Ogilvy Cape Town (O&M CT) was awarded AdReview Agency of the Year at the end of last week when the 12th year of the awards took place in Johannesburg.
However this was the first year Tony Koenderman has run the awards flying solo. While the previous 11 years' partnership between Media24 and Koenderman came to an end last year, the industry did not want the awards to end. Opening the evening, Koenderman says people repeatedly beg him to continue the brand; an indication of the weight the Awards carry in the industry.
The annual AdReview Awards have become an industry fixture and a great barometer to measure the general health of the marketing communications industry says Jerry Mpufane, CEO of The Jupiter Drawing Room JHB and one of the 2014 AdReview judges. "AdReview is also unique in that it draws on a database of agency performance that goes back 34 years. The annual AdReview book is an important tool used by decision-makers in both client organisations over and above its usefulness to the agency executives.
He adds that the quality of entries was high. "The downside was in a couple of categories where fewer entries were received, thus limiting the judges ability to have a real peer-to-peer comparison."
Selected on their performance
On the night Koenderman explained that the agencies of the year are chosen because of their business and professional performance. "While this does rest largely on creative achievements - which are reflected in awards won and take into account a number of local and international creative competitions - AdReview uses its own points system that gives the judges a level playing field for comparison purposes." Other criteria include new business won (calibre and volume), revenue growth, and achievements and effectiveness of an agency (as motivated by the agency).
Agency Group of the Year was awarded to Joe Public. Pepe Marais, Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of the agency says the award is a valuable one for the agency. "Our objective has been to grow into a full service of specialist offerings in order to serve our clients better, and this award is an affirmation that we are meeting our goal."
Reaching a broader audience
Marais believes awards such as AdReview are important because they promote the marketing and advertising industry outside of its traditional space. These business awards reach a broader audience and allow us to showcase ourselves as businesses. He says. "Our industry is not seen as a career option for most young professionals simply because it is not on the radar of young people. Our work through One School at a Time confirms this insight. Events such as AdReview broaden the marketing net of our industry as a whole."
This year the awards moved away from regional agencies, as it is believed that the geography of an agency is largely irrelevant to clients today, and returned to categories based on size. Categories included large agency of the year, and mid-sized agency of the year.
Gotz gets Advertising Achiever of the Year
Besides winning AdReview Agency of the Year, O&M CT also won Large Agency of the Year, Agency's Choice and Creative Champions Award while its Chief Creative Officer, Chris Gotz was named Advertising Achiever of the Year.
The agency's MD, Luca Gallarelli explained that the agency's mantra was to never be satisfied with yesterday's achievements (a thought coined by David Ogilvy) and that this was exactly what the agency has been doing for the past two years.
For mid-sized agency winner, Ireland/Davenport this was the third time it has won at AdReview. "We have won in various categories over the years at AdReview and we see it as a great accolade. We set out to build an agency that would grow and be sustainable over time and this award is one of the elements that tells us we are on our way to achieving that because AdReview is an award given on so many levels. It recognises more than the creative in an agency, because it takes into account all the factors that make an agency a successful business and therefore it means so much."
Also a third time for The MediaShop
Another third time AdReview winner was The MediaShop, which won Media Agency of the Year. "We are very honoured to have won an award at AdReview for the third year running. This award is recognition of our achievements by our peers and competitors which mean a great deal to us," says Chris Botha, Group Managing Director, The MediaShop. He explains that their business has been successful over the past few years because they have great partners - whether they be creative agencies, clients or media owners. "We see AdReview as a reflection of a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship with these key stakeholders."
A fiercely contested category was the Digital Agency of the Year. Awarded to Hellocomputer Managing Director, David Moffat says it is an award he could not be happier about. "Having been a contender for this award many times previously it is fantastic to finally get to the podium ahead of the other finalists.
What also makes this recognition special is that it is given according to a balance scorecard." He also says they won against some fierce competition.
"Hellocomputer has been bubbling under, so we're thrilled to have been recognised for the consistently great work and business results we achieve in partnership with our clients. Well done to everyone at Hellocomputer; this certainly gives us some really good momentum to build on for the remainder of 2014 and 2015."