by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki) Brand owners and advertising people of the great southern bit of Africa, roll up, roll up — it’s that time of the year again! After choosing my favourite advert each week for close on 50 weeks, I now get to choose the crème de la crème, the pick of the bunch: the Ad of the Year!
Here, then, is the countdown of the top seven Ads of the Year for 2015. The top three will be revealed next week.
In 2012, Nando’s reminded us all why South Africa is such a great country with its #25reasons campaign, and then came its diversity advert which used the brand’s trademark sense of humour to create a telling epiphany about what it means to be South African. Black River FC and the ever-incredible Nando’s won Ad of the Year back then for an ad classic that’s all about being distinctly human.
2013 saw me moved by the Absa ‘human spirit’ commercial, which I crowned as the best for that year.
It is emotionally difficult to remember 2014’s top ad because that was ‘won’ by a campaign that championed the cause of 19-year-old Capetonian, Jenna Lowe. The young organ-donation lobbyist passed away in June 2015, but her legacy lives on at the Jenna Lowe Trust. If you’re looking for a good cause to support this festive season, please consider supporting this trust, which works to raise awareness for pulmonary hypertension in South Africa.
- View all the Ads of the Week at a glance on our #AdoftheWeek Pinterest board!
As was the case in 2012, 2013 and 2014, choosing the top ad for 2015 has been no easy task this time around. We saw brilliant ads by some top local brands but thankfully MarkLives.com editor and publisher Herman Manson (@marklives), together with editor-at-large Simone Puterman (@SimoneAtLarge) and consulting editor Mandy de Waal (@mandyldewaal), offered their thoughts on the top 10, and winning ad, which helped.
#10. Without 5 by King James II for 5FM
#9. Night Tour Shadows by Y&R South Africa for Johannesburg Zoo
#8. #TIA/This Is Africa by Ogilvy & Mather South Africa for DStv
This is our ‘wildcard’ finalist; it didn’t make it to Ad of the Week, simply because there weren’t enough weeks in the year. This incredibly edgy, deeply ironic look at what it means to be African must take the prize for originality. One example: the narrator says “They say we are always shooting each other!” with visuals of police and gangsters in a shootout… “Of course,” says the narrator, and the scene cuts wide to reveal that it’s actually a film shoot. It’s a beautifully filmed, creatively crafted piece of filmmaking, produced by Ogilvy & Mather South Africa.
#7. Tuluver by Utopia for BirdLife South Africa
#6. Reins by Joe Public for Nedbank Business Banking
#5. #thedress by Ireland/Davenport for Salvation Army’s Carehaven
Ireland/Davenport capitalised on the internet meme/phenomenon known as #thedress, whereby a poorly shot dress was seen by different people as either blue and black or cream and gold. The poster was produced to promote Salvation Army and its Carehaven shelter for abused women and their children. Playing on the wording, the poster creates a real ‘double take’ as one sees the curvaceous model in a cream and gold dress, with the wording, “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?” Looking closely, one spots the bruises on the model’s face and limbs, and the meaning becomes clear.
#4. #CelebrateDefender by Y&R South Africa for Land Rover
Well done to the winners, and be sure to tune in next week, when we announce our Top 3 — and the big no. 1 mucho grande #AdoftheYear.
Ad of the Week, published on MarkLives every Wednesday, is penned by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki), the CEO of Ornico, a Brand Intelligence® firm that focuses on media, reputation and brand research. If you are involved in making advertising that is smart, funny and/or engaging, please let Oresti know about it at email@example.com.
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