Published: 2010-02-15

The 2009 South African Graduate Recruitment Awards were held in African splendour at Misty Hills Country estate on 27 January. RMB and Foschini Group took away the Gold Awards, with RMB also scooping the Overall Winner Award for excellence in graduate recruitment communication and activities.

The SAGEA awards are held annually to recognise brands that have achieved world-class standards in attracting top talent through advertising, interactive channels and integrated activities. The awards are judged in the categories of print, web and integrated, with each being divided again into those companies recruiting more than 30 graduates, and those less than 30.

In the 30 plus categories, the Golds for both Print and Integrated went to Foschini Group. Giles Shepherd, Chair of the judging panel says that Foschini's print campaign was strikingly designed in a way that is not only groundbreaking, but relevant and appealing to the target market. "It delivered powerful, memorable and meaningful messages to the market - 'I Am Me' and 'I am a work in progress'. Careful and clever thought was given to not only the emotive mindset of the market, but also the visual relevance. This concept was also very well integrated across all channels and environments, allowing for the target audience to know they are looking at the same brand and being delivered the same message."

The Gold Awards in all categories for less than 30 recruits went to RMB, which put together a campaign the judges believed was the best so far in the history of the SAGEA awards. "The RMB campaign was based on a solid, meaningful strategic idea, executed with exceptional design finesse, giving excellent consideration to not only the proposition that will appeal to the target market, but the graphic styling and method of delivery as well," says Shepherd. "The theme around an international 'journey' was compelling, relevant and exciting, and was taken through all media and executions without ever becoming corny or tacky."

VW South Africa took the Silver Award in the print category for less than 30 recruits.

The company created a print campaign that takes full advantage of its brand - it's deep history, its beloved products, its famous advertising and its vibrant and exciting colours - to deliver a series of powerful, emotive messages. 'Join the legend' and 'Begin your journey' are delivered in a design manner that is not going to be missed, and they are believable propositions, communicated well.

In the 30 plus sections, special commendations went to newcomer Teach SA in the web category, and to Shoprite in integrated communication.

Peter Muller of specialist digital firm IO Media, and lead judge of the web category, said it was particularly tricky awarding for web this year. "We must always remember that our job is to award excellence benchmarked against global standards, not simply to give awards out for the best of what gets entered," he says. "There were some good entries, but brands are still struggling with some of the fundamentals of interactive channels. Issues such as navigation, real functionality and user experience design really need to be brought up to scratch."

The judging panel consisted of Giles Shepherd from employment branding specialist, brandaliveŽ, Peter Muller of IO Media, Charisse Drobis of Wits Business School, Charlene Gunter from student organisation, Golden Key, Darryl Cowling of top ad agency, Stick and Craig Rode, also from brandaliveŽ.

For more information, please contact Giles Shepherd on 011 317 5949 or mail to

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