d Conference & d Awards honour digital excellence

After a year of diligently advancing Malaysia’s digital evolution, industry players let their hair down at d Awards 2024 and were feted for their talent and creativity.

The annual event, organised by Malaysian Digital Association (MDA) in tandem with d Conference, was held on June 21 at Connexion Conference & Event Centre, Nexus, Bangsar South. This year, 25 agencies and publishers submitted a record number of 384 entries, demonstrating a solid eagerness for excellence.

“Our participants have truly outdone themselves, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and setting new standards of excellence,” enthused Pranav Jha, Organising Chairperson of MDA d Awards & d Conference 2024 and Head of Performance Media, GroupM Malaysia. “From cutting- edge projects to inspiring performances, the diversity and quality of submissions have been nothing short of extraordinary.”

d Conference 2024 coincided with the 15th anniversary of MDA. Established in 2019, MDA is a unique association that brings together a good blend of representatives from media publishers, digital agencies, media agencies, creative agencies, content creator companies, game developers, tech providers, e-commerce providers, as well as other global and local entities.

Themed “Unleash Possibilities” this year, an impressive turnout of over 300 participants, including key players, innovators and thought leaders from digital marketing and advertising, education and the government, responded enthusiastically to the panel discussions, debates and focus sessions.

In his opening address, Deputy Digital Minister Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong spoke at length about Malaysia’s AI adoption and issued a clarion call to the attendees to unleash their creativity and capitalise on the limitless possibilities of the future.

“I encourage you to set up incubators to provide mentorship, and invest in AI startups to foster growth. Forge collaboration with regional and global partners to bring best practice to Malaysia. Bring together the brilliant minds of the digital community in an event like today’s d Conference to share knowledge and resources.”

The presence of Fly FM’s DJ Aina Sabrina – Malaysia’s very first Artificial Intelligence (AI) announcer – to deliver the opening gambit at d Conference was a perfect case in point to illustrate the innovative adoption of new technology.

Full House

Now in its sixth installation, d Awards 2024 featured 26 categories, including six new additions in response to the ever-evolving digital landscape – Best E-Commerce Company of The Year, Best Use of DOOH, Best Use of OTT/Connected TV, Best Use of Content/Advertorial/Native Advertising and Best Use of Display/Rich Media.

The entries were evaluated by a panel of industry experts. Contestants were required to present their submissions in front of the judges and face a barrage of questions to make it to the shortlist.

Who’s who from the industry, including association leaders, strategic planners, creative directors and chief marketing officers, led the list of over 500 attendees at d Awards. A sense of jubilation and euphoria pervaded the air when the winning entries were announced. The winners’ triumphant joy was infectious; their projects nothing short of inspiring.

In total, 7 golds were awarded to deserving recipients, along with silvers and bronzes. Mindshare Group, which emerged as Digital Company of the Year, also clinched the Grand Prix for its Sunquick Rides on Quick Commerce – The New Hero for Ramadhan-Raya.

Sunny Young, Associate Digital Director of Universal McCann, was crowned Digital Person of the Year.

MDA President Eileen Ooi said in her speech: “d Awards is more than just a celebration of achievements; it is a reflection of our collective journey towards excellence. Each project, each campaign, and each innovation we celebrate tonight is a testament to the talent, dedication and vision of the individuals and teams behind them. You have all pushed boundaries, challenged conventions, and set new benchmarks in the digital landscape.”

“Your wins have the unique opportunity to shape the future of our industry, to innovate, and to inspire. The achievements we celebrate tonight are not just milestones; they are the building blocks of our digital future,” she added.

d Young Achievers

The event also saw the unveiling of d Young Achievers, a new initiative by MDA to nurture university students to be future digital champions. This programme challenged the student groups to come up with a product or service idea with a clear benefit for their target audience, using technology such as AI, GPT, app, website, Web 3.0 application, coding, SQL, etc.

Team WeCrave from Taylor’s University, Team Radiance from INTI International University and Team Ayam Gepuk Genk from IACT College were picked as the gold, silver and bronze winners respectively. Representing Google, the category sponsor, to present the awards was Google Malaysia’s Site Lead and Head of Agency Chuah Jia Wen.

“These awards celebrate the youthful spirit of innovation and the boundless potential of the next generation. We are thrilled to highlight their achievements and encourage their continued pursuit of excellence,” said Mr Pranav.

d Awards is recognised by RECMA (Research Company Evaluation of Media Agency), a Paris-based global research company that that evaluates and rates media agencies.

This year’s d Awards & d Conference 2024 was made possible by gold sponsors Astro Media Solutions and Omnia Media Prima, silver sponsor Anymind Ground Sdn Bhd, bronze sponsors Adzymic and Teads, supporter sponsor TikTok, category sponsors Google an Taboola, and strategic partner Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation.

The full list of winners can be viewed on www.d-awards.com.my.

Ed Note: The d Awards are included in the annual Ham Report on Agency Rankings across 6 shows.

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