IAB BOOKMARKS AWARDS & SUMMIT Special Section

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#Bookmarks2019: King James Group dominates

The King James Group not only took home Best Agency and its client Sanlam, Best Brand, the agency also won a whopping 32 awards at the 11th annual Bookmarks last night, 28 March 2019.

Hosted at The Forum in Bryanston, the Awards saw 142 pixels, of which 16 were gold, 55 silver and 60 bronze, handed out in a record-breaking 76 categories with over 750 entries.

The Bookmarks kicked off the industry’s award season in style as the industry turned out in force, filling the auditorium. As Paula Hulley, CEO of the IAB SA, said in her welcome and opening address, “It’s a jam-packed house!”

IAB SA CEO Paula Hulley
Photographer: Mark Khoury
IAB SA CEO Paula Hulley Photographer: Mark Khoury

The Special Honours category saw 11 black pixels awarded. Commenting on taking home the Best Brand and the Best Agency pixels, Emma Drummond, creative group head at King James Digital believes their performance at the Awards is testimony to the team’s mindset of not settling and always trying something new. “The team is always pushing and prodding each other to explore new spaces.”

Always look to do your best

Good people and good leaders are key to their success. “Good people and great leaders inspire good ideas. Dan Pinch, our ECD, thinks it's important to be in a team that thinks differently so you don’t settle for the same type of thinking.”

This means always looking ahead and to do your best.
Trends that are trending now are not going to be trending next season. We never presume stuff and learn from the amazing other campaigns, with great craft and thinking, such as the ones we saw tonight, especially how digital strategy and creative are so intertwined. We will always look to do our best.

She adds that having clients that allow them to be brave and take risks contributes to their success. “Having Sanlam recognised tonight as Best Brand is very rewarding. The brand has really come to the fore, recognising the need to be relevant and asking the right questions as well as reaching out and making sure that the people we are creating campaigns for are at the heart of the work.”

King James Group
Photographer: Mark Khoury
King James Group Photographer: Mark Khoury

It's not about them, their ego or their content, but about the people on the receiving end. “Sanlam recognise this. Their 100-year campaign addressed our entire journey, and I say 'our' because I feel like I am them, and I am honoured to speak as them,” she says.

Recognition for innovation

News24 editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson expressed his pride in 24.com winning the Best Publisher pixel. “Over the past year we have invested in new forms of video, particularly in the documentary space, such as drone footage of the drought, and I am happy this has been acknowledged and recognised.”

The two bronze awards that Business Insider took home is as meaningful. “This is our new baby and to be recognised in these tough times, when it's very difficult to launch new products in the media space, is very rewarding.”

Climbing the mountain

Best Individual Contribution to Digital went to Boo-Yah! CEO Carmen Murray. “This award is so meaningful as it recognises the dedication and passion I have for the industry. But this is just the beginning; I want to make an even bigger impact going forward. I have only started to climb that mountain and there is a lot more work to do as an entire industry.”

She adds that it is phenomenal to see the growth of women in the industry. “As a female trailblazer and torch bearer for digital, I feel I am setting an example for young women and students.”

Trailerblazer students

Raphael Janan Kuppasamy and Jenny Groenewald, graduates from Vega School Johannesburg, were thrilled with their award for Best Digital Students. “We were very inspired by the brief, which was to make a difference in sport, so the project really flowed.” They both studied creative brand communications specialising in visual communications at Vega. Groenewald is currently part of the graduate programme at Ogilvy, while Kuppasamy is working at M&C Saatchi Abel. This is their second award for their Adidas project.

Darren Meltz, lecturer at Vega School Johannesburg says the two won because they understand the digital space. “In the past we have battled to get students to understand the power of digital, and how digital platforms tie into one another and feed and support a traditional campaign, but they utilised all the platforms with a really well thought out campaign.”

Other black pixels awarded included:

  • Best Digital Youngster: Leon Mwandiringa, Clockwork Media
  • Best Marketer: Holly Meadows, Cosmopolitan SA
  • Best CTO: Clinton Bosch, Afrozaar
  • Best Contribution to Transformation in the Digital Industry: Digify Africa
  • Pixel for Purpose: Road Accident Fund #Always Remember, Mortimer Harvey
  • Best Journalist: Pauli Van Wyk, Daily Maverick

Agencies that also did very well included: VML with 17 pixels; Ogilvy with 15; Hellocomputer, FCB Africa with 11; and TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris with 10.

Click here for more and to view all the winners.

About Danette Breitenbach

Danette Breitenbach is a marketing & media editor at Bizcommunity.com. Previously she freelanced in the marketing and media sector, including for Bizcommunity. She was editor and publisher of AdVantage, the publication that served the marketing, media and advertising industry in southern Africa. She has worked extensively in print media, mainly B2B. She has a Masters in Financial Journalism from Wits.

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