Founded in 1995, the Apex Awards promote greater accountability in the industry by rewarding campaigns that work, sell and resonate in the minds of their target audiences, and in so doing, deliver results. The adjudication process is notoriously stringent, as entrants must provide evidence of the effectiveness of their marketing communications - and in so doing, prove that their entries have achieved performance excellence by contributing a measurable return on investment. This year's ceremony marked the first true annual cycle of the awards.
The winners were awarded in one of three categories: Launch, Change, and Sustain. Launch recognises brands or services that are less than 12 months old with no significant history of advertising. In Change, new campaigns from previously advertised brands which resulted in significant short-term effects on sales and/or behaviour (short-term being within a period of no more than 18 months) are recognised and awarded. Sustain is for campaigns that benefited a business by maintaining or strengthening a brand over a long period, eg 36 months.
All the winners
|Grand Prix||Ogilvy Johannesburg||KFC Finger Lickin' Great||KFC|
|Special Award||The most ingenious response to limited advertising or research funds||TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg||Trillion Dollar||The Zimbabwean|
|Special Award||The most successful submission for non-profit or charity organisation or cause 21 Awards||Saatchi & Saatchi||WWF SA Earth Hour 'The power of one hour'||WWF SA|
|Launch||No Gold awarded|
|Launch||Silver||DDB South Africa||McDonalds Breakfast||McDonalds|
|Launch||Silver||Coley Porter Bell SA||Packaging Redesign||Fairview Cheese|
|Launch||Silver||Ogilvy Cape Town||Stimorol 3-Piece||Cadbury SA|
|Launch||Silver||Wunderman||Discovery 4 Launch||Land Rover|
|Launch||Bronze||Zoom Advertising||UN EP Finance Consider Us||UN Sustainability Forum Cape Town|
|Launch||Bronze||The Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town||Bushmills Bromotion||Brandhouse|
|Launch||Bronze||Saatchi & Saatchi||WWF SA Earth Hour 'The power of one hour'||WWF SA|
|Launch||Bronze||Ogilvy Cape Town||VW New Golf||Volkswagen SA|
|Change||Gold||TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg||Trillion Dollar||The Zimbabwean|
|Change||Silver||DDB South Africa||Mrs Balls Chutney||Unilever|
|Change||Silver||Ogilvy Johannesburg||KFC Hope||KFC|
|Change||Silver||morrisjones&co||Innoxa Neck & Bust 'Show it off'||Innoxa|
|Change||Silver||Ogilvy Cape Town||Goodbye Citi||VW SA|
|Change||Bronze||Net#work BBDO Cape Town||David vs the Goliaths||Capitec Bank|
|Change||Bronze||Ogilvy and Publicis||Lunch Bar||Cadbury SA (which submitted the campaign directly)|
|Change||Bronze||Ogilvy Cape Town||Dentyne||Cadbury SA (which submitted the campaign directly)|
|Change||Bronze||Net#work BBDO||Woza Wheneva||Cell C|
|Change||Bronze||Euro RSCG||Talent War||PNet|
|Sustain||Gold||Ogilvy Johannesburg||KFC Finger Lickin' Great||KFC|
|Sustain||Silver||Ogilvy Johannesburg||DStv Compact 'Making less so much more'||MultiChoice|
|Sustain||Bronze||Joe Public||Sustaining growth in a mature market||Tracker|
The list of winners tells a tale of a year in which campaigns had to be truly exceptional to overcome the challenges presented by a global recession, according to the organisers.
"One only has to look at the remarkably high caliber of entries to realise that this year's winners each produced something phenomenal," said Odette Roper, CEO of the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) and host and MC for the night. "Agencies were faced with small budgets, sceptical clients, and a disillusioned consumer, yet many still managed to create transformative and hugely effective campaigns during 2010."
"Unlike other awards, an Apex symbolises a demonstration of both strategic and creative effectiveness - and positions award winners as true leaders in their field," added Roper.
According to 2010 Apex keynote speaker and judge Geoff Whyte
, who is outgoing commercial director: Africa, Middle East at Cadbury SA, the "general standard of Apex entries this year was extremely high - and the campaigns that [picked up] awards [last] night of any colour are all truly exceptional.
Whyte continued: "And reviewing the winning case studies there was a clear pattern for me: Where there was great marketing thinking, great creativity followed. And where these two elements aligned, the impact on sales was significant and sustained.
"But, perhaps more importantly, where campaigns were really successful the client and agency had had the courage to do something different. So let's all be brave enough to stand up for what we believe in, challenge every conventional wisdom and aim to be world class. Let's be driven by our ambition for greatness, not by fear."
- Andy Rice - chairman of Yellowwood Future Architects and chair of the 2010 APEX adjudication panel
- Ivan Moroke - group MD of Yellowwood Future Architects and vice chair of the 2010 APEX adjudication panel
- Geoff Whyte - outgoing commercial director: Africa, Middle East at Cadbury SA
- Nicola Lawson - CMO at Yum! Restaurants Africa
- Natasha Velen - marketing manager of Oracle Airtime Sales
- Emmet O' Hanlon - MD of DDB SA
- Lynn Madeley - CEO of Euros RSCG SA
- Neil Higgs - director: innovation & development of TNS Research Surveys
- Charles Foster - MD of Millward Brown
- Lou Boxall-Davies - head of planning at morrisjones&co
- Jason Knight - strategic director at Brand Activation
- Pepe Marais - ECD of Joe Public
- Sandile Mkhasibe - ECD at Momentum McCann
Four student bursaries
Four bursaries of R10 000 each were also awarded to two students from the AAA School of Advertising in Johannesburg, and two from the AAA School in Cape Town. This is the first time that funding from the APEX Awards has been directed toward skills development, and the ACA is exploring the possibility of making it an annual initiative.
According to Ludi Koekemoer, principal and MD of the AAA School, there is a great need for additional financial support for students, and the AAA School is proactive in applying for funding from various institutions every year. In addition to the APEX bursaries, the AAA School has secured financial aid from MAPPP-SETA and the National Arts Council for 2010.
"These four students are all highly deserving of this award, and I have no doubt that they will make the most of it and continue to excel," said Koekemoer.
The 2010 Apex Awards, tickets for which sold out a week before the white tie event, took place at the Vodadome, Vodaworld, in Midrand, Gauteng. Comedian and ventriloquist Conrad Coch had the audience of advertising professionals, industry captains, key stakeholders from Government and the media.