UM Malaysia once again was the big winner at the Malaysian Media Awards (MMA), culminating with being named Agency of the Year for the fourth consecutive year!

There was truly reason to celebrate as UM took home not only the Agency of the Year title, but also clinched the Grand Prix for their “KFC Finds Love Again” campaign, as well as six gold, five silver and three bronze awards.

“We preach and live by that word (Curiosity) as the agency believes that if people are curious, they are able to embrace changes more easily and discover new insights and ideas at the same time. A person who is curious is happy to experiment and, more importantly, enjoy the whole innovation process,” said UM Malaysia CEO Prashant Kumar in an interview with StarBizWeek. It is the mantra which the agency has upheld over the years that has transformed it to become one of the leading global ad agencies.

Prashant, who is also IPG Mediabrands president (Asia world markets), added that in the last five years, UM Malaysia’s revenue has increased six-fold and the number of staff has risen to 160 from 28.

Prashant attributes UM’s success at the recent Malaysian Media Awards partly to our Curiosity culture. UM was the night’s biggest winner, clinching the Grand Prix for its campaign titled “KFC Finds Love Again.” The campaign involved a three-pronged strategy early last year to counter the severe negative sentiment following an assault incident at a KFC outlet in Shah Alam which went viral. The crisis was turned into opportunity, and sales rose 19.8% quarter on quarter.

Prashant believes that it is also about respecting competitors and staying consistent that have contributed to the agency’s success. “By respecting competitors, we know they are good, aggressive and raising the bar each year. If you want to stay ahead of the game, you need to keep on moving with the game,” he says.

“In terms of consistency, we have a high level of consistency across our broad spectrum of clients and this has manifested in us winning the top awards at the MMA year after year for four years.”

Asked whether UM is confident of continuing its winning streak at the upcoming MMA next year, Prashant says one must not be too confident as this shows that you are not respecting your competitors. If an agency is too confident, then the chances are that it may not strive hard to succeed. “The game next year will be different from the previous one and we need to raise the game to stay ahead of the curve,” he explains.

The MMA, presented by the Media Specialists Association (MSA), recognizes media campaigns that have delivered exceptional results through strategic brilliance and innovative execution.