The biggest Advertising Media Association of South Africa (Amasa) Awards event to date will take place on Thursday, 12 October 2017, when 380 media and industry professionals will descend on The Hilton in Sandton, Gauteng. This year's event sees the introduction of an added category (Best Tactical Use of Media), which together with the Roger Garlick Award, for Best Work Overall, brings the total to 21 awards.
This is despite a slight decrease in entries for last year. “Based on the current economic climate and the fact that one large agency has pulled out of all global awards, we are very happy with the entries this year, which totalled over 130,” says Sean Press, CEO & business development director at Contact Media and committee member of Amasa.
“Not only do the Awards give us the opportunity to celebrate fantastic work and reward teams for their blood, sweat and tears, but the more successful the Awards, the more we are able to speak to the mandate of Amasa, which is the upskilling and education of the industry,” he adds.
The diversity of the entries is very satisfying, he says, with a nice mix of media owners, agencies, PR and creative agencies. “Adding to this is the quality of the entries, which, overall, was very high.”
Entries go through a preliminary judging that provides a shortlist which is then adjudicated. Press also sat on the final judging panel. “The quality of the campaigns entered is great with creative and innovative ideas coming through. The Small Budget category, given the economic climate for instance, delivered fantastic work.”
Integration has become important
Regarding the entries, Press points out that the entrants need to take note that their entry is the only mechanism the judges can judge them on. “The judges felt that some entries let themselves down, and so the campaigns could not be given the consideration they deserve. You are only as good as your entry and so we encourage entrants to consider this when they put their entry together.”
The entries in general, highlight the use of technology, with many campaigns focussing on building and creating apps. “We saw some good work from brands in this regard. What it is showing is that the days of throwing money at a campaign are over. What is required today is time and effort (and some money) on creating good content, often based on user-generated content or seeded content. It is only though innovation that people are starting to talk about campaigns and this is when we saw engagement happening.”
Another big focus is the continued movement towards integration. “While some campaigns are created solely for use on a given platform, bigger campaigns have to consider how they engage on the different platforms and how these integrate. Simply transferring a print campaign to digital is a no-go.”
Integration has become more important as the space to vie the consumer becomes increasingly complex. This, he adds, speaks to what the Amasa Awards are about; innovation and different platforms. “The importance of integration is reflected in the integrated Awards which total nine categories out of the 21.”