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MMA South Africa

Business Unusual 2020

The SMARTIES AWARDS 2020 is excited to celebrate the creativity and innovation many brands have been able to demonstrate this year, producing campaigns that were creatively agile during what has been a very UNUSUAL time.

To honour them, the MMA South Africa has decided to run the awards a little differently this year... Introducing the MMA SA SMARTIES BUSINESS UNUSUAL 2020. This year:

All SMARTIES entries are fully sponsored, so FREE to enter
We have a new, more accessible three-stage entry process
You can nominate and refer campaigns you think deserves recognition
Your entries will be judged by your peers

A true celebration of modern marketing excellence across Africa and EMEA, this is a call for resilient brands, surviving and thriving in unusual times, and winning in unusual ways.

Take a moment to nominate a brand, a marketer, an agency or an individual for creative excellence, innovation or business impact with mobile at the core.


To win a SMARTIES Award is an outward sign of mobile marketing expertise, mastery of the medium and the ability to drive results. Winners are chosen by some of the best marketing minds across the globe.

A SMARTIES Award winner has demonstrated power over the medium — effectively weaving together a great idea, compelling creative and air-tight execution — to deliver significant business impact.

In South Africa, a SMARTIES Award is considered the gold standard of mobile marketing excellence and winners are awarded by a highly respected panel of judges.

All SMARTIES Award winners are automatically entered into the Business Impact Index (BII). It honours work from around the world that significantly delivers tangible business impact for clients through mobile-first campaigns.

The SMARTIES Celebration of Talent honours global innovation, creativity and success by showcasing each year’s most effective mobile campaigns. This winning work inspires, educates and ultimately propels the industry forward through the most trusted authority in mobile marketing.

Business Impact Index

Launched in 2018, the MMA SMARTIES Business Impact Index (BII) is the first and only global mobile marketing index that identifies, ranks and awards top agencies, advertisers, brands and technology enablers that drive significant business impact through mobile first campaigns.

In collaboration with WARC, the global authority on advertising and media effectiveness, the Index recognises the best-of-the-best from each year’s SMARTIES winners by ranking finalist and winner data from the global awards programme.

MMA SA SMARTIES Business Unusual 2020

The SMARTIES AWARDS 2020 is excited to celebrate the creativity and innovation many of our local brands have been able to demonstrate this year, producing campaigns that were creatively agile during what has been a very unusual time.

The coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic has had an immense effect on consumer behaviour and in turn has forced brands to reconsider their approach to marketing their products today and in the future.

Marketers have been compelled to constantly re-adjust budgets and communication strategies when considering the uncertainties of how COVID19 will further impact the economy, their businesses and their customers.

To recognise this, we have launched our Business Unusual Categories for 2020.

What's New in 2020

In an effort to promote inclusivity and being cognisant of the economic impact the pandemic has had on businesses, the MMA SA will be introducing an exciting new submission process that will allow all businesses, regardless of size, to enter their  finest and most successful digital campaigns of 2020.

Our aim is to create one of South Africa's largest digital case study hubs, where we can provide credible benchmarking for the South African marketing community to work with when implementing digital at the epicentre of their Marketing Mix.

With the help of our generous partners, the MMA SA SMARTIES ENTRIES will be fully sponsored this year, and as a result we have been able to:

Eliminate the cost to submit entries.
Capture collate and report on aggregated Benchmarking insights from South Africa's finest and most successful digital campaigns in 2020.

This year's MMA SA Smarties Awards will be split into 3 phases:

Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
Preliminary Round Shortlisting MY SMARTIES PITCH, A virtual presentation pitch

Phase 1:

Preliminary qualifying stage for both Core Smarties and our new "Business Unusual 2020" categories.

You can enter a campaign in a maximum of 3 categories or be nominated / referred by someone else
The pre-qualification entry process is short and simple (campaign videos are not required)

Please note, in submitting a campaign, each entrant agrees to the terms and conditions set out by the MMA relating to data privacy and prior permission granted from all parties involved. Please find the MMA SMARTIES TERMS & CONDITIONS here.

Method of entry
Direct Entry, Nomination / Referral
Entry Form
Supporting presentation
Slide Images and URL Links can be included to support any material
No cost
MMA South Africa
Business Unusual Voting Platform
23 August 2020 - 9 November 2020
Categories Pillars

Each entrant can submit an unlimited number of campaigns. A single campaign can enter up to 3 different categories and across any of the four core pillars:

Business Unusual
Judges Voting by marketer only jury panel
1 Senior Brand Marketer per MMA Member company will be invited to judge the preliminary round. Please note that they will be exempt from scoring work from their own company or affiliate partner companies.
Senior Brand Marketers

The supporting presentation should provide an overview of the campaign:

A summary of the business challenge and campaign objectives
The strategy employed
An overview of the campaign execution
The campaign creative work
The results / outcomes of the campaign.

Phase 2:

The Shortlisting

Method of entry
Business Unusual Voting Platform will determine campaigns shortlisted from votes calculated on the platform. The top 160 unique entries will go through
Successful companies will be notified via email and asked to complete a more detailed Campaign overview via Smarties MMA global platform
Online written description required
URL / Link can be added to support
Entry costs are being covered by our MMA SA SMARTIES 2020 Partners. Entries are therefore free at point of submission.
Smarties MMA Global platform
16 November 2020 – 22 November 2020/23 November "My Smarties Pitch" released
Categories Pillars
The top scoring 160 entries across the 16 Smarties categories will be shortlisted to be submitted to the MMA Global SMARTIES Entry Platform.
Successful entries will be limited to 1 campaign per category. Entrants with different campaigns can be shortlisted in the same category.
Judging Voting
Senior Brand Marketers and CMO's
6 Judges
Vice Chair Smarties Academy Partner
4 Senior Brand Marketers

Phase 3:

MY SMARTIES PITCH, A virtual presentation pitch

This will be done through a LIVE SMARTIES VIRTUAL PITCH session, where agency and/or brand representatives will present their entry and answer questions from the judging panel.

The judging panel will consist of MMA SA SMARTIES Jury committee, all well-known marketers from the SA marketing and advertising community.

After the pitch sessions the judges will debate the merits of each of the finalists and will vote to award Gold, Silver or Bronze SMARTIES Awards to the most deserving campaigns in each category.

Method of entry
Submission - Presentation Pitch
MMA Global Smarties Platform will determine campaigns entered this phase through Judges votes.
Entry costs are being covered by our MMA SA SMARTIES 2020 Partners.
MMA Global
Voting Platform
30 November 2020 - 04 December 2020 / 09 December 2020: Virtual MMA Smarties EMEA Ceremony
Categories Pillars
The 4 top scoring entries in each of the 16 Smarties categories will become category finalists and agency/brand representatives will be invited to present their campaign to the panel of judges in a virtual presentation, the MY SMARTIES PITCH.

Judging Voting

Senior Marketers
6 Judges
Vice Chair Smarties Academy Partner
4 Senior Brand Marketers

SMARTIES Special Edition 'Business Unusual 2020'

'Get recognized for Innovation in Modern Marketing'

As we continue to honour the mobile marketing community by celebrating the  best work of the last 12 months, it also is important to celebrate and  acknowledge how brands are creating innovative campaigns to connect with  their customers and pivoting their businesses to help fight the coronavirus  spread. With that in mind, we have added 5 new awards devoted to campaigns produced during the pandemic.

The 5 new awards are centred around campaigns that have successfully communicated brands' efforts to align their Brand Purpose and Social Responsibility efforts, as well as Tech Innovation initiatives to help improve consumers' experience of the brand, products/services during the pandemic.

The campaigns entered will have an eligibility period of December 2019 – 9 November 2020.

Please refer to the categories page for the list of Business Unusual 2020 awards.

New core SMARTIES Category

The SMARTIES are unique in that the awards focus mainly on the impact mobile has on business results, which is evident in the way judging criteria allocates almost half of all awarded points to results.

While achieving the above touchstones are instrumental to success, it is critical to remember that across all entries in all categories, the work must have mobile at its core.

There are now just 12 core SMARTIES categories this year, all intended to celebrate the channels used by mobile marketers, the sectors they operate in and some special awards for the most innovative brands in the industry.

Look out for a new category - Data/Insights

Use of customer data that played an integral role in the development and execution of a campaign to target, engage or develop a meaningful relationship with a specific audience or community

Eligibility & Key Dates

Smarties timelines for November- December 2020:

Monday 9th Nov: Submissions close
Tuesday 10th Nov: Phase one Judging begins- MMA peers
Monday 16th Nov: Phase two judging begins- Shortlisting by Senior Marketers
Monday 23rd Nov: Finalists for “My Smarties Pitch” released- agencies notified
Monday 30th Nov- Friday Dec 4th: “My Smarties Pitch week” Jury panel of leading Senior Marketers
Wednesday 9th Dec: MMA Smarties EMEA Ceremony- including MMA SA winners (Virtual)

Award Categories

Recognising the best in mobile for…




Business Unusual 2020

Brand Awareness
Lead Generation / Direct Response / Conversions
Product / Services Launch

Mobile Gaming, Gamification & E-Sports
Mobile App
Mobile Social

Location Based Targeting
Mobile Video
Data/Insights (New)

Social Responsibility
Brand Purpose
Customer Experience
Tech Innovation

Learn More about the MMA SA SMARTIES Categories

Judging Criteria

20% Creativity

20% Strategy

20% Execution

20% Results
(Business Impact)

Consumer Engagement
Unique mobile media types
Creativity Dynamics

Strategic objective
Target audience
Creative & Media Strategy

How execution achieved results
Mobile or Tech integration

Objective Achieved
Market impact
Campaign reception

'Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun' - Mary Lou Cook