Jessica Goodfellow
Nov 30, 2020

TBWA, UM and independents shine at Southeast Asia AOY

Two regional awards and a trio of golds makes TBWA the most successful at the Southeast Asia Agency of the Year Awards for 2020. Beyond this, independents prosper.

Clockwise from top left: TBWA Singapore, UM, Edelman Singapore, ADA
Clockwise from top left: TBWA Singapore, UM, Edelman Singapore, ADA

Omnicom Group's TBWA scooped an impressive 14 awards at the Southeast Asia 2020 Agency of the Year Awards, announced earlier today (November 30), including both creative and digital top gongs. The Southeast Asia Creative Agency of the Year and Digital Agency of the Year titles were previously held by Ogilvy.

See all 2020 Agency of the Year Awards coverage <

See the full list of Southeast Asia winners <

TBWA gained an additional five awards from last year's nine, although it slipped from gold to silver in both Indonesia and Singapore for Creative Agency of the Year. However, it did elevate from bronze to silver in the Philippines (for TBWA\Santiago Mangada Puno), silver to gold in Thailand, and entered the Malaysia ranking as bronze in the Creative awards.

On the Digital Agency of the Year front, it slipped from silver to bronze in Singapore, but rose from silver to gold in Vietnam (for TBWA\ Digital Arts Network).

TBWA\Group Singapore collected a further four awards, including gold for Southeast Asia Integrated Marketing Agency of the Year, silver for Best Culture, silver for Southeast Asia Talent Development Program of the Year, and the Southeast Asia Corporate Communications/Marketing Team of the Year. In total, TBWA won three gold, five silver and three bronze awards.

Mediabrands' UM was the second-highest performer of the night with a total of nine awards, including the Southeast Asia Media Agency of the Year (previously held by Mindshare).

The advertising agency performed particularly well in Malaysia, where it won gold for Digital Agency of the Year, took silver for Media Agency of the Year, and, via it UM Studios division, jointly won silver for Creative Agency Agency of the Year with sister agency Ensemble. UM Studios also won gold for Southeast Asia Content Marketing Agency of the Year.

UM took home three more Media Agency of the Year gongs—gold in Thailand, silver in Singapore and the Philippines—and secured silver in Southeast Asia Consultancy of the Year. The gold was once again won by R/GA Singapore.

There were two new regional awards this year: Southeast Asia Independent Agency of the Year, and Southeast Asia PR Agency of the Year, won by ADA and Edelman, respectively.

Communications firm Edelman took home a total of seven, including gold in Malaysia and Singapore for PR Agency of the Year. Edelman Digital Singapore won silver for Southeast Asia Content Marketing Agency of the Year, and bronze for Southeast Asia Social Media Agency of the Year. The PR firm also scooped two people awards: Nisha Sivanandan from Edelman Singapore was crowned both Southeast Asia Channel/Engagement Planner of the Year AND Southeast Asia Strategic/Brand Planner of the Year.

ADA collected six awards in total, including three country-specific independent awards: gold in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, silver in Malaysia, bronze in Indonesia. It further scooped gold in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar Digital Agency of the Year, and bronze in Southeast Asia Specialist Agency of the Year.

Another notable independent in this year's AOY is Gigil. The Filipino agency won five awards (from none in 2019) including gold for Creative and Independent in the Philippines, both gold and bronze for Southeast Asia Agency Marketer Partnership of the Year (for 7-Eleven CLiQQ and Orocan respectively), and bronze for Southeast Asia Talent Development Program of the Year. (In addition, the agency's founding partner, Herbert Hernandez, recently won a spot on our 2020 40 Under 40 list.)

Elsewhere, Dentsu agencies won a combined nine awards; including five for Dentsu X (silver for Digital and Media in Indonesia, silver for Media in Vietnam, bronze for media in Thailand, bronze in Southeast Asia Content Marketing Agency of the Year); a gold for DwiSapta Media for Media in Indonesia; a bronze in Creative in Indonesia for Dentsu MainAd; a silver in Media in Thailand for Carat; and a silver for iProspect Valuklik for Southeast Asia Specialist Agency of the Year.

The Southeast Asia Brand of the Year went to WWF.

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