‘Memory Makers’ come together for the 2017 PromaxBDA conference and awards

A few of the 2017 PromaxBDA Africa award winners

Bringing together top creatives from around the world in the media marketing industry; the 12th annual PromaxBDA Africa Conference and Awards took place at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton on 9 November 2017.

Over 400 media professionals attended the 2017 event and participated in various conference sessions led by international and local speakers discussing a variety of current hot-topics and trends within the media marketing industry. “We are thrilled with the continued growth of  PromaxBDA Africa as the premier creative event for professionals involved in Promos, Marketing and Broadcast Design and their platforms,” said Vanessa Sheldrick, event director for PromaxBDA Africa.

The conference commenced with a word from PromaxBDA Africa chairman, Timothy Horwood, who shared what it means to be “memory makers” – which was the theme for 2017.

Howard’s introduction was followed by the first session of the day, titled Unstereotype by Debra Mallowah from GSK in East Africa, her talk focused on the global movement to break gender stereotypes in the advertising and film industry.

In keeping with the theme of the day Mallowah stressed that media professionals should use their influence to create stories that represent positive gender portrayals and tackle the dominance of negative female stereotypes that have populated the film and advertising industries.

Other noteworthy sessions included:

The Mutating Creative by Carl Addy, who presented a documentary hybrid that investigates the ”mutating” roles of the modern creative to adapt to the evolving world of commercial art.

The Future is Here and It’s Bonkers by Glenn Urquhart, which looked at emerging media trends and a future creative forecast.

The Bloody Poms by NBCUniversal’s vice president of Creative and Original Content, Kjetil Njoten. Njoten inspired attending creatives on how to be relevant from afar, taking lessons from his London-based company and how it runs successful portfolios for the African market.

The Cult Of The Handmade In The Digital Age by Gemma O’Brien, an Australian designer and artist with a passion for typography.

My personal highlights for the day included The World Gold 2017 showcase which offered a break from the sessions with light humour from the ever-entertaining Horwood as he presented the best spots from the year 2017. Another interesting showcase was the 1 Movie, Five Promos challenge, whereby five local PromaxBDA winners’ were tasked to create a promo for the same film but given different briefs to cater for specific TV channels.

The last session of the day was helmed by international speaker and author of the book Tell Me About Yourself, Holley Murchison. Murchison presented an extremely moving and spirited session titled Become Who You Are which encouraged creative professionals and entrepreneurs to reflect on their dreams, skills and beliefs to create stories with purpose and work towards leaving a great legacy.

In the evening, the PromaxBDA Africa Awards were held as a celebration of African creative excellence.

Silver and gold winners were announced in 48 categories, with NBCUniversal International Networks scooping the most wins including Best Image Campaign, Best Special Event Promo, Best Sound Design and Best Copy/Scriptwriting.

The Screen Africa Best Movie Promo silver and gold awards went to NBCUniversal International Networks for Van Dammurary and the A to Z of Action Stars promo on the Studio Universal channel.

Other sponsored awards included the DStv/M-Net Best Editing category, in which Disney XD got a silver award for its Star Wars Rebels recap, while NBCUniversal International Networks won gold for A to Z of Action Stars.

DStv also sponsored the Promo Rocket Award which did not have a silver award, but a gold award that went to Zee Entertainment Enterprises for its Puja Ray promo.

The Fox Networks Group Mama Silver award went to CSquared for their Afcon 2017 promo, while Studio Zoo took the gold award for DStv’s The Story promo.

The SABC Best Integrated Marketing Campaign silver and gold awards went to Clearwater for their kykNET brand launch campaign and M-Net’s Animania promo.

A prestigious T + W Future Award was also presented to Vega School Johannesburg students, Saraah Saint and Jessica Hay for their campaign to raise araweness on the ‘Fur for Animals’ crusade.

The evening ended off with a PromaxBDA-style afterparty held at the Taboo Night Club in Sandton. All in all, the 2017 PromaxBDA Africa Conference and Awards was a successful, creative fest like no other.


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Gezzy S Sibisi
Gezzy S. Sibisi is a senior journalist at Screen Africa. She is experienced in print, broadcast and digital media. Her portfolio of work includes working as a lifestyle reporter as well as contributing business and education articles to The Times, Sowetan, and Daily Dispatch publications. As a freelancer, she has worked on content development for corporate newsletters, community newspapers, blogs and educational websites.


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