Staff Writer
News Bites
Nizwani Shahar of Ogilvy Malaysia pushes ahead with plans

This article was originally published on The Star.

At a time when most companies are facing a slowdown, the agency is pushing ahead to rope in new business.

Ogilvy Malaysia chief executive Nizwani Shahar told StarBiz the agency has had a good start to the year just before the pandemic outbreak.

“We won a few new business, which includes our latest win on the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) signing a three-year retainer with us as well as working with our regional teams on Dairy Farm. The agency remains ambitious in driving new business amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

“To this end, Ogilvy will build on our continued strategy to be selective and curate the client partnerships we want to nurture.

“In these times, it is even more pertinent to build relationships with client partners who appreciate our value as creative business consultants and trusted advisers, ” she added.

Nizwani said Ogilvy is focused on making brands matter and this is especially important during these turbulent times.

Ogilvy, she said, took pride in delivering bespoke creative solutions through its integrated capabilities in brand, advertising, digital marketing, PR and influence and production.

“Creativity is hard-coded in our DNA, technology is our enabler and we have a deep understanding of the markets and consumer behaviour. These are all equally important to our clients’ business and brands, ” she noted.

Nizwani said its top priority now is protecting the agency’s manpower.

That being said, she said Ogilvy is always on the lookout for great talent and creative firepower that could bring a more diverse flavour to its workforce.

On the prospect of the ad industry this year, she added: “The one thing constant in our industry has always been change. The true litmus test is the business and brand’s ability to either adapt or evaporate.

“We’ve seen how Greater China is bouncing back into recovery and we are using this ‘time machine opportunity’ to better optimise our fighting chance for success and recovery in Malaysia.

“This pandemic has brought about a far-reaching impact globally and Malaysia is no different. We are in this alongside our clients and we are in it for the long haul. As consumers change their consumption habits, we will adapt to those changes to ride this pandemic and recover with Malaysians.”

Worldwide, Ogilvy was voted the Most Effective Agency Networks in 2019 by the Global Effie Index. The Index identifies and ranks the most effective agencies, marketers and brands by analysing finalist and winner data from more than 45 national and regional Effie Award competitions.

HKTB South-East Asia recently appointed Ogilvy Malaysia as its public relations partner in the country following a pitch held early this year.

Effective this month and for three years, the appointment will see HKTB tapping the agency’s expertise in destination public relations to develop strategic communications campaigns reinforcing Hong Kong’s position as the travel destination of choice in Asia.

Led by its PR & Influence team, Ogilvy will work closely with HKTB’s regional and market teams based in Singapore and Malaysia. Ogilvy’s immediate efforts will be to support HKTB’s strategic recovery plan unveiled last month.

HKTB announced an allocation of about HK$400mil for a three-phase plan to reinvigorate Hong Kong tourism and support the trade by building on Hong Kong’s resilience, its recovery starting with locals and the relaunch of mega-events and a new tourism brand campaign later in the year.

On the partnership with the agency, HKTB regional director of South-East Asia Raymond Chan (pic above)said: “As we move forward in these turbulent times, we are committed to ensure that Hong Kong regains its position as the favourite and must-visit destination in Asia by working closely with our trade partners in each market, based on the post-pandemic developments of individual markets.

“We are excited to have Ogilvy Malaysia as our communications partner for the next three years to deliver on those goals. The Ogilvy team demonstrated a deep understanding of Hong Kong’s unique situation and their expertise was evident in their strategic and integrated approach to inspire Malaysians to make Hong Kong their next travel destination. We look forward to working with Ogilvy to aggressively drive our communications plans in the Malaysia market, ” he said.

Meanwhile, Ogilvy Malaysia head of PR & Influence Sunita Kanapathy said the agency was honoured to be entrusted by HKTB to bring to life their communications plans in Malaysia.

Based on the brief, she said the team prevailed upon its approach to modern marketing by developing integrated plans to make Hong Kong matter as a premier travel destination.

“Looking at current consumer sentiment around travel, we have our work cut out for us. Ogilvy’s strong foundation in reputation management and building influence will be critical in campaign development and amplification of trade partnerships, events and consumer promotions to reintroduce Hong Kong to Malaysian travellers.”

Hong Kong remains as the world’s most visited city in 2019, holding the title for the ninth year in a row and is one of the top five Muslim-friendly destinations among the non-Organisation of Islamic Cooperation countries.

    We'd love to hear from you.