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#FMAdFocus2018: It's the most wonderful time of the year

Ogilvy was crowned AdFocus Agency of the Year at The AdFocus Awards 2018 held at The Venue in Melrose Arch in Johannesburg. The agency also took home Large Agency of the Year and Mariana O'Kelly, its creative director, was named Industry Leader of the Year.
All the winners. © Tiso Blackstar.
All the winners. © Tiso Blackstar.

“It is a great way for us to end the year,” says Elouise Kelly, of Ogilvy. The agency - Ogilvy South Africa and Ogilvy Johannesburg and Cape Town - has had a good year in the awards scene. “It is nice to end with this accolade, and it helps us to cement all the hard work that we do as an agency and on our clients’ brands and hopefully this takes us forward.”

Dedication, commitment, hard work and team spirit

She adds that times are tough, and the industry has been bombarded over the last few years for not transforming and putting creativity first and not worrying about the back end. “At Ogilvy, we have managed to change that around very nicely over the last few years with our next chapters initiatives with modern marketing at the forefront and I am glad to see that it is paying dividends.”

Collective ID took Small Advertising Agency of the Year and the Transformation Award. The agency’s MD, Brenda Khumalo, says the awards are a culmination of a 24- month journey. “I am beyond words because it has been such a journey. It has been a journey because of the amount of work we have put in over the past two years and where we have come from as a company.”

She adds that it goes to show that with true dedication, commitment, hard work and team spirit you can do and achieve anything. “I really am feeling emotional with this achievement knowing where we have come from and how hard we have worked to get to this point. I really am beyond words.”

Enduring partnerships

The Partnership Award went to FCB Joburg/Toyota. Brett Morris, FCB Africa’s group chief executive officer says it is great to have an award that honours partnerships with clients as this is something we do not do enough.

“Agency client partnerships go through difficult and good times. The ones that endure are the ones that really help build brands over time and that is what we are proud of. The most important thing is that we do a great job for Toyota’s business over time.” He adds that Toyota is a client who believes in enduring partnerships and they have a long-term view. “It is amazing to be part of that.”

Johanna McDowell managing director of IAS/Scope, the sponsors of the Partnership Award, concurs. “It is important to honour long-term partnerships as they are not always easy.”

There are very few specialist agencies in South Africa and this makes winning the Specialist Agency of the Year very special says Grid Worldwide’s MD Masego Motsogi. “We have remained true to our flagship offering which is branding and design, which are at the centre of everything we do, despite working in a world where everything is constantly changing. We pride ourselves as being one of the best and it is great to be recognised.” The agency also won this award in 2017.

Hope for the industry

The new category, the Financial Mail Creative Challenge, a print-advertising contest, was won by M&C Saatchi Abel for their client TakeAlot. “It is always fantastic winning awards for our teams and clients and what makes this award so fantastic is that this particular client of ours is an e-commerce retailer, so we get to work in the new age and in tech,” comments Jerry Mpufane, chairman of M&C Saatchi Group. The award also gives the client fee placement free placement in the weekly Financial Mail magazine.

Lifetime Achiever Award recipient, Prof. Ludi Koekemoer, told the audience that he has a lot of hope for the industry. “I believe that technology is the future of this industry and that it will take us to new ways of doing business and new types of agencies. This is already happening.”

He likened his career to that of A Tale of Two Cities, quoting the novel: “It was the best of times and the worst of times”. Luckily, he says his time in the industry was more of the former than the latter. “I am truly blessed to have been part of this industry for so many years. My future is behind me and I leave it to you to keep the fires burning.”

The other 2018 Financial Mail AdFocus Award winners included:
  • Shapeshifter Award: Karabo Poppy Moletsane 
  • Medium Advertising Agency of the Year: King James Group 
  • Partnership of the Year (sponsored by IAS/Scopen): FCB Joburg/Toyota 
  • Independent Media Agency of the Year: TMI Media (also winners of this award in 2017)
  • Network Media Agency of the Year: Vizeum 
  • African Impact Award: Dentsu Aegis Network 
  • Student of the Year: Felicity Davies, Red & Yellow Cape Town 

About Danette Breitenbach

Danette Breitenbach is a marketing & media editor at 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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