By Sharidan M. Ali:

Universal McCann was crowned Agency of the Year at the 2016 Malaysian Media Awards (MMA) on Thursday night.

Universal McCann also bagged the Grand Prix Award for its KFC campaign on ‘How KFC engaged Malaysia ‘skip generation’ using programmatic technology.

Telekom Malaysia Bhd was named Advertiser of The Year for 2016.

Organised by the Media Specialists Association (MSA), this was MMA’s 12th consecutive year of recognising and rewarding some of the most outstanding media campaigns across Malaysia.

With an emphasis on talent development this year, MMA 2016 attracted 248 submissions from MSA members; all of whom have demonstrated brilliant strategy and media execution in their creations.

Organising chairman of MMA 2016, Kagee Chew said that great talent would come up with great work.

“The focus of MMA this year is on increasing the participation rate of our MSA members and activating non-active members in line with the Olympic spirit of driving Excellence, Friendship and Respect.

“Apart from unearthing some of Malaysia’s greatest media talents, our renewed focus has also resulted in a 50% conversion rate in non-active MSA member participation, whose works have also been shortlisted tonight,” she said.

MMA 2016 featured 12 distinct competing categories as well as three special awards, including The Advertiser of the Year Award, The Grand Prix Award, and Agency of the Year Award. In addition to receiving national recognition, the Gold winners of all competing categories were also conferred cash prizes totalling RM180,000 via the MSA Talent Learning Programme.

“Introduced in 2013, the MSA Talent Learning Programme is an innovative reward scheme designed to elevate confidence and greatness within the industry. It is one of the few awards in the country that bestows such attractive cash prizes to winners, to be used for their personal or professional development. To date, the MSA Talent Learning Programme has awarded close to RM 300,000, benefiting 38 media talents across Malaysia,” she said.

She also thanked the sponsors including Astro (Double Platinum), Media Prima (Platinum), Youtube (Gold), The Star (Silver), Shopper 360 Group (Bronze), The Sun (Bronze), The Edge (Bronze); as well as supporters Sin Chew Daily and See Hua Daily; and beverage sponsors Coca Cola and Heineken Malaysia.