"This year’s edition has seen a record number of entries, making 2018 the most competitive iteration yet," says AMASA chairperson Wayne Bishop.

Bishop adds, "We’ve also brought in a new category, AMASA Awards Agency of the Year, which will go to the agency with the most number of shortlists, certificates and Golds." 

"Our goal when we launched the AMASA Awards in 2014 was to show how much value agencies can add to clients' businesses, and this new award promises to do just that," Bishop says.

The most entered categories for 2018 include: Best Tactical use of Media, Best use of Mobile and Best use of Technology and Data.

AMASA committee member and judge Wayne Bischoff says, "There is still a large gap between the entries that won Gold and the majority, and that gap needs to be filled. AMASA will endeavour to give feedback in an open session on what is missing and how to level up."

"There was definitely uncertainty in what ‘insight based’ media strategy meant and many of the ‘insights’ that should inform the strategy were just facts. A fact without the insight it points to is useless," Bischoff adds.

"These awards are vital part of our industry make-up. They celebrate passion and excellence in media strategy and creative innovation. They also help increase the understanding of the importance of excellent media planning and strategy in delivering on clients' business and marketing objectives," Bischoff says.

"In addition, by celebrating the agencies and individuals who win Golds and the Grand Prix, we increase the professionalism of the industry and hopefully attract and retain future stars," Bischoff adds.

The shortlisted agencies for the 2018 AMASA Awards can be found below. 

Best Branded Content:
  • OMD – Standard Bank Your Next Million
  • Mediamark – Foshini Sebenza Girl
  • Hitch Digital – ER 24 Festive Season
  • Ogilvy – Huggies Kids Marathon Campaign
Best Contribution by a Media Owner:
  • Tiso Blackstar – Nando's #Rightmyname
  • Ad Colony – Debonairs Pizza South Africa: Smoking BBQ
  • AdReach – Entry Name: Beyond the River
  • Mediamark – Foshini Sebenza Girl
Best Experiential / Event: 
  • Ogilvy – Carling Black Label: Soccer Song for Change
  • Playmakers – Two Icons Tour
  • JC Deceaux – Survivor
  • The MediaShop – The Eastgate Extra Time Challenge
Best Integrated: Financial:
  • Vizeum – Sanlam 2 Minute Shower Song
  • Standard Bank – Standard Bank Your Next Million
  • Standard bank – Standard Bank Joy of Jaz
  • Primedia Broadcasting – Standard Bank: African Connected 
Best Integrated: FMCG:
  • Ogilvy – Carling Black Label: No Excuses
  • Ogilvy – Huggies Kids Marathon Campaign
  • Phd – Aquafresh - #KeepitFresh Mafikizolo
  • Phd – Liquifruit - Summer Anthem
  • Carat – Edward Snell - Russian Bear Vodka
Best Integrated: Media:
  • JC Deceaux – Survivor
Best Integrated: Retail:
  • The MediaShop – Nando's #rightmyname
  • The MediaShop – The Eastgate Extra Time Challenge
  • OMD – EDCON Retail (including e-commerce and QSR): Offline Measurement and Search
Best Integrated: Other consumer goods:
  • Levergy – New Balance #BeProteas
Best Integrated: Public Services: 
  • The MediaShop – Imperial Road Safety - Safe Scholar Programme
Best Integrated: Transport: 
  • Hitch Digital – Harley Davidson Project Revolution
  • Levergy – IDQ Fast Track
  • Mediacom – Shell – LGBTI
  • The MediaShop – Imperial Road Safety: Safe Scholar Programme
Best Integrated: Travel, Entertainment & Leisure:
  • The MediaShop – South African Tourism (SAT)
Best Integrated: B2B:
  • Demographica – Nedbank Seat At the Table 
Best Online:
  • The MediaShop – Debonairs Pizza - Christopher
  • Ogilvy – Huggies Kids Marathon Campaign
  • The Media Image – A Havaianas Summer
  • The MediaShop – Cell C
  • Zenith – Dettol
  • Mindshare – Aware.org
Best Social Media:
  • The MediaShop – Debonairs Pizza - Christopher
  • Brand Truth – FNB Budget Speech
  • Levergy – New Balance #BeProteas
  • IndaHASH – Carling Black Label - Song of Change #NoExcuse
  • Zenith – Dettol
  • Just Palm – Miller Genuine Draft
Best Pro Bono/Cause-related:
  • AdReach – Beyond the River
  • Havas – Unicef Father's Day
Best Sponsorship:
  • Levergy – New Balance #BeProteas
  • Levergy – Audi Q5 Fast Track
  • Playmakers – #CokeScoreChallenge
Best Trade Marketing:
  • Mediamark – Mediamark Black Friday
  • Ads24 – Ads24 presents Food for Thought 2018
  • Ads24 – Ads24 Wat Meme Jy
Best Use of a Small Budget:
  • Mediacom – Royco
  • Phd – VW Date My Family
  • OMD – EDCON Clinique Online Supported Instore Promo Campaign
Best Use of Mobile:
  • Mindshare – Lucozade
  • The Media Image – A Havaianas Summer
  • Ad Colony – Samsung S9
  • Mediacom – Uber Eats M&M's
  • Just Palm – Omo Gentle Hands
Best Use of Technology:
  • The MediaShop – Debonairs Pizza: Christopher
  • The MediaShop – Cell C
  • Ogilvy – Huggies Kids Marathon Campaign
  • The Media Image – A Havaianas Summer
  • Ad Colony – Heineken South Africa: Uefa Champions League
  • Poster Scope – Liveposter
Best Tactical Use of Media:
  • Ogilvy – Carling Black Label - Soccer Song for Change
  • The MediaShop – Cell C
  • The MediaShop – #It-Can-Wait
  • The MediaShop – Nando's #rightmyname
  • The MediaShop – Debonairs Pizza - Christopher
  • Red Star – Soweto Gold
  • MediaCom – Royco
Tickets are selling for the Gala Awards dinner on Wednesday, 10 October at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton. Individuals can buy tickets by contacting amasa.awards2018@gmail.com for more information. 

For more information, visit www.amasa.org.za. You can also follow the AMASA Awards on Facebook or on Twitter.