made most of the run­ning dur­ing 2012. Ogilvy Cape Town had re­mark­able cre­ative success, top­ping the cre­ative league ta­ble with twice as many points as sec­ond-placed Ogilvy Jo­han­nes­burg. This was the po­si­tion at the end of 2012, but there is still one event to come, The Ad of the Year. The re­sults of that com­pe­ti­tion are not nor­mally an­nounced un­til Fe­bru­ary or later, but they could yet see ei­ther Ogilvy Jo­han­nes­burg or TBWA Hunt Las­caris cap­tur­ing sec­ond spot.

Joe Pub­lic, which won the Ned­bank ac­count in a fi­nal shoot-out against M&C Saatchi, has had a fan­tas­tic year, ex­pand­ing the scope of its busi­ness both ge­o­graph­i­cally (with for­eign af­fil­i­ates) and the­mat­i­cally, with new lo­cal spe­cial­ist di­vi­sions.

The busi­ness has dou­bled in a year and the agency ranks fifth cre­atively.

An­other agency at full-tilt is M& C Saatchi Abel, which has had stun­ning success in win­ning new busi­ness, but has been sur­pris­ingly un­suc­cess­ful in win­ning awards. It is also mov­ing strongly into sports spon­sor­ship and has started build­ing an African agency net­work (see along­side).

The ad that at­tracted most of the at­ten­tion, and most of the cre­ative points was Black River F.C.’s Last dic­ta­tor stand­ing.

This told the tragic tale of a for­lorn Zim­babwe pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe, eat­ing alone (a Nando’s take­away, nat­u­rally) and rem­i­nisc­ing about his happy days with fel­low dic­ta­to­rial play­mates like PW Botha, Muam­mar Gadaffi and Sad­dam Hus­sein.

Black River has lan­guished in the shad­ows for some years, de­spite pro­duc­ing much good work of this na­ture, but 2012 saw its break­through into wide­spread aware­ness.

An­other debu­tante agency, Ma­chine, made a cre­ative im­pact by end­ing up 13th on the cre­ative league ta­ble. Ma­chine was cob­bled to­gether out of four di­ver­si­fied sub­sidiaries in the Habari Group.

They were Big Wed­nes­day (me­dia plan­ning and buy­ing), Crea­ture (con­sumer pro­mo­tions and loy­alty mar­ket­ing); Domino (dig­i­tal) and An­swered (in­sights and re­search).

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