A combination of bespoke approaches and a reliance on Publicis Groupe’s prowess across key disciplines, have ensured a great run for Publicis Groupe at Campaign Asia-Pacific’s 2023 Agency of the Year awards. Winners include Leo Burnett, Performics, Publicis Media Precision, Publicis Edge, and Zenith. Taking honours accorded for individual performances into account, Publicis Groupe secured 65 awards, with Southeast Asia alone accounting for 34 of these wins.
The expanse of Publicis Groupe’s victory merits an examination of its performance under the key verticals — creative, media, and data.
Categories: Southeast Asia Creative Agency of the Year (Leo Burnett Southeast Asia); Indonesia Creative Agency of the Year (Leo Burnett Indonesia); Vietnam Creative Agency of the Year (Leo Burnett Vietnam); Philippines Creative Agency of the Year (Leo Burnett Manila); South Asia Marketing Partnership of the Year (Leo Burnett India and Mondelēz); Greater China Content Marketing Agency of the Year, Taiwan Creative Agency of the Year (Leo Burnett Taiwan); Greater China Best Culture (Leo Burnett Hong Kong)
Leo Burnett achieved an incredible sweep at the Southeast Asia awards, winning Southeast Asia Creative Agency of the Year for the second year in a row and Creative Agency of the Year in Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
Leo Burnett Indonesia experienced over 10% growth in a year of unprecedented challenges, while maintaining the lowest attrition rate within the agency, retaining all clients, and securing a significant number of new business wins. Campaign successes were built around an ‘acts not ads’ approach — eschewing mere communication for creativity that encouraged audience participation and interaction.
In Vietnam, Leo Burnett beat the slowdown by pushing the envelope for clients like Heineken, Visa, and Samsung Galaxy. It resulted in over 20% revenue growth — and 100% client retention for two years running.
Leo Burnett in Manila tapped into the Philippines’ interest in gaming to craft a campaign for McDonald’s which saw gamers redeem images of burgers from within virtual worlds for real world discounts. The agency has tripled its revenue this year compared to 2022.
Leo Burnett India and Mondelēz won the prestigious South Asia Agency Marketer Partnership of the year for Oreo, redefining the often-adversarial relationship between brand and agency to a joint venture powered by collective responsibility and accountability.
With 20 new business wins and 30 new brand and product wins from existing clients, Leo Burnett Taiwan reacted to the changing communications landscape by integrating four functionality-based specialist squads into its creative team: KOL marketing, social media content creation, PR, and media.
Notable work for McDonald’s used AI-generated bespoke mobile phone wallpapers to drive donations for Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Shifting from creativity to culture, building an agency invariably requires commitment and hard work, but even more so in a recession, beset by talent shortage. Leo Burnett Hong Kong thrived amid adversity to win Best Culture for Greater China by encouraging an enterprising spirit and fostering a supportive and diverse environment. Staff turnover rate is lower than industry norm and 10 countries are represented across its diverse, multicultural talent pool.
Categories: Southeast Asia Programmatic Agency of the Year (Publicis Media Precision); Vietnam Media Agency of the Year (Zenith Vietnam); Greater China Programmatic Agency of the Year (Performics Taiwan); Greater China Performance Agency of the Year (Zenith China).
Zenith won Vietnam Media Agency of the Year by focusing on e-commerce and ratcheting up some key account wins including PepsiCo, Marico, and Sacombank.
Bespoke approaches have been put in place by Publicis Groupe, acknowledging the differences between China’s internet ecosystem, and the wider Asian and Southeast Asian markets which are more aligned to a global internet, dominated by US-based tech giants. This is reflected in Programmatic Agency of the Year wins in Greater China (Performics Taiwan) and Southeast Asia (Publicis Media Precision).
For Publicis Media Precision, the focus has been ramping up capabilities without increasing complexity, and on collaborations with relevant ecosystem partners including data solutions specialist Lotame and ID solutions expert The Trade Desk. The agency has also partnered with Scope3 to track the carbon impact of digital ad campaigns.
Performics Taiwan scored a hat-trick having previously won Greater China Programmatic Agency of the Year through 2021 and 2022. The agency has embraced AI to analyse customer lifetime value. The result is impressive year-on-year growth in 2023 despite market challenges, and remarkable return on ad spend for clients like P&G and Nespresso, besides driving sales increase for McDonald’s.
Zenith China scored top honours for Greater China Performance Agency of the Year, with its full-funnel approach emphasising brand performance in parallel with generating direct ROI. The talent base devoted to full-funnel performance marketing experts at the agency across analytics, content, and planning has expanded by over 20%. Zenith China’s mix of proprietary technology and advanced analytics solutions has helped it increase the efficiency of real time bidding and identify the most valuable audience segments reflected in its work on brands like Sensodyne and Bosch.
Category: Greater China Data Analytics Agency of the Year (Publicis Edge China)
The two-year-old Publicis Edge has won Greater China Data Analytics Agency of the Year for the second consecutive time. It is the only fully scaled and integrated data and analytics offering within a major holding group, according to Publicis Groupe.
Besides being a resource for all Groupe agencies, Publicis Edge generates significant revenue through direct relationships with marketers and grew such partnerships by 30% this year. Using machine learning and AI, Publicis Edge analyses over 3.75 trillion data points and privacy compliant data from over two billion devices, which classify buying behaviours across over 10 categories. Its work has resulted in an over 20% uptick in productivity.
The wins demonstrate Publicis Groupe’s ability to adapt and evolve with a changing marketing communications landscape. Publicis Groupe CEO Asia Pacific Jane Lin-Baden believed the industry recognition is a testament to the Groupe’s commitment to a conducive culture that nurtures and retains talent. She said, “I am immensely proud of our team who have amassed an outstanding win across Asia Pacific.”
Highlighting the fact that 20% of these awards went to recognising talent, she added, “We will continue to invest in talent so that they can excel in their craft to be the best in the industry. My heartiest congratulations to all those who were shortlisted and those who were awarded.”