The Bookmark Awards. Picture: Twitter/@TheBookmarks
The Bookmark Awards. Picture: Twitter/@TheBookmarks

The Interactive Advertising Bureau SA’s 10th annual Bookmark Awards were held in Kyalami, Johannesburg, on March 1, with Ogilvy named Best Digital Agency, KFC winning Brand of the Year and Ben Schoderer of KFC taking the Best Marketer award. In total, 12 gold and 55 silver Pixels were awarded at the event, which recognises excellence in the digital space, while eight Special Honours awards were presented in the form of black Pixels.

Other notable wins came from King James, which took home gold Pixels in the Content Strategy and Bots, Messaging & Dark Social subcategories; Showmax, which received a gold Pixel in the Data-Driven Campaign subcategory; and NMPi, whose Clicks campaign won the Organic Search Marketing subcategory.

A further win for Ogilvy, in the Branded Content subcategory, was awarded for the Huggies “Baby Marathon” campaign, which also was also awarded gold in the Craft: Marketing Copywriting subcategory. The agency’s fourth gold was awarded to KFC in the Innovative Use of Media subcategory.

In the User-Generated Content subcategory, Primedia was awarded a gold Pixel for the KFM 94.5 “What’s Up Western Cape?!” campaign, while Meda24 division took gold in the Special Features subcategory for its #GuptaLeaks series.

Native VML won gold Pixels for Display Advertising and Social Media Publications, for its “Stop the Cycle” campaign for HuffPost SA. 

The awards provide a glimpse into the cutting-edge advertising work the industry is producing, Bookmarks 2018 jury president and M&C Saatchi group chairman Jerry Mpufane said at the event. Great brands entered some worthy work this year, he said, adding that the case studies challenge the way the industry looks at advertising, offering some valuable lessons on what works and what doesn’t.

Mpufane said the Special Honours awards not only celebrate excellence by marketing professionals, but also inspire those in the industry to do great work in future. Identifying the professionals who move the industry forward should be a key priority, he added, saying he hopes to see more entries in this category in 2019.

Artificial intelligence and the different ways of implementing the Internet of Things will become an everyday part of advertising campaigns in future, said Mpufane. However, he noted that the judges were disappointed that there were so few entries using these technologies this year – clearly something to look out for in 2019.

The big take-out:

Ogilvy and client KFC dominated the 2018 IAB SA Bookmark Awards. But while a host of great work was entered, jury president Jerry Mpufane said he hopes to see more entries for special awards and case studies showing the use of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things in future.