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OHI bags two GOLD awards at Asian Digital Media Awards 2016

by Cherish Leow
Obviously Harith Iskander (OHI), Astro AWANI’s late night comedy talk show made its mark in the Asian digital media industry.

The digital strategy of OHI was recognised and successful in impressing the panel at the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). Astro AWANI took home two awards – Best Lifestyle Website (Gold) and Best Digital Advertising Campaign (Gold) at the 7th Asian Digital Media Awards 2016.

Astro AWANI was competing against Edipresse Media Asia Limited, Singapore Press Holdings Ltd and Next Mobile Limited in both award categories.

Quoting some of the comments by WAN-IFRA’s board of jury:

OHI’s Lifestyle Website
-       An excellent online companion for the TV show, with outstanding videos and photography.
-       Great thought process, and extremely creative and original...... Impressive!!
-       Well-done, interactive website of a TV talk show, smartly utilizing modern technologies, especially online video, to offer clear added value to both readers and advertisers.

OHI’s Digital Advertising Campaign
-       This is by far the best integration display of different media channels. The campaign is fun and interactive engaging the reader at its best.
-       Nice audience extension and engagement via digital. Also, powerful involvement of social media.

The OHI website, www.obviouslyharith.com, was launched simultaneously on 12th May, with the launch of the show to the Malaysian Media at a press event.

The VP of Business Strategy and Marketing, also the Executive Producer of OHI, Aditya Aima said “Astro AWANI’s belief in driving engagement on the digital platform led the team to developing a cohesive content ecosystem that is independent of legacy distribution models. It is imperative that content in its unique way is made native for the platform of dissemination.”

OHI is the brainchild of Astro AWANI Networks Sdn. Bhd. and Harith Iskander V Day Productions. The show premiered on 28th May, 2016 on the Malaysian Pay TV platform Astro and has garnered a significant following across TV and Digital platforms.

Content developed specifically for the digital natives such as OHI Drive has facilitated the brand’s rise to fame and become the talk of the town overnight amongst millennials.

Astro AWANI, a brand predominantly known for its serious news offering, took a leap of faith with Comedy as a genre to present locally produced English content to its audience base across TV and Digital. The first season of OHI attained good support from corporate sponsors such as AirAsia, INTI International University and Colleges, Proton, Calpis, Mister Potato, Lazada Malaysia and Men’s Biore.

“It has been a very rewarding journey due to the trust reposed in our content execution and integration, by some of the leading brands in Malaysia. ’Branded-Content’ is a buzzing term, often used, seldom executed well, and good execution above all, is key to delivering results to clients. An award by a prestigious organization only reinforces our belief in developing new intellectual properties (IP) and create new avenues of storytelling for brands and audiences in future,” Mr. Aima added.

OHI’s Executive Producer of Digital Content, Cherish Leow is confident that the recognition given at Asian Digital Media Awards 2016 is equivalent to receiving a stamp of approval at a regional level. “This has further proved that Malaysia’s creative content producers have the capacity and ability to develop a cohesive digital-exclusive content ecosystem around a brand, while meeting the content consumption behaviour and demand of the digital natives, especially the millennials.”

Since its launch, OHI has accumulated close to 95,000 followers on its social media pages; with 7 million video views on Facebook alone; and almost 1 million page views on www.obviouslyharith.com.

Asian Digital Media Awards 2016 received 116 entries from 28 media companies in 11 countries, including Singapore Press Holdings, Mediacorp Press, Apple Daily, Bloomberg L.P., Thomson Reuters Asia, South China Morning Post, Philippine Daily Inquirer, The New Straits Times Press, Star Media Group and more.

The award was held at Orchard Hotel, Singapore, hosted by Digital Media Asia 2016, Asia's largest new-media conference for the news publishing industry.

*Harith Iskander, the host & co-producer of OHI is in the Top 20 of the Funniest Person in the World, an international competition organised by American comedy club, Laugh Factory. The semi-final will be happening in Helsinki, Finland on 5th December, 2016. Vote for Harith at http://www.voteforharith.com/