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#ApexAwards2019: All the winners announced!

The winners of the 24th - and final - Apex Awards have been announced at a ceremony that took place on 11 July in Johannesburg.
Image via ACA on Twitter, caption: Chilli ‘n Lime setting the mood, the best of the industry in one room, Issa vibe!" #APEXawards2019

The ceremony took place after the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) hosted the NeXt Level of Thinking Masterclass earlier that day.

Marketing moguls and brand barons converged on The Venue at The Houghton to attend a historical day as the ACA announced that this, the 24th edition of the Apex awards would be the last.

To great fanfare, Mathe Okaba, CEO of the
Mathe Okaba, CEO of the ACA.
ACA announced that with effect from 2020 the ACA would be hosting the very first African edition of the Effie Awards – Effie South Africa.

The Effie Awards are known by advertisers and agencies globally as the pre-eminent award in the industry and recognise any and all forms of marketing that contribute to a brand's success.

The evening, however, belonged to the 2019 Apex winners, and what an evening of celebrating effectiveness in advertising and communications campaigns it was.

Ogilvy South Africa and Kimberly-Clark received the top honours for 2019 with a Gold Apex and the Grand Prix for their ‘Making them Move to Huggies’ campaign. A second Gold Apex on the evening also went to Ogilvy South Africa and KFC South Africa for their ‘KFC Make A Meal of It’ campaign.





Added to this, and to celebrate 24 ceremonies of campaigns that have delivered tangible and measured results, the Apex Committee resolved to award the most effective of all Grand Prix Awards announced over the last decade. A Lifetime Grand Prix was awarded to 2014 Apex Grand Prix winners DDB South Africa and FNB for their ‘FNB Switch - Beating the Beep out of Beep Bank’ campaign.





Apex categories


The Apex Awards recognise communications campaigns’ performance excellence across three key categories:

1. Launch - sponsored by Vodacom, for brands or services that are less than 12 months old with no significant history of advertising;

2. Change - sponsored by Provantage Media Group, for new campaigns from previously advertised brands that resulted in significant short-term effects on sales and/or behaviour (short term i.e. 18 months);

3. Sustain – sponsored by Kantar, for campaigns that benefited a business by maintaining or strengthening a brand over a long period, i.e. 36 months;

Additionally, this year the jury awarded a special award, sponsored by Kantar, for an entry that demonstrated the most ingenious response to limited advertising or research funds.

The 2019 Apex Award winners are:

Vodacom Launch Category
Apex Submission NameClientName of AgencyAward
Toyota Rush LaunchToyota SA MotorsFCB JohannesburgBronze
Newlands Spring - Not That NewlandsABInBevKing James GroupBronze
A Wedding Party of One Million, SA's Biggest Online WeddingShowmaxShowmax Internal Creative AgencyBronze
Hatching Nando's E-ChickenNando's South AfricaVML South AfricaBronze
Provantage Media Group Change Category
Apex Submission NameClientName of AgencyAward
IndieFin "Responsible, yet Selfish"IndieFinFoxP2Bronze
Audi Q Range CampaignAudi South AfricaOgilvy South AfricaBronze
When the Craving for Creativity's Got You, It's Got YouChicken LickenJoe Public UnitedBronze
Can One Extra Swipe be Worth a BillionAbsaFCB JohannesburgBronze
Wimpy Grill Up Fill Up 2018WimpyFoxP2Bronze
Vodacom SummerVodacomOgilvy South AfricaBronze
Get It BackCastle Milk StoutJoe Public UnitedSilver
Mahindra Tough GuysMahindra South AfricaJoe Public UnitedSilver
Wimpy Summer 2018WimpyFoxP2Silver
Rethink FreedomHyundai South AfricaFoxP2Silver
Taking a Brand StandABInBevOgilvy South AfricaSilver
KFC Make A Meal of ItKFC South AfricaOgilvy South AfricaGold
Making them Move to HuggiesKimberly-ClarkOgilvy South AfricaGold
The Kantar Sustain Category (NO 2019 AWARD)
The Kantar Special Award Category
Apex Submission NameClientName of AgencyAward
Newlands Spring - Not That NewlandsABInBevKing James GroupThe entry that demonstrates the most ingenious response to limited advertising or research funds
Grand Prix
Apex Submission NameClientName of AgencyAward
Making them Move to HuggiesKimberly-ClarkOgilvy South AfricaGrand Prix
Lifetime Grand Prix
Apex Submission NameClientName of AgencyAward
FNB Switch - Beating the Beep out of Beep BankDDB South AfricaFirst National BankLifetime Grand Prix

Said Mathe Okaba,
Winning an Apex is the ultimate accolade because it is a testament to the importance of investing in advertising and communications when building a successful brand or business. The winners and finalists were showcased as the best of breed in the profession.
The 2019 Apex events kicked off early in the morning with the PMG NeXt Level of Thinking Masterclass at which an esteemed lineup of speakers unpacked effective marketing and advertising within the African continent in line with the 2019 Apex theme of Africa: The Revolution. This year’s lineup and topics included:

  • Thebe Ikalafeng, founder and CEO Brand Leadership Group: African Brands Revolt (How global brands dominate Africa and the brands that are challenging them.)
  • Jane Ostler, global head of media insights division, Kantar: The Power of Connection (How marketers can develop successfully connected, multichannel campaigns that build brands and avoid the pitfalls of fragmentation)
  • Tbo Touch, CEO Touch HD and marketing: The Township Economy
  • Refilwe Maluleke, MD Yellowwood: Africa and the female revolution (How on the African continent businesses need to consider how prepared they are for the female revolution)
  • Stan Slap, CEO SLAP (New York Times bestselling author Stan Slap is a renowned thought leader on business culture): The Hungry and the Hunted (Stan looked at how employee and customer cultures really work and how to really cause them to brand a company)

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In bidding farewell to Apex together with a warm Mzansi welcome to Effie South Africa, a special award was handed out to the individuals that have been responsible over the years for building and elevating the Apex programme to the level it has reached today.

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From Apex to Effie


While Apex is about effectiveness, it is also a programme which supports education, specifically within the context of the industry. It was announced at the 2019 Apex awards ceremony that 8 bursaries were being awarded to deserving students from the AAA School of Advertising.

This brings the total number of Apex bursaries awarded since the programme launched in 2010 to 88. Four bursaries were awarded to students from the AAA School’s Johannesburg campus and four to students from the Cape Town campus.

Okaba ended off by saying:
Tonight, we celebrated not only the efficacy our profession delivers, but also the future bright minds that are today’s students, and tomorrow’s award winners. It may be a sad farewell to Apex, but we look forward with great excitement to celebrating our local industry alongside our global peers as we introduce the Effie South Africa programme in 2020.
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