Julian Hurley (Creative Director), Paul Reynell (Managing Director), Laylaa Trevor (Digital Director), Dirk Slabbert (Account Director)
Clever. Creative. Brand-centric. Inspired… and inspiring. These are the words used by the judges of the 2023 PRISM Awards to describe what sets Paddington Station and its consumer campaigns apart as the agency scooped 11 awards.
The prestigious event, held at the Galleria in Sandton on 29 July, brought together the leading figures of the South African public relations (PR) and communication industry to celebrate and honour the shining stars driving excellence in the field. Among the brightest stars of the night was Paddington Station, which received a remarkable haul of 11 awards, closely trailing the two biggest winners, Flow Communications and Tribeca, with 13 awards each.
The stage was set for an extraordinary night of recognition, as Paddington Station won the coveted Gold for Best Small PR Agency and the prestigious Silver for Best PR Professional awarded to Dirk Slabbert. But the triumph did not stop there — the agency went on to win an additional nine awards, showcasing its prowess across diverse categories and reinforcing its position as a leader in strategic storytelling and unrivalled excellence in FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) communication delivery.
According to Landiwe Manana, Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) General Manager and PRISM Awards Chairperson, the competition was fierce, with a record-breaking 390 entries evaluated by a panel of 70 judges. “This year’s PRISM Awards boasted the largest number of entries in its history, and this outstanding participation showcases the credibility and stature of the PRISM Awards within the industry,” she said.
Paddington Station Managing Director Paul Reynell attributes these accolades to the agency’s passion and dedication. “As a consumer-focused agency, we put a lot of time and resources into understanding consumers, and keeping this at the forefront of everything we do is what drives results,” he says. “Our successes with content triggers and engagement flow from this focus.”
The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the agency’s remarkable sweep of the entire Food & Beverage Category, where they claimed Bronze, Silver, and Gold honours for their ground-breaking campaigns in the highly competitive alcoholic beverage sector. “Again, this is a testament to our efforts to understand consumer profiling and our ability to break through the content clutter in the digital space to deliver impactful results for our clients,” says Reynell, who was also announced as the Chief Judge for the 2024 PRISM Awards.
The biggest brand winner of the evening was beverage company DGB with seven awards, represented in its campaigns by Paddington Station. “Both the cream liqueur and cocktail sectors are extremely competitive and cluttered, but we’re incredibly fortunate to be working with a client that shares our vision and excitement about the possibilities available to them,” explains Reynell. “This is evident in the quality of their products and projects we partner on, and we love pushing the limits and conceptualising new campaigns and content, year after year.”
This vision is backed up by top-class technical skills, says the agency’s creative director, Julian Hurley: “We bring our ideas to life and execute them at the highest industry standard. Despite being a smaller agency, we possess our in-house photographic studio, film equipment, and cutting-edge tech, allowing us to rival even the largest players in the field.”
The agency’s stellar performance extended into both the digital space — winning Silver for Social Media and Silver for Best Use of Creative — and into the experiential space, where they received Gold for the ground-breaking SA launch of Angostura Orange & Cocoa bitters. This 20-minute immersive experience set new standards for innovation and proved once again why Paddington Station remains the go-to partner for brands seeking impactful and inspired communications.
According to PRISM Judge Allison McDonald, the agency’s ingenious, creative, and market-focused approach not only earns accolades but also pushes the boundaries of brand-centric communication strategies: “The team at Paddington Station runs a clever, creative, market-focused, inspired and inspiring communication service, setting the bar high. It’s a professional pleasure being associated with the people who call this agency their vocational home.”
The 11 Prism Awards represent the culmination of Paddington Station’s relentless pursuit of excellence, their ability to connect with audiences on a deeper level, and their unwavering commitment to delivering outstanding communication solutions. With its ever-expanding list of accolades, the agency reaffirms its position as an industry leader and the ultimate choice for businesses seeking unparalleled brand success.