With the Loeries not quite a distant memory the advertising industry turns its attention to The 2015 Annual AdFocus Awards. An industry highlight, this is the second year of the Awards since the merger between the Financial Mail’s AdFocus Awards and Jeremy Maggs’ The Annual.
This year also sees a number of changes with the former Advertising Agency Award being expanded into three categories: small, medium and large. Also incorporated into a new Award is the former Agencies’ Agency of the Year, which is now Overall Agency of the Year.
The Annual AdFocus jury chairman, Festus Masekwameng, managing partner of MKT Media and former chairman of the Loerie Awards, is optimistic about this year’s entries, despite his feeling that the industry is under pressure. “The influence of slowed economic activity and transformation has been evident in the work showcased at the creative awards so far,” he says. However he adds that there are companies that still manage to accomplish some amazing feats.
“Awards give us an opportunity to reflect on the state of the industry so far, assess what needs to be done and recognise the achievements of those who are not perturbed by the odds and challenges. They also provide invaluable currency for the winning agencies,” he says.
This year he says we can look forward to more underdogs coming through and holding their own against the Goliaths. He believes that The Annual AdFocus Awards are the only awards where the underdog can easily become top dogs. “The Annual AdFocus Awards are the only awards that acknowledge the core ingredients of a successful media company in South Africa; being business growth, creative accolades, chemistry and longevity with clients and most importantly transformation.”
Last year, for the first time, the Financial Mail’s AdFocus Awards included the Student of the Year Award. This year the Student of Year Award will once again be awarded thanks to the continued generosity of sponsor Nedbank. A prize of R35 000 will be awarded to the top student.
Masekwameng says we can look forward to more amazing work from students. “Few awards, if any, still pay as much attention to the developmental needs of the industry by focusing on the students and their schools in order to support the important role that they play in providing fresh talent.”
The 2015 Awards are:
Overall Agency of the Year (from any agency category)
Small Advertising Agency of the Year
Medium Advertising Agency of the Year
Large Advertising Agency of the Year
Media Agency of the Year
Branding and Design Agency of the Year
Digital Agency of the Year
Specialist Agency of the Year
African Agency Network of the Year
Partnership of the Year
Lifetime Achievement Award
Industry Leader of the Year
New Broom Award
Student of the Year
Co-Editors of The Annual AdFocus and co-hosts of the Annual AdFocus Awards Jeremy Maggs and David Furlonger are greatly encouraged by the interest of the industry so far. “With the deadline looming we do encourage agencies to enter sooner rather than later. We are looking forward to hosting the industry later this year.”
The Annual AdFocus Awards will be held on 25 November this year.
Questionnaires can be found on the Annual AdFocus Awards website, www.adfocus.co.za, and the Redzone website (look for the AdFocus button).
The deadline for entries is 12h00 Monday, 31 August 2015.