Staff Reporters
Nov 14, 2022

Women to Watch 2022: Nazirah Ashari, TBWA

Through many proactive projects and campaigns, Ashari has commendably fashioned herself into an expert of all things Muslim, Malay, millennial, and women.

Women to Watch 2022: Nazirah Ashari, TBWA
Celebrating outstanding talent in marcomms

Nazirah Ashari

Head of 65dB and strategy director

Nazirah Ashari has successfully carved a niche of expertise for herself, that is a deep understanding of the Malay, Muslim, millennial and women segments. And in a culture-driven agency like TBWA, this expertise has proven to be incredibly valuable. For instance, she has driven key strategies for clients such as Abbott, who were looking to launch a long-term strategy to target mid-tier Malay mothers, a segment that was previously untapped for the brand. Ashari and her team initiated a content approach focusing on the mom-community through a branded platform called ‘Borak Mak Mak’. This allowed Abbott to engage with mothers through customised forums, a tailored talk-show and targeted educational social feeds.

In another example, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) was seeking a three-year strategy to target Malaysian-Muslim travellers to the country, and Ashari deployed 65dB’s thinking and methodology to identify growth targets and social scans to determine this segment’s travel desires. The result was a project that contributed some 10% to the agency’s new-business revenue.

At TBWA, she leads an all-woman team and together they aim to raise the agency credentials through their individual sense of purpose, something that Ashari tries to nurture and tap among each team member. She also set up 65dB in the Malaysia office around a project called Black-Eyed Peas (BEP) that looks at the rise of Muslim online dating platforms and analyses the unique needs of Muslims seeking for spouses in marriage. Through this unit’s social listening and research, Ashari and her team deep-dives into the challenges faced by Muslims in different parts of the world as they search for love. This builds nicely upon TBWA’s Halal Wave, a unit that connects strategic experts in the collective with the ambition to grow the agency’s understanding and expertise around the global Muslim segment.

While being a knowledged expert in the Muslim audience, Ashari doubles up as a body-positive activist in Malaysia and has even been featured on local media such as The Malay Mail and Astro Awani. She particularly champions the intersection of body positivity and hijab-wearing. “I choose to dress modestly by my own willing and that’s body positive too,” she rightfully says.

Celebrating outstanding talent in marcomms


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