The awards, endorsed by the Marketing Association of South Africa, were established to celebrate excellence in the science and art of marketing. They aim to recognise and reward successful marketing initiatives and thought leadership in the South African marketing industry.

"We were impressed with the caliber of entries, and our judges had a tough job selecting the finalists," says MAA council chairperson Yvonne Johnston. "Choosing the winners was even more challenging as we were determined to [showcase] South Africa’s finest talent."

Ogilvy’s awarded campaigns were for:
  • Volkswagen South Africa — 'The People’s Car'
  • Castle Lager — '#SmashTheLabel'
  • Carling Black Label — '#NoExcuses' and 'Soccer Song for Change'
  • Anglo American — 'Makarapa City'
  • Cadbury — 'Remarkable Regift'
  • Investec — 'The Art of Investec'
  • Kimberly-Clark — 'The Huggies Baby Marathon'
  • The Merck Group — 'Neurobion Consumer Health'
Ogilvy chief creative and innovation officer, Pete Case, says the wins were a welcome validation of the agency’s approach to its work. "Winning for so many of our brands highlights the importance of our holistic approach to modern marketing — from insights and strategy to creative and delivery," he says.

"We pride ourselves on creating ideas that are truly relevant to the local market and which help our brands matter to their target audiences. So huge congratulations to our teams and clients behind these campaigns that not only won awards, but more importantly, helped create growth and market differentiation for these brands too," Case adds.

Neo Makhele, group strategic planning director, says, "Communications in a modern marketing age requires persistent focus on effectiveness and efficiency. It requires understanding of the power of branding and the power of the technology that frames or anchors it. It is a fine balancing act."

"We have seen that building brands that matter has moved the needle for our clients and strengthened client’s relationships. Brands that have a clear purpose have enough flex to engage in real time, the credibility to address social issues, the confidence to open up engagement with their brands, the power to drive conversion as well as the gravitas to draw consumers into their purpose," Makhele adds. 

Makhele says, "That is where we see effectiveness and efficiency as a successful result of communications. It is interesting to see that of all the work we submitted — it was mostly our purpose-led work, which authentically dealt with social issues to drive engagement, that ended up winning the medals."

The awards were the culmination of a two-day Marketing Achievement Summit with the theme 'Future-proofing marketing', which explored marketing strategy, key issues and imperatives with leading industry professionals.

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