The holy grail of any advertising campaign is one that wins both creative and effectiveness awards. As far back as 2010 a study released by the UK’s IPA, in association with the Gunn Report, found that a campaign that won both creative and effectiveness awards was 11 times more effective at delivering business success than one that won only an effectiveness award.

In SA the Apex Awards, run by the Association of Communication and Advertising (ACA), recognises advertising effectiveness. Since inception winning an Apex has not been a simple matter. Compiling an entry is a time-consuming exercise for agencies, and the adjudication process is gruelling. A high standard was set for the Apex Awards from the outset and this has never been compromised.

As CEO of the ACA, Odette van der Haar, puts it, “these are not awards for the sake of awards”. Apex Awards, she says, recognise work that works; they are given for the campaigns that demonstrate effectiveness in creativity that extends beyond pictures to creative intellect and intellectual property that is the currency of the industry.

What Apex judges look for are campaigns that disrupt the clutter, have extensive reach and use mediums that resonate with the desired consumer.

This year once again, the Apex judging panel set a high standard, with the result that only one gold award was announced and there was no overall grand prix winner.

In the Launch category TBWA Hunt Lascaris won a silver for Datsun’s “Because. It worked” campaign while Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg won a bronze for Mondelez International’s “Acting on Impulse”.

In the Change category, DDB South Africa won the only gold this year, for Telkom’s “Somebody set me free”. A total of five silver awards were handed out in this category, two of them to Joe Public United for Jet’s “No risk is the biggest risk” and Clover’s “Doing good is good (for) business. The remaining three silver awards went to M&C Saatchi Abel Cape Town for Heineken SA’s “Strongbow Fresh Remix”, Geometry Global for KGA Life’s “KGA Life 30 Year Promotion” and FoxP2 for Ster-Kinekor’s “Ster-Kinekor Open Eyes”. Joe Public also won a bronze award for McCain SA’s “Moms are thinking again about McCain”.

In the Sustain category – clearly the most challenged sector this year – two bronze awards were given, to Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg for Multichoice’s “The Real Democratisation of DSTV” and J Walter Thompson Cape Town for Johnson & Johnson’s Sinutab campaign.

The Kantar Millward Brown Special Award for the entry that demonstrates the most ingenious response to limited advertising or research funds went to Net#work BBDO for Libresse’s Vagina Varsity campaign.

Jury chairman Ivan Moroka commented that the winning campaigns demonstrated an authentic relationship between client and agency as well as a blurring of the lines between above, below and offline advertising. What still appears to exist, he said, were gender and racial lines, which agencies and clients need to work on erasing.

The proceeds from this year’s Apex Masterclass and awards evening are being used to generate an additional 12 bursaries to the AAA School of Advertising.

The big take-out: DDB SA won the only gold award at this year’s Apex Awards for a campaign for Telkom SA, and Joe Public United took the most awards, winning two silvers and a bronze for campaigns for Jet, Clover and McCain SA.

Please sign in or register to comment.