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Digital Agency of the Year Singapore 2016

Gold: DIGITASLBI
Owned by: Publicis Groupe
Headed by: Annette Male, managing director, Singapore

In 2015, DigitasLBi doubled the size of its business and retained all of its clients. As such the agency takes home the top position in the Digital Agency of the Year category. One major piece of work the agency was involved in was the relaunch of Hotel Jen’s brand positioning. DigitasLBi developed an integrated communication campaign that showcased young and upcoming talent, artists and artisans, local start-up products and services.

The campaign #NextJen invited guests to be part of the new concept, making the hotel a platform for a new generation and inspiring guests with #ThatJenFeeling. The campaign also unveiled a launch film to inspire guests to explore different sides of their personality by checking out the new Hotel Jen Tanglin. Key markets for the campaign included Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and the UK. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts was also another client the agency bagged in partnership with several other agencies under the Publicis Umbrella.

DigitasLBi will lead the relationship with support from advertising agency BBH and media agency ZenithOptimedia. The integrated team, all part of Publicis Groupe, will work on brand strategy, creative strategy and execution, digital platforms, social media, customer relationship management, and media planning and buying across global markets for the Shangri-La, Hotel Jen, Kerry Hotels and Golden Circle brands.

Last year, DigitasLBi hired Annette Male as managing director for Singapore and Southeast Asia to bolster its capabilities and drive business growth in the region.

 

Silver: TBWA DIGITAL ARTS NETWORK SINGAPORE
Owned by: Omnicom Group
Headed by: Ara Hampartsoumian, managing director

TBWA Digital Arts Network Singapore has experienced tremendous growth over the years and this has been driven by large regional wins for clients such as MasterCard, Caltex and Airbnb. This has resulted in the agency taking home the silver award this year.

The agency’s objective is to build a strong foundation for a long-term relationship with these new regional clients, and to grow these accounts organically. Its vision is to create a modern operating model to meet the changing demands of connected consumers for its key clients. As such, TBWA DAN entered 2015 with an audacious vision to rethink the way a modern creative digital company would work.

To make this happen, the agency launched Disruption LIVE – an agency model for the digital world. It made investments into modern data and insights technology and hired data strategists, data scientists and content creators to its teams. Disruption LIVE optimises clients’ marketing daily by using data and insights and driving clients’ businesses through digital and social media.

Bronze: MINDSHARE SINGAPORE
Owned by : WPP
Headed by : Melissa Tang, managing director

Taking home the bronze award in the Digital Category is Mindshare Singapore. The agency had a very busy year in 2015 as it launched several new initiatives such as the future adaptive specialist team (FAST), which aimed to provide data-led, adaptive marketing services to brands.

FAST comprises six services: data management, performance marketing, programmatic strategy, real-time marketing, digital analytics and managing big data, all going towards demonstrating Mindshare’s ability to constantly and quickly adapt to the needs of the day.

The media agency also built FAST services specifically for five sectors: consumer packaged goods, banking, consumer healthcare, telecommunications and automobile to drive business in emerging markets.

In February 2016, Mindshare launched a fi rst-of-its-kind programmatic buying unit called ULTRA for Unilever in ASEAN, which aims to drive digital media quality measures around complete viewability, transparent brand safety, high in-target delivery and strong fraud avoidance.

It has also been an eventful year for Mindshare in terms of hires for key positions. Jacob Kvist was appointed as chief investment officer, tasked with driving Mindshare’s trading and investment strategy for the APAC region. Most recently, it tied up with video ad tech company Unruly to unveil a manifesto for brands looking to beat ad blockers.

 

Local Hero: HAPPY MARKETER
Owned by : Independent
Headed by : Rachit Dayal and Prantik Mazumdar, managing partners

Taking home the Local Hero award is Happy Marketer. The agency was founded in 2009 and is known as a fast growing digital independent consulting fi rm, based in Singapore. The agency partners with clients from six major industries.

These are aviation, hospitality, education, fi nancial services and retail and F&B. Services provided by the ageny include social media marketing, search engine optimisation, conversion optimisation, web analytics, digital advertising and websites and apps.

The agency helps clients in fan generation, channel set-up, campaign management, contests management, gamifi cation, customer service, infl uencer engagement, social ad campaigns and many other areas.Recently, Happy Marketer was tasked to handle digital marketing duties for maestro Zubin Mehta’s symphony concert. The agency managed all the social media marketing and video advertising for Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra concert which happened at the Esplanade Concert Hall on 7 January 2016.

Late last year, Nanyang Business School (NBS), a school under Nanyang Technological University, also reappointed Happy Marketer as its digital marketing agency of record in Singapore.

FINALISTS

KRDS SINGAPORE
Owned by: KRDS SAS
Headed by: Preetham Venkky, director

Just three years in the market and KRDS Singapore is already making waves. The agency has won over the hearts of local marketers to make it onto this list. It was first founded in 2008 and since then KRDS has expanded from 10 to 120 employees and has opened seven new offices throughout Europe and Asia. KRDS has consistently registered triple-digit annual growth and in 2011, AXA PE, the leading European private equity firm, took an equity stake in the company.

MRM//MCCANN
Owned by : Interpublic Group
Headed by : Nicholas Handel, managing director, Singapore

Making it onto the finalists list this year is MRM//McCann. 2015 was nothing short of exceptional for the agency. In 2015, several key HR initiatives helped attract 25 new people and reduce staff turnover for the agency. The agency hired Joel Acenas as head of its new digital media division; Menaka Seshakumar as head of the marketing automation practice; Jim Guzman to lead the social media and real-time marketing practice; journalist Keith Boi to drive its new content division; and Beatriz Ayrosa to co-lead project management.

NURUN
Owned by : Publicis Groupe
Headed by : Joanne Theseira, general manager; Jonathan Ng, creative partner

With more than 40 digital shops in a very small and saturated market, the newly launched Nurun knew it had to define a clear role for itself to drive growth. To position itself for growth, it focused on reinventing customer journeys through technology to reveal new avenues of growth for clients. Through technology, data, and design thinking, it has helped deliver innovative ideas that seek to optimise or reimagine the way brands interact with consumers.

OGILVY & MATHER SINGAPORE
Owned by : WPP
Headed by : Chris Riley, chairman

Ogilvy & Mather Singapore’s 2015 approach acknowledged the fact that the only thing harder than getting to the top is staying there. This is a sizeable challenge for any agency in Singapore which is a rather cluttered communications market of more than 250 established and emerging competitors; all the while with a growing importance in keeping up with all things digital. It refined its digital offering around three pillars: customer engagement, technology partnerships and continuous commerce.

SECTION
Owned by : Independent

Headed by : Nelson Lee, partner and head of new business

Making it to the finalists list this year is Section. If marketing is truly about understanding consumer behaviour and turning it into your favour, most companies are still not seeing or leveraging the potential of digital, says the agency. And it aims to change just that. One recent client Section brought on board was Jack’s Place. The agency was appointed ahead of a revamp where Jack’s Place looked to reintroduce the restaurant as the defi nitive destination for steak lovers.

TRIBAL WORLDWIDE SINGAPORE
Owned by : Omnicom Group
Headed by : Jeff Cheong, president, Asia and head of Tribal Worldwide Singapore

Tribal Worldwide Singapore continues to strengthen its position as a communication agency that creates work that influences mindshare, purchase and loyalty. Its focus last year was helping client businesses to close the gap between social media and commerce. It also looked to delve deep into content creation and distribution and create a community centric focus for the work it does.

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