver against the goal.

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Chloe Kwok Head of Marketing, Consumer Division, Johnson & Johnson Hong Kong

AOTY 2019 JUDGE

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INDUSTRY SPECIALIST AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

ACCENTURE INTERACTIVE, GREATER CHINA Headed by: Jason Chau, Greater China Lead Owned by: Accenture Company

FINALISTS

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• Accenture Interactive, Greater China • Adfocate • DASH • MAKEITLOUD • Spectra Partnership • Xaxis Hong Kong

Accenture Interactive takes home gold in Industry Specialist Agency of the Year. Positioning itself as a mix of consultancy, creative agency and technology powerhouse, Accenture Interactive transforms businesses and drives growth through co-creating, innovating and applying cutting-edge digital technologies to redefine how people live and work. With consumers expecting their interactions to be seamless and more streamlined, recent years have seen the marketing landscape shift dramatically. As such, Accenture Interactive has remained agile and responded to the demand by offering experiences, not just advertising. This is achieved through a combination of its talent and services, forward-thinking attitude and reach across various industries and geographies. Highlights of 2018 included helping AIA build a customercentric digital ecosystem fuelled by scalable data, enhanced optimisation and sophisticated analysis. Not only does this enable customers to stay connected, but it also empowers financial planners by providing them with a 360° view of their clients. Accenture Interactive also worked closely with HSBC to develop “PayMe” – a mobile app for universal peer-to-peer

payment – and transform its credit card rewards business with the “HSBC HK Rewards+” app. In addition, to increase traffic and focus more on the younger demographic, the agency partnered with Hang Seng Indexes Company to reinvent the website’s overall usage experience from top to bottom by making it more modern, more user-friendly and more streamlined. Designed to be a physical manifestation of the agency’s principles – experimentation, exploration and co-creation – Accenture Interactive’s work environment is diverse, inclusive and happy. To support and promote its core values, the agency continues to form meaningful partnerships with forward-thinking organisations such as The Women’s Foundation to launch initiatives such as Girls Go Tech – a high-impact programme designed to spark the interests of young women in pursuing STEM learning and technology careers. Knowing the key to its exceptional business performance is its people, Accenture Interactive has invested more than US$400,000 in training and professional development. For example, the company’s RISE leadership training programme equips newly promoted or hired employees with all the tools they need to thrive. Providing a learning platform which allows peers to continuously improve and collaborate better, the company also holds regular project management workshops, project-sharing sessions and innovation technologysharing sessions. To promote a good work life balance, Accenture Interactive supports a wide range of social events and activities. Moving forward, the agency sees itself becoming the go-to partner of the world’s leading brands, offering them solutions to transform customer experiences and drive business performance.


INDUSTRY SPECIALIST AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

XAXIS HONG KONG Headed by: Andy Chung, Managing Director Owned by: GroupM Hong Kong

Taking silver in Industry Specialist Agency of the Year is Xaxis Hong Kong. As the largest programmatic agency in Hong Kong, the company has worked closely with clients across various industries and markets, in particular, the hotel and travel industry. Xaxis Hong Kong’s impressive portfolio includes high-profile names such as Marriott International, Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, and Holiday Inn. In 2018, the agency partnered with Hong Kong Disneyland to encourage more audience engagement, identify the most attractive selling points to each target audience group and to deliver the most relevant messages. By applying data from a wide range of sources, Xaxis Hong Kong was able to exceed expectations and significantly increase return on investment. Another highlight of the year was working with MGM

Bronze

Cotai to launch the first programmatic digital out-of-home campaign in the Macau hotel industry. Unlike traditional outof-home placements where direct measurement of campaign effectiveness is almost impossible, this campaign utilised an out-of-home audience measurement solution to obtain real-time audience profile data for faster and more responsive analysis. The results were outstanding, with on-target reach and engagement being significantly better than the benchmark. Overall website traffic drastically improved, showing a significant uplift in both brand awareness and recall. An award-winning agency recognised as a specialist in the hotel and travel industry, Xaxis Hong Kong maintains its position by running numerous staff development initiatives as well as maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Local Hero

MAKEITLOUD Headed by: Yuk Tse, CEO Owned by: MAKEITLOUD

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Grabbing bronze as well as Local Hero in Industry Specialist Agency of the Year is MAKEITLOUD. As an agency that offers one-stop solutions, MAKEITLOUD turns imagination into reality by providing professional services ranging from brainstorming initial design concepts – including hand-sketching and 2D and 3D rendering – to final production and project execution. In 2018, MAKEITLOUD achieved a number of key milestones, including partnering with Universal Studios, collaborating on various projects with LINE Friends, and working closely with both local and international artists on a wide range of initiatives. A few of the major campaigns of the year included 56

designing the Disney “Tsum Tsum Christmas Market” at Langham Place; promoting Jurassic World at Megabox; and creating “The Spirit of Christmas” at Lee Tung Avenue – all of which utilised new techniques and innovative concepts. At the core of MAKEITLOUD’s success is its strategic new hires and promotions, various training and development initiatives and a healthy work environment. This has also been reflected in the rapid expansion of the agency over recent years. As a winner of numerous awards, MAKEITLOUD’s achievements speak for themselves. Furthermore, the company understands that social responsibility is crucial in sustaining its position in the industry.


INNOVATIVE AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

Local Hero

GURU ONLINE Headed by: Alan Yip, CEO Owned by: AdBeyond (Group)

FINALISTS

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• Accenture Interactive, Greater China • Guru Online • Isobar Hong Kong • OMD Hong Kong • UM • Xaxis Hong Kong

Guru Online has been awarded Local Hero and gold in Innovative Agency of the Year. Acting as a gateway for China to reach Hong Kong and the global market, Guru Online works closely with its clients to help them become forward-thinking leaders in their industries. The agency pivots its vision to achieve pioneering value creation with the dynamic integration of its connected and all-round offerings. Guru Online stands firmly as a powerhouse of integration for the digital future. Through the successful implementation of its digital strategy, as well as competitive pitching, the agency not only retained its portfolio of global brands, including Audi, L’Oréal, and Citibank, but also significantly added to it with AlipayHK and China Mobile International. In the course of building strong and long-term strategic partnerships, the company makes sure to stay true to its vision of being “exceptional and unique in digital marketing”, and this was reflected in the numerous awards it received throughout the year. 2018 saw Guru Online help launch the first unmanned shop

in Hong Kong; use its proprietary technology to develop new and innovative chatbots; and to take advantage of real-time data visualisation and analytics to generate impactful insights. For Audi On Demand, Guru Online synchronised relevant data collected across channels, as well as customised, meaningful real-time and interactive data visualisation. Audi On Demand was then able to discover data-driven and impactful insights in smarter and faster ways, which allowed it to roll out more successful marketing campaigns. Guru Online successfully retains a solid foundation of talent, which is built up by its collaborative team spirit, energetic working environment and diversified learning culture. Seeing itself as both a family and company, it often hosts a number of staff events, including workshops, contests, parties and an annual dinner – all of which helps to boost morale and bring the team closer together. Always ensuring to create the best opportunities for its talent, Guru Online provides direct channels between supervisors and subordinates to evaluate performance and plan a dedicated career path for the future. It also organises monthly meetings with leaders from various specialised units, where they have an opportunity to voice new ideas and work together in a transparent environment. Additionally, the agency often invites other industry leaders to share their latest insights and new technology applications to help boost business performance.


INNOVATIVE AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

ISOBAR HONG KONG Headed by: David Jessop, Managing Director Owned by: Isobar Hong Kong

Isobar Hong Kong takes silver in Innovative Agency of the Year. It is a global agency that delivers digital transformation, powered by creativity. The agency sets the standard for solving complex business challenges through digital marketing, ecosystems and products, and works closely with its clients to boost digital strength and brand loyalty. Some of its key accounts include Coca-Cola, adidas, Enterprise, P&G, Philips, Huawei, and many more. What separates Isobar Hong Kong from its competition is it believes in forming ideas without limits and pushing the boundaries of technology and creativity. The agency is passionate about the power of digital, and its collaborative

culture helps it to deliver flawless executions and create transformative work. The agency’s objective for 2018 was to innovate from within and re-engineer its digital service offerings, provide a complete end-to-end solution for clients and truly deliver brand commerce by bringing the point of inspiration and the point of transaction closer together. In doing so, it successfully recorded phenomenal business growth. This was fuelled by the addition of its new Isobar Commerce capability, and Isobar Transformation Consulting service, together with the agency’s continued ability to win new business with its market-leading solutions, proven ability to deliver results and full-service team of local and international digital experts.

Bronze

OMD HONG KONG Headed by: Gary Wong, Managing Director Owned by: Omnicom Media Group

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OMD walks away with a well-deserved bronze in Innovative Agency of the Year. The agency’s purpose is to deliver better decisions that are faster for its clients and people. As an outcomes-focused agency, it drives performance and growth through integrated expertise and the application of evidence and data-based solutions. Putting innovation and effectiveness at its core, OMD continues to lead the industry with ground-breaking business solutions that generate higher ROI. From culture to people, a total re-engineering of the way it works and its media investment approach, OMD has strengthened its ability to deliver industry-leading work for all aspects of its business and talent development. 58

To drive performance, the agency understands that its digital specialists cannot operate in a silo. As such, OMD integrated all of its performance specialists to form connected teams and create a performance marketing hub of excellence that is more responsive to its business needs. Its performance team captures and correlates data to construct consumer journeys and make real-time behavioural targeting possible. The agency works continuously towards maximising the value of re-targeting across platforms and messaging optimisation to make smarter decisions, and deliver better media ROI for its clients.


INTEGRATED MARKETING AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

REPRISE Headed by: Penny Chow, Managing Director Owned by: IPG Mediabrands

FINALISTS

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• Accenture Interactive, Greater China • Fimmick • Mindshare Hong Kong • OMD Hong Kong • REPRISE

Winning gold in Integrated Marketing Agency of the Year is REPRISE. For the agency, a data-driven approach is the key to success for every client and campaign. With this in mind, REPRISE examines every step of the process – from understanding the brief and developing a creative strategy to finally delivering the campaign to the consumer – to perfectly integrate its clients’ business plans with consumer behaviour. Transforming itself from a social-focused agency to a truly integrated and creative one, REPRISE’s success is reflected in winning the 2018 Coca-Cola summer campaign and in the rapid expansion of its list of new clients, including global brands such as BMW, LVMH, L’Oréal, and De Beers. Achieving record-breaking growth this year, its impressive portfolio of work is testament to its versatility across a wide range of industries and sectors. Using a comprehensive suite of tools, the agency is able to obtain all the necessary data required to understand the target audience and isolate consumption behaviour. With this information at hand, REPRISE is then able to formulate the ideal strategy and creative ideas to connect the clients’ plans with the consumers’ needs. For example, REPRISE recently partnered

with Nike to create an extensive database of its football fan members for its “Believe to Unlock” campaign, and with La Roche-Posay to redefine its target market. Both campaigns exceeded expectations and are perfect examples of why REPRISE is an industry leader. Knowing that its people are the key to success, REPRISE has brought together a talented pool of diverse people from a broad range of disciplines, and has created a positive, cohesive and unique culture. REPRISE also runs regular social events and team-building activities to increase team spirit and foster a healthy work-life balance. Furthermore, the agency believes that on-the-job training is the best way for senior staff to connect with juniors and share their knowledge. As such, REPRISE offers numerous workshops, sharing sessions and presentations to build a stronger sense of belonging and increase motivation. Although still a relative newcomer to the industry, REPRISE creates outstanding digital ideas and delivers high-quality campaigns that engage with the new generation of consumers. Moreover, its perfectly executed, business-driven strategies achieve record-breaking sales for its clients. As consumers constantly change the way they engage and interact with brands, REPRISE not only consistently leverages the talent of its team, but continues to incorporate data science, new emerging technologies and performance marketing in its campaigns.


INTEGRATED MARKETING AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

OMD HONG KONG Headed by: Gary Wong, Managing Director Owned by: Omnicom Media Group

OMD Hong Kong wins silver in Integrated Marketing Agency of the Year. For OMD Hong Kong, being able to make better decisions faster is the key to growth. As such, the agency transformed itself into becoming more innovative and agile. Furthermore, by cleverly combining this with consumer empathy and evidence-based marketing, OMD Hong Kong helps clients move faster, reach further and take smarter risks. A winner of numerous awards every year, the company measures its success by the success of its clients. Positioning itself as an outcomes-focused agency, OMD Hong Kong drives performance and growth through integrated expertise, as well as the application of evidence and data-based

solutions. With innovation and effectiveness at its core, the company is an industry leader in developing ground-breaking business solutions that generate a higher return on investment. For example, 2018 saw OMD Hong Kong partner with McDonald’s to create promotional material based on real-time and cumulative data using its own data management platform. To truly deliver the best solutions for its clients, OMD Hong Kong knows that it needs a strong and diverse talent pool. With this in mind, it provides a series of cross-learning sessions and workshops called the OMD Changemaker Programme, which aims to develop new skill sets and boost confidence through recognition.

Bronze

MINDSHARE HONG KONG Headed by: Caroline Chan, CEO Owned by: GroupM

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Taking bronze in Integrated Marketing Agency of the Year is Mindshare Hong Kong. A winner of numerous awards, 2018 saw the company focus on four specific areas: data management and technology, performance marketing, integrated solutions and a healthy working environment. Working as an extension of its clients’ marketing teams, highlights from this year included the creation of a cutting-edge programmatic and data analytics platform; revolutionising its content capabilities by expanding to offer TVC production, activation ideas and content consulting; and pioneering a new algorithm that goes beyond simple keywords to determine customised ad copy in the form of a O-2-O framework.

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In partnership with Nespresso, this framework was used to optimise search queries and drive sales in physical and online shops. Analysing new data sources such as POS systems, CRM databases, and Google Analytics, Mindshare Hong Kong was able to use its algorithm to create customised ad copy for individual customers. To equip its talent with the best tools to achieve outstanding business performances, Mindshare Hong Kong collaborates with various strategic partners. It also holds regular training sessions and workshops to share ideas, knowledge and experience, thereby, empowering its talent to be future leaders.


INTEGRATED MARKETING AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Local Hero

FIMMICK Headed by: Willy Lai, Co-founder and CEO Owned by: Fimmick

A finalist in Integrated Marketing Agency of the Year, Fimmick also won the Local Hero award. Founded in 2008, Fimmick is an award-winning full-service digital marketing agency that offers creative, innovative, data-driven and integrated marketing solutions. Delivering tangible value for its clients, the agency’s unique strategies and cutting-edge technology produces impressive results. This year saw Fimmick branch out into various verticals with its four main subsidiaries: Fimmick CRM, adfocate, Fimmick Taiwan, and Social Enterprise. From high-level project design to customer data management, Fimmick excels at helping its clients exceed their business objectives through the clever use of insightful data. For example, the agency partnered with Mannings to develop

its marketing platform, which ensures customers only see the products that fit their interests or profile. Fimmick also works with numerous big-name brands such as McDonald’s, Acuvue, and Panasonic, on everything from creative strategies and brand loyalty campaigns to social CRM programmes and influencer marketing. The agency understands that at the core of its business is its people. By adopting a flat organisation structure and creating an open work environment, Fimmick is able to encourage more discussion and teamwork. Offering cutting-edge tools to help its talent excel, the company also prides itself on its caring, diverse and inclusive culture – represented by the Fimmick Caring and Fimmick Learning awards – as well as the many social events that it regularly holds.

open-minded to new ideas– new “Being ideas can come anytime anywhere and

from ANYONE - be inclusive to EVERYONE in the agency to speak up their ideas despite their years of experience, ranking and background.

Jenkin Ho Director, Commercial Strategy, Content Management, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort

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MARKET RESEARCH AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

EDELMAN INTELLIGENCE Headed by: Shilpa Sharma, Head of Hong Kong (EI) Owned by: Edelman

FINALISTS • CSG • Edelman Intelligence • Ipsos • Kantar Hong Kong • NuanceTree W W W . MA R KE T I N G — I N T ER A C TI V E . CO M

Edelman Intelligence wins gold for Market Research Agency of the year. Edelman Intelligence is a boutique and global team that is deeply interconnected with agility and client-centricity. Comprised of 250 analysts, consultants, data scientists and storytellers, its skill sets and expertise cut across every type of research and industry. The agency prides itself on being an independent organisation as well as a member of the Edelman family – the world’s largest communications marketing firm. The team at Edelman Intelligence conducts competitive analysis so its clients can understand the full picture of their market environment. In doing so, the agency identifies unique opportunities, stances and positioning of brands and businesses, while also ensuring these positions are differentiated and resonate with the right audience to rise above the noise. Notably, the Edelman Trust Barometer is the largest global survey and foremost authority on trust in business, government, media and NGOs. The cross-cultural insights from the Trust Barometer are widely cited in The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Economist, Fortune, Forbes, and other media. The study also informs academic studies on trust, and 62

provides insights to thought leaders and opinion-shapers around the world. The Trust Barometer launches each year at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. For Ecovacs Robotics, Edelman Intelligence implemented a two-phased approach across seven markets, starting with a landscape audit to identify key categorical topics and themes, which were used to evaluate the competition and ascertain successful communication strategies in the industry. This was then layered onto a multi-market segmentation of the target audience, where the most attractive segments were selected to be targeted with refined communications via the most effective channels. From this, Edelman was able to roll out a communications marketing strategy that optimised media investment for Ecovacs. Understanding that nurturing its talent is a key component to running its operations, the agency works extremely hard towards building a diverse, engaged, enthusiastic and motivated team. As such, in addition to formal training, every staff member has access to the Edelman Learning Institute which provides in-person classes and on-demand online modules. The agency also runs informal lunches and learning sessions, encourages proactive sharing and invests in employees taking external training. Additionally, its employees mastered Edelman Intelligence’s core competencies model, which covers 11 key areas across communications marketing, and adapted it for the needs of the Hong Kong market.


MARKET RESEARCH AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

Local Hero

NUANCETREE Headed by: Eleanor Lam, Managing Director Owned by: NuanceTree

Celebrating both Local Hero and gold in Market Research Agency of the Year is NuanceTree. Based in China and Hong Kong, NuanceTree was founded by a group of passionate research consultants, with the diversity of expertise in gathering consumer insights that inspire brands. The agency works with its clients to deliver clear marketing insights and strategic recommendations based on solid facts, which are distilled from its observations of consumer expressions. With impressive organic growth numbers, along with enduring client partnerships, NuanceTree continues to be exposed to new opportunities, which helps the agency create lasting changes, both strategically and tactically, at the local, regional and global levels.

NuanceTree is dedicated to the development of analytics tools to make the most of research studies. Its proprietary one-stop platform enables data collection, project management and real-time analytics. With just a few clicks, enormous data can be turned into an interactive dashboard, optimising the staff’s experience in insight discovery while expediting precise and effective decision-making for the agency’s clients. The team at NuanceTree believes to succeed in the changing competitive landscape of digitalisation requires continued innovation and a strong technological infrastructure as a catalyst. As such, it equips its staff with emerging technologies and relevant skills, and encourages technology-enhanced work processes to promote productivity and efficiency.

Bronze

CSG

Headed by: Lam Tat, Managing Director Owned by: CSG

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culture: with creativity and spirit of innovation, and adapting to the ever-changing market. Currently, CSG is supported by eight research teams with more than 60 research professionals offering a full range of research methodologies and solutions delivering professional survey designs, detailed data analyses and reliable research findings with insightful recommendations. Staff development is also a key element of its human resources management policy. As such, it provides learning opportunities for all staff, helping them develop the relevant know-how and skills so they can perform effectively, and in turn, contribute to CSG’s core values.

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CSG shares bronze in Market Research Agency of the Year. CSG is a leading marketing research firm that was established in Hong Kong offering comprehensive research services to clients in diverse industries. It is also a marketing research pioneer in Greater China. The company has further expanded from providing regional to global marketing research services through the connection with GIA (Gallup International Association) and WIN (Worldwide Independent Network of Market Research) networks. In 2013, CSG became a member of the INTAGE Group, which is the leading market research organisation in Japan and is ranked ninth largest globally. “Creativity, solutions and growth” best illustrates CSG’s work


MARKET RESEARCH AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Bronze

IPSOS Headed by: Mick Gordon, Managing Director Owned by: Ipsos

Sharing bronze in Market Research Agency of the Year is Ipsos. The agency is passionately curious about people, markets, brands and society. With this in mind, it aims to deliver information and analysis that makes our complex world easier and faster to navigate, and inspire its clients to make smarter decisions. 2018 was an exciting year for Ipsos as it was the agency’s most profitable year since it entered the Hong Kong market, but most importantly, it was able to grow and succeed in the face of challenging market conditions. Through specialisation, Ipsos offers its clients a unique depth of knowledge and expertise. Learning from different experiences

gives the agency perspective and inspires it to boldly call things into question and be creative. In 2017, Google launched the Smarter Digital City initiative in Hong Kong, designed to encourage individuals, companies and the government to better leverage technology to make life easier and better. In 2018, Google invited Ipsos to collect data on the progress of digitisation in the city, as well as helping identify key barriers and opportunities for improvement. Ipsos compiled the results and worked with copywriters to create the Smarter Digital City 2.0 white paper, which was used to encourage businesses and the government to lead the way in further digitising the Hong Kong community.

always a good feeling when being “It’s recognised for all the hard work that

gets put in and let’s be honest, we all want these credentials on our company profiles, websites, and even on our resumes…don’t we?!

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Kim Plaggenburg Group Marketing Director, The Greater China Restaurant Company

AOTY 2019 JUDGE

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MEDIA AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

MEDIACOM HONG KONG Headed by: Alice Chow, Managing Director Owned by: MediaCom

FINALISTS • MediaCom Hong Kong • Mindshare Hong Kong • OMD Hong Kong • PHD Hong Kong • UM

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Deservedly winning gold in Media Agency of the Year is MediaCom Hong Kong. The agency has a clear philosophy: to always put its clients first and constantly reinvent itself in the face of everchanging challenges and opportunities. It prides itself on never staying still, but instead, “pushing harder and faster to offer its clients speed, agility and responsiveness”. Starting in 2016, the agency began a three-year plan to radically restructure its accounts, re-profile its talent to be true digital experts, optimise its clients’ communications systems and create a unique data management platform. No longer just a media planning agency, MediaCom Hong Kong has become a holistic, integrated business partner that helps its clients navigate the complexities of today’s media landscape. Specifically, the agency’s platform unifies data analytics and digital services, including searches, social, mobile, digital ad operations and programmatic, thereby enabling real-time diagnoses and insights to drive growth. Cleverly combining innovation in data application with a systems approach to planning, the agency is able to connect all stages in the process for end-to-end media planning and

investment optimisation. Overseeing the whole communication system, the company uses data, technology and creativity to design strategies that builds brands and generate sales. Leveraging its strong global media networks, MediaCom Hong Kong is able to access the richest data sets in the industry. As a result of this evolution, 2018 was an extremely successful year for MediaCom Hong Kong, through a combination of winning new business and the responsive development of the agency’s data management capability. This allowed the company to expand its scope of service in the digital space and helped to strengthen its relationships with existing clients. Sony, Hilton, Air France, and adidas, are just a few of the big names in the agency’s impressive portfolio. Living by its motto, “people first, better results”, MediaCom Hong Kong is committed to nurturing its talent and has established a future leaders empowerment programme, in which participants are encouraged to take on more responsibilities and leadership roles. It has also launched a learning hub to provide the best industry career development opportunities for its people. In addition to being committed to in-house staff development, MediaCom Hong Kong heavily invests in regional talent with specialised backgrounds in business performance, data analysis, digital media and content innovation – all of which helps position the agency at the forefront of the industry.


MEDIA AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

UM

Headed by: Alice Lee, General Manager Owned by: IPG Mediabrands

UM takes home silver in Media Agency of the Year. With increased concern over data security, and consumer behaviour changing faster than brands can react, 2018 has seen clients looking for agencies to be more than just media partners; they need them to be agents for change as well. In response, UM has skillfully evolved to deliver enhanced data analytics and human insights through its proprietary business analytics engine – a set of people, tools and assets that understands the impact of media on a business, then optimises performance in real-time to drive the best outcomes. In a record year of new business and profit growth, UM

ensures to not only work with its clients, but to also grow with them. Through its unique Audience Management Platform, Moments Tool, Brand Heat, and Brand Profiler tools, the agency has launched numerous successful campaigns this year, including Carlsberg’s “Audience Revolution”, Coca-Cola’s “Coke with Food Director Mix”, and Somersby’s “Apple Dance”. UM knows its success is based on its people. As such, the agency makes sure to continuously nurture and develop its talent through a wide range of initiatives, including its unique Connect Mentoring Programme. Thanks to its depth of knowledge, strategic vision and brand passion, UM prides itself on being an industry leader.

Bronze

MINDSHARE HONG KONG Headed by: Caroline Chan, CEO Owned by: GroupM

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Mindshare Hong Kong grabs bronze in the Media Agency of the Year category. A winner of numerous awards, the company has maintained its growth this year by focusing on four areas: data management and technology, performance marketing, integrated solutions, and creating a healthy working environment. Seeing itself very much as an extension of its clients’ marketing teams, 2018 saw Mindshare Hong Kong create a cutting-edge programmatic and data analytics platform, revolutionise its content capabilities, and pioneer a new O-2-O algorithm that goes beyond simple keywords to determine customised ad copy. Over the course of the year, Mindshare Hong Kong has been

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able to enhance its capabilities to address the growing number of eCommerce opportunities, and expand its team to drive not only social and content projects, but also TVC production, events and activations. For example, working with Hong Kong Disneyland, the agency was able to extend its offerings from traditional media searches to also include eCommerce, social content and production. Knowing the foundations of its success are built on its people, Mindshare Hong Kong makes sure to provide its talent with the best tools available. As such, the agency partners with a number of strategic partners and holds regular training and development workshops to disseminate ideas, knowledge and experience.


MOBILE MARKETING AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

ACCENTURE INTERACTIVE, GREATER CHINA Headed by: Jason Chau, Greater China Lead Owned by: Accenture Company

FINALISTS • Accenture Interactive, Greater China • Fimmick CRM • UM • ViDe Insight

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Accenture Interactive has won gold in Mobile Marketing Agency of the Year. Providing unparalleled services in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations, Accenture Interactive delivers the best outcomes in today’s demanding new digital world. Building upon the successes of last year, the agency exceeded its yearly business target by an impressive 25%. Defining itself as “experience architects”, Accenture Interactive avoids prioritising witty tag lines and pretty visuals and instead focuses on delivering transformative experiences that drive customer and business value. To achieve this, it starts at the C-suite level with big disruption projects in three key areas: new products and services, engagement and communication, and experience platforms and operations. This strategy has seen it form longlasting, strong relationships with some of the biggest global brands such as Cathay Pacific, HSBC, and AIA, to name a few. Notably, to celebrate the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Accenture worked with adidas Hong Kong to launch a holistic activation campaign using digital as the backbone. “Create Your Pitch” was

launched to engage football lovers and the general public. Making use of innovative technology, the agency built three experience zones in the city, with different football challenges and digital installations. All activities were connected into a points-andrewards system, which provided motivation for users to keep challenging themselves and redeeming rewards in store. The campaign successfully drove large footfall to the event venues, and resulted in more than 9,000 online registrations and more than 76,000 game participations. The agency also worked with Cathay Pacific and its rewards programme Asia Miles to launch its first application of smart blockchain technology in its mobile app. The innovative technology is at the very core of a brand new platform and mobile application for Asia Miles’ dining promotions in Hong Kong – “Unlock More Miles”. During the campaign, Asia Miles members had their earned miles credited to their accounts on the following day. The beauty of this ingenious initiative was it was able to improve business efficiency by minimising back-office administration. The agency is always looking to nurture its talent by holding internal project management workshops, internal project-sharing and innovation-sharing. To improve employee advocacy, it also organises entertainment and social events such as cooking classes, yoga sessions and various team-based sports activities. Its RISE leadership training programme also equips newly promoted and hired candidates to be successful throughout their career.


MOBILE MARKETING AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

Local Hero

FIMMICK CRM Headed by: Matthew Lee, Head of CRM Owned by: Fimmick

Fimmick CRM proudly walks away with Local Hero and silver in Mobile Marketing Agency of the Year. Founded in 2008, its team of digital marketing professionals has been committed to delivering creative, innovative, data-driven and integrated marketing solutions to a host of top names such as Sennheiser, McDonald’s, and Kenwood, to name just a few. Being the go-to agency for all-round solutions, Fimmick is truly at the forefront of maximising the success of businesses. It does so by providing a holistic digital marketing approach that encompasses social media, lead generation, digital advertising and social CRM. Staying true to its promise of being

an invaluable marketing partner to its clients, Fimmick places a great deal of focus on producing online visibility and lead generation. For Mannings, the agency transformed the brand’s social CRM to drive online-to-offline store traffic, which resulted in a better overall customer experience. It achieved this by launching a marketing platform that bridged the offline “Mann Card” database and social data to ensure that customers would only see the products that fitted their interests or profile. As a result, the agency helped generate impressive sales leads, in addition to developing a more cost-effective approach to conventional ads.

Bronze

VIDE INSIGHT Headed by: Lui Shing Lung Jacky, Head of Hong Kong and Thailand Owned by: ViDe Insight

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ViDe Insight takes bronze in Mobile Marketing Agency of the Year. As a Southeast Asia-based agency, ViDe Insight comprises a blend of cultural backgrounds, ages, nationalities, interests and persuasions. It is this diversity that forms its unique creativity. At the agency’s core is a team of experiential interaction marketing solution enthusiasts. Its group network covers Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South China. The team at ViDe Insight is dedicated to bringing exemplary interactive content to events through its unique application of sound, light, projection and virtual reality. Whatever the brief,

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ViDe Insight is able to create an immersive experience that always achieves its clients’ business objectives. For Giorgio Armani Beauty, the team worked on the Armani Box 2018 to provide an interactive and immersive digital experience to create an unforgettable journey for the brand’s customers. Another interesting event the agency managed was the BMW Hong Kong X5 launch with an “X-Hub experience”. During the event, ViDe Insight was responsible for presenting a unique experience that included 3D scanning, facial analysis, 360-motion detection and an interactive projection to promote the launch of BMW’s new X5 luxury SUV.


PRODUCTION AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

Local Hero

VISUALUTION LABS Headed by: Ka Ho Yue, Managing Partner Owned by: CMRS Group

FINALISTS • Accenture Interactive, Greater China • ANON • MAKEITLOUD • PRIZM • Visualution Labs

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The gold award in Production Agency of the Year goes to Visualution Labs. Describing itself as a creative laboratory, the agency offers a full range of content creation and production services, including commercials, corporate films and advertising for small companies and global brands. Launched in 2014, Visualution Labs believes that being extraordinary is more than just maintenance, business, marketing and advertising – it’s about telling a story through creativity. It achieves this through creating visual solutions, content strategy, video content and content production in areas such as viral videos, online programmes, short films, animation, infographics, music videos, documentaries and corporate videos. It prides itself on producing content for a wide range of genres, including lifestyle, fashion, travel and food. As a multi award-winning agency, its position as an industry leader is unquestionable. This is also reflected in its impressive portfolio, which includes numerous global names such as Visa, Hewlett-Packard, Nestlé, and AIA. In addition, the agency has also added to its client list by winning new business from the likes of the Hong Kong Tourism

Board, Alibaba Cloud, and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Particular highlights of the year included working with Visa to create a number of functional videos and campaign key visuals, as well as with the Hong Kong Tourism Board to promote its “Great Outdoors Campaign”. For the agency, it’s clear that technology is changing the way the industry works. Choosing the most engaging video experience allows a brand to stand out and be recognised. As such, seeing a number of best-in-class business-to-business marketers move in that direction, the agency is certain that video marketing platforms are going to play a major role in how marketers manage and assess the performance of their content. It understands its unparalleled business performance over the years is down to its long-term and strategic management of its talent. Through a series of key hires and promotions it has successfully built its team of expert professionals and equipped it with all the tools necessary to succeed. The agency fiercely stands behind its team members and makes sure to create a nurturing and supportive environment in which they are encouraged to develop and flourish. This is also achieved through the numerous training and knowledge-sharing workshops the company regularly offers. Such a strategy has created a strong culture of diversity and inclusivity, and ensures the agency maintains its position at the top of the industry.


PRODUCTION AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

ANON Headed by: Simon Handford, Chairman Owned by: ANON

ANON wins silver in this year’s Production Agency of the Year category. Founded in 2013, ANON sets itself apart through its unique approach to promoting its services, whereby it tries to avoid using social media and only makes itself known through word of mouth, and the recommendations and endorsements of its clients. The agency wants to take its image out of the equation and focus squarely on making its clients famous and its work speak for itself. Of particular interest this year was the campaign for Glenmorangie, in which ANON introduced the science of multisensory learning to fine whiskey appreciation. By combining a tasting experience with virtual reality, audio and

scent cues, more intense flavour profiles were created. The key to achieving its success are ANON’s training and development programmes, as well as its approach to business, in which it actively seeks out projects and assignments that are outside of its comfort zone. This way, its talent are always exposed to new challenges and responsibilities. For ANON, it is important to maintain close relationships with its partners. As such, the agency ensures its clients always have access to its resources as if they were their own. This unique collaborative approach, which allows brands to be much more involved than usual, also streamlines the whole process and helps to avoid any miscommunication.

Bronze

PRIZM Headed by: Jeffrey Hau, Director Owned by: PRIZM

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Grabbing bronze in Production Agency of the Year is PRIZM. The agency’s philosophy is simple: dedication, innovation and communication are the keys to its success. Keeping this in mind and applying it to everything it does, PRIZM’s team of expert digital marketers serve a wide range of well-known brands such as 3M, G2000, and NIVEA. Particular highlights of the year saw the agency partner with Wynn to digitalise the traditional Chinese fortune telling process, as well as Lancôme to create an AR kiosk experience that utilised face-detection technology to trigger animations on the display. PRIZM also worked closely with DBS to automate the distribution process of specially designed Lai See, whereby 70

audiences were able to receive their “red packets” by completing the sign-up process on the digital vending machine. These campaigns all saw impressive results in the form of audience engagement, increased sales and heightened brand awareness. Further helping the agency stand out from the competition, PRIZM partnered with KFC to develop a chatbot experience which assisted customers when signing up for membership, making purchases and setting pick-up times for their orders. As an award-winning agency that offers regular training and development workshops, and participates in various undergraduate programmes, PRIZM’s long-term strategic vision ensures it maintains its position as an industry leader.


PROGRAMMATIC AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

AMNET HONG KONG Headed by: Jeremy Lo, General Manager Owned by: Amnet Hong Kong

FINALISTS

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• Amnet Hong Kong • FABCOM • iProspect Hong Kong • OMD Programmatic • Xaxis Hong Kong

Amnet Hong Kong wins gold in this year’s Programmatic Agency of the Year category. It was an extremely successful 2018 for Amnet Hong Kong, who, by putting data insights at the core of what it does, was able to work in collaboration with its network agencies, clients, technology partners and publishers to push for better innovation and set new industry standards. As an award-winning agency that has deservedly earned its clients’ trust, Amnet Hong Kong champions data-driven marketing, close media partnerships and omni-channel automation for its networks. With data gathering importance, programmatic has moved from the end of the funnel to become an integral part of marketing; and Amnet Hong Kong’s team of data analysts, partnership development leads and campaign experts is leading the way. At Amnet Hong Kong, people-based marketing is the new market-leading differentiator in its media planning and buying process. As such, the agency’s proprietary data platform is the industry’s first solution to connect premium publisher data with insights and media activation. It allows the agency’s clients to better understand their customers by providing

accurate measurements with programmatic activation. Two additional products that help set Amnet Hong Kong apart from the competition are the “Amnet Audience Centre”, which provides rich, detailed insights that allow the company to analyse its distinctive consumer segments; and “Spectrum”, an exclusive market place network that accelerates programmatic monetisation, creates revenue upstream for publishers and increases transparency in buying for advertisers. With omni-channel being the agency’s core strategy for programmatic to drive efficiency, Amnet Hong Kong is able to leverage these two products to process audience segments and premium inventory for audience de-duplication and data ingestion across display, social and OTV channels. Amnet Hong Kong began the year with a clear objective: “to become the agency that leads the way in programmatic”, and it understands this cannot be achieved without its people, partners and clients. As such, the company makes sure to create a balanced and healthy work-life environment. Priding itself on its diverse and inclusive team, Amnet Hong Kong continues to ensure that everyone respects, collaborates and learns from each other in order to deliver the best quality of work to its clients. In addition, the agency runs a number of regular training and development workshops, designed to keep its talent agile enough to cope with the ever-changing media landscape and to give them all the tools they need to succeed.


PROGRAMMATIC AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

XAXIS HONG KONG Headed by: Andy Chung, Managing Director – Hong Kong Owned by: GroupM

Securing silver in Programmatic Agency of the Year is Xaxis Hong Kong. Continuous investments and innovative programmatic solutions brought the agency to new heights in 2018. In addition, to deliver more direct benefits to its clients, Xaxis Hong Kong has evolved into becoming an outcome media company by offering guaranteed outcome pricing models. Its success is reflected in the strength of its impressive portfolio, which includes global brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Pfizer, Lufthansa, and MGM. Setting itself apart from the competition, Xaxis Hong Kong has invested in building its own data management platform, which allows for real-time tracking and segmenting functionality. It also created an online reporting dashboard and an optimisation engine to help its programmatic traders easily

set aligned campaign goals. Significantly, Xaxis Hong Kong is the only programmatic agency that has integrated its DMP with Google YouTube to launch a product called “Xaxis View”. With this tool, clients can apply their first-party data or Xaxis data to run YouTube ads, instead of simply relying upon YouTube data. Xaxis Hong Kong also partnered with MGM Cotai to launch the first programmatic digital out-of-home campaign in the Macau hotel industry. Unlike traditional out-of-home placements, where direct measurement of campaign effectiveness is almost impossible, this campaign utilised an out-of-home audience measurement solution to obtain real-time audience profile data for faster and more responsive analysis.

Bronze

OMG PROGRAMMATIC Headed by: Timmy Kwok, Programmatic Trading Director Owned by: Omnicom Media Group

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OMG Programmatic takes home bronze in Programmatic Agency of the Year. Setting itself apart from the competition, the agency identifies gaps in the industry and addresses challenges faced by its clients throughout the whole programmatic funnel. Always striving for perfection, this year saw OMG Programmatic create OMNI, a tool which provides a single view of consumers for more effective planning. It also initiated various data partnerships for advanced moments-based precision targeting, and deployed Hong Kong’s first predictive audience technology to anticipate demand and drive performance by using machine learning and probability equations. This technology enables OMG Programmatic to 72

capture audiences with the highest likelihood of conversion, thereby optimising programmatic investment. As Hong Kong’s first private market place agency, OMG Programmatic has rich experience and knowledge to assist publishers in their efforts to transform from traditional insertion order buying to programmatic. Simultaneously, the agency educates its clients about the importance of second-party data and private market places, leading them to adopt data-driven investments. While other agencies have positioned programmatic as a standalone business, OMG Programmatic has integrated its programmatic expertise into the account servicing and planning teams of OMD and PHD, enabling data-driven marketing to be adopted at the earliest stages of the planning process.


PROGRAMMATIC AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Local Hero

FABCOM Headed by: Phoebe Yeung, Business Director Owned by: FABCOM

Finishing as a finalist in Programmatic Agency of the Year, FABCOM also took home the Local Hero award. Positioning itself as a results-driven media and consultancy agency that provides holistic solutions for its clients, FABCOM specialises in programmatic display, social advertising, search engine marketing, direct media buying, KOL collaboration, path-toconversion tracking and creative production. One of the few independent local agencies that provides programmatic solutions, FABCOM has forged strong relationships with a number of high-profile publishers in Hong Kong to get access to their premium inventory through programmatic platforms, thereby, giving its clients the flexibility to fit their

budgets across these inventories, and at the same time, overlay specific targeting such as interest and purchase intention. For example, FABCOM partnered with Etude House to drive foot traffic, eCommerce sales and increase brand awareness. With real-time market updates and application of the latest best practices, the agency is impeccable in the planning and execution of its strategies. From objective alignment, media proposal, technical support to operational excellence, continuous review and learning, FABCOM makes sure its clients receive the very best. Thanks to FABCOM’s team of talented and dedicated professionals, the agency is able to exceed expectations and deliver impressive results time and again.

not only acknowledges success, it “AOTY recognises many other unique qualities, such as creativity, excellence, professionalism and, above all, team coherence and competitive edge in the field.

AOTY 2019 JUDGE

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Annie Ho Marketing and Development Director, Hong Kong Arts Centre


PUBLIC RELATIONS AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

WEBER SHANDWICK Headed by: Albert Shu, Managing Director Owned by: Interpublic

FINALISTS • Edelman Hong Kong • FleishmanHillard • Ogilvy Hong Kong • The Hoffman Agency

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• Weber Shandwick

Winning gold for Public Relations Agency of the Year is Weber Shandwick. You might see Weber Shandwick as being one of the world’s leading communications and marketing services firms, but the agency brings much more to the table. Using data as a driver and culture as a foundation, it analyses, strategises, integrates, navigates and builds to deliver deeper engagement and enduring results for its clients. With offices across six continents, its network is primed to provide the global reach and local expertise its clients require. In 2018, Weber Shandwick had another record-breaking year in Hong Kong, outperforming the industry in a number of key areas. The unmatched commercial success of 2018 marked its ninth consecutive year of growth, making it a first choice among a wide variety of top brands, including Samsung, Abbott, Wynn Resorts, Facebook, and many more. The foundation of the agency’s commercial success has been its unique and evolving business model, which focuses on being trusted advisors in communications. Many other agencies aspire to a similar position, but few have succeeded in their implementation without the stability and diversity of 74

talent and knowledge. Weber Shandwick is the only agency in Hong Kong to have dedicated industry practices covering all six core PR sectors, including premium specialty areas, healthcare and public affairs. Each of its six practices contain a deep level of expertise and an excellent track record across numerous industries. The agency has also expanded beyond traditional PR work and moved towards providing full digital and integrated marketing capabilities. In 2018, Weber Shandwick expanded its digital team, building the most comprehensive digital offering in Hong Kong among other PR agencies, which includes digital analytics and planning, SEO, UX and creative design, as well as website development and coding – in addition to offering more common social listening and community management projects. To help nurture the next generation of PR professionals through its annual Student Academy, the agency engaged more than 500 students through open houses and office tours for Baptist University, City University, Chinese University, HKU, HKUST, PolyU and HK Shue Yan University, in addition to sponsoring 15 paid three-month internships. Furthermore, the agency aims to give back to the community through a pro-bono partnership with Heep Hong Society to help special needs children in Hong Kong.


PUBLIC RELATIONS AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

EDELMAN HONG KONG Headed by: Adrian Warr, Managing Director Owned by: Edelman

Sharing silver in Public Relations Agency of the Year is Edelman Hong Kong. As an award-winning public relations agency, Edelman Hong Kong has steadily advanced its ambition to become the leading firm in the region. With integrated marketing at its core, the agency focuses on three key areas: its offering, its processes and its people. Continuing to enhance the solutions it offers, the agency developed Edelman CONNECT – a new specialist B2B digital thought leadership tool which helps organisations drive integrated communications and establish differentiated thought leadership platforms. It also launched its own proprietary measurement model called A3, which allows the agency to

organise metrics and data streams in a consistent, scalable and operative manner, measuring impact through three macro dimensions: attention, attitude and action. By integrating primary and secondary research, and digital analytics with client data, sales and CRM data, Edelman Hong Kong is able to obtain a more holistic view of how campaigns are performing. Highlights of 2018 included partnering with Asia Miles to develop and deliver an integrated change management programme to support the business in its overhaul of its loyalty programme; as well as working with Sunkist to create a digitally led programme to drive business through a centralised content creation function.

Silver

OGILVY HONG KONG Headed by: Clara Shek, Managing Director, PR and Influence Owned by: Ogilvy

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success, seeing more than two million collective views on Facebook and 118,000 people commenting and sharing. The agency also partnered with Ocean Park Conservation Foundation to start the “No Straw” movement – a four-month integrated campaign consisting of advertising, media/KOL relations and social media engagement which received overwhelming support. Key to Ogilvy Hong Kong’s position as an industry leader is its strategic management of its talent. With this in mind, the agency offers regular local and global training programmes, and ensures its people are happy, well-supported and are able to acquire all the necessary skills to succeed.

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Sharing silver in this year’s Public Relations Agency of the Year is Ogilvy Hong Kong. 2018 was a big year for the agency as it transformed itself into a data and creative-driven PR firm, making “earned first” central to its approach to client communication. It also repositioned itself to support its work with behavioural science and to help brands be more culturally relevant to Hong Kong. Leading the way in PR-led integrated campaigns, the agency makes sure to always put creativity at the heart of its PR strategy. For example, Ogilvy Hong Kong launched a social media campaign that reminded Hongkongers of the importance of family and human connections. The campaign was a huge


PUBLIC RELATIONS AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Bronze

THE HOFFMAN AGENCY Headed by: Marc Sparrow, General Manager, Hong Kong Owned by: The Hoffman Agency

Securing bronze in Public Relations Agency of the Year is The Hoffman Agency. 2018 has been a landmark year for the company, which saw it transform its culture and revitalise its offerings to secure an impressive range of big-name clients. Targeting three key areas – proposition, services and people – the agency rolled out a series of changes that completely changed the way the business was run. Refocusing on traditional areas of strength, as an independent, international specialist technology agency, the company established strong brand differentiation, as well as extending and modernising its range of services. It was also able to improve its digital capabilities by landing campaigns across multiple markets for brands such as

Crypto.com, MoneySmart, and Airbnb. Naturally, the successful transformation and extension of services was entirely dependent on its people. With this in mind, The Hoffman Agency revamped its culture, refreshed its benefits and incentives, and recruited exceptional new talent. Describing itself as visual storytellers and digital content specialists, the agency now offers a more progressive and inspiring set of services to meet the evolving demands of its clients. Focusing on increasing brand awareness, app downloads, and sales through the smart use of data has allowed it to reach new audiences and build deeper customer relationships. It is also able to employ best practice and multi-market integrated campaigns to deliver the ideal outcomes.

is our annual flagship event because “AOTY it rewards the best and most creative talent in Hong Kong. ” W W W . MA R KE T I N G — I N T ER A C TI V E . CO M

Andrew Wright

Lighthouse Media Head of Event Production & Content

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SEARCH AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

IPROSPECT HONG KONG Headed by: Lawrence Yang, Managing Director Owned by: Dentsu Aegis Network

FINALISTS

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• Aloha Group • iProspect Hong Kong • Madcradle Online • New iMedia Solutions • Resolution Media Hong Kong

Taking home gold in Search Agency of the Year is iProspect Hong Kong. With digital extending into all aspects of life, it brings new opportunities and challenges for brands to connect with the market. Customers nowadays expect more: they want services and content that meets their needs. In response, iProspect Hong Kong has evolved from transactional to transformative, becoming the most influential performance agency and delivering unparalleled outcomes. By cleverly matching its specialism in digital activities with a strategic and differentiated approach, iProspect is able to craft simple and effective campaigns that drive sales and connect with people across every channel. This new approach has seen an incredible year of growth for the company, not only in commercial terms, but also in the number of new clients it has added to its already impressive portfolio, which include names such as Sony, Nike, Microsoft, and Ralph Lauren. Data is the new currency in this new digital economy, and while having a suite of offerings gives iProspect a unique edge in the market, having an operating system that powers

core innovation truly sets it apart. As such, iProspect Hong Kong designed two proprietary technologies in 2018 to deliver outstanding campaign performances for its clients. The first, iProspect i-Suite, allows for actionable insights and real-time data analysis. The second, Facebook Product Suite, consists of four tools – Campaign Planner, Lasersight, Ad Select, and Budget Optimiser – that can be used to maximise Facebook campaign performances. Transforming its business to focus on four key areas: consulting, commerce, programmatic and content, iProspect Hong Kong’s passionate team of performance marketers consistently demonstrates the deepest business knowledge and integrates this seamlessly with its clients’ teams to provide outstanding service. Approaching campaigns from a digitally centric marketing point of view, one which is optimised around data, the agency employs customer-led strategies to deliver an omni-channel experience across all points of transaction to drive optimal value. Crucially, while acting on highly segmented data and audience insights to more intuitively target consumers, iProspect Hong Kong also uses messaging strategies that span all digital channels, and uses intelligent data to ensure relevancy, visibility and performance. Aware the foundation of its success is its people, iProspect Hong Kong holds regular training courses and workshops that are designed to develop its talent, as well as provide them with all the tools they need to succeed.


SEARCH AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

Local Hero

ALOHA GROUP Headed by: Ivan Leung, Account Director Owned by: Aloha Group

Grabbing silver and Local Hero in Search Agency of the Year is Aloha Group. The Hong Kong-based SEO technology company had an extremely successful 2018, seeing it grow commercially as well as add to its sizeable list of clients. Using a proprietary platform to automate, self-serve and commercialise the concept of SEO, Aloha Group cleverly combines a mix of accurate data and timely reporting to allow marketers to work in synergy with their IT personnel to vastly improve their website organic presence. Taking advantage of best practices, the agency also provides structure, automation and scalability to its clients’ SEO.

Helping ensure the company stands out from the competition, Aloha Group also makes use of audience targeting (re-marketing lists for search ads, audience observation and lists, etc); standard optimisation (search terms and keyword analysis, ad copy changes, etc); automated bidding (maximise clicks, outbid competitors, etc); ad copy optimisation (analysis, ad rotation, etc); and extension usage (site links, promotions, etc). Understanding its talent is the key to its exceptional performance, Aloha Group maintains its position in the industry through a combination of strategic hires and promotions, as well as running a number of regular in-house training and development workshops.

Bronze

MADCRADLE ONLINE Headed by: Patrick Wong, Managing Director Owned by: Madcradle Online

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Sharing bronze in Search Agency of the Year is Madcradle Online. As an insights-driven agency that values business analytics, Madcradle Online understands that while keywords are important, audience targeting on the search networks is equally crucial, and that the gathering and analysis of big data is key to improving strategic performance. The company’s success comes from how it segments audience targeting and implements a detailed strategy of different audience types with both positive and negative bid types. While machine learning debugs, Madcradle Online devises unique approaches; and while automation is vital, the agency’s talent are the true innovators. Deploying a wide range of well-known marketing tools for performance analytics and optimisation, the agency’s own exclusive proprietary system, 78

“Madvisor”, is where it really stands out. Comprised of more than 12 tools, Madvisor is designed to enhance bid strategies with AI and machine learning, media and website performance tracking, app analytics and social media monitoring. A particular highlight of the year was the agency’s partnership with local leading financial company PrimeCredit. By deploying AI with machine learning through Search Ads 360, Madcradle Online segmented important keywords on a performance basis to maximise exposure through enhanced bidding strategies. Aware its talent is the company’s most important asset, it continuously invests in the professional development of its team. Furthermore, it prides itself on taking good care of its people by creating an environment that values inclusion, creativity and collaboration.


SEARCH AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Bronze

RESOLUTION MEDIA HONG KONG Headed by: Jason Wong, Platform Director Owned by: Omnicom Media Group

Sharing bronze in Search Agency of the Year is Resolution Media Hong Kong. Working closely with OMG’s strategic business units, Resolution Media Hong Kong strives to understand consumers on a personal level by really getting to know their needs and preferences, instead of merely treating them as user segments or data on a dashboard. In this way, the agency is able to serve the most relevant information to its clients to help them convert online users. Leveraging insights to discover and define audience segments, the agency is able to launch real-time optimisation, always-on analytics and refinement. With this, it can then build detailed targeting criteria within platforms and programmes to align

audience segments and journeys to channels and content. This audience-led approach has made Resolution Media Hong Kong one of the fastest growing teams in OMG’s APAC network and has attracted numerous global clients to centralise their planning strategy, including names such as Apple, Unilever, and FedEx. Designing products for performance marketing that then drives return on investment, Resolution Media Hong Kong recently partnered with one of its long-standing clients Knorr to enhance its sales by analysing paid and competitor data. Obtaining unique insights through search data rather than traditional market research, the agency was able to produce Knorr’s very first “search-inspired” package design.

Be people-first then client. Hire the right kinds of people who personify your agency culture. Once you have defined your cultural pillars and mission, make sure they are woven into every single one of your processes and assets.

Cherry Ho Assistant Vice-President, Customer Segments and Experience Wealth Management DBS Bank (Hong Kong)

AOTY 2019 JUDGE 79

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SOCIAL MEDIA AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Gold

Local Hero

CMRS DIGITAL SOLUTIONS Headed by: Mark Chan and Ralph Szeto , Managing Partner Owned by: CMRS Group

FINALISTS • CMRS Digital Solutions • Fimmick • Guru Online • PRIZM • REPRISE

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CMRS Digital Solutions takes both gold and Local Hero in Social Media Agency of the Year. Operating as part of the CMRS Group – one of the leading digital and social media communications consulting companies in Hong Kong – the agency looks to enable brand communication excellence in the digital space. With its dedicated team of more than 130 digital and social media marketing professionals, CMRS Digital Solutions offers social media insights and monitoring, content marketing, creative strategy and consultancy services to a wide range of clients in Hong Kong, Macau and Southern China. Over the years, CMRS Digital Solutions has built an impressive portfolio and partnered with numerous big-name brands to find the right platform for promotion, refine communication channels, perform real-time content tailoring and leverage algorithms for survey sampling to better understand audience preferences and behaviour – all of which has led to impressive sales growth, increased customer engagement and enhanced brand awareness. In 2009, CMRS Digital Solutions formed a strategic 80

partnership with Harbour City. Even back then, when social media was still a relatively new concept, CMRS Digital Solutions could see the enormous potential and value of social media, and worked closely with Harbour City on numerous campaigns. Since then, thanks to its expert insights, Harbour City has been able to strengthen its position as a market leader. With its comprehensive range of services, its scope of work for Harbour City includes daily social media monitoring, formulating social media tactics and various levels of online exposure across a range of different formats. Following the expansion of CMRS Group in 2017 to go further in social media marketing in terms of visual content and cross-border aspects, Kaho Yue, group director of Visualution Labs, and Jasmine Tsang, group director of CruiSo, were both promoted to the board of directors of CMRS Group. These promotions have allowed the group to seamlessly orchestrate its strengths and expertise in the creation of integrated marketing strategies. Part of CMRS Digital Solutions’ success is down to the strategic management of its talent. Not only does the agency invite experts from different industries to train its staff, but it also focuses on acquiring and nurturing new talent by offering summer internships, which cover subjects such as content marketing, content creation, insight analysis and visual production. In addition, senior management actively participates in sharing knowledge and expertise with clients and various academic organisations.


SOCIAL MEDIA AGENCY OF THE YEAR

Silver

GURU ONLINE Headed by: Alan Yip, CEO Owned by: AdBeyond (Group)

Guru Online takes silver in Social Media Agency of the Year. Positioning itself as an agency that provides complete 360° social media marketing solutions, Guru Online continuously exceeds its clients’ goals by delivering unparalleled performances. As part of its all-round service offering, the agency provides social media monitoring and strategy to build comprehensive campaigns; account and community service to deliver real-time social customer service; multimedia content production through its own in-house content studio; and social advertisements to deliver the most cost-effective ad solutions. It also takes advantage of its well-established KOL network to provide online PR services to vloggers, bloggers, illustrators and celebrities. Having built its own social commerce tool, “Sosou”, the

agency is now able to provide real-time analytics of social sales conversion behaviour and trace the impact of social content on online sales. In addition, by combining advanced technology with the latest messenger bot APIs, Guru Online is able to handcraft personalised digital solutions. 2018 is the second successive year the agency has been appointed to be the official social media agency for the Macau government during its International Film Festival and Awards. For this, Guru Online provides multi-platform monitoring, live broadcasting on social media, real-time multimedia productions, on-site real-time social content and stories production, social ad planning and placement, and the setting up of media pages.

Bronze

PRIZM Headed by: Jeffrey Hau, Director Owned by: PRIZM

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Grabbing bronze in Social Media Agency of the Year is PRIZM. Knowing that dedication, innovation and communication are the keys to success, PRIZM’s team of expert digital marketers serve a wide range of well-known brands, including Shiseido, Maxim’s, and Mercedes-Benz. 2018 saw the agency partner with Wynn to digitalise the traditional Chinese fortune telling process, as well as Lancôme to create an AR kiosk experience that utilised face-detection technology to trigger animations on the display. In addition, PRIZM worked closely with DBS to automate the distribution process of specially designed Lai See, whereby audiences were able to receive their “red packets” by completing the sign-up process on the digital vending machine. 82

The above campaigns all saw outstanding results in the form of audience engagement, increased sales and heightened brand awareness. PRIZM also developed its own in-house social media hub called “Optiz Insights”, which enables users to monitor viral activity across Facebook and gain valuable social data and intelligence. The dynamic dashboard provides intuitive navigation and categorisation, and allows for performance and reactions to be more accurately measured and acted upon. As an award-winning agency that offers regular training and development workshops, and participates in various undergraduate programmes, PRIZM’s long-term strategic vision ensures it maintains its position as an industry leader.


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