Inside the agency’s Kancil Awards Agency of the Year win

Hakuhodo Malaysia rose to the top of the Malaysian advertising industry after being named Agency of the Year at the Kancil Awards 2018, held on July 27 in Kuala Lumpur. Hakuhodo Malaysia won 3 Gold, 2 Silver, 10 Bronze and 10 Merit awards, for a total of 150 points in Malaysia’s most prestigious advertising awards competition.

The agency, which ranked fifth at the Kancil Awards last year, had made a commitment to winning. “It was a concerted effort by the whole agency,” stresses Woon Hoh, Hakuhodo’s Chief Creative Officer for Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. “When Nick (Nicholas Budi Kosasih, Regional Associate Creative Director, Hakuhodo Asia Pacific) and I came on board at Hakuhodo Malaysia last year, our vision was to transform the agency creatively.”

New Managing Director Ryusuke Oda also challenged them to move the agency into the top 3 at Kancil. The call to action was part of a whole raft of changes across every division set in motion by Oda when he came in to head up Hakuhodo Malaysia last year. “All of us are going to take proactive actions to become Experience Leaders,” he said at the time.

Having judged at international advertising shows, Woon and Nick knew what it would take. The pair restructured the 15-member creative department and set to work to make the agency more proactive and more creative. They pushed the team to produce work that would win and the hard work paid off.

“We knew the only way to bring Hakuhodo Malaysia forward was to win reputation through our creative work,” Woon says. “Every day, we try to give our best creativity to our clients to sell their product and build their brands,” he continues. “But once a year, we also try to find an idea focused on how to make our world a better place.” Last year that idea was “Drought” for Greenpeace Malaysia.

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