APEX awards 2017 – The results of the ‘work that worked’

On the 6th July at a prestigious black tie event held in Sandton, the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) hosted the annual APEX awards.  Captains of industry and brand barons converged on the Sandton Convention Centre to recognise communication campaigns that delivered tangible and measured returns and celebrate their effectiveness.

The gala event was preceded earlier in the day by the PMG NeXt Level of Thinking Masterclass. The topic for this year was ‘Effective Creative Innovation’ and provided thought leadership for all professionals in the business of marketing, advertising and communications. Five highly respected industry leaders – Brett St Clair (Barclays), Natalie Botha (Kantar Millward Brown), Luke Mckend (Google), Gareth Cliff (Cliffcentral.com) and Justin Spratt (UBER) – shared their knowledge and expertise in relation to Effective Creative Innovation within the marketing and advertising profession.  Each presentation was followed by a hard-hitting, investigative question and answer session led by Jeremy Maggs.

“The Masterclass was highly inspiring and provided valuable learning opportunities for all delegates in attendance.  A common thread that ran through each of the hard hitting talks was the importance of brand communication making an effective impact on the bottom line. Each speaker provided insights, thought leadership and guidance for both marketers and agencies alike. The PMG NeXt Level of Thinking Masterclass set the tone and provided an excellent introduction to the gala awards ceremony held later the same day,” says Odette van der Haar, ACA CEO.

APEX Categories

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

1. Launch – sponsored by Provantage Media Group and Mindshare SA, for brands or services that are less than 12 months old with no significant history of advertising;

2. Change – sponsored by Unilever, 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 Liberty, 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 Millward Brown, for an entry that demonstrated the most ingenious response to limited advertising or research funds

The full list of 2017 APEX winners is as follows:

APEX Submission Name Client Name of Agency Award
‘Acting on Impulse’ Cadbury 5 Star Mondelez International Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg Bronze
Because. It worked Datsun TBWA/Hunt Lascaris Johannesburg Silver
Somebody set me free Telkom SA DDB SA Gold
APEX Submission Name Client Name of Agency Award
Selling Chicken without selling out Nando’s M&C Saatchi Abel Bronze
Moms are thinking again about McCain McCain SA Joe Public United Bronze
Vagina Varsity Libresse Net#work BBDO Bronze
Ster-Kinekor Open Eyes Ster-Kinekor FoxP2 Silver
KGA Life 30 Year Promotion KGA Life Geometry Global Silver
#JetLoveYourself: No risk is the biggest risk Jet Joe Public United Silver
Strongbow Fresh Remix Heineken South Africa M&C Saatchi Abel Cape Town Silver
Doing Good is good (for) business Clover Joe Public United Silver
APEX Submission Name Client Name of Agency Award
Sinutab clears the way to YOY growth Johnson & Johnson J. Walter Thompson Cape Town Bronze
The real democratization of DStv Multichoice Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg Bronze




APEX Submission Name Client Name of Agency Award
Vagina Varsity Libresse Net#work BBDO The entry that demonstrates the most ingenious response to limited advertising or research funds


“An APEX award is evidence of an agency’s ability to be strategically and creatively effective. It proves beyond doubt that the agency has made a meaningful contribution to return on marketing investment.  As a result, winners of an APEX award are true leaders within the profession, flying the flag high so that the entire industry may benefit,” says Odette van der Haar, ACA CEO.

APEX awards 12 bursaries

It was announced at the 2017 APEX awards ceremony that 12 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 72. Nine bursaries were awarded to students from the AAA School’s Johannesburg campus and three to students from the Cape Town campus. The AAA School of Advertising is the official tertiary institution of the profession and is regarded as the birthplace of brilliant.

“It is with honour and privilege that we applaud the winners, finalists and bursary recipients of the 2017 APEX awards – an opportunity made possible through the investment, generosity and support from APEX key partners with Provantage Media Group and Mindshare South Africa, and with sponsors,  Kantar Millward Brown, Liberty and Unilever.

The APEX awards programme reinforces and continues to bring credibility to, and confidence in, the business of advertising and communications. In association with our partners, sponsors and contributors on APEX 2017, the ACA celebrates the efficacy our profession delivers, and thanks all involved for the opportunity to provide a brighter future to the young bright minds on the cusp of entering the profession,” concludes van der Haar.

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