Malaysian agency leads share their 2015 blunders and hopes for 2016

It has been a year of ups and downs for the Malaysian marketing and advertising industry with the implementation of GST and the currency fluctuations.

There were many heated debates, many opinions shared. As the year wraps up and dawn of a new day approaches, we speak to some of our advertising industry on their highs and lows of the year.

Take a look:

Lara Hussein, managing director/partner of M&C Saatchi

Biggest Boo-Boo of 2015: As is common in any agency, certain clients acquire nicknames or "code names" internally. There was a meeting in which I actually was so absent-minded that I called out to a client to get her attention, using her nickname (a famous TV personality) rather than her real name. She turned around in confusion, not quite sure whether she had misheard (her real name was close enough to "cover the difference", fortunately.) Phew. Lucky. Next time I will look at my name card holder to regain my bearings before my meetings!

New Year’s Resolution for 2016: As profit margins and deadlines get shorter and shorter, the only thing we can extend is personal time and space. So perhaps I’ll take up meditation,learn to calm my mind in 2016, as an antidote to the adrenaline we all seem to be addicted to in this industry. (Of course, we can’t live without that, either, can we?)

Kristian Lee , business development director of Naga DDB.

Biggest Boo-Boo of 2015:  Turning up for a potential new business meeting under dressed at a meet-up organised by a close friend to present our credentials at the company he was working in. Knowing I was presenting to a buddy and his team, casual as you like, I turned up only to find his Chairman and board of directors were present in full force in suits and ties.

Sensing a few eye-brows raised did nothing for the self-assurance at that time! Fortunately the presentation did go reasonably well and even-though the work presented is the most important thing (in my opinion), I learnt not to take anything for granted. Leave no stone unturned when trying to make a good impression as you never know what might be important to a new client especially.

New Year’s Resolution for 2016: To maximise all our group's resources for our existing and also potential clients benefits. As a group we have a wealth of marketing solutions offerings as well as self-owned media platforms which ideally should serve to increase consumer touch points for our campaigns.

If we can pool our assets closer together and get all our  good people on the same page driven towards at least one single-minded objective, the sky would be the limit in terms of what we can achieve. Long story short, simply attempt to do more and better work for our clients.

Sailesh Wadhwa, planning director of Lowe Malaysia

Biggest Boo-Boo of 2015:   Guess we took ourselves way to seriously in 2015. Pushing back some big plans in search of the right timing. And off course not taking enough breaks in between work frenzy.

New Year’s resolution for 2016: Sprinting through marathons; Making more mistakes and Doing more new stuff.

David Lian, managing director of Zeno Malaysia

Biggest boo-boo of 2015: I have the habit of talking to myself out loud, when thinking of new ideas for clients. Some of the funniest moments that happen in work often happens when I’m daydreaming of something, and mumbling an irrelevant phrase to an on-going office conversation. The upside, sometimes, our best ideas come from these moments. The downside, I think my colleagues are keeping a secret blog with all my “sayings."

New year’s resolution for 2016: Keep Zeno Malaysia that happy place where we, the team, continue to make our own culture and dreams come true together. And keep on winning.

Gogulan Dorairajoo, CEO of Rantau PR

Biggest boo-boo of 2015: Getting ready for a pitch and due to some miscommunication with the client we got the time and day all wrong ....

New year’s resolution for 2016: Launching the new Rantau brand and looking forward to exploring how evolve with this new direction.

Casper Andersen, managing partner at Lion & Lion

Biggest boo-boo of 2015: Any booboos have luckily escaped my memory … but hopefully the lessons have stayed with me!

New year’s resolution for 2016: I’ve always found New Year resolutions to be a bit silly. However, we have great ambitions for 2016, so if I should mention something, it would be to deliver on those ambitions, making sure to enjoy life and prioritise my family along the way.

(photo courtesy: Shutterstock)