Winners of the 2018 APEX awards announced

On the 16th July, the highly valued annual APEX events were held in Sandton, where the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) hosted the NeXt Level of Thinking Masterclass in the morning followed by the APEX Awards Ceremony in the evening. Marketing moguls and brand barons converged on the Sandton Convention Centre to attend the #APEX2018 events.  

First up was the APEX NeXt Level of Thinking Masterclass proudly hosted by Provantage Media Group. This year’s captains of industry who took to stage delivered presentations on the latest thought leadership topics affecting the business of marketing and communications. The theme for the morning was ‘Effectively navigating communications campaigns in a dynamic environment’. Five highly respected industry leaders – Musa Kalenga (House of Brave), Sharon Keith, Zibusiso Mkhwanazi (M&N Brands / AVATAR), Omar Abou Ezzeddine (Mirum) and Samu Makhathini (Kantar Millward Brown) – with talks ranging from how to localise international campaigns through to building an African agency network among others. Following each presentation, delegates and invited guests were encouraged to take part in a short Q&A session lead by radio talk show host and founder of Champion South Africa, Ashraf Garda.


The APEX NeXt Level of Thinking Masterclass has become one of the highlights on the industry calendar where delegates enjoy a jam packed morning with highly inspirational talks from some of SA’s premier thought leaders. There is no doubt that everyone left the event taking with them thought provoking ideas and valuable learnings on the efficacy of marketing communications,” says James Barty, ACA Chair.


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

1. Launch – sponsored by SAB ABInBev, for brands or services that are less than 12 months old with no significant history of advertising;

2. Change – sponsored by Provantage Media Group, 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);

3. Sustain – sponsored by Provantage Media Group, 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 Brownfor an entry that demonstrated the most ingenious response to limited advertising or research funds.


APEX Submission Name Client Name of Agency Award
Carling Black Label #NoExcuse ABInBev Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town Bronze
KFC Taking Back Lunch Yum! Restaurants International Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg Bronze
Audi Q2 #untaggable Audi South Africa Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town Silver
APEX Submission Name Client Name of Agency Award
Question Your Bank First National Bank FoxP2 Bronze
Neurobion® Marketing the Unmarketable Merck (Pty) Ltd South Africa Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg Bronze
David vs. Goliath – A rebel with a noble cause 10X Investments M&C Saatchi Abel Bronze
NSPCA Dog Fight NSPCA Grey South Africa Bronze
Thinking Outside the Cot Edcon : Jet Division Joe Public United Silver
Cadbury P.S. 2.0 Mondelez International Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg Silver
Amarula: Made from Africa – bringing back an old favourite  
Distell Group Limited
FCB Cape Town
Sanlam Uk’Shona Kwelanga Sanlam King James Gold
APEX Submission Name Client Name of Agency Award
APEX Submission Name Client Name of Agency Award
NSPCA Dog Fight
Grey South Africa
The entry that demonstrates the most ingenious response to limited advertising or research funds


This year, the APEX Gala Awards Ceremony keynote address was delivered by Daren Poole, Global Head of Creative, Insights Division, Kantar. In a nod to the topics covered at the masterclass, Daren presented the industry leaders and brand barons assembled in the Sandton Convention Centre’s Ballroom with the following question – can artificial intelligence help drive creative ROI? Daren showed that while AI is exciting, brands should take advantage of chatbots and voice, but the bottom line is that connecting brands and consumers effectively remains the domain of human beings – for now.



While APEX is about effectiveness, it is also a programme which supports education, specifically within the context of the industry. It was announced at the 2018 APEX awards ceremony that 8 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 80. Four bursaries were awarded to students from the AAA School’s Johannesburg campus and four to students from the Cape Town campus.  

“It is with honour and privilege that we applaud the winners, finalists and bursary recipients of the 2018 APEX awards – an opportunity made possible through the investment, generosity and support from APEX key partners Provantage Media Group and SAB ABInBev, and sponsors, Kantar Millward Brown

This programme reinforces and continues to bring credibility to, and confidence in, the business of advertising and communications. Tonight we celebrated not only the efficacy our profession delivers but also the future bright minds that are today’s students, and tomorrow’s award winners,” concludes Barty.


The annual APEX Awards is hosted by the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) which is the recognised industry body of the advertising and communications sector of South Africa. APEX recognises and celebrates communications campaigns’ performance excellence by contributing tangibly to client’s business and bottom line. Winning an APEX places a real seal on a client and agency team’s achievement because it demonstrates the contribution made by the team through its collaboration and work. Entry into the prestigious APEX Awards is open to all South African agencies and their clients.

For more information about the APEX awards visit or call the ACA on (011) 781 2772/3.