MANILA – “No challenge is big enough to stop us from achieving our vision of creating ideas to change lives and change the world.” These are the words of Merlee Jayme, Chairmom and Chief Creative Officer of Dentsu Jayme Syfu after the agency snagged their newest prize. In just their first year of being part of the Dentsu Aegis Network, Campaign Asia-Pacific awarded Dentsu Jayme Syfu the Gold for Philippine Creative Agency of the Year at its annual Agency of the Year Awards.

Ogilvy & Mather Philippines earned Silver while Leo Burnett Manila won Bronze at the black-tie awards night held at the Ritz-Carlton in Singapore. In addition, Dentsu Digit also earned Bronze for Philippine Digital Agency of the Year.

It’s only been approximately 365 days since DM9 JaymeSyfu was acquired by Dentsu, and that came with its own set of challenges. “Integrating two cultures is never easy, but once you successfully get everyone to uphold one vision and work relentlessly to achieve this, greatness happens,” Jayme shares in an exclusive interview with adobo.

“For one year, we simply pushed for creativity and the culture of accountability. This wasn’t as easy when we were smaller. We had to streamline positions, clearly define roles and responsibilities and to be profitable in our first year, we were strict with our expenses,” she adds.

Sharing one of the secrets to their triumph, Jayme points out, “In the past, we’ve had so much success because of the small size of our agency. Today, we’ve doubled in size but we kept thinking and acting like a small agency. We remained nimble, fearless and ambitious. It was not easy but we proved to ourselves it could be done.”

To achieve what they have in just their first year, it would be easy to rest on their laurels. However, that’s the furthest thing from Jayme’s mind. She says, “For us, this means that we have to consistently continue to raise the standard of creativity, and maintain a healthy relationship with our clients. For our clients, this reaffirms a solid partnership we have with them. That they can continuously put their trust and confidence with us.”

Looking to the obstacles that Dentsu Jayme Syfu may face in the future, Jayme is defiant, if not optimistic when she shares, “No challenge is big enough to stop us from achieving our vision of creating ideas to change lives and change the world. We pushed everyone beyond their limits at our agency and it is extremely satisfying to see our people respond with so much passion and dedication.”

In closing, the recently named Jury President for Press Advertising at next year’s D&AD Professional Awards states, “We want to personally thank each one of the Dentsu Jayme Syfu family for the hard work, the faith, and the never-give-up attitude despite the tough year.”

In main photo are Dentsu Jayme Syfu General Manager Ronald Barreiro, Chairmom and CCO Merlee Jayme, and Chief Adviser and Chief Relations Officer Alex Syfu.