As the celebration at Campaign Asia’s annual Agency of the Year awards gala subsides, one agency stood out, sweeping the most trophies and taking home, once again, Asia Pacific Media Network of the Year 2016.
This win solidified a perfect record for Mindshare Asia Pacific across every single major Agency of the Year award in APAC this year. As we reflect on what they have accomplished throughout the year, the reasons for this success become clear.
2016, according to the agency, has been a year of taking huge, constructively disruptive, and product-shaping steps to deliver the vision of 'Adaptive Marketing' – Mindshare’s unique approach to real-time communications.
As the industry leader, Mindshare is constantly driven by the urgency to change ahead of the market. The team has relentlessly pushes themselves to be faster, more agile, more adaptive lead business partner to its clients.
The focus in 2016, according to Gowthaman Ragothaman, Chief Operating Officer Asia Pacific, was “to streamline the structure of the business, and simplify the product and service offering, to enable data-driven real-time marketing at scale.”
Mindshare’s FAST (Future Adaptive Services Team), was at the forefront of this transformation.
FAST helps seven of the agency’s top ten clients build sustainable marketing roadmaps, and develop data and tech infrastructure to execute real-time media strategies for each client through bespoke programmatic trading desks. As a first for APAC, FAST deployed independent ad verification and fraud avoidance technology at scale to ensure marketers reach real consumers. Mindshare is now the largest media agency for programmatic, and has been advising clients such as HSBC and IHG on their data and tech strategy, a domain traditionally dominated by the consulting firms or tech companies.
Mindshare continues to lead the industry in adopting new media services and platforms especially when it comes to mobile marketing and IoT. For the last four years, the agency has been voted the Asia Pacific Network of the Year in Mobile marketing by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) through a panel of leading marketers in APAC. And its client Unilever was, once again, crowned the Marketer of the Year in Mobile for 2016. Amongst the most recognized campaigns, was the one it developed using chatbots for Knorr to help Thai moms prepare food across 120 dishes of the week for their families. This particular campaign increased the consumption of the Knorr Cubes by 50% within only three months, and was awarded the “Best in Show” at SMARTIES APAC 2016.
Another big focus for 2016 was LOOP, where real-time data across paid, earned and owned media are brought together to enable brands to adapt to consumer response in real-time. LOOP is not just a room, it’s a collaborative approach where all of the client’s specialist agency partners work together to run integrated marketing campaigns in response to real-time insights.
When India faced Australia in the Cricket World Cup semi-final last year, Mindshare turned Mumbai LOOP into a social newsroom, where the team analysed real-time conversations surrounding the match and responded accordingly with content created in conjunction with Kellogg's creative agency.
Having recognized the clients and consumers’ needs for dynamic and real-time adaptive content, Mindshare set up Content+. Within just a year, Content+ has had unprecedented growth, from a three-person outfit to a cross-functional team of over 100 creators, strategists and insights specialists, building a diverse range of content solutions.
Content+ has been the brains behind some of Mindshare’s most successful campaigns, garnering coveted awards, including a Cannes Glass Lion Grand Prix for a campaign with Brooke Bond Red Label (Unilever), India, in which Mindshare created the Six Pack Band – India’s first ever transgender band to help change attitudes in Indian society towards the transgender community.
Cannes Lion judge Madeline di Nonno praised the campaign’s “multi-faceted approach” to content creation and distribution, which encompassed multiple content formats, including short films, and amplification across a myriad of platforms.
Change is never easy. To succeed, Mindshare made significant investments in talent, hiring some of the best in the region to lead the transformation agenda.
Robin Wong, an industry renowned leader and practitioner in marketing data and analytics consulting, was brought in from GroupM to lead FAST as the CEO. Aloun Liu, a veteran in data with 15 years of experience leading analytics and technology teams at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Charles Schwab and Wells Fargo, recently joined Mindshare as the Head of Data & Technology, driving innovation and architectural governance for the APAC operation.
As a result, Mindshare ends the year 2016 as the most awarded media agency in Asia Pacific, expanding its relationship with current clients, and winning over 120 significant new business assignments, the largest new business gain for any agency in the region according to R3. It was also ranked the #1 media agency in RECMA’s qualitative network rankings on the strength of its network and product, and diversity of its service offerings and talent pool.
It won the Agency of the Year title not just at Campaign Asia Pacific AOY, and Mobile Marketing Association’s SMARTIES awards, but also the Festival of Media Asia awards.
Commenting on the agency’s outstanding performance, Ashutosh Srivastava, Chairman & CEO of AMEA & Russia/CIS said: “This year has been a true highlight for Mindshare APAC. We were able to execute some very ambitious plans with astounding results. As with any successful endeavour in our industry, it takes a combination of: calculated risk on major initiative based on where you see the industry moving; talented teams who you know can execute and do what no one else has ever done before; and of course, bold and brilliant clients, who are willing to be the first through the wall. We are fortunate to have the confluence of all these and I could not be more proud at how this year shaped out.”