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The highly anticipated annual APEX events were held on the 11th July in Johannesburg, where the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) hosted the NeXt Level of Thinking Masterclass in the morning followed by the APEX Awards Ceremony in the evening. Marketing moguls and brand barons converged on The Venue at The Houghton to attend a historical day as the ACA announced that this, the 24th edition of the APEX awards would be the last.

To great fanfare, Mathe Okaba, CEO of the ACA announced that with effect from 2020 the ACA would be hosting the very first African edition of the Effie Awards – Effie South Africa. The Effie Awards are known by advertisers and agencies globally as the pre-eminent award in the industry, and recognize any and all forms of marketing that contribute to a brand’s success.

The evening however belonged to the 2019 APEX winners, and what an evening of celebrating effectiveness in advertising and communications campaigns it was. 

Ogilvy South Africa and Kimberly-Clark received the top honours for 2019 with a Gold APEX and the GRAND PRIX for their ‘Making them Move to Huggies’ campaign.  A second Gold APEX on the evening also went to Ogilvy South Africa and KFC South Africa for their ‘KFC Make A Meal of It’ campaign.

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Added to this, and to celebrate 24 years of campaigns that have delivered tangible and measured results, the APEX Committee resolved to award the most effective of all GRAND PRIX Awards announced over the last decade.  A Lifetime Grand Prix was awarded to 2014 APEX Grand Prix winners DDB South Africa and FNB for their ‘FNB Switch – Beating the Beep out of Beep Bank’ campaign.

 

APEX Categories

 

The APEX awards recognise communications campaigns’ performance excellence across three key categories:

1. Launch – sponsored by Vodacom, for brands or services that are less than 12 months old with no significant history of advertising;

2. Change – sponsored by Provantage Media Group, for new campaigns from previously advertised brands that resulted in significant short-term effects on sales and/or behaviour (short term i.e. 18 months);

  1. Sustain – sponsored by Kantar, for campaigns that benefited a business by maintaining or strengthening a brand over a long period, i.e. 36 months;

 

Additionally, this year the jury awarded a special award, sponsored by Kantar, for an entry that demonstrated the most ingenious response to limited advertising or research funds

 

The 2019 APEX Award winners are:

 

 

Vodacom Launch Category

 

APEX Submission Name

Client

Name of Agency

Award

Toyota Rush Launch

Toyota SA Motors

FCB Johannesburg

Bronze

Newlands Spring – Not That Newlands

ABInBev

King James Group

Bronze

A Wedding Party of One Million, SA’s Biggest Online Wedding

Showmax

Showmax Internal Creative Agency

Bronze

Hatching Nando’s E-Chicken

Nando’s South Africa

VML South Africa

Bronze

 

 

 

 

 

Provantage Media Group Change Category

 

APEX Submission Name

Client

Name of Agency

Award

IndieFin “Responsible, yet Selfish”

IndieFin

FoxP2

Bronze

Audi Q Range Campaign

Audi South Africa

Ogilvy South Africa

Bronze

When the Craving for Creativity’s Got You, It’s Got You

Chicken Licken

Joe Public United

Bronze

Can One Extra Swipe be Worth a Billion

Absa

FCB Johannesburg

Bronze

Wimpy Grill Up Fill Up 2018

Wimpy

FoxP2

Bronze

Vodacom Summer

Vodacom

Ogilvy South Africa

Bronze

Get It Back

Castle Milk Stout

Joe Public United

Silver

Mahindra Tough Guys

Mahindra South Africa

Joe Public United

Silver

Wimpy Summer 2018

Wimpy

FoxP2

Silver

Rethink Freedom

Hyundai South Africa

FoxP2

Silver

Taking a Brand Stand

ABInBev

Ogilvy South Africa

Silver

KFC Make A Meal of It

KFC South Africa

Ogilvy South Africa

Gold

Making them Move to Huggies

Kimberly-Clark

Ogilvy South Africa

Gold  

 

The Kantar Sustain Category (NO 2019 AWARD)

 

APEX Submission Name

Client

Name of Agency

Award

 

 

 

The Kantar Special Award Category

 

APEX Submission Name

Client

Name of Agency

Award

Newlands Spring – Not That Newlands

King James Group

ABInBev

The entry that demonstrates the most ingenious response to limited advertising or research funds

 

 

Grand Prix

 

APEX Submission Name

Client

Name of Agency

Award

Making them Move to Huggies

Kimberly-Clark

Ogilvy South Africa

Grand Prix

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lifetime Grand Prix

 

APEX Submission Name

Client

Name of Agency

Award

FNB Switch – Beating the Beep out of Beep Bank

DDB South Africa

First National Bank

Lifetime Grand Prix

 

Said Mathe Okaba, “Winning an APEX is the ultimate accolade because it is a testament to the importance of investing in advertising and communications when building a successful brand or business.  The winners and finalists were showcased as the best of breed in the profession.”

The 2019 APEX events kicked off early in the morning with the PMG NeXt Level of Thinking Masterclass at which an esteemed line-up of speakers unpacked effective marketing and advertising within the African continent in line with the 2019 APEX theme of AFRICA: The Revolution. This year’s line-up and topics included:

  • Thebe Ikalafeng, Founder and CEO Brand Leadership Group: African Brands Revolt (How global brands dominate Africa and the brands that are challenging them)
  • Jane Ostler, Global Head of Media Insights Division Kantar: The Power of Connection (How marketers can develop successfully connected, multichannel campaigns that build brands and avoid the pitfalls of fragmentation)      
  • Tbo Touch, CEO Touch HD and Marketing: The Township Economy
  • Refilwe Maluleke, MD Yellowwood: Africa and the female revolution (How on the African continent businesses need to consider how prepared they are for the female revolution)
  • Stan Slap, CEO SLAP (New York Times bestselling author Stan Slap is a renowned thought leader on business culture): The Hungry and the Hunted (Stan looked at how employee and customer cultures really work and how to really cause them to brand a company)

In bidding farewell to APEX together with a warm Mzansi welcome to Effie South Africa, a special award was handed out to the individuals that have been responsible over the years for building and elevating the APEX programme to the level it has reached today.  Seven individuals were thanked for the tireless effort, passion and energy put into the awards programme over the years.  A Legend of APEX award was awarded to the following: Andy Rice, Gareth Leck, Ivan Moroke, Michael Gendel, Neil Higgs, Nina De Klerk, and Odette van der Haar.

“Without these incredibly passionate supporters of the ACA and the APEX Awards programme over the years, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to look back on over two decades of celebrating marketing and communications effectiveness in advertising in South Africa. We pay homage to them and thank them for their most valuable and effective contribution to the success of APEX,” notes Okaba.

While APEX is about effectiveness, it is also a programme which supports education, specifically within the context of the industry. It was announced at the 2019 APEX awards ceremony that 8 bursaries were being awarded to deserving students from the AAA School of Advertising.  This brings the total number of APEX bursaries awarded since the programme launched in 2010 to 88. Four bursaries were awarded to students from the AAA School’s Johannesburg campus and four to students from the Cape Town campus.

“It is with honour and privilege that we applaud the winners, finalists and bursary recipients of the 2019 APEX awards – an opportunity made possible through the investment, generosity and support from APEX key partners Provantage Media Group, and sponsors Vodacom and Kantar.  And to all our partners, sponsors and contributors over the past 24 years, thank you.

This programme reinforces and continues to bring credibility to, and confidence in, the business of advertising and communications.

Tonight, we celebrated not only the efficacy our profession delivers, but also the future bright minds that are today’s students, and tomorrow’s award winners. It may be a sad farewell to APEX, but we look forward with great excitement to celebrating our local industry alongside our global peers as we introduce the Effie South Africa programme in 2020,” concludes Okaba.


About the APEX awards

The annual APEX Awards is hosted by the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) which is the recognised industry body of the advertising and communications sector of South Africa. APEX recognises and celebrates communications campaigns’ performance excellence by contributing tangibly to client’s business and bottom line. Winning an APEX places a real seal on a client and agency team’s achievement because it demonstrates the contribution made by the team through its collaboration and work. Entry into the prestigious APEX Awards is open to all South African agencies and their clients.

The ACA is the official, representative body for the Communications and Advertising profession in South Africa, representing agencies in the profession (who at present contribute approximately 95% of South Africa’s measured ad spend) to government, media and the public. The ACA is a voluntary body formed by and for the industry, focused on and committed to self-regulation and to defending the highest standards of ethical practice.

For more information about the APEX awards visit www.acasa.co.za/apex.aspx or call the ACA on (011) 781 2772/3

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