Staff Writer
Jan 5, 2024

AOY Insights: Transcending vanilla media planning and buying yields rich dividends for Carat Taiwan

Delving into strategy, AI-driven solutions, and ESG compliance helped Carat Taiwan race ahead of the pack to become Taiwan Media Agency of the Year.

AOY Insights: Transcending vanilla media planning and buying yields rich dividends for Carat Taiwan
AOY Insights is a series celebrating some of the top wins from Campaign Asia-Pacific's Agency of the Year awards. Join us as we take a closer look at the entries that struck gold this year.
Category: Taiwan Media Agency of the Year
Key clients: Nissan, Uni-President, 7-Eleven, Gogoro, Foodpanda, Standard Chartered Bank, Pizza Hut, Uniqlo
New clients this year: Great Union Bugu S, Allergan Pharmaceuticals, Watson’s Personal Care, Pandora GC, China Motor 
Highlights: Heightened competition among agencies, global uncertainty, the deprecation of third-party cookies, and a slower than expected pace of post-pandemic recovery all made marketers less inclined towards heavy spending in 2023. 
Yet brands expected their agencies to excel at media planning and buying, and in addition, take the lead on harnessing Web3 and AI’s potential, while simultaneously being ESG-compliant — a tall order, and one that required different thinking. 
For Carat Taiwan, this meant pushing its core operating system, or what the agency describes as “proprietary brand transformation planning rooted in deep human insight to deliver results beyond expectations.” 
Gaining new business momentum through inclusivity was the agency’s primary objective. Apart from the obvious DEI implications, that inclusivity imperative manifested itself as new services sharply oriented to the needs of consumers, brands, and the wider world. 
This was brought to life in several different ways. Multidimensional management teams were created to work on the client’s brand, using units previously only responsible for media planning. 
The same inclusive approach was evident in the agency’s focus on its employees — helping them to expand their skills beyond media planning into avenues such as data analysis, performance, and strategy planning. Inclusivity suffused the culture at the agency too, with workshops on unconscious bias, while the agency expanded its wellness offering with the introduction of free and anonymous counselling services.
Carat Taiwan currently has the highest market share in Taiwan at 12.7%. According to ratings from marcomms industry tracker Comvergence, it has held the top position in the Taiwan market three years in a row. Carat Taiwan also won 50 pitches, generating $27 million in billings (a year-on-year growth of 106%), and retained key clients like Standard Chartered Bank and Bing Dian air conditioning.  
Case studies: 
Carat Taiwan launched the co-creation sustainable business strategy centre to offer a wide range of ESG capabilities, resulting in Taiwan’s first green media case with Bing Dian air conditioning. The agency adopted scientific calculations of carbon emissions into media planning, resulting in a 100% YOY increase in the marketing budget allocated to Carat.   
For the FIFA World Cup, Carat Taiwan brought Foodpanda and Adidas together for a co-branded party box. The campaign leveraged both online and offline media via Adidas’s ownership of 3D outdoor screens and physical stores, alongside Foodpanda’s online presence and delivery boxes, resulting in all 2,000 boxes selling out and Foodpanda increasing its client base by 30%. 
Carat Taiwan assembled an integrated team for Pizza Hut that used social listening and Google’s analytic tools to optimally price the restaurant chain’s value line, resulting in double-digit sales growth for six consecutive months. The project also introduced a new revenue stream for the agency.  
Judges say:
The judges were particularly drawn to the green media initiative, describing it as one that “creates awareness even as it helps clients re-think the impact of marketing to society.” 


Campaign Asia

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