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#MMASASmarties17: Sexy, practical and successful

Who says sex does not sell? Havas Boondoggle believes it does, but only if you do your research, understand your market and create an award-winning campaign around that. Which is exactly what they did with their The Big O campaign for client Durex, winning the 'Best in Show' at the Mobile Marketing Association South Africa (MMA SA) Smarties last night.
The Liquorice team with Enver Groenewald from Unilever.

The campaign also won the agency three golds and one silver, making them the top agency at the awards. Liquorice took ‘Agency of the Year’ home, winning two golds and a silver and bronze, while Yonder Media was named 'Publisher/Media Company of the Year', winning four golds, two silvers and a bronze.


The Mobile Marketing Association South Africa (MMA SA) celebrated creativity, innovation and talent across mobile marketing at the MMA SA Smarties Awards 2017 earlier tonight...

2 Nov 2017

Fiona Potgieter, COO of Yonder Media says the Smarties motivates them. “They inspire us to be innovative on a continuous basis.” She believes their success comes from strategic thinking that comes from understanding your target market and their needs. “Understand if and how your market has access to technology. Think who your market is before you do anything. It is not as sexy, but it is practical, and it works.”

She adds that mobile is everything going forward. “However mobile needs to be seen as part of an integrated approach.”

Liquorice CEO, Miles Murphy is as thrilled with the agency’s performance. “The Smarties recognise the talent from a creative and technical point of view as well as great client briefs which together produce good work. The agency is evolving constantly and that is what is producing interesting work.”

He also says that the industry is generally under represented and that is why what the MMA is doing is great.

Reaching as many African markets as possible

‘The Best in Show’ is deemed by the judges to be the best work viewed. Angie Hattingh, Havas Boondoggle creative director, says the thinking behind The Big O campaign was inspired by desire to reach many African markets as possible. “Mobile and social media proved to be the best way to execute the campaign, given its limited budget.

It was a small project with a limited budget, she says so they leveraged a big event, the Olympics. “The campaign was tactical and centred around engaging the conversation about sex, but using sport, specifically the Olympics, to do so.”

This, she says, allowed people to talk about it freely. “Our research found that Africans are shy about sex and do not talk about it. The campaign introduced a pride element to it that allowed people to talk about it more openly.”

The campaign measured how many condemns were sold in a country. “The campaign had a purchase incentive around it and there was a big prize up for grabs. Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa competed strongly.”

A celebration of talent

The work was very strongly based in Africa and understanding the African market. “Part of this was understanding the high mobile usage on the continent and that Africa has leapfrogged the world when it comes to mobile.”

Unilever won a number of Smarties (two silver and three bronze) for various campaigns for its AXE, Lux, Surf and Shield brands. The brand is also a sponsor of the Smarties. “The Smarties demonstrate creative intensity in mobile, which is the most disruptive and significant evolution in marketing and media. The Smarties help to drive proper thinking, engagement with the consumer and an authenticity that serves as an incentive for us at Unilever to continuously raise the bar,” says Enver Groenewald, Africa consumer channel and media director, Unilever.

He adds that Africa is the second fastest growing mobile region in the world. “Mobile has to be integral to the way you shape your business model and engage with your market.”

Chris Babayode, MD, EMEA, Mobile Marketing Association welcomed the guests to the third Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) Smarties. The theme was a celebration of talent, both of which there were plenty. “The work we are seeing tonight is outstanding and the Smarties are about rewarding people, saying well done and accentuating the positive.”

In the three years of the local Smarties, Babayode says South Africans’ ability to tell a story in the time of video has improved. “The Smarties push the envelope in mobile and we hope they will continue to do so.”

The Awards took place at the Capital Moloko Hotel in Sandton, Gauteng. Click here to view the gallery.
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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.