2016 Agency-Marketer Partnership Award winners announced

Campaign Asia-Pacific, in association with The Observatory, reveals the winners of the 2016 Agency | Marketer Partnership (AMP) Awards

Aug 01, 2016 09:53:00 AM | Article | Staff

DDB Group Hong Kong and McDonald's Hong Kong have won top honours in the 2016 Agency | Marketer Partnership Awards, presented by Campaign Asia-Pacific in association with The Observatory.

The 2016 winners are:

  • GOLD: DDB Group Hong Kong and McDonald's Hong Kong
  • SILVER: Cheil India and Samsung India Electronics
  • BRONZE: Leo Burnett Mumbai and Bajaj V
  • Highly commended: Arcade and Heineken Asia Pacific

Please see below for details on the winners.

The winning client-agency duos will honoured on 18 August as part of the Asia's Top 1000 Brands Breakfast Briefing in Singapore. 

The AMP awards recognise Asia-Pacific’s most effective client-agency relationships, showcasing the partnerships that have delivered outstanding work and sustainable ROI over time.

"In our third year of the Agency | Marketer Partnership Awards, it is rewarding to see that many of the best brands across Asia Pacific’s key markets are being driven by strong and innovative partnerships between marketers and their agencies," said Richard Bleasdale, APAC managing partner with The Observatory International. "This really underlines our thinking at The Observatory, that the power of great partnerships is what really drives great work and ROI, and that by shining a light on innovative, committed and collaborative agency/marketer partnerships, all of the industry can benefit."

Campaign Asia-Pacific and The Observatory would like to thank the judges for the 2016 awards for their time and expertise:

  • Anindya Dasgupta, global CMO, Fonterra
  • Damien Cummings, global head of digital marketing, Standard Chartered Bank
  • Jacqueline Cheong, senior director, global country marketing, IHS
  • Jayant Murty, director of brand strategy, media and integrated marketing, Asia-Pacific/Japan, Intel Corporation
  • Rashish Pandey, director, marketing, Asia-Pacific, Cisco Systems
  • Wendy Walker, SVP and CMO, Manulife

Note: Due to the number of entries received, the organisers consolidated the previously announced single- and multi-agency categories into one award.

Winner details

GOLD : DDB Group Hong Kong and McDonald’s Hong Kong

2015 marked the 40th anniversary of the partnership between McDonald’s and DDB, and was also a challenging year for McDonald’s due to high penetration and a ‘plateaued’ fast-food market. Together, the partners embarked on Vision 2020, with the objective to optimise margin return and improve McDonald’s brand leadership. 

The campaign started with the launch of Create Your Taste—a burger customisation platform—followed by the revival of the Big Mac, the democratisation of premium burgers, and a world-first concept restaurant, McDonald’s Next. The results of the campaign were positive, with a 30 percent increase in “good food quality” scores and 15 percent in “contemporary company”.

This work was archetypal of the partners’ lasting association, a model in which DDB “[contributes] in ways that go way beyond the traditional role of an agency,” according to Randy Lai, managing director of McDonald’s Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Peter Rodenbeck, VP and regional director of DDB, praised McDonald’s as a “dream client” that “embraces the agency as a full business partner, and not just listens to but implements business counsel.”



SILVERCheil India and Samsung India Electronics 

The Samsung-Cheil partnership is what Ranjivjit Singh, CMO of Samsung India, describes as an “anomaly in today’s times”, as Samsung spends its entire marketing budget through Cheil “in an age of hyper fragmentation and declining trust.”

In the last year, Samsung was confronted with fierce competition from technology-industry elites likes Apple and Sony, as well as from mass-market competitors like Oppo and Vivo. The company hoped to appeal to heterogeneous consumer segments while maintaining a premium image.

Combining with Cheil, Samsung was able to drive brand pride across all consumer segments and improve market performance and leadership status in the digital space.

L-R: Asim Warsi, SVP, product planning and online businesses, Samsung India Electronics; Ranjivjit Singh, CMO, Samsung India Electronics; Shiv Sethuraman, group president, South West Asia, Cheil

BRONZELeo Burnett Mumbai and Bajaj

While Bajaj Auto and Leo Burnett only began their association in March 2014, their collaboration has been a success in the past year, with Soumya Das, deputy general manager for motorcycle marketing with Bajaj, praising “synergy that gave birth to a unique bike for the nation’s pride.”

The partners had the goal of disrupting the market and gaining sales and shares through providing a product that is not only unique to a consumer category, but also capable of addressing the latent needs of consumers. Bajaj and Leo Burnett wanted to create a bike that would be differentiated by solidity. To add to the appeal of what became “The Nation’s Bike”, The Bajaj V, the brand built the machine using metal from the INS Vikrant, a decommissioned navy ship that was a national symbol due to its pivotal role in past military actions.

The Bajaj V was well received, with customers appreciating the new form of the product and the idea of infusing the bike with the metal of Vikrant. Saurabh Varma, CEO of Leo Burnett India, said the agency was “proud to have been a part of this unison.”

Saurabh Varma & Soumya Das

(This article first appeared on CampaignAsia.com)