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John Brown Media SA wins four international Gold awards

The announcement of The Content Council's prestigious 2020 Pearl Awards in New York City on 1 December 2020 gave John Brown Media South Africa (JBSA) four reasons to celebrate.

The Pearls are awarded to ’the companies, campaigns and individuals using content marketing to deliver marketing excellence and business results’. Competing against agencies from around the world, bringing home four Golds in four categories is a phenomenal achievement for content marketing agency JBSA.

MiNDSPACE, a thought-leadership magazine produced by JBSA for Old Mutual Corporate, was awarded Gold in the Best Print Experience B2B category. Relaunched as an omnichannel go-to source of expert financial, business and curated lifestyle content, it covers a strong selection of topics in line with the audience’s interests and the client’s objectives.

“Now that thought leadership underpins the MiNDSPACE content offering, the brand has shifted from being a marketing tool to being a respected magazine that can confidently take its place among business consumer titles – that is something I’m very proud of.” – Gugu-Lisa Zwane-Johnson, marketing executive, Old Mutual Corporate

A second Gold was awarded to Old Mutual Corporate Today in the Best Print Experience B2C category.

Created by JBSA, the bi-annual magazine presents financial information in an inspiring, engaging, lifestyle-driven way with clear, practical how-to guidance across various financial concepts and topics that are easy to understand.

“Today succeeds as a financial-lifestyle publication that focuses on improving the financial wellbeing of our readers to help them achieve the life and future they want. The holistic content approach has their needs and struggles at heart and allows us to enrich their lives beyond money matters and personal finance. The modular content strategy allows OMC to reach a diverse audience with a single publication,” said Zwane-Johnson.

JBSA’s Capitec Move Campaign won Gold in the Most Effective Financial Services category. JBSA were asked to create an innovative strategy for a content campaign that would support Capitec’s new brand positioning: ‘Simplify banking. Live better’. Based on audience insights and proprietary research, JBSA conceptualised a content offering of simplicity. Of certainty. Of calmness. Of happiness. Our creative platform was ‘One thing : One object. One fact. One feeling. One idea.’

JBSA, together with Capitec, created a series of impactful life-hack short videos as part of the content strategy. In keeping with the bank’s ‘Simplify. Live better’ positioning, the videos illustrated the life-changing effect a single, simple switch in behaviour or approach could have.
The campaign contributed to over one million new accounts opened during the course of the campaign and over 100,000 account-holders making Capitec their primary bank.

“We briefed our agency to launch our new positioning and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome. They created a content series that gave people tips on how to simplify their lives, allowing us to target the individual as a whole and not just as a banking client. This enabled us to build different audiences where we shared these tailored tips regularly and incorporated moving to Capitec as the ultimate way to simplify life.” – Matthew Smith, content and PR manager, Capitec Bank.

The fourth and final Gold awarded to JBSA at the 2020 Pearl Awards was for the Pick n Pay Braille magazine in the Most Innovative Content Solution category.

It was her love of Fresh Living that led a visually impaired customer, Jennine  Britz (herself classified as blind), to contact Pick n Pay and offer her Braille translation services so that her favourite magazine could be shared with South Africa’s visually impaired community.  

Thanks to the collaboration between a customer from inside the visually impaired community and an editor with a keen sense of innovation, Pick n Pay and JBSA shone a light on the issue of the lack of inspirational food content for the visually impaired. In May 2019, Britz began working closely with Pick n Pay and Fresh Living’s publisher, JBSA, to make Fresh Living Braille a reality.

Fresh Living’s editor, Justine Drake, says: “At Pick n Pay and Fresh Living, we make much of celebrating and embracing our differences, and our decision to print a Braille version of the country’s largest food and lifestyle magazine presented a really tangible way to demonstrate this.”

“We listen carefully to our customers and we’re delighted that we could expand Fresh Living’s reach to our visually impaired customers. It’s been a rewarding learning process to launch the Braille edition,” says John Bradshaw, retail executive: marketing at Pick n Pay.

Commenting on JBSA’s success at the 2020 Pearl Awards, Lani Carstens, group managing director at John Brown Media SA said: “After what can only be described as a challenging year for most, we are so proud and grateful to have won these highly coveted Content Council Pearl Awards on behalf of our incredibly talented teams and client partners. The Pearl Awards celebrate the best work in custom publishing and are recognised as the industry leader in content marketing awards. To be recognised globally by our industry peers is a huge honour.”

We are champions of meaningful progress, helping our clients to win, keep and grow their best customers. With best-in-class services and solutions in media, CRM, and creative, we operate in over 145 markets worldwide with more than 48,000 dedicated specialists.
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