New kid on the block takes home top award for Malaysia’s Best Media Agency 2017
IT was a case of David versus Goliath when the year-and-a-half old Havas Media Group Malaysia outshone its bigger and more established competitors to win the coveted Gold Award for Malaysia’s Best Media Agency of the Year 2017 at the recent Campaign Agency of the Year Awards in Singapore.
The unprecedented win makes the group the youngest media agency ever to clinch such a prestigious award in the industry.
With a determination to succeed amid a challenging economy and industry environment, the new kid on the block has gone against all odds and managed to bring value, meaning and growth to the forefront.
Changing the game and becoming a catalyst for growth were part of a successful recipe that led Havas Media Group to take off and fly high in the Malaysian media sky. From zero to hero, the group’s story is one to be reckoned with and learn from.
Soft launched in March 2016 with its first official hire, Havas Media grew to more than 20 people by the end of 2017, quadrupling its revenue and multiplying its business with phenomenal growth.
The media group’s CEO in Malaysia, Andreas Vogiatzakis tells StarBizWeek that it attributes the win to the unparalleled team work backed by strong regional and global support, and terrific local partners, clients and media owners.
“In 2016, amid a stagnated market and a flat advertising expenditure (adex), we spread our wings with a big dream to establish a different and better media agency.
“As we could not put a ‘big dream in a small box’, we took big steps and behaved as a market leader should.
“We recruited some of the best, brightest and most experienced people in town, and we gathered all those crazy ones who believed in our vision to change the landscape and make history in Malaysia.
“Attitude and willingness to change the game were our criteria, not only skill. In fact, attitude was far more important than aptitude in our quest to build and galvanise the right team.
“After a highly successful Havas Media industry launch in September 2016, the world was watching and like a new born baby, full of life and curiosity, anticipation and eagerness, we started and wanted to walk fast, tall and proud. And we did,’’ Vogiatzakis explains.
In the last year, he says the team grew tremendously, adding that the group pitched against the established global giants and won. Most importantly, he notes the majority of the business won was based on delivery of assigned projects that converted into full business contracts. As a result, Havas Media grew its client base, billings and revenue exponentially.
Commenting on his team’s success, Vogiatzakis adds: “When you get determination, focus, ownership, creativity and lots of love under the arms and care of a team that act as one, acting together and is living and breathing a dream that is real, magic happens. We did it all, in one year. We did it together! One team, one year, one gold. We broke every record. We exceeded expectations, we pitched, we won, we added value, and we gave back to the community and the industry.”
Most importantly, he says the group added more meaning to its clients, and improved their business in a tangible way.
“Our guiding light was to add value and be meaningful. Internally we stayed true to our mantra, and even for our friends and partners who left us for a different journey, we did them well and held the fort. We stayed true to always do the right thing and do that thing right. In the end, that’s all that matters and we are in the spot light always.”
As for Havas Media’s strategies going forward, Vogiatzakis adds the agency will keep on investing in people who are fit for the future, curious and determined to be the best.
He says the agency will keep on leveraging its network, and import the best systems, processes and tools in the local market.
“Havas Media will also continue on influencing the competitive media landscape, and adjust ourselves to serve it better. Unlearn and relearn. Apart from that, we will maintain on leveraging our Vivendi network, local and regional and global partners to deliver a holistic meaningful solutions to our client, enabling them to create meaningful connections with their customers,’’ he says.
Havas Media is the flagship brand of Havas Media Group, the media network of leading French global advertising and communications group Havas and one of the fastest growing media groups, having grown from 10 markets in 1999 to 126 markets in 2012.
Havas is a Vivendi company, the integrated media, content and communications group which also owns Universal Music, Studio Canal, Gameloft and Dailymotion.