Draftfcb South Africa was one of the agencies in the spotlight this past week (November 28) at the prestigious Financial Mail AdFocus 2012 Awards.
Published annually by the South African business weekly, Financial Mail
, AdFocus tracks the progress of the industry and its players, and awards those who have achieved greatness during the year at its awards show.
This year, AdFocus 2012 named Draftfcb South Africa CEO John Dixon as its Agency Leader of the Year and awarded Draftfcb Johannesburg ECD Neo Mashigo its New Broom Award.
Before calling Dixon to the podium, editor David Furlonger said that it takes strong leadership to steer a diverse group like Draftfcb South Africa. He asked what makes a real leader in an organisation? Is it the people who make the day-to-day decisions that determine business success or failure? Or is it the person at the very top of the chain, creating the environment that allows executives to flourish?
Furlonger said he believed Dixon fits firmly in the second category and that, in the four years since becoming CEO (he was previously MD of the Johannesburg ad agency), he has done a remarkable job of building on the foundations created by his predecessor.
"It's no coincidence that Draftfcb's agencies are flourishing. But it is the success of clients - the measure by which Dixon says any agency must be measured - that gives the greatest cause for group satisfaction. In the 2012 Sunday Times brands survey, Draftfcb Group clients Toyota, Engen, Koo, Panado, Coca-Cola, Old Mutual, Momentum and Vodacom were all ranked top in their categories. Draftfcb itself was recognised as the Brand Agency of the year.
"The group has a reputation of producing advertising that resonates with the full spectrum of South Africa's population - a fact that's evidenced by their perennial dominance of the Pendoring Awards which recognise communication produced in indigineous langauges.'This reputation has helped the Group land some handy new accounts last year, including Wimpy, Clicks and Beiersdorf. In total, the group added R35m in new business, while shedding R4,2m with the loss of Spur, Hollard and Emirates Airlines."
In his 12 years in the advertising industry, Draftfcb Johannesburg's 35-year-old executive creative director and AdFocus 2012 New Broom Award recipient, Neo Mashigo, has been driven by the need to raise the profile and quality of vernacular advertising as well as transformation of the industry at ground level. His aim, he says, has been to "influence the conversation around SA-style work and black work in particular".
AdFocus journalist Zweli Mokgata praised the fact that Mashigo and his creative team have consistently produced cutting-edge work in indigenous languages as well as campaigns that are distinctly South African. They have been a consistent top performer at the Loerie Awards in the New Voice category, which awards excellence in non-English radio advertising, and have also dominated in the Pendoring Awards' Truly SA category.
Mashigo also strives to see the advertising industry output more representative of SA. As a member of the Creative Circle's executive committee and a Loerie Awards committee member he strives to bring young black talent into the industry.