The A-Listers

SOCIALS | Brands shine bright at the Sunday Times Top Brands awards

28 October 2018 - 00:00 By Craig Jacobs

They might be only a fifth of what would have been Ma Sisulu's age this year, but the Sunday Times Top Brands awards are a marketing stalwart when it comes to finding out what products come up roses for the shopper on the street.
You can read elsewhere in this paper about the survey, which is run in partnership with Kantar TNS SA, who interview a hefty 3,500 folks to find out what brands are hot - but let me tell you about the actual ceremony.
It was nice to note that, recession or not, the company that pays my night-job salary splurged on live entertainment this year.
The very cool Graeme Watkins Project provided the musical accompaniment as we sipped cocktails and tucked into canap├ęs including prawn tempura, chicken, guacamole mini tacos and bowls of chicken noisettes on a bed of mustard cream and mash. Yum!
Between drinks I caught up with Kim Thipe, SAA's head of marketing (for all its woes, the national airline scored top gong in the domestic airline category) and met Kgothatso Morudu and Luane Lavery from SAA's competitor Comair.
Surprisingly, there was no sign of Nik Rabinowitz, who previously handled MC duties with aplomb on what could be a long and laborious night.
Instead, I spot the diminutive funnyman I named this year's comedy upstart in my inaugural A List of names to know, Loyiso Madinga. "That's how the new SA works," quips Loyiso.
So how did he do?
Surprisingly well, setting the tone at the start of proceedings when he pointed out that "if they wanted a deep and serious occasion, they would have asked the head of Sars IT to do this".
Hardly any brand or recipient was left unscathed by his running commentary, describing the R3bn new offices of Discovery Health, which took home a slew of awards including the Grand Prix in the business category, as "that building in Sandton that no one notices - that small, humble, humble building".
When two middle-aged white men came up to accept Shoprite's nod for top grocery store, he said that, considering the chain's target market, "those are not the faces I was expecting to see".
And when Reginald Nxumalo joined his colleagues from Samsung to accept the first of three gongs the company won, Loyiso ribbed him about his shiny suit - "It's like he put the Vaseline on after he put his clothes on."
Reginald took it on the chin when I chatted to him afterwards, but couldn't tell me who we should credit for his, er, eye-catching get-up.
"I have no idea - my wife bought it," he said...

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