“We are the Experience Makers”

This article first appeared in MARKETING Weekender Issue 357

The journey of making an experience wholesome basically takes a lifetime and has its challenges. But when a client is willing to jump into that journey together with their chosen agencies, these experiences begin to take shape.

Marking their journey in building some of Malaysia’s favourite brands for over 37 years now, Naga DDB Tribal’s new rally cry “We are the Experience Makers” is one that comes with a proven track record and a forward looking vision to move the agency beyond its legacy as one of the country’s most established independent agencies.

Genuine storytelling with a powerful insight touches people’s hearts and builds positive relationships for clients with their customers.

After a two-year hiatus, Naga DDB Tribal emerged as the Agency of The Year at the PETRONAS Kancil Awards 2022, walking away with a total tally of 2 Gold, 10 Silver, 25 Bronze and 57 Merit.

Naga DDB Tribal CEO, Clarence Koh said, “We have focused our efforts in the last 3 years on evolving our creative approach, with a deliberate focus on embracing ideas that are not bound by traditional media but take on the goal to create relevant and engaging experiences that people want to spend time with.”

“We are overjoyed by this recognition as it is a testament that the agency is headed in the right direction – not just for one client or one particular campaign but across the body of work produced for all our key clients.”

Contributing the most number of metals to Naga’s Kancil tally is the Tiger Street Food Virtual Festival which snagged 8 metal wins, including 2 Gold, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze.

“The pandemic has presented an unprecedented challenge for brands and agencies but we were blessed to be working with a client who pushed us to look past the hurdle and keep pushing for innovation in the face of adversity.

Supported by an extended integrated team comprising The Chariot Agency, Mediabrands Content Studio, Dentsu Redstar and Ministry XR, Tiger Street Food Virtual Festival was born out of that spirit to uncage the extraordinary.”

The Ultimate KFC Plate, which started as an agency’s initiative to ride on Kedah JPJ’s announcement that KFC car registration plates were up for bids, was awarded four silvers.

“Creativity should not be bound by budget limitations. The team hit the jackpot when they spotted this creative opportunity to tell a refreshing and interesting story that only-KFC-can-do,” says Alvin Teoh, Naga DDB Tribal Chief Creative Officer.

Naga DDB Tribal also brought home a total of 14 metal wins for nine individual festive campaigns (including CNY, Raya and Merdeka) with a notable silver for Tanah Tumpahnya Darah Kita – a full-length Merdeka documentary produced for Astro Malaysia which included an art collaboration with Red Hong Yi.

“It’s really fulfilling to see the fruition of all the hard work both from our agency as well as the industry as a whole. It’s a constant reminder of the potential that we all possess, to constantly try to seek out the hidden opportunities to create something of beauty and impact that will remain with audiences. We saw a lot of it at the Kancil awards across many agencies. It feels great to be a part of this crazy family,” Alvin adds.

Alvin Teoh, Naga DDB Tribal Chief Creative Officer.

“On growth and partnerships, we are very cognisant of the fact that clients requirements are ever evolving, and we always have to stay one step ahead. Hence collaborations and partnerships in areas which add value to our core services and offerings are critical.”

“The agency has evolved in so many ways over the last couple of years that we no longer view ourselves within the confines of being an advertising agency, rather a total solutions provider for our clients’ marketing & communications needs.

The ability to deliver brand experiences that engage our clients’ customers through the marketing funnel is at the top of our priority list in 2023.

In early 2022, we crystalized our mission of becoming the Experience Maker.

This is true not just for our clients, but for our talents as well. We have already begun to see the results of a single minded mission in the form of better work and signs of better talent retention. I believe we have the right strategies in place to continue to propel the agency to greater heights in 2023.”

Farrah Harith-McPherson, Chief Growth Officer & Clarence Koh, Naga DDB Tribal CEO

Farrah Harith-McPherson, Chief Growth Officer shares, “We have had an amazing new business momentum in 2022 and we hope to continue this into the next year. As we are in an industry where our product really is our talent,  we are committed to investing in their development and training while also widening our offerings by forging new partnerships with skilled and likeminded service partners. All of this will ensure that we continue to better our position as an attractive workplace while improving the quality of our end product.”

“It is challenging to justify spending in the face of an anticipated recession, expectations on better cost efficiencies from the agencies and rising talent costs. However, the toughest job being in the management position isn’t just about meeting the number targets but to preserve the unique agency culture that has played a part in this agency’s success for the last 37 years.

I heed the advice of our Group Executive Director to keep fostering an environment where entrepreneurship and creativity can thrive hand in hand. With the support from my fellow management team, I believe we have the right balance to do just that”, says Clarence.

When creative work creates memorable experiences, the audience cares enough to spend time watching, engaging with the brand and writing feedback, then sharing it with a friend because they feel so good about the whole experience. When you turn audiences into advocates, you know you’ve created an experience that will stay with them.

“My hope for the agency in 2023 is pretty basic; that we all help each other find some sort of fulfilment in some of the things we do.

So somehow pursue the thing that matters and have some fun in the thinking of things and experiencing the joy of seeing good ideas come to life.

We have been so overtly serious, so fearful, so overburdened with being responsible, we’ve complicated so many things and have forgotten the power of play and the potential that comes with child-like wonderment where magic happens.

Can this be achieved in the stressful environment of adland? Of course it can.

We just need to remind each person is a gift and has untapped potential to grow as a person and as a creative. My 2023 dream? Play harder.”

Alvin

Alex Goh, Chief Strategy Officer Naga DDB Tribal

“My hope for 2023 is that as we continue to grow, we remain focused on our strategy and rooted in our culture so we never lose sight of what we stand for.”

Farrah

“While we couldn’t have asked for a better way to conclude 2022 with the recent recognition as Agency of the Year again at the Kancil Awards, we are setting the bar higher for 2023.

Whether it’s a client or a talent, who wouldn’t want to work with a winning agency? We need to do just that – to put our best foot forward in creating meaningful and engaging experiences for our clients’ brands that their consumers want to spend time with, and hopefully pick up a Gold or two while doing it.”

Clarence

“To do work with a smile on our faces. To make the people our work touches smile. And to deliver the results that make our clients smile.”

Alex


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