The MMA SMARTIES Business Impact Index — the first and only global mobile marketing index — identifies, ranks and awards top agencies, advertisers, brands and technology enablers who drive significant business impact through modern marketing across the global MMA's 14 regions.

The MMA says that entrants are adjudicated according to the World Advertising Research Centre judges and criteria.

South African entrants were submitted into the Africa and EMEA categories.

WPP agency YONDER ranked number one in the Digital & Specialist Agencies category for both Africa and EMEA. According to the brand, this is a stellar result and goes a long way to prove how successful they have been in the past year in producing work of the highest quality.

"YONDER produced an exceptional piece of work for KFC where it pushed the envelope when it comes to using new, largely web 3.0 technologies. For instance, YONDER made great use of NFTs in its 'KFC Bucket' campaign where consumers could hunt for NFTs through their smartphones in-store and when found, redeem them for a burger, shake, or a meal. The results were stellar and 120 000 NFTs were found across 80 stores," says MMA SA country director Sarah Utermark.

Rick Joubert, YONDER's CEO adds, "Achieving the number agency ranking for both the EMEA and Africa regions is an honour and we are extremely proud of the work that we are doing, and that it is being recognised globally."

Joubert says, "While we are investing heavily in growing our Meta ecosystem and Web3 capability, we also remain committed to the legacy brand solutions, which serve the needs of the average developing market consumer — as evidenced for example by the recognition we received for work in vernacular language experimentation and our Covid-19 relief work in digital voucher distribution."

Joubert adds, "Frankly, even when it comes to the exciting new world of the Metaverse, NFT's and augmented reality, we are firm believers in easy-access tech, which enables brands to run campaigns at scale."

The brand says that also noteworthy for this year's BII results are the top South African agencies in the Digital Specialists EMEA Regional category. Following on from YONDER's number one win was HelloSquare in second place, Mark1 in third place and Oliver South Africa in fourth.

According to the MMA SA, other stand-out winners across the BII EMEA and Africa categories include:
  • Wunderman Thompson came third in the Creative Agencies Regional category for the EMEA region
  • AdColony came second in the Solution Provider Regional category
  • Duke came first in the Agency Network category for Africa, and
  • among the advertisers, Unilever, Tiger Brands and Matchkit came first, second and third respectively in the Africa category
Individuals can find the full list of BII winners here

Joubert says, "These wins really go to show the quality of the work that our South African agencies produce and their use of up-to-the-minute technologies."

Considering the SMARTIES 2022 categories for 2022, Utermark says that web 3.0 has become very popular in recent years and is why the MMA has chosen to include it among the 2022 SMARTIES 24 categories. This will allow agencies, brands and tech enablers to enter work utilising this new technology.

"The SMARTIES has always been on the cutting edge of modern mobile innovation, and while the existing categories for Marketing Impact and Emerging media remain, there are new additions to reflect the fast-changing marketing environment," says Utermark.

Utermark concludes, "This is also why the MMA has changed its name from the Mobile Marketing Association to the Modern Marketing Association. Our organisation represents far more than just mobile, as campaigns evolve into digital and interactive marketing, while mobile remains at its core."

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