SA agencies top international advertising rankings


The Midas Awards, a competition judged by 30 international client and agency
leaders, which recognises global excellence in financial advertising and
marketing, has revealed that South African agencies are international leaders in
their field, by awarding them the coveted top two positions in the rankings.

The rankings are based on the Midas Report, which recognises and positions the
most successful companies in the financial and marketing communications
industry worldwide. According to points earned for winning entries, King James in
Cape Town holds the number one position for the second year in a row, followed
by The Jupiter Drawing Room in Johannesburg, which came second by only a few

Alistair King, Group Chief Creative at King James, says they are thrilled with the
achievement: “Advertising is an exhausting and demanding game to be in, so
the occasional nod from a jury can do wonderful things for your energy levels.
The great thing about the Midas awards is that it focuses on one sector, so it’s a
good way to measure how good you are in a global context in that sector. This
year, we can at least pause briefly over a good single malt whisky and say “we
did good’. Then, back to work.’

Though the agency typically submits their work for Allan Gray, the latest
campaign was unable to meet the entry deadline and so all awards were for
Santam campaigns. King James won two gold and six silver Midas awards as well
as two Midas certificates in a number of categories and mediums including film,
print, outdoor, radio and digital.

“There were many creatives involved including myself, Devin Kennedy, Matt
Ross, Paige Nick, Karen Barry-McCormack, Dan Berkowitz and Ivo Brodnik. The TV
ads were shot by Dean Blumberg who did an excellent job on our previous
Santam campaign with Sir Ben Kingsley,’ says King.

He adds: “We generally like to do smart, intelligent advertising, and the financial
sector obviously allows us to do that. I guess we just have a knack for it, but I
think Allan Gray and Santam are both clients that love to do interesting,
provocative advertising. Clients like that make it all possible. There’s nothing
more motivating than a client who wants to do work that matters.’

Tom Cullinan, Executive Creative Director at The Jupiter Drawing Room, which
was awarded two gold and four silver Midas awards along with seven Midas
Certificates, says they are disappointed at missing the top position by a mere
three points but are still delighted with the ranking.

“We have always been consistent at the Midas awards. Creating world class
work is testament to our fantastic relationship with our client Absa and our
delivery of great financial category work. It’s fantastic to be in the top rankings
with work that has been awarded in nine different disciplines. It proves that we
have the creative firepower and flexibility and a client that is not afraid to be
untraditional,’ says Cullinan.

The Absa Sponsorship campaign, titled Human Spirit, The Democratic Republic of
Design campaign for Absa’s sponsorship of Design Indaba and The Marshmallow
Test television spot for Absa Savings and Investments are the campaigns that
afforded The Jupiter Drawing Room their collection of awards.

Cullinan, along with Dana Cohen Cullinan, Mpumi Guliwe, Wakhile Sithole, Tracey
Ducci, Charles Rupare, Jeff Tyser, Monde Lobola, Jacques Shalom, Darren Kilfoil,
Nicola Berry and Ivor Forester were key creatives involved in the projects.

Alisun Armstrong, Executive Director of the Midas Awards for the world’s best
financial advertising, says: “We had a lot of really exciting work this year. It’s no
wonder the rankings were so competitive! It really shows the innovative and
creative work going on in these specialised communications.’


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