The winners are:
- Isobar China and Coca-Cola (Gold)
- Wunderman Shanghai and Land Rover China (Silver)
- Lowe Asia Pacific and Dirt is Good (Bronze).
The Agency | Marketer Partnership Award recognizes Asia-Pacific's most effective client-agency relationships.
"It is very exciting to see the range, depth and quality of entries from across Asia Pacific into the inaugural Agency | Marketer Partnership Award," Richard Bleasdale, regional managing partner for Asia Pacific at Roth Observatory International, told Campaign Asia-Pacific.
The contest drew entries from partnerships in local markets such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, alongside wholly regional partnerships. At the same time, entries included creative, media, digital and CRM agencies partnering with brands from multiple categories such as FMCG, fashion, IT, telco, pharma, travel and automotive, Bleasdale said.
"This really underlines our thinking at Roth Observatory, that the power of great partnerships is what really drives great work and ROI, and that by shining a light on innovative, committed and collaborative agency/marketer partnerships, all of the industry can benefit," Bleasdale concluded.
Below we present comments from the winning brands and agency partners, plus examples of the work they have produced together.
Michelle Yang, Media Director, Coca-Cola:
I have been working with Coca-Cola China for more than 10 years as Media Director. Despite agency reviews and formal agency pitches, and no matter how fast the digital media landscape has been changing to require new capabilities and topnotch talent, Isobar always prove themselves the best agency partners for us. I do enjoy the strong, long-term relationship like in a happy marriage and expect to continuously stay with “Dear Isobar”.
Darryl D Juinio, director for connections and operation, IMC Marketing, Coca-Cola:
Isobar has been a fantastic partner for us in China. It has become ridiculous to simply refer to them as our Digital Agency. We now involve them very early in business planning and we have reaped the benefits.
Rohan Lightfoot, managing director, Isobar Shanghai:
The relationship between the client and the agency has consistenly redefined what digital excellence means in China. Year after year the Coca-Cola Company have pushed us and encouraged us to do our best work on their behalf. Great work requires bravery from a client, imagination from an agency and honesty on both sides. To have had almost 10 years working together in China with a relationship this strong is as close to being impossible as to qualify as miraculous.
Example work: Lyric bottles:
Example work: 'Join the China beat':
Lily Song, VP of marketing communications, Land Rover China:
From our humble beginnings 10 years ago as a small import business selling a few hundred vehicles, to reaching the world's largest Land Rover market peaking at 100,000 cars in 2014, we have always recognized the contributions from our agency partners in helping us get there, and Wunderman is no exception. They have been with is from the beginning delivering a unique brand of commmuniartion that is tailored fo the auto industry. But's it's never been just about communications, but a true business partnership. We simply wouldn't be where ww are today without them.
Bryce Whitwam, MD, Wunderman Shanghai:
What started as a small adaptations shop has now become a marketing business machine that delivers single source integrated communications with the tools to track every potential customer lead.… Land Rover effectively skipped the bloated ATL/BTL model and adopted one that is more streamlined and digital, becoming the epitome of art and science that powers today's advertising world.
Vikas Gupta, global brand vice president, Dirt is Good, Unilever Singapore:
Lowe’s relationship on Dirt is Good is that of a brand steward, not an agency partner. It is one of genuine brand ownership, where we have a shared ambition of brand growth and recognition. It is with this shared ambition that we have added over US$1 billion, taking the brand to over US$2.2 billion in Asia. None of this would ever have been possible without Lowe. Tthey have been our partners through each and every challenge and every victory. It is little wonder that they have got back the entire global business on the brand.
Rupen Desai, global lead, Dirt is Good and president, Asia Pacific, Lowe+Partners:
Ideas like Dirt is Good are rare in our business. Landing an idea like this, across Asia, in the most culturally resonant manner and generating the kind of results, already makes it special. Winning every conceivable creative and effectiveness award across the world on work that is growing the brand tenfold makes it even more special. But the most valuable of them all has been the relationship that has helped us achieve this—where on any given day, it’s difficult to separate the agency from the clients.
Example work: 'Dirt is Good: Futures':
Example work: 'Be A Mother Who Doesn't Care':