Winners and Losers, Let me be the Judge!

August 16, 2017

I am honoured to have been selected as one of the 11 Regional Judges from Africa for the 2017 Loeries Africa Middle East Awards that will take place in Durban on Aug 19-20, 2017.

Read the full announcement Here

There are about 15 categories in the Loeries Creative Awards and I will participate in judging the Media Innovation category. I am quite excited by this role, as innovation is one of the key drivers of what I do as the Digital Marketing Manager at Coca-Cola Central, East & West Africa.

As per the Loeries Judging guidelines, the Media Innovation award will go to the entry that not only demonstrates an innovative idea, but one that showcased quality of execution and relevance to the brand, audience and medium.

Here are the details on 2017 Loeries Judging Criteria

Upon receiving the invitation to judge the Media Innovation category, I pondered on the question, “What constitutes innovation in media?” In this age of Marketing in a Digital World, innovation in media is often linked solely to digital media. However, media innovation can occur both offline or online, or both. My definition of innovation in connections is as an idea/platform/channel that has never been executed by the brand, or in the industry. In my current role, we strive to put aside 10% of our time and resources to innovative ideas.

Often with innovation, there is failure or false starts. Personally in my career, I have had many failures when executing media innovation, but one that stands out is one where I decided to take a chance on a new platform for brand engagement. This happened in 2014, during Coke Studio Africa Season 2 where we attempted to use Whats App as a medium to connect audiences to the show’s content through push messaging. Whilst the idea was innovative, the platform was not open to APIs to enable brands to engage with consumers’ in this way. Infact the platform marked all our messages as SPAM and blocked our numbers which we had broadcasted on the TV show! Can you say crisis! When I look back, I think we were ahead of our time! Needless to say, after several sleepless nights, tense meetings, failed attempts to make it work, we eventually decided to kill the project for the sake of our sanity and stress levels!

The lesson I learned here is that even after a failure, you can move on to do great things. We are getting ready to launch the 5th Season of Coke Studio and consumer engagement on traditional social media platforms has been extremely high since our failed innovative project 3 years ago. The learnings I got from that attempt are many – innovation sometimes needs a lot of patience; plan for reiterations or plan B; and have a thick skin!

Through failing, we can only get better! Jack Ma, the Founder and Chairman of Ali Baba, the world’s largest eCommerce platform, stated this in his recent visit to Kenya, “…There is always opportunity, there is always failure, there is always chance. The thing is how you survive from failures. When you are rejected, how you survive from that.”

Jack Ma’s full public lecture at the University of Nairobi (min 15:08)

If you are in media or marketing, I urge you to continue innovating even when you don’t always get the results you want the first time. Keep trying, keep believing!

Congratulations to all the brands who took the time to enter their work for the Loeries Africa Middle East Awards 2017. You are all Winners!

Access the list of Loeries finalists here

And just like in the just concluded election in my home country, Kenya, there will always be winners and losers. How you act after your win or loss is what makes you a real winner!


Durban, South Africa



  1. Ken - August 16, 2017 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    Brilliant commentary and failure is in reality a badge of success as it teaches you going forward

  2. Brenda Selebwa - August 16, 2017 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    Sema crisis! Great lesson on picking up the pieces…failure is an event and not a person… you learn from it and move on. I have no doubt that you will make a good judge for these awards…congrats for being nominated!

  3. Michael Knash - August 16, 2017 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    Lovely article.

  4. shally - August 17, 2017 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    I love when you say, failing can only make us better! great piece

  5. Tess - November 4, 2017 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Awesome article! Looking forward to more from you 🙂

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