Campaign Asia-Pacific is presenting a new top-5 list every day until we send our last daily bulletin of the year on December 19. We've had fun pulling this annual review together, and we hope you'll enjoy it too.
Please follow along as we spotlight the year's highlights and lowlights. And if you think we've screwed up—either by inclusion or omission—please let us hear about it in the comments and/or on Twitter @CampaignAsia using the hashtag #CampaignBestOf2014.
Without further ado, here are the...
1 - Samsung
The year’s mega-pitch drew in everybody but ended in an anticlimax. As 2014 began, Samsung reportedly sought a single holding company to manage its entire US$14 billion account. That had Cheil scrambling to invest in its media capabilities, but by Cannes, word leaked that the single-winner plan had been replaced by a ‘best-in-class’ approach. In October, the electronics giant retained its existing agencies: Starcom, Leo Burnett, Cheil, CHI & Partners, 72andSunny, Sid Lee and RG/A. It also added BBH, Rosetta and Wieden+Kennedy.
2 - Microsoft
The software titan moved its media planning, media buying and search advertising to Dentsu Aegis (Carat in Asia-Pacific), while selecting Interpublic Group (McCann Worldgroup, MRM, Craft) for its creative work. The result came as a significant blow for Publicis, which had been handling Microsoft’s media through Starcom MediaVest and digital through Razorfish. The latter had more than a decade with the client. WPP took a less significant hit, chiefly to Wundermann. Microsoft reported spending US$2.6 billion on advertising in fiscal 2013.
3 - Yili
OMD would have breathed a sigh of relief after managing to hang onto Yili’s TV buying business in China, worth an estimated RMB1 billion or US$165 million. Carat and GroupM agencies also vied for the account, which OMD has held since 2011. Yili has renewed with the agency three times, and on this occasion Arlene Ang, OMD’s China CEO, praised “Yili’s positive partnership culture”.
4 - Infiniti
After a review that must have seemed infinite to the competitors (it reportedly began in late 2013), Infiniti Motor Company appointed Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B) as its creative agency, ousting TBWA after 14 years. An Infiniti spokesperson said the new partners would work at “full speed” to implement a new positioning that has been in the works since establishing headquarters in Hong Kong in 2012.
5 - Sands
Las Vegas Sands appointed new agencies for advertising its Macau casinos in China, where the company is believed to spend US$50 million a year. On the media side, ZenithOptimedia prevailed, reportedly over Dentsu, OMD and MEC. The company previously handled media in-house. Vizeum and iProspect from Dentsu Aegis Network claimed the digital business. On the creative side, it took a Saatchi & Saatchi pitch team of 130 members to send Grey and incumbent Ogilvy home disappointed.