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Stormhoek scoops Marketing Excellence Award

Stormhoek, a small winery in Wellington, walked off with the Brand Marketing Campaign of the Year at the Sunday Times Business Times Marketing Excellence Awards 2007 last night, Sunday, 18 November 2007, at the new Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City, Johannesburg. Happy Ntshingila was crowned Marketing Person of the Year 2007.

Stormhoek has gained local and international acclaim due to its creative use of modern technology to transform itself from a minuscule Western Cape vineyard into a global brand. The company developed a blog which has gone beyond the dissemination of company information and become a forum for online social networking.

Ntshingila, an advertising industry expert, is considered a pioneer in the marketing, information, communications, and advertising fields. After a long career in marketing, Ntshingila co-founded Herdbuoys, South Africa's first black owned advertising agency. Having retired in 2005, Ntshingila was lured back to marketing by Absa where he spearheaded the group's turnaround strategy. The results of Ntshingila 's influence within the group have been monumental in driving Absa to excellence and impressed the award adjudicators immensely.

New category

New category Emergent Marketing Person of the Year was won by Ronen Jackson, who is marketing director of Alliance Group. Jackson managed to change the negative perceptions attached to the auction industry and in the process repositioned the company into a sustainable and profitable group. Not only does he grow and nurture the Alliance brand, he also sits on the group's influencing strategic business decisions by his innovative initiatives.

Sandra Gordon, head of the Marketing Excellence Awards judging sub-committee, said, "From his entry, the judges were able to gather a well-rounded sense of Ronen's potential, which resulted in the creation of the category of Emergent Marketing Person of the Year."

Medium Size Marketing Organisation of the Year 2007 went Exclusive Books. This award recognises the manner in which the organisation serves its customers and embraces marketing. Exclusive Books made it onto the judges' books by successfully employing creative initiatives such as word-of-mouth publicity campaigns, personal recommendations, book launches, communication with customers via the Fanatics loyalty programme, attracting customers with in-store displays and occasional above-the-line exposure and online promotions. The group's social responsibility programme, in which it donates books and gift vouchers to public libraries and donates one library every year to a disadvantaged community, further enhanced the group's chances of winning this award.

Two consecutive years

Large Marketing Organisation of the Year 2007 was won by Standard Bank. A winner in two consecutive years for the same award, Standard Bank continues to live its vision of making a real difference to financial services in SA and other emerging markets by ensuring "long term sustainability by harmonising the needs of our customers, our people, and our shareholders".

Development of the central marketing team has been the key to realising the group's vision. This team has implemented several initiatives including a group marketing board, joint operating practices and policies, a marketing performance measurement system, talent management and development programmes, as well as a series of strategies to support group-wide business objectives.

Arts and Culture Sponsorship Campaign Awards 2007 went to Levi's Original Music. This campaign celebrates the originality of local music through a mutual partnership between the Levi's brand and SA original music initiatives. Levi's has, through its sponsorship campaign, reinvented the traditional and corporate approach to sponsorships by making them part of the brand 'lifestyle' as well as justifying the brand's inclusion through adding value.

Standard Bank Pro 20 Series took the Sport Sponsorship Campaign Awards 2007. The series, launched in 2004, was the result of the bank's partnership with Cricket South Africa (CSA), aimed at revitalising domestic cricket in response to declining crowd attendances. The marketing objectives of the sponsorship campaign lay in contributing to the building of the Standard Bank brand stature through sponsorship and the associated naming rights of Standard Bank Pro20 cricket. It effectively shifted brand personality traits to reach a wider target audience accessing the youth market and demonstrating the Standard Bank 'Inspired. Motivated. Involved' positioning. Standard Bank Pro20 has since become a valuable extension of Standard Bank's long-standing cricket sponsorship portfolio.

A departure from the traditional sit-down dinner ceremony, this year the awards were presented within a slick show format and was followed by a performance of the award-winning Broadway hit Hairspray.

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