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Razia Pillay, IAB SA CEO, talks 2022 Bookmark Awards

With entries to the IAB SA Bookmarks Awards having recently opened, Razia Pillay, CEO of IAB SA, shares what we can expect at this year's awards...
Razia Pillay, CEO of IAB South Africa
Razia Pillay, CEO of IAB South Africa

BizcommunityCongratulations on being appointed CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau South Africa (IAB SA). What has the journey been like so far?

Thank you! It’s been both exciting and a lot of hard work thus far. I am particularly excited about this year’s Bookmark Awards as we emphasise transformation that aligns with IAB South Africa’s key mandates of placing users first, creating and maintaining a consistent approach to measurement, transforming the industry from within and providing trustworthy digital supply chains.

BizcommunityAs the 2022 season kicks off, what can we expect to see at this year's Bookmarks? Will there be any changes to the format?

This year’s ceremony format will build on that of 2021, which was a digital showcase. This year, we are introducing a roundtable with speakers from the industry as well as looking at introducing some elements to enhance a hybrid audience experience. Once these have been confirmed, we will let you know more.

BizcommunityFor those submitting entries. What would you say is the recipe of award-winning work?

It's about how you tell your story in your entry. From the objectives of why you set out to work on that particular piece all the way to the results.
Showcase the creativity of the piece, the innovation behind it and include your exceptional results.

Judges aren’t going to guess what your work is about and how it performed, so add the necessary elements needed to convince the judges and, above all, keep it simple.

BizcommunityWhat sort of trends do you think we will see in the entries?

I believe there will be a shift towards more purposeful work that has a real business impact. We are also excited to see entries that merge the offline and online worlds. We are already seeing a big move towards innovative and creative thinking in this area as a result of pandemic conditions.

The Publishing category in this year’s Bookmarks has also undergone a change, where we’ve specifically asked for digitally focused entries, and we're keen to see more business-driven results overall.

BizcommunityAs the world continues to face challenges, in your opinion, what approach should agencies take when executing high impact digital executions?

Building partnerships with clients are key to any execution so that the work done gets an element of passion and energy from both sides of the partnership. Very often, I observe industry experts being exhausted as they push out campaigns like hamsters on wheels – this kills creativity and leaves no room for innovation.

The other important aspect of this relationship is allowing for asynchronous working environments that cater for a Covid-19/post-Covid workplace. This trend is being adopted in many parts of the world and we'd like to see it being adopted in South Africa as well.

BizcommunityIAB’s key pillar of success is driving forward the agenda of transformation. What can agencies no longer afford to overlook?

Our transformation mandate is clear on including Black youth in the industry and empowering more females and LGBQT+ to contribute towards driving digital forward.

We need to ensure that we're expanding the industry to allow South Africa to thrive in a digital economy.

Agencies can no longer afford to overlook the potential of those who have been excluded thus far and most certainly need to include new criteria that allow more inclusion and contribution from previously marginalised groups.

We are currently focusing on initiatives like Front Row, Connected Womxn and Allies in Action, and we're involved in the Mac Charter through the Mac Charter Council. We urge the industry to get involved in these initiatives and will communicate how they can do so throughout 2022.

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