An ecstatic Zoom Advertising scooped the APEX Grand Prix for Pep Generations at the 2009 APEX awards held last night, Thursday, 21 May 2009, at Vodaworld in Midrand, Johannesburg. It had earlier scooped Gold in the Change category for the same campaign, along with Ogilvy Johannesburg for its Coca-Cola SA “The Brrr Effect”.
As a group, Ogilvy South Africa dominated the awards, taking home six out of the 10 awards presented.
The now annual and rebranded APEX awards recognise excellence in measurable marketing communications campaigns in three categories: Launch (which rewards advertising campaigns for brands or services that are less than 12 months old with no significant history of advertising), Change (which rewards new campaigns from previously advertised brands that result in significant short-term effects on sales and/or behaviour) and Sustain (which rewards campaigns that benefited a business by maintaining or strengthening a brand over a long period, ie 36 months). Launched in the mid-1990s, the awards were until last year held every two years.
Taking top honours (Gold) in the Launch category was Ogilvy Johannesburg for its Shaking Up KFC campaign for KFC. There was no Silver award; however, The Jupiter Drawing Room (Johannesburg) was awarded Bronze for its Inzalo campaign for Sasol.
The Change category saw five awards. Ogilvy Johannesburg shared the top spot for its The Brrr Effect campaign for Coca-Cola SA with Zoom Advertising and its Generations campaign for Pep. Silver went to Brand Activation for SA Breweries' Castle Lite - Making the right choice campaign and to Net#work BBDO Johannesburg for its Cell C Control Chat campaign. DDB South Africa was awarded a bronze APEX for its Unilever Robertson's Spices campaign.
Once again, adhering to high standards, there was no Gold in the Sustain category. Silver went to Draft FCB Johannesburg for its George and Lucky campaign for Vodacom and Bronze to Ogilvy Cape Town for its VW Citi 1984 - 2009 campaign.
Commented Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) CEO Odette Roper, “This year's entries were exceptional and proved that more and more agencies are able to provide integrated marketing communication campaigns that can and do contribute to their client's bottom lines. The standard for APEX was very high this year. The ACA congratulates all the 2009 APEX award winners - they certainly have done our profession proud.
“Planning for 2010”
“With APEX 2009 behind us, we have already started planning for the 2010 event and based on the number of entries received this year, we anticipate heightened interest in what will surely become the benchmark awards programme in South Africa.”
Keynote speaker for the night was Simon Sylvester from Y&R UK; he stressed the importance of measurability and effectiveness, especially in this global economic downturn, as well as making some interesting comments about loyalty programmes and loyal consumers. Comedian Dr Riaad Moosa had the audience of advertising glitterati in stitches with his irreverent take on politics and racial issues.
According to Ogilvy SA CEO Nunu Ntshingila, the awards reaffirm a credo that the agency believes in wholeheartedly - “that great creative work delivers great results”.
“The philosophy of creating work for our clients that liberates their brands and allows these brands to stand out from the clutter, has as much to do with creativity as it does with effectiveness. Recognition for effectiveness gives greater credibility to the work we do and the Apex Awards objectively recognise the very real contribution advertising makes to our clients' business success,” she said
Call for accountability
She added that due to the market environment in which most of the group's clients operate, combined with an economy in distress, the call for accountability is stronger than ever, making it all the more important for any brands to prove the effectiveness of their activities.
APEX 2009 was sponsored by the SABC and IDC, with contributions from Joe Public, pump brand ideas, Gendel Advertising, Y&R, Corporate Constellations, SA Breweries, Robertson Winery, AVL Productions, Urban Brew Studios, Pernod, Ricard and various others.