Underlining the importance of sustainable marketing, the fastest growing category at the 2013 Loeries is the Ubuntu category. Sponsored for the first time this year by Unilever, entries for the category have increased by 80% compared to the previous year.
"The aim of the award is to recognise brands with environmentally and socially sustainable operations while - crucially - adding value to the bottom line," say Loeries CEO Andrew Human. "Doing good while doing good business."
The work, being judged during Creative Week Cape Town this September, represents a wide range of innovative responses by businesses to social challenges. Brands that have entered include everything from major multinationals through to The Whippet, a neighbourhood coffee shop. With three entries, MTN leads the way. Other brands that have entered include Omo, Chevrolet, Nando's, Growthpoint, Old Mutual, Stanlib, Eskom, Visa and Nedbank.
The Unilever Ubuntu Award is in line with a growing global trend: the realisation that business must be sustainable in order to prosper.
"Companies that adapt quickest to the new environmental realities are the likeliest to thrive," noted Kaveh Zahedi of the United Nations Environment Programme earlier this year. Its research showed that more environmentally friendly businesses were more profitable in the long run. To tackle social and environmental challenges requires something that the Loeries has always acknowledged and celebrated - the power of creativity.
"We are confident that this category will continue to grow as consumer demand for responsible brands intensifies," says Human. "I encourage brand leaders to watch the winners, and start thinking about entering next year's awards."
Unilever global marketing executive joins Loeries
As part of its Loeries programme, Unilever will be hosting a brunch at the V&A Waterfront on Saturday 21 September, where Marc Mathieu, Unilever's global marketing No. 2 will be speaking. Mathieu, who previously helped turn around Coca-Cola by developing the 'Coke Side of Life' branding platform, oversees the group's global corporate branding effort.
All VIP delegates have access to the brunch, which will also be attended by the brand's South African chairman, the EVP for Africa, Marijn van Tiggelen and its African leadership team. In addition, van Tiggelen will also be speaking at the International Seminar of Creativity on Friday 20 September.
For more information, go to www.loeries.com