5 boutique agencies that are making waves in Hong Kong

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Boutique agencies – they’re nimble, they’re collaborative, and more often than not, they always have the best guys working on your behalf.

While in the past anyone aspiring to go deep in the advertising world had to make a stint in the network, many young professionals are now finding that boutique agencies give them much more freedom to pursue their passions. In addition, they have the opportunity to work alongside the best brass to learn more and do more. Silos are often less present in boutique businesses due to the collaborative nature and culture of these businesses.

In addition, today’s customers also appreciate the quick and quick nature of agency stores. Often times they have a more practical, flexible, and personalized approach – and price wise, they can be quite competitive and attractive as well.

In light of the growing importance of boutique agencies, we looked to our 2021 Hong Kong Agency of the Year results to find out who our judges thought were the top five social media agencies in Hong Kong. . We have listed our top 5 winners in alphabetical order. Our agency listing below wowed our independent panel of top caliber client-side marketers not only by showing off the work they’ve done for clients, but also by their desire to nurture talent and create new exclusive products for running world class campaigns.

ANON

ANON was founded in 2013 by former Ogilvy & Mather journalists and CEOs Simon Handford and Sandy Chan. Both have directed their journalism expertise towards communications and public relations. With a focus on advertising, branding, digital marketing and social media marketing, ANON defines itself as a ‘brand agency driven by history’. Its range of services includes audience segmentation and analysis, drafting and strategy definition as well as creative services, among others.

The agency has worked with well-known brands such as Nike Hong Kong, Orbis Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Tourism Board. In 2020, she expanded her client portfolio by winning projects for brands such as Shangri-la, Cartier and Friso, to name a few. He also boasted a 100% win rate, despite an eventful year.

ANON constantly monitors the growth and development of its 17-person team by prioritizing communication. Staff members are offered quarterly reviews in addition to fixed annual salary reviews. The agency also prides itself on not having strict layers or teams, fostering a strong family spirit. This translates into her collaborative approach when working with clients, preferring to opt for project-based relationships that give both parties the freedom to continue working together.

Trademark files

Hong Kong-based marketing agency, Branding Records prides itself on being an agile boutique agency, specializing in brand development, digital marketing and the retail experience. In 2020, it used its size to be flexible, adaptable and ambitious, offering free branding support to businesses in the community and working with over 200 clients around the world.

Branding Records have maintained long-standing relationships with clients such as Asia Financial Holdings, Asia Pacific Leather Fair, Bluebell, and East Asia Super League. The agency has also attracted new clients such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Generali and the Yew Chung Education Foundation, among others, in addition to launching new brands and collaborating with startups and nonprofits, such as Alfred , blüüm, Fusang, the Karen Leung Foundation. , Sexy Crab and UniTrust.

In order to provide clients with a wider range of deliverables, the agency has expanded its team to 14 in Hong Kong and five in Shanghai. The team also takes pride in rock-solid digital marketing strategies and is able to manage and optimize the engagement rate of accounts receivable with tailored content that excites, inspires and surprises, all while making brands memorable.

French

Founded in 2017, Frengers is an integrated creative agency aimed at connecting brands, consumers and the community, turning them from strangers into friends. Noting the changing behavior of marketers, consumers and traditional agencies, Frengers has extended its expertise to rising categories, apart from those of the FMCG category which occupies about 80% of its clientele. Some of the key Frengers customers include Chuchoter, Biore, Oral-B, Crest, A Drop of Life, and Chow Tai Fook. The agency also integrated around fifteen new brands in 2020, such as insurance company Bowtie, the parent company of the Futubull trading platform, as well as TransUnion HK.

Last year, the agency kept busy expanding its small team to 16, creating a new business unit, and forming a strategy and content team in addition to its account creation and management team. The agency has also focused on the well-being of its employees by implementing a strict WFH policy prohibiting meetings and calls during fixed lunch hours, as well as after 7:30 p.m. The agency now has flexible working hours where the team has the option of working at the WFH or working in the office after hours to avoid coming into contact with the public during transport.

Frengers is also giving back to the community with its longtime NGO partner, A Drop of Life, giving back to local society despite the cancellation of the annual ‘Race for Water’ fundraising campaign, participating in two of its main initiatives by 2020.

Hardchi Creatives

Hardchi Creatives is a boutique agency specializing in creative and branding, with a portfolio of key clients that includes Sun Hong Kai Properties as well as TamJai Jeh Jeh and its parent company, Tamjai International. The agency offers integrated services that include key visual design, digital strategy development as well as production, using 360 branding and marketing strategy for TamJai’s major brand campaigns in 2020.

By winning presentations for major shopping center sales promotions under Sun Hong Kai Properties, Hardchi managed over 38 campaigns for shopping centers last year. Hardchi has created over 1000 point of sale (POSM) media for various shopping malls including OOH, billboards, banner ads, digital pillars and many more.

The agency is proud of its small but agile team led by industry professionals. Its small team structure allows its staff to get heavily involved and gain extensive exposure, even providing training for its employees so that they can cross paths by learning the skills of other teams.

WHAT IF

With teams in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore, WHAT IF is an independent creative and events agency that believes in storytelling and the consumer journey. In 2020, in line with the belief that events should be strategic and experiential rather than pretty production, the agency has strived to combine live and digital to create impactful consumer-centric experiences. Formerly a pure event agency, WHAT IF has provided its clients with “physical” solutions, achieving a feat of more than 25 event projects last year.

The agency achieved two new key performances in 2020. These include embracing digital transformation, which has integrated “physical” solutions that can be fully integrated into online experiences, as well as expanding beyond Hong Kong to reach international agencies in other regions and expand its APAC services.

With a small team of nine, WHAT IF’s greatest resource is its staff. The small agency also operates without the rigidity and hierarchy of a large setup. All staff are thus involved in the agency’s transition to digital, living the company’s motto: “A vision for all, a development for everyone”.

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