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#ApexAwards2019: Ending an era with magic

Ending a run of 24 Apex Awards, last night saw DDB Africa awarded the first ever and only Lifetime Grand Prix Award for their client First National Bank for the 'FNB Switch - Beating the Beep out of Beep Bank'.
All the winners at the 2019 Apex Awards. Image supplied.

Ogilvy South Africa was awarded the last ever Grand Prix for their ‘Making them Move to Huggies’ campaign for Kimberly-Clark. The agency also walked away with the only two Golds awarded on the night - one for the ‘Making them Move to Huggies’ and campaign and the other for the ‘KFC Make A Meal of It’ campaign for KFC South Africa.

#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...

11 Jul 2019


Lifetime Grand Prix


Thinking back to when they worked on the campaign, Conan Green, executive creative director at DDB, who was also the lead writer on the FNB account, says it was an exciting campaign to work on. “It was hard work with trials and tribulations, but standing here with this Award, I can say it was all absolutely worth it.”

The team worked closely with the client which played a big role in the campaign success. “It was a real partnership,” he says. “We solve problems, and you cannot do that unless you know what problem the client needs to solve, so you must work with them upfront and get an idea of what it is, how they might have tried to solve it before, and then provide the right creative solution.”

He believes creativity is the vehicle that gets you into the conversation. “In this case what bank do you bank with was discussed in different types of everyday situations, such as around a braai, because the creative vehicle was topical, relevant, and kind of tongue in cheek and came together to make Steve what it was.”
“We believe in creative work that works and this Award proves that is exactly what we can deliver on,” he adds.

Grand Prix


Elouise Kelly MD of Ogilvy Johannesburg says the evening was very special for the agency, especially as it was the Apex Awards. “The last few years have been disheartening for us entering and not getting that elusive Gold or Grand Prix. We put our heart and soul into the work that we do; it’s what our clients expect from us and it’s what we expect from ourselves.”

Winning the Grand Prix with a great client also added to the evening. “This is a global client who has been with us for many years. We have a good relationship with them in South Africa and we work together very closely.”

The results speak for themselves, she adds, as the client is (in June) now the leader in their category, having surpassed their biggest competitor.

“Effectiveness and creativity are how we judge ourselves as an agency. We make sure the work is the best work creatively, but it must also be effective and do what it needs to do for the brand, whatever the objectives are for that particular campaign,” she explains.

“Therefore, the Apex Awards are very much aligned to us as an agency and how we ourselves have evolved over the last few years, producing creative work that is effective. It is also important for marketers to be able to show up in their boardroom and show that the work that they do is effective,” she continues.

The agency also took home one Silver and two Bronze awards.

The Kantar Special Award Category


The Kantar Special Award Category was won by the King James Group for their client ABInBev, for the ‘Newlands Spring - Not That Newlands’ campaign. The Award is given for the entry that demonstrates the most ingenious response to limited adverting or research funds. This is why this is such a special award says Anna Svetlana Nashandi, business unit director for King James.

“This Award recognises so much of what we as an industry go through on a regular basis when we work to make a campaign happen. We have a great insight and a great idea, but then we don’t always have the right resources.”

“To be recognised for something we did here in South Africa for a small but very special beer that resonated in Australia, a faraway market, is very special,” she says.

The campaign also won a Bronze in the Vodacom Launch Category.

Other winners on the night included FoxP2 which took home two Silvers and two Bronze, Joe Public United with two Silvers and a Bronze, FCB two Bronze, with VML and Showmax Internal Creative Agency taking home a Bronze each.

The Holy Grail of great communication


Ivan Moroke, chief executive officer, Kantar, Insights Division, and chairperson of the jury for the Apex Awards says the 2019 Awards demonstrated creativity and effectiveness which lead to results on the bottom line.

“Great communication is not just creative work or effective work. You get awards that are just for effectiveness or just for creativity, but when you have a campaign that is effective and creative it adds sustainability, builds the brand and achieves sales, and that is the magic. It is the Holy Grail of great communication.”

The Awards ceremony, which took place at The Venue at the Houghton, was the 24th Apex Awards. The first Awards ceremony was held in 1995.
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About Danette Breitenbach

Danette Breitenbach was the editor and publisher of Advantage, the publication that served the marketing, media and advertising industry in southern Africa. Before her editorship, she was deputy-editor as well as freelancing for over a year on the publication before that. She has worked extensively in print media, mainly B2B, in the fields of marketing, mining, disability marketing, advertising and media.
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