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    Retroviral takes the double at the EMEA Innovation Sabres

    South Africa's Retroviral has won two innovation Sabres from PRovoke Media, in the Earned Media with Influencers + Communities category for its Be You. Period campaign for Lil-Lets and in the Owned Media, Mobile Apps category for the Sixty60 Swindler campaign for its clients Checkers Sixty60.
    Source: © PRovoke Media  The EMEA Innovation SabreAwards winners have been announced
    Source: © PRovoke Media PRovoke Media The EMEA Innovation SabreAwards winners have been announced

    WE Communications South Africa won the CSR, ESG and DEI Reporting category for the campaign Vodacom Africa.connected: Making Sense of Social Progress for its client Vodacom.

    Local agency Razor - M&C Saatchi Group also won a Certificate of Excellence in the Digital Publishing category for Serving up Simplicity campaign for Tiger Brands Eat Well Live Well and for its The kids are(n't) alright campaign for its client Virgin Active.

    Taking the most wins for the Innovation Sabres is the MSL Group and its clients with three Innovation Sabre Awards. Other firms with two wins include Edelman, Ogilvy and Team Lewis, UK firms like Hope & Glory and Lynn, Nordic firms Kurio, SEK and Trigger, Switzerland’s Farner; and Seesame from Eastern Europe.

    2023 Sabre Awards EMEA shortlist

    The 2023 Sabre Awards EMEA shortlist includes over 400 campaigns, selected from among more than 2,000 entries in this year's competition, which recognises Superior Achievement in Branding, Reputation and Engagement.

    Diamond Sabre Awards

    Razor - M&C Saatchi Group is a finalist in the Sabre Award for Superior Achievement in Reputation Management for client Anglo American, for the campaign 500 Tonnes Light.

    Geographic Awards

    In the Geographic Awards the finalists include:

    • Accelerating financial inclusion for all — Vodacom with WE Communications
    • Creators Day — Meta with Clockwork
    • Star Radler Relaunch - Consumer Marketing (Existing Product) — Nigerian Breweries
    • The headline that became a campaign — Shoprite
    • The power of a storyline to highlight existing products — Shoprite with KAMuses

    Practice areas Awards

    In the practice areas, African finalists include:

    • Marketing communications: Business-To-Business marketing: Tomorrow's Leaders — Microsoft Middle East & Africa with WE Communications & Wunderman Thompson
    • Marketing communications: Inclusive marketing: Be You. Period — Lil-Lets with Retroviral
    • Corporate reputation: Institutional image: Doing good is good for business — Shoprite with KAMuses
    • Industry sectors: Consumer goods: Consumer products: Serving up Simplicity — Tiger Brands Eat Well Live Well with Razor - M&C Saatchi Group
    • Consumer services: Retailers: Sixty60 Swindler — Checkers Sixty60 with Retroviral

    • Technology: Telecommunications: Vodacom Africa.Connected - Working together towards an inclusive, digital future — Vodacom with WE Communications
    • Technology: E-Commerce: Sixty60 Swindler — Checkers Sixty60 with Retroviral
    • Healthcare: Healthcare providers: Everyone is Welcome — Kena Health with Razor - M&C Saatchi Group
    • Healthcare: Healthcare providers: The kids are(n't) alright — Virgin Active with Razor - M&C Saatchi Group

    Retroviral is a finalist in three categories with Razor a finalist in two categories but with three entries (two in one category).

    Categories broadened

    Paul Holmes, who chaired the EMEA Sabre judges, called the quality of the region’s work “simply stunning”.

    This year the Innovation Sabre categories were broadened to include everything from virtual worlds to campaigns that combat disinformation, from gamification to behavioural science.

    “Across all of these categories, PR firms and their clients are producing content that connects with consumers and other key stakeholders, using traditional tools and cutting-edge technologies. It’s genuinely inspiring,” says Holmes.

    Holmes singled out a new category that focuses on a different timely issue each year.

    “This year’s issue was Ukraine, not surprisingly. In the end we could not select just one winner from among all of the campaigns that countered Russian disinformation or provided support to Ukrainian refugees and we ended up presenting three Sabres in this category. The work was simply too good not to recognise.”

    The annual awards ceremony for the Innovation Sabres will take place during the day of PRovoke Media’s EMEA Summit on 23 March in Frankfurt, ahead of the evening’s Sabre Awards dinner.

    Both presentations and the conference will take place at Gesellschaftshaus Palmengarten, one of the city’s most elegant and historic venues.

    The EMEA Summit will focus on the concept of “Mission: Possible,” a theme that captures both the importance of corporate citizenship, and the value it adds to the lives of their stakeholders, but also the elevated possibilities for the future of public relations in a world where trust, credibility and reputation are all at a premium.

    A complete list of EMEA SABRE finalists is here.

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