Agency of the Year 2012
I’m still in shock.
It wasn’t that long ago when we could only dream of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the Ogilvys of the world. Yes, we were in the digital, marketing and social media space, a growing and hugely exciting business wherever you looked. But that opportunity was also the challenge: all the big fish were playing in our pond too, competing for the same clients, people and resources.
Two months ago, we received a call informing us that Integricity had been shortlisted as one of the 10 Digital Agency of the Year finalists for Advertising + Marketing’s annual Agency of the Year Awards 2012. We were euphoric, but we definitely managed our expectations looking at our competition – 7 of them large global network agencies – Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, DDB, TBWA and the like. There were 3 “local heroes” (independent, Malaysian-owned agencies) including Integricity. The other two were bigger, more experienced and had many, many awards to their names. This was Integricity’s first ever nomination.
We were hopeful, but we definitely kept it real. I told my team how proud I was of them. And that we were already winners, standing on par with the best of the best. We didn’t have to win to know that this was already something.
But last night was a fairytale and a dream beyond what we’ve ever imagined possible. We won the 2012 Local Hero award, cementing Integricity as one of the best home-grown digital agencies. And before we could even sit down with our first trophy, we won the silver award for Digital Agency of the Year, beating all but one of the global big boys.
It was a huge upset. I may have been biased, but I thought we got the loudest cheers of the night. Former colleagues, partners and friends gave us a standing ovation. I lost count of how many people who came to hug and congratulate us.
But all that could not compare to how much the tears in the eyes of my team meant to me. Our clients made us their Local Heroes, but to me my team were the real heroes. Each one of them had worked so hard and sacrificed so much in our journey to where we are today.
I told them this morning that I couldn’t thank them enough, and couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of them. This award is dedicated to every member of the Integricity family, past and present. I thank God for every day that I am blessed to wake up and come to work with a family as talented and inspiring as they are.
I also thank Integricity’s clients, big and small, past and present. Thank you for believing in us and allowing us to do the great things we do every day for your amazing brands and businesses. We love all of you, and we wouldn’t be here without your love for us in return.
I am so humbled and grateful for the leading client marketeer jury who voted for us. The fact that we don’t even know the judges – BMW, Digi, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Malaysia Airlines, Maybank and Standard Chartered amongst them – means two things to me. One, they’re not biased. Two, we’re sending them our profiles and credentials first thing Monday. :)
To everybody else: my family, friends, partners, vendors, folks I would have loved to hire (but went somewhere else) and even my competitors whom I respect so much: thank you for being a part of Integricity’s journey and for your support all these years.
To my wife, Amy, for teaching and inspiring me every day to be a better person.
Finally, to my Lord Jesus Christ, for making all things possible.
This is a victory for the underdog in all of us, and inspiration that any of us – however small – can succeed.
Humbled and grateful,