Isobar wins Gold at Spikes and Country Agency of the Year

The Gold award from the annual Spikes Asia Awards has eluded Malaysian agencies for the past three years, but not this year, as Isobar Malaysia, a Dentsu Aegis Network agency, successfully brought home the top honours at the awards ceremony held in Singapore last Friday. 

It also earned Isobar the coveted ‘Malaysia’s Agency of the Year’ title at the same ceremony. 

The award-winning work was Isobar’s campaign entitled ‘HoEeKi’ (‘Let It Go’ in the Chinese-Hokkien dialect) for, Malaysia’s largest online marketplace. Winning under the ‘Online Fiction – Entertainment’ category, it was Malaysia’s only Gold award for the night. 

Liew Sanyen, Executive Creative Director (picture), Isobar Malaysia said, “We had a lot of data-based insights that boosted the effectiveness of the campaign, but what really brought this work to life was the creativity that went into curating entertaining yet relatable content. We should never exchange creativity for data, but fuse the power of both together. After all, great stories that move people, move business.”

Isobar Malaysia also picked up a Bronze award in the same category for another ‘HoEeKi’ campaign, entitled ‘HoEeKi – Treadmill’.  

“We are humbled and motivated by these achievements, and would like to thank the organisers and jury members for the recognition. Last but not least, the highest acknowledgement ought to be credited to our client,, for their confidence in collaborating with us to push the envelope of creativity,” Liew added. 

The ‘HoEeKi’ campaign was curated based on the brief that has often been perceived as a second-hand marketplace of old and used items, which is something the Chinese tend to avoid during Chinese New Year. 

Given the fact that pre-festive season is one of the most cluttered marketing periods in Malaysia, needed a way to break through the clutter to reach its Chinese audience during this festive period. 

Based on insights, Chinese generally like to hoard due to their thrifty nature – they do not have the heart of intent to let go of old items even when those items have diminished in value. Hence the thought – in a season of buying, focus on selling! 

‘Ho Ee Ki’ was turned into a mnemonic phrase, delivered through a catchy original song and funny video that reminded people to let it go and receive greater blessings in return, targeting those who clutter the house with old items, and the people inconvenienced by this behaviour. 

The relatability of the storyline and humorous song drove audience to repeatedly watch (over 5 million within a month) and share the video (over 22,000 shares), making the ‘Ho Ee Ki’ phrase hugely popular leading up to Chinese New Year. 

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