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Nov 09

BiO-LiFE Introduces Range of Probiotics with a Symphony of Wellness

[Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 9 November 2023] – BiO-LiFE, the renowned advocate for health and wellness, is excited to announce the launch of their captivating new advertisement campaign featuring an array of their Probiotic products. Designed to inspire and transform, this campaign not only showcases the power of probiotics but also encapsulates BiO-LiFE’s unwavering commitment to personal wellbeing.

This innovative advertisement campaign takes inspiration from the beloved TV sitcom intros of the past, a time when storytelling had the magic to captivate hearts. Just as these intros introduced characters with unique abilities, BiO-LiFE’s range of Probiotics are the unsung heroes solving the everyday challenges of modern living. Their superpowers? A balanced gut, a fortified immune system, and better oral health.

But what sets this campaign apart is the enchanting jingle that accompanies it. Crafted with precision, this musical composition is sure to leave an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of the audience, making it an unforgettable viewing experience. In BiO-LiFE’s words, “Be the PRO in Probiotics.”

The creative masterminds at Kingdom Digital, the agency behind this remarkable campaign, have seamlessly translated BiO-LiFE’s vision into a tangible reality. Elaine Ewe, the Strategy Lead at Kingdom Digital, explains, “It is important for us to shift the narrative to be more consumer centric. What can they get out of this? We decided to do this by using something consumers are familiar with to address the brand’s main issue, which is: most Malaysians are not familiar with other benefits of probiotics beside immunity and gut health – to share with them our expertise and turn them into the PROs because after all, they are the ones who knows themselves best.”

Head of Marketing of BiO-LiFE, Chee Swee Rin, shares her excitement about this project, saying, “We believe that true wellness begins from within, and our Probiotics are the answer to that. This advertisement not only reflects our dedication to health but also a step towards creating a lasting brand in the hearts of our consumers.”

BiO-LiFE’s new Probiotics ad is not just a campaign; it’s a commitment to a healthier world. Tune in, and let the symphony of wellness unfold before your eyes:

About BiO-LiFE

BiO-LiFE, a subsidiary of MEGA Lifesciences is a leading name in the health and wellness industry, dedicated to providing quality supplement products that empower individuals and families on their wellness journey. Their range of Probiotics is specially designed to address the unique needs of modern living, ensuring everyone has the tools to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

About Kingdom Digital

Kingdom Digital has consistently proven itself as a creative agency, consistently pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the digital realm. With an impressive portfolio of award-winning campaigns, the agency has earned a reputation for transforming brands into strong, recognizable, and reputable icons. Their expertise spans across various industries, from e-commerce and technology to hospitality and healthcare.

Credits

BiO-LiFE:

Head of Marketing: Chee Swee Rin
Marketing Manager: Zoe Tan
Brand Manager: Serena Yap

Kingdom Digital:

Strat Planning: Elaine Ewe
Creative: Anson Chiam, Nicholas Khaw
Content: Sim Pei Xuan, Embren Batrisyia
Servicing: Lim Tan Ting, Shirven Teaw, Deric Loke

Lee The Film:

Executive Producer: Justin Lee Ming Kun
Director: Justin Lee Ming Kun
Producer: Isaac Lim Tyen Lerk
DOP: Francis Woon Guo Sheng
1st ac: Jorden Teo Jia Jun
2nd ac: Sarhvin
PA: Jenis, Chong
AD: Jihia Koh
Online Editor: Isaac Lim Tyen Lerk
Offline Editor: Francis Woon Guo Sheng
Colorist: Jorden Teo Jia Jun

Light Crew
Gaffer: Wei Lun
Grip: Fernando, John

Art Team
Art director: Esther Soon
Art assist: Connie Chai, Chris Yew

Make Up Artist: Berry

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News
Nov 09

Dettol Celebrates Global Handwashing Day to Raise Awareness on Good Hygiene Practices

[Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 9 November 2023] – Dettol, a trusted leader in hygiene and wellness, proudly celebrated Global Handwashing Day aimed at rekindling the habit of regular handwashing within the community. Recent data has unveiled a concerning downtrend in handwashing practices within the wider community, prompting Dettol to acknowledge the paramount importance of upholding fundamental hygiene practices.

The campaign commenced with the expertise of Kingdom Digital, a renowned creative agency. Their innovative approach included the introduction of a distinctive Dettol Hygiene Hour social media filter, coupled with an extensive and far-reaching digital social campaign. In tandem, these elements inspired individuals to pledge towards a healthier Malaysia, underlining the importance of practicing proper handwashing as a cornerstone of enhanced hygiene and well-being. This was followed by an on-ground roadshow orchestrated to offer the public firsthand experience in mastering effective handwashing techniques.

The pinnacle of Dettol’s efforts culminated in the event titled “From Clean Hands to Strong Defense: Dettol Unveils the Power of Hygiene Practices,” that assembled a distinguished panel of health experts to engage in thoughtful discussions on the current health landscape. Among present included Professor Emerita Elizabeth Scott (Chair of the Global Hygiene Council), Professor Zamberi Sekawi (Infectious Diseases expert), Dr. Ho Bee Kiau (Ministry of Health Malaysia), Danny Hoh (Watsons), and Tiffany Tang (Marketing Director for Health, Malaysia and Singapore for Reckitt).

In a spectacular show of solidarity, the KL Tower lit up at 8 pm on October 12, 2023, during the final event to celebrate the launch of Hygiene Hour by Dettol. Simultaneously, Hygiene Crews were dispatched throughout Kuala Lumpur to distribute Hygiene Kits and promote the adoption of enhanced practices within the local community.

Acknowledging the crucial role that schools play in molding the handwashing habits of young students, Dettol launched the “Hygiene Quest” School Project. This initiative had a primary goal of educating school children about the significance of hand hygiene and the essential eight-step handwashing process. The project left an indelible mark, reaching an astonishing 250,000 school children. Dettol also achieved a notable accolade by securing a place in the Malaysia Book of Records, with a remarkable record of 4,865 students participating in a synchronized handwashing demonstration.

Tiffany Tang, the Marketing Director of Health and Hygiene of Dettol Malaysia remarked on the victorious execution of the campaign with “We are truly elated by the resounding success of this campaign. It not only speaks to the effectiveness of our collaboration with Kingdom Digital, Avante, and Continuum PR but also resonates with Dettol’s core mission to advocate for better personal hygiene. This campaign has been a significant stride forward, and it reaffirms our commitment to fostering healthier communities through the promotion of good hygiene practices.”

Edmund Lou, Head of Strategy at Kingdom Digital, said “It’s amazing to see Dettol taking the lead in championing personal hygiene through this initiative. It’s not only a significant step towards better health, but it’s also a testament to the impact a brand can have in driving positive change. We are incredibly proud to be part of this campaign, and we believe it’s just the beginning of a brighter, healthier future.”

Dettol’s Global Handwashing Campaign was a remarkable and synergistic endeavor, made possible through a seamless collaboration between three key entities: Kingdom Digital, a renowned leader in Digital Creative, Avante, a specialist in Event Management, and Continuum PR, experts in Public Relations.

About Kingdom Digital

Kingdom Digital has consistently proven itself as a creative agency, consistently pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the digital realm. With an impressive portfolio of award-winning campaigns, the agency has earned a reputation for transforming brands into strong, recognizable, and reputable icons. Their expertise spans across various industries, from e-commerce and technology to hospitality and healthcare.

Credits

Dettol:

Marketing Manager of Malaysia, Singapore & Vietnam: Jill Yeap
Brand Manager of Malaysia, Singapore & Vietnam: Phoebe Tay
Asst. Brand Manager of Malaysia & Singapore: LynFay lee

Kingdom Digital:

Strat Planning: Edmund Lou
Creative: Lee Ker Shin, Siew Woon Ting
Content: Charmaine, Lily Omar
Servicing: Nicholas Low, Edvin Chin, Lim Tan Ting

Avante:

CEO: Faizal Ahamed
Senior BD Director: Nie Su Lynn

Continuum PR:

Director: Michelle Bridget
Senior account executive: Chelsea Rozario
Account executive: Mandy Sit

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News
Jun 05

Arla celebrates World Milk Day with new campaign showcasing ‘good in goodness’ in organic milk

Singapore – Organic dairy producer Arla has released a new campaign for World Milk Day, which showcases an extraordinary story of what ‘goodness’ is included in their organic milk in terms of deliciousness and nutritional value.

The campaign, conceptualised alongside Kingdom Digital and Areka Studios, embodies Arla’s unwavering commitment to delivering goodness through its organic milk offerings. The ad also captures the essence of Arla’s sustainable farming practices and meticulous quality control, showcasing its dedication to upholding the highest standards of taste, nutrition, and sustainability.

In addition to showcasing a glimpse of the ‘from farm to table’ process, Arla seeks to encourage daily milk consumption by highlighting the numerous nutritional benefits that milk offers.

Young Shu Hui, trade marketing manager for SEA distributor market at Arla Foods, said, “We firmly believe that small actions lead to immense impact. It is these precise actions that infuse true ‘goodness’ into our organic milk, elevating its flavour and irresistibility. Our Arla Organic milk is 100% European-certified and our farmers are working hard on making dairy more sustainable.”

Meanwhile, Mior Anwar and Neerishma Biaspal, members of the strategy team at Kingdom Digital, commented, “We discovered that many Singaporeans avoid drinking milk due to the fear of weight gain, largely due to an overestimation of the fat content in full cream milk.”

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News
May 24

Unlocking opportunities: Highlights from our experience at the Hakuhodo Digital Network Summit 2023

We had the privilege of participating in the Hakuhodo Digital Network (HDN) Summit 2023, held recently in Bangkok, Thailand by Hakuhodo International. It was an exceptional experience, allowing us to connect with 18 agencies from the H+ network across Southeast Asia and gain valuable exposure to their impressive capabilities and knowledge.

Our CEO, Ryan Ong, and Head of Digital, Steven Yap, attended the summit and found the networking sessions to be particularly fruitful, sparking conversations about collaboration and opening doors to exciting partnerships.

Ryan and Steven (seated at the far left side) alongside representatives from digital agencies under Hakuhodo global network

Sharing their experience, here are three key insights they took away from the summit:

  1. Localisation and local insight are essential for successful regional brand campaigns.
  2. The importance of a Customer Data Platform (CDP) was emphasised, highlighting the need to leverage customer data effectively for targeted marketing strategies.
  3. Hearing directly from clients about their expectations of a network agency provided invaluable guidance for aligning our services and exceeding their needs.

As part of Hakuhodo International and H+, Kingdom Digital now receives strong support from a network of digital agencies, enabling our clients to expand regionally and globally. We can leverage the expertise of these agencies to offer specialised services beyond our core strengths. Additionally, the agency-to-agency knowledge-sharing events such as the summit provided opportunities for growth for our internal talent, keeping us at the forefront of industry trends.

Proudly representing Kingdom Digital, Ryan and Steven captivated agency representatives with an engaging introduction at the summit

Overall, the HDN Summit was an enriching experience that has opened doors to new opportunities, benefiting both our team and
our clients.

Learn more about the HDN Summit 2023 on Hakuhodo International’s website.

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News
May 12

Dettol MY targets young parents with new ad film

Dettol Malaysia has launched a campaign in light of Parents’ Day.

The campaign features a film titled ‘A parent’s promise: keeping our children protected and loved’, which is conceptualised by Dettol’s newly appointed digital agency, Kingdom Digital and produced by Imagineers Film. The campaign will be running for one month.

Watch it here:

The three-minute film highlights the journey of new parents as they navigate the challenges and excitement of parenthood. The film features two sets of new and young parents.

Through fun and relatable questions about their roles at home, such as who’s the stricter parent and who’s the chief hygiene officer, the film showcases the challenges that these new parents face in raising a child while also highlighting the joy and rewards of parenthood.

With ‘A Parent’s Promise,’ Dettol aims to help new parents feel more confident about providing a clean and safe environment for their children.

Tiffany Tang, the marketing director of health ad hygiene of Dettol Malaysia said that the film is targeted at young parents, to provide hygiene solutions that make it easy for them to feel protected.

“We believe we are in the best position to keep Malaysian families protected in our relentless pursuit of a cleaner and healthier world,” she added.

Edmund Lou, head of strategy at Kingdom Digital said, “We understand that new parents often turn to social media and influencers for advice and tips on navigating parenthood. That’s why we based our campaign concept on this human insight, featuring two pairs of young parents who are also content creators to share their experiences via an engaging online film. We’re confident that this approach will not only resonate with new parents but also showcase Dettol’s commitment to providing accessible hygiene solutions that make everyday protection easy.”

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News
May 11

Dettol Malaysia inspires new parents in heartwarming campaign for Parents’ Day

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Germ protection brand Dettol in Malaysia has launched its latest campaign in celebration of Parents’ Day. The campaign was conceptualised by Dettol’s newly appointed digital agency, Kingdom Digital, and produced by Imagineers Film.

Titled ‘A Parent’s Promise: Keeping Our Children Protected & Loved’, the 3-minute film highlights the journey of new parents as they navigate the challenges and excitement of parenthood. The film features two sets of new and young parents — Reuben Kang and Kelly Kang, as well as Alam Wakaka and Alisya Najwa.

Through fun and relatable questions about their roles at home, such as who’s the stricter parent and who’s the chief hygiene officer, the film showcases the challenges that these new parents face in raising a little one while also highlighting the joy and rewards of parenthood.

Commenting on the campaign, Tiffany Tang, marketing director for health and hygiene of Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam of Dettol Malaysia, said, “We’re excited about this latest initiative for Parents’ Day. We believe our consumers who are new parents and going through the same thing will find the stories relatable.”

Tang added, “At Dettol, we understand that things may not always go according to plan in parenthood, so our hygiene solutions are designed to make it easy for them to feel protected, confident, assured, and have the peace of mind to take on whatever the day may bring.”

Edmund Lou, head of strategy of Kingdom Digital, also said, “We understand that new parents often turn to social media and influencers for advice and tips on navigating parenthood. That’s why we based our campaign concept on this human insight, featuring two pairs of young parents who are also content creators to share their experiences via an engaging online film.”

The campaign will be running for one month and the online film is now available to watch on Dettol’s social media channels and the influencers’ Instagram pages.

Credits

Dettol:

Marketing Manager of Malaysia, Singapore & Vietnam: Jill Yeap
Brand Manager of Malaysia, Singapore & Vietnam: Phoebe Tay

Kingdom Digital:

Strat Planning: Edmund Lou
Creative: Lee Ker Shin, Siew Woon Ting
Content: Nadhine Teo
Servicing: Nicholas Low, Edvin Chin, Lim Tan Ting

Kingdom Digital:

Strat Planning: Edmund Lou
Creative: Lee Ker Shin, Siew Woon Ting
Content: Nadhine Teo
Servicing: Nicholas Low, Edvin Chin, Lim Tan Ting

Imagineers Film:

Creative Director: Daniel Mok
Director: Reuben Kang, Koh Chien Han
Producer: Irwin Oon, Jonathan Toh
1st Assistant Director: Jonathan Toh
Dir. Of Photography: Irwin Oon
1st Camera Assistant/Cam B OP: Jetro Siew
2nd Camera Assistant/Cam C OP: Jorden Teo
Gaffer: Jaden Hew
Grip/Light: Victric Kor
Art Department: Jonathan Lee, Yuki Law, Eunice Wong
Production Manager: Emily Ho
Production Assistants: Jonathan Lee, Yuki Law, Eunice Wong
Sound: Chen Fuan Sheng
Makeup Artist: Yuki Ng
Casting: Emily Ho
Wardrobe: Emily Ho, Eunice Wong
Location: Jonathan Lee, Yuki Law, Eunice Wong
Offline/Online Editor: Wendy Pua

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Scam Alert Thumbnail News
Mar 06

Beware of Job Scams

Beware of

Job Scams

It has come to our attention that unauthorised individuals have been impersonating our HR team by offering part-time jobs to members of the public. The job requires users to follow accounts or like posts on social media platforms and they will get paid daily.

We wish to alert everyone that this is a scam, and these individuals do not represent and are not affiliated with Kingdom Digital.

We would like to emphasise that we DO NOT offer any part-time jobs. We urge the public NOT to respond to any messages/calls that claim to provide such opportunities.

All communications from Kingdom Digital are conducted via official email only.

Should you need any further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us at 03-7710 0211 or enquiry@kingdomdigital.com.my

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News
Sep 09

Marketers, are you writing good briefs? Agency folks weigh in

Bad or confusing briefs are a common thing in the ad industry. They also pose a challenge as agencies are unsure of ways to effectively solve problems that brands face. A 2021 global survey by BetterBriefs found that 80% of marketers think they are good at writing briefs, whereas only 10% of agencies agree.

Meanwhile, 95% of marketers fail to provide strategic direction to their agencies. The survey also found that up to one-third of all marketing budgets are potentially wasted due to poor briefs and misdirected work. Khairudin Rahim, CEO of 4As, which recently released a best practice guide “The best way for a client to brief an agency” published by the Chartered Institute of Practitioners in Advertising UK, explained that if there isn’t a well-defined marketing strategy in place, there can be no brief. “Unfortunately, some marketers lean on the creative development process to clarify, and decide their strategies later rather than being clear about these from the outset,” he said, adding:

Poor briefs don’t allow agencies to solve problems or seize opportunities identified by marketers. If briefs are unclear, then agencies can’t be sure what’s expected of them. At which point the second-guessing begins.

He added that often, the root cause is marketers’ and agencies’ inability to see eye-to-eye on what a good brief looks like. “Unchallenged, poor briefs trigger a raft of negative consequences. They lead to confusion, shallow creative thinking and often mediocre ideas. Which in turn leads to unhappy clients, rounds and rounds of creative work, rebriefs, de-motivation and ultimately less effective work in-market,” Khairudin said. He added that agencies are encouraged to say “No” to briefs they don’t understand to avoid future misalignment.

So what makes a good brief? It is one that guides creative thinking and acts as a neutral reference point for assessing the work, Khairudin said. “Brief writers must be clear in their choices. Deciding whether a brief is acquiring new customers, upselling to existing ones, or increasing frequency of purchase requires a choice. When it comes to briefs they are mutually exclusive. The need to address more than one of these choices will require multiple briefs,” he added.

Meanwhile, A+M also turned to agency leaders and strategy leads to find out the top three components for a good brief. Read their thoughts here.

Jarrod Reginald, ECD, The Chariot Agency

If your brief can’t fit on a Twitter post, it’s not a good brief. Not a Twitter thread. 256 characters (or however many characters it is now). It tells me you have a clear outcome you want. And that helps me figure out the path to get you there.

Mazuin Zin, MD, Edelman Malaysia

As agency partners, we need to start co-authoring and co-owning briefs as it brings about a strategic mindset change in how we approach the business challenge. This is true even more so now, as we all are shifting from campaign-centric thinking to being live on businesses virtually, thanks to the nifty data and analytics dashboards, and a battery of specialist teams analysing every post, every tweet.

The game has surely changed for the business of marketing, where every issue, every dissent, and every banter is waiting to be turned into a brief to connect meaningfully with our audiences. And I personally believe our client partners are looking at agency teams as the extension of their communication and marketing eyes and ears to co-own every challenge, every opportunity. Ergo, the onus lies with agency partners to stay live on business.

Darien Mah, founder, FOREFRONT Group

A good brief offers clarity in three key components: challenges, objectives and budget. More information is always better, but these are the bare minimum. For agencies to understand the market challenges, clients should provide sufficient visibility into the overall brand and marketing strategy. In doing so, agencies can better identify the vulnerabilities within and propose better solutions.

Clear objectives are also crucial to the birth of good strategies and ideas. With the certainty of what to measure and how to achieve them, agencies can better focus on the creative process by choosing the most suitable strategy from the get-go. A budget, even when it is an indicative one, helps set parameters and identify key metrics of success.

A brief is only useful when the agency knows how far and deep it can go.

Christopher Greenough, GM, Malaysia at GrowthOps Asia

A great brief gives strategic and clear-cut direction to agencies. It should identify who we are talking to, the product’s positioning comparative to its market and what the project aims to achieve — a behavioural or commercial goal and impact. These can be summed up to the 3W’s: Who we are talking to, why should they care, and what do we want to achieve. The 3Ws are crucial components to building a great campaign — ultimately resulting in better marketing investment for clients.

Some of the common pitfalls we see are a vague targeting of the market (or targeting “everyone”), a lack of reasoning and understanding of why the brief is taking place, last-minute briefings, and not sharing existing research and data with agencies.

Ultimately, agencies also have the responsibility to ask the right questions when the brief is vague and steer the client in the right direction—that’s our job as consultants.

Edmund Lou, head of strategy, Kingdom Digital

Target audience, share findings, and transparency. Having a mass target audience such as 18 to 54-year-old age groups is like fishing in an ocean. Dividing it into primary and secondary groups with different objectives to achieve will allow us to create more relatable personas that the brand can tap on. While brand campaigns usually target a wider audience, social media content marketing requires a more specific target audience for the brand to connect with and talk to.

Any data and insights commissioned by the client would be much appreciated if shared with the agency to avoid duplicates during the presentation.

Clients should also be open to findings from Google research. It’s the best way to understand local market sentiments, behaviours, and perceptions as it has a major impact on human insight.

It helps if clients are transparent too and share information such as the number of pitching agencies. Simply put, knowing the competition is always good. Knowing the budget range, pitch evaluations and reasonable objectives are helpful too. KPIs are key to a campaign but having sales as a KPI is tough as agencies are stuck with a certain product beyond their control. An increase in engagement rates (internal) and brand lift study (external) are some examples to measure the success of a campaign.

Lara Hussein, CEO and founding partner, M&C Saatchi Malaysia

A great brief needs to be an inspiring thought starter. A strong brief both outlines the problem to be solved and provides a useful roadmap on how to get there. I would split the initial thought process into two distinct parts, even before I start writing the brief.

The first is a macro view of the business: an understanding of the market context, competition and target audience (assuming it’s a new brief). The second is more micro: a funnelled-down distillation of the thinking into one page that has been strategically thought-through to provide a springboard for the creative. This micro distillation is what sets a good brief apart from an average one.

We should focus our attention on three key components, firstly defining the problem. What are we trying to solve? The clearer you make the problem, the better the creative team’s understanding, and ultimately the work. Next, define the target. Not just by dry demographic facts, but by bringing them to life: their aspirations, likes, dislikes, beliefs – everything that makes them tick as real human beings.

Finally, arrive at a powerful truth. This is key. Think freely and strategically, to provide your creative team with a truth that’s inspiring, powerful, and differentiating. It should seamlessly bring together the insight and brand information you’ve provided earlier, and be the summation of your overall brief.

Also, not every brief needs to be in words. Think differently, and choose formats which are engaging, fun and thought-provoking. These could even be images or videos which bring your thinking to life.

Sean Sim, CEO, McCann Malaysia

It’s tough to narrow it down to just three components but if I had to pick, I would say it would be a clear objective, followed by a succinct articulation of positioning, and lastly a proper budget. The first one, objective, seems simple enough but we have come across clients that cannot be focused on what they want to achieve. They want everything, including the kitchen sink. That makes for confusion and a dilution of messages. They must prioritise, according to needs and budget.

Next, it may come as a surprise, but many briefs cannot state clearly what the company or brand stands for. A product feature/benefit is not positioning. The lack of clarity wastes time and effort.

Finally, some clients intentionally leave out the budget and want the agency to propose and cost out a comprehensive plan. At the end, the clients say they like it but unfortunately don’t have enough money to run most of the stuff.

Stanley Clement, CEO, Mediabrands Content Studio

Achieving a good brief is not just a client problem, it’s also an agency problem. We too sometimes forget to ask the right questions or fail to steer the conversation in the right direction to get the answers we need. At MBCS, we use a single-page consumer experience planning model that helps us ask the very basic questions, but answered concisely:

1.    What is the consumer pain that we are trying to address?
2.    What is the gain that the product/service brings to the consumer to resolve/address this pain?
3.    What do we want the consumers to do after seeing the communication?

These questions must be answered and addressed with utmost clarity so that the task is clear. Of course, we will need to validate the proof points with research and thorough groundwork, but this is a great starting point to ensure we’re all on the right track.

Fatimah Nazirah binti M Ash’ari, head of business, 65dB and strategy director, TBWA\Kuala Lumpur

As a strategist, I see a client’s marketing brief like a document to get the agency’s buy-in to go on a new journey with them. A good brief should make me feel like I’ve been sold with a new challenge. I should be able to sense not only urgency but passion too by firstly, giving me context and making it slightly personal. A good brief will tell me how you get here and why this brief is here. Tell me your brand problems and your personal take on it. Feed me your research and insights.

Next, clarity and conviction. Clearly define the fundamentals i.e. objectives, audience, and positioning, among others. Be focused on what you want to achieve.

Show me that you are convinced that if we solve this one problem, we going to be on the right track. Showing conviction in one’s brief can be quite sexy too.

Also, share your vision, tell us your desired outcome and not just through KPIs. Imagine the change and impact we’d make together. Let us see your vision of the brand and then we’ll give 110% to help you get there.

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News
Aug 10

Top 5 agencies in Malaysia that mastered the art of digital marketing

Digital customer experiences are now just as important (and sometimes even more so) than in-person experiences in building trusted relationships with brands, said a recent report by Adobe called Adobe 2022 Trust Report. The report found that for 71% of consumers, relevant, personalised content delivered at the right time increases their trust, while 57% of consumers will stop purchasing from a brand that does not provide personal experiences. At the same time, McKinsey’s “The New Digital Age” survey also found that companies will have to build new digital businesses to stay economically viable as they look towards 2023.

Clearly having a digital presence today can make or break a brand. With the speed of change in all things tech and digital, often clients in our part of the world rely on their agency partners to guide and create an elevated experience for their consumers. Hence, agencies that are able to integrate advanced technology with marketing and advertising to produce modern and relevant campaigns are fast becoming one of the most sought after firms.

To find out which agencies excelled in their digital capabilities, the team at A+M turned to our Agency of the Year 2022 Malaysia submissions to find out which were the agencies that managed to leverage innovative digital means to produce thumb-stopping campaigns. Listed alphabetically, these are the top five winners that impressed our independent panel of judges with their modern and smart ways of operation for the Digital Agency of the Year category.

Ampersand Advisory 

Established in 2017, Ampersand Advisory specialises in audience insights and segmentation; driving scale and measuring performance; as well as digital audit and optimisation. It offers consulting and data services, digital content services, as well as connections and media services.  When the pandemic hit, Ampersand Advisory capitalised on the need for digital solutions that fast engulfed clients seeking to transform their media planning and buying approaches. As such, it was able to appeal to businesses looking to transform, and build a standout presence online.

A notable brand that the agency has worked with is Shiseido, where it developed a unique new media platform development in virtual reality that drove engagement, product sampling, eCommerce and social buzz, the Shiseido Ultimune Virtual Reality.

According to Ampersand Advisory, people are still its greatest assets. As such, the agency ensures that its team is physically, emotionally, and financially protected. For instance, it provided all its staff with large monitors to extend their screens, as they worked from home. Financially, the agency took a firm policy decision to not cut its staff’s salaries, despite the initial fall in revenue and cuts in ad spend in 2020, even giving out bonuses in the next year. Additionally, it offered flexible working hours and removed mandatory check-ins online and offline, ensuring the welfare of its team.

At the same time, as Ampersand Advisory hired more staff, it continued with its digital acceleration programme to train them quickly. Key elements included loose monitoring, media training sessions, rigorous digital training, data analytics workshops, and encouraging its staff to undertake tests and get certified. These initiatives on the manpower front proved effective, as both staff strength and retention grew.

Digitas Malaysia 

Touting itself to be a transformation and connected marketing agency, Digitas Malaysia helps clients manage and accelerate growth through first-party data, insights and actions. The connected intelligence empowers brands to create better consumer connections through technology, creativity and smart media across all ecosystem touchpoints. What sets Digitas Malaysia apart from other digital agencies is its core capabilities, where data is at the heart of every work produced. Leveraging technology, Digitas Malaysia pushes boundaries and develops bespoke solutions tailored to each clients’ unique challenges. According to the agency, this has enabled it to deliver personalised and meaningful consumer connections, helping brands fully optimise their customer experiences, delivering clear and measurable ROI.

In addition, Digitas Malaysia establishes strategic partnerships with technology vendors, platforms and content channels to give its clients an additional competitive edge. For instance, its Power of Community Commerce partnership with TikTok enables select clients to take advantage of social commerce, while its close collaboration with Media Prima has resulted in numerous exclusively branded programmes across digital platforms.

Digitas Malaysia explained that its business is all about its people. As such, the agency ensures the welfare of its staff with several initiatives, such as an Employee Assistance Programme, which provides free professional counselling to its staff members through this time of stress and uncertainty. In addition, it financially rewards its team by promoting and rewarding high performing staff members. Not neglecting the technical skillset of its staff, Digitas Malaysia is also committed to digital upskilling, where 50% of all staff has attended enhanced digital skills training via proprietary training courses on Marcel, the Groupe’s global AI collaboration and knowledge platform.  Currently, the agency works with brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Prudential, Coca-Cola, Samsung, and Nestlé.

Entropia – part of Accenture Song

Starting out as a media agency with technology at the heart of its services and solutions, Entropia – part of Accenture Song has now evolved to offer a complete suite of services in a crossover of online and offline worlds, such as customer experience design, data consulting, digital transformation solutions, IR 4.0 services, and most recently, demystifying the metaverse for clients.

Its acquisition by Accenture in 2021 opened up new opportunities for the agency’s clients to relook at their integrated brand experience, spanning the entire value chain, including product, pricing, access, communication, and commerce, among others. With a vision to break industry traditions and norms, the agency set out to blend consultancy and agency, paving future-oriented modes of thinking and working, and merging the domains of influence in marketing geared toward the fourth industrial revolution.

Bringing acceleration to its offering, the agency has partnered with various technology ecosystem partners such as AWS (cloud), Sitecore & Adobe (CMS and marketing cloud), Edgeverve, an Infosys company (customer service, distribution network digitisation, and procurement), and Bambuser (experiential commerce) to bring cloud, CX and commerce platforms to the region. In addition to these partnerships, Entropia – part of Accenture Song has also built its own IP in the areas of customer 360 and advanced profiling, predictive marketing and sales analytics, IoT-driven CX measurement and feedback systems. According to the agency, all these platforms have a strong roadmap in tune with the evolving needs of brands in the digital technology space.

On the manpower front, the agency said that it has made new hires proficient in strategy building, creative work, media, social, UX, martech, data, tech, XR, and eCommerce. This can be attributed to how the agency helped its employees adapt with work buddy programmes, and encouraged more open-door conversations.  Notable client brands that the agency has worked with include Pepsi, Unilever, Merck, Hartalega, Panasonic Malaysia and Oppo.

FCB SHOUT 

FCB SHOUT, previously known as FCB Malaysia, rebranded itself and formed a new holding group five years after an independent buy-out, giving the agency a new lease of life as it became one of Malaysia’s “hottest creative shops”. Its challenger mentality and agile working culture enabled it to hold strong and emerge out of the pandemic stronger and more determined, evident in the significant rise in organic business growth, and a high client retention rate. In fact, FCB SHOUT managed to turn 2021, a year of adversity, into its most profitable year since buying the agency, with more than a 100% rise in profit growth, the agency said.

The agency’s success can be attributed to the creative tools it has at its disposal, due to its affiliation with FCB. Ranging from brand bedrock, which helps define brand purpose; definitive design, to build brand assets; and people and patterns, which humanises data.

To help define brand purpose, which the agency believes it to be a powerful concoction of inspired storytelling and engaging story-doing, FCB SHOUT starts by interrogating the brand’s past, understanding its present and anticipating its future. Once the brand purpose is defined, the team is able to make better decisions more quickly and with more confidence.  In addition, FCB SHOUT’s proprietary tool uses data to map behaviours and recognise patterns emerging in the world, both within the category and those that are specific to the business and the brand. With that knowledge, the agency is then able to uncover the most significant opportunities to maximise how and when people engage.

Beyond campaigns, FCB SHOUT also invests heavily in its people – making its staff its priority, and ensuring that jobs were maintained despite the changing circumstances. With its lean operating principles removing all the layers and costs normally associated with a traditional network agency, FCB SHOUT successfully navigated the economic downturn of 2021 without having to implement any salary cuts or retrench any of its people. The agency’s efforts paid off, evident from its success at maintaining staff turnover at 11%. In fact, it even went to great lengths to persist with its training programmes, moving from classrooms to webinar. In addition, when others were downsizing, FCB SHOUT doubled down on talent, and added 10 new hires across all disciplines, ending the year as a 40-strong team.It currently works with notable brands such as RHB Bank, Spritzer, Domino’s Pizza and others.

Kingdom Digital 

Established in 2007, Kingdom Digital strives to push the creative boundaries in the work it produces, while still putting relationships first in everything it does. By humanising the way brands present themselves and speak to their customers, the agency creates a relatable, strong and distinct brand personality that customers can relate to, whether it is through social media content or digital campaigns. The agency also follows a “Relationships Matter” core belief which revolves around building pleasant and long-lasting relationships with clients, consumer and brands, as well as co-workers.

Digital creative automation is Kingdom Digital’s bespoke solution to help brands achieve personalisation at scale. This platform-agnostic service has helped clients such as Grab and PropertyGuru save production time, reduce creative man-hour cost, and enter markets faster with hyper-targeted campaigns.

According to Kingdom Digital, teamwork makes the dream work. With more than 45 active direct brands on the roster concurrently, the agency ensures that adequate support is provided to its clients, while ensuring internal resources are kept at optimal efficiency. As such, the agency was actively hiring throughout 2021 to expand the team, despite other organisations having recruitment freezes. In fact, Kingdom Digital made 73 new hires last year.

Beyond simply hiring and expanding the team, the agency ensures that it nurtures its existing employees. From annual performance reviews, a mentoring system between seniors and juniors where juniors are exposed to the best practices, to training, workshops, and masterclasses where its staff are encouraged to participate, Kingdom Digital provides a conducive environment for its team to grow and learn.

With its humanised approach, capable team, and effective technology, the agency has worked with a diverse range of brands from various verticals, including Grab, Digi, Shiseido, Nissan, Hong Leong Bank, and Sime Darby Property. Most recently, the digital creative agency Kingdom Digital was acquired by Hakuhodo to accelerate Kingdom Digital’s expansion in Southeast Asia.

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News
Aug 10

Hakuhodo and DAC launch H+ to create a new Asia-wide digital network offering

H+ aims to grow digital revenue outside of Japan, satisfy client needs and further integrate Hakuhodo DY’s overseas holdings.

Two of Hakuhodo DY Holdings’ largest agency networks are teaming up to create a new APAC-wide digital service network called
H+, in a bid to export Japanese know-how and expand theirtechnology offerings across Asia.

Hakuhodo Inc. (Hakuhodo), the holding company’s largest creative and brand agency, and D.A.Consortium (DAC), its leading digital media agency, plan to focus on Asia-wide digital growth with team members from both networks across the region collaborating in the new cross-company organisation.

H+ will be led out of Thailand by DAC executive offi cer and head of its Global Business Group,Michihiko Suganuma, together with Yusuke Miyabe, Hakuhodo’s global business transformationdivision and Asia DX division leader. Both have relocated from Tokyo to Bangkok whereSuganuma will lead H+ operations and supply, while Miyabe will focus on growth and demand.

“APAC has always been a fantastically dynamic region of the world, and now in particular israpidly making up for lost time and looking for innovation and opportunity again,” Suganumasays. “Across advertising, owned media, commerce and CRM, clients are looking to haveengaging conversations with consumers. With data and technology at the core, H+ is focused onempowering our clients to do just that.”

While Hakuhodo’s agency network alone has nearly 100 companies in Asia-Pacifi c outside ofJapan, both Hakuhodo and DAC have identifi ed 22 of their digital-fi rst companies to form the H+network initially in ten markets across APAC.

Although the H+ network represents a collaborative service offering between agencies, ratherthan a new entity or agency brand, H+ will be hiring new staff in these companies to coordinateand facilitate H+ services, while also choosing existing select staff from Hakuhodo and DAC towork on each project.

Getting employees across different Asian markets and agency networks to cooperate and workseamlessly work together is “the diffi cult part,” admits Suganuma, but says Miyabe, himself and others headquartered in Japan are committed to seeing each client’s needs through tocompletion.

“For instance, let’s say there is a client from Japan aiming to reach 10 countries that we’ve plotted here, then we will make a special task force unit to support the client. We will appoint key members in each business to realise their request,” Suganuma says.

In Bangkok, H+ will be led out of the same location as Hakuhodo-owned Winter Egency and now expects collaborate with DAC-owned I-DAC Bangkok to a much greater degree than before.

Suganuma tells Campaign this was one of two main motivations behind starting H+, to not only raise sales revenue but also to realise the goal of integrating their agencies’ services. “We want to be united. That is why we made a consolidated brand in H+”.

L to R: Michihiko Suganuma and Yusuke Miyabe

Expansion across Asia

Of course, this integration is not merely expected in-market, but on an Asia-wide level. Hakuhodo has been steadily growing its ability to help clients with digital transformation (DX) in the region. Last week alone, Hakuhodo invested in Japanese artificial intelligence company
Laboro.AI for exactly this reason, then also bought an 80% stake in leading Malaysian digital agency Kingdom Digital, adding it as a subsidiary.

“Continuing to accelerate our growth outside of Japan has always been a key priority for Hakuhodo and DAC,” said Shuntaro Ito, head of Hakuhodo international. “This is why we feel that launching a new group offering, which can strategically power all of our in-market companies, is the perfect decision at this time.”

DAC, meanwhile, is looking to replicate its digital media success in Japan, where it claims to have12% of the market share, by expanding its extensive adtech and publisher partnerships across Asia, backed by the operational strength of 500 traders, 350 engineers and 50 data scientists.

“We are trying to bring this know-how in building client success to all the regions,” Suganuma says. We have been taking care of Japan clients asking us in Hakuhodo or DAC to cover several regions, but we are going to put more focus on acquiring clients overseas. Eventually H+ willspread past Asia but for now the focus is Asia.”

The H+ offering

The H+ logo helps illustrate its new integrated service portfolio. The four different colours on the + symbol represent its four main business areas: digital advertising, owned (brand asset and social channel support), commerce and CRM (including data services). In each area, H+ says ithas key partnerships in place with major platforms, tech and data providers.

The ‘H’, we’re told, represents both ‘Hakuhodo’ and ‘human-centric’ nature of the offerings. Those familiar with Hakuhodo will know it does not refer to consumers, but‘sei-katsu-sha’, a Japanese term for more a human-centered consumer as a multi-faceted individual.

This approach, Suganuma says, “is what drives us to look at people as a sum total of their lives, preferences, aspirations and dreams; and to seek out the evolving lifestyle experiences that will inform engaging communications.”

Based around this approach is a proprietary technique called ‘InsightOut’ that Hakuhodo developed more than a decade ago to turn data into ideas. The leaders of H+ says both concepts are at the core of its unique planning process, which uses all its data and technology partnerships to convert the underlying motivations and behaviour of sei-katsu-sha into actionable insights for clients and society.

“We start from a sei-katsu-sha insight to fi nd a new opportunity in the market and then we workon a digital solution or with media agency to increase media efficiency,” Miyabe tells Campaign. “We need to provide both to clients. This is the concept”.

The core of H+, its leaders say, is symbolised by the center point in the + sign where all the offerings come together.

Says Suganuma: “We are here to bring all these four areas into one central nodal point.”

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