Independents have often been thought of as nimble and quicker to adapt to changes, making them appealing to clients who constantly wish to keep abreast of the latest trends in the advertising and marketing scene. 

The friendly rivalry between independents and traditional network agencies are well-known in the industry and some independents have even caught the eyes of the bigger players. According to Ciesco, M&A in the tech, digital, media and marketing sectors was very strong in the first half of the year and the sharp focus on digital, data and technology will remain. At the same time, with social commerce getting increasingly popular, Ciesco expects robust influencer marketing agencies to be on the radar of M&A activity this year and the next.

Nonetheless, independents should still be recognised for their efforts and talents. The team at A+M turned to the results of our Agency of the Year Malaysia Awards 2022. Selected by our independent panel of client-side marketers, the top five winners listed alphabetically below, have demonstrated their capabilities in addressing the needs of their clients in clever and original ways.

Ampersand Advisory

Founded by Sandeep Joseph in 2017, Ampersand Advisory is a business consultancy offering services in media, creativity and data. Its strong suit lies in specialised services such as digital audit and optimisation, performance measurement as well as audience insights and segmentation.

The consultancy boasts a portfolio of recognised local brands including Coway, Shiseido and Touch’ n Go. It has also led various significant milestones for its clients including the creation of Shiseido’s Utimune Virtual Reality, a unique VR platform created to drive engagement, and the launch of the Touch n Go’s EWallet Go+, a digital wallet and online payment platform.

Over the years, Ampersand Advisory has won multiple Agency of the Year awards including A+M ’s Media Agency of the Year 2021, as well as A+M ’s Lead Generation of the Year 2021.

Run by a women-majority team, Ampersand Advisory takes pride in its inclusivity as much as it does in its upskilling offers. The agency has a staff protection policy comprising physical, financial and emotional components. This includes offering staff large monitors to protect eyesight while working from home, taking a policy decision to not cut the salaries of its employees despite revenue fall, and providing staff with mental health days leave.

Be Strategic

Established in 2013, Be Strategic started out as a PR agency and has since rebranded into a creative communications agency, offering services such as branding, PR, communications, digital and social media, and experiential event. In 2021, the agency further expanded its product offerings to incorporate personal branding and communications consulting.

Ranging from over 26 industries, the agency’s clientele includes the Ministry of Finance Malaysia, SUKE TV , Spritzer and Proton. Be Strategic also worked with Porshe to roll out a campaign comprising influencers, AR technology and user-generated content, in celebration of the automobile company and Shell in June last year. The campaign, which was launched to raise awareness of Porsche’s EV chargers installed in Shell station, had successfully met its objective with a reach of a million and 550 campaign participants.

Be Strategic’s successes did not end there. The year 2021 served as a record award season for the agency as it managed to secure eight award wins. These awards consisted of Bronze for Most Effective Use – Government Sector / Non-Profit esb电竞数据投注电脑版 at A+M 's Markies Awards, Silver for Boutique Agency of the Year at A+M 's Agency of the Year Awards, and Gold for Best Use of Virtual Platforms, B2B at A+M 's PR Awards.

A strong advocate for continuous upskilling, the agency has invested over RM60,000 into the team to cultivate them with new digital marketing skills. In a span of a year, the agency managed to equip its team with updated skills such as UX / UI development, lead generation, mobile video production and even writing for public relations.

Dream Kingdoms

Founded in 2006, Dream Kingdoms is a hybrid creative agency that provides businesses with human-centric solutions by integrating behavioural sciences into its market analysis. In 2021, Dream Kingdoms expanded its business with a new team, DreamsMind, that specialises in SMEs and challenger brands.

Dream Kingdom's niches include immersive tech (AR/VR), curated personalised video content and influencer advertising. Some of which they have demonstrated through various successfully executed campaigns such as the #SamaSamaTogether for Nicorette, which encourages smokers to quit smoking. The agency also boasts various accolades, particularly in 2018 when it took away Gold for Best Use of Mobile at Loyalty and Engagement Awards, Gold for Best App - games/entertainment at A+M 's Mob-Ex Awards, and Gold for Mobile esb电竞数据投注电脑版 at A+M 's esb电竞数据投注电脑版 Excellence Awards.

Dream Kingdoms believes in constantly adapting its strategies to keep up with the era’s social contexts - a practice that has proven to be effective in retaining and expanding its client loyalty - one which includes Maybank which the agency has been working with for over a decade.

Other core beliefs that the Dream Kingdom holds closely are team bonding and giving back to the community. Dream Kingdoms makes it a practice to regularly hold small group motivational sharing sessions and even has a signature programme called The Umute Series where they empower small businesses to grow.

Mad Hat Asia

Founded in an urban living room in 2015, Mad Hat Asia is a creative communications, social media and PR agency with a niche for lifestyle and consumer-centric content. The agency views its clients as an extension of the Mad Hat family. These clients include Cadbury Dairy Milk, Pepsi, Rexona, and Nandos’.

True to its name, the agency led a bold campaign by one of its clients, Lipton, to encourage Malaysia in declaring 15 September as Teh Tarik Day. The post garnered over 9,000 likes, 600 comments and 136,000 views.

Mad Hat also boasts back-to-back Agency of the Year awards in 2020 and 2021 , also securing wins at  A+M 's PR Awards and A+M ’s esb电竞数据投注电脑版 Excellence Awards in 2019. The agency claims to owe its success to its “people hatters”.

As the agency adapted to the new norm of a hybrid working environment during the pandemic, Mad Hat’s culture, admin and talent team ensured that the team were in high spirits through developing a virtual co-working space, MADimension and a virtual cyber cafe.


Starting out as a PR start-up in December 2017, VoxEureka has now transformed into an integrated agency offering social media marketing, influencer engagement and digital marketing. The agency has worked with a notable portfolio of clients such as BMW, Heineken, PUMA , Nokia and Unilever.

According to VoxEureka, it hit the highest personal record with Unilever when it took the lead agency role for the entire ice-cream portfolio. The agency had also scored several other awards including the bronze award at A+M 's esb电竞数据投注电脑版 Excellence Awards.

VoxEureka places a huge emphasis on taking care of the team’s well-being, which can be seen in its monthly employee engagements like trivia nights as well as internal and external training. This has led to an increase in employee retention and expansion within the agency.

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