AME's Grand Jury are experts in creating results driven work on behalf of global brands. As award-winners themselves,their stellar reputations and commitment to creative and effective work set the benchmark for innovation. Their high standard of excellence and global perspective ensure entries are reviewed with utmost attention and based on an international view of industry standards and trends.
2021 AME Grand Jury member Andre van Nierkerk, Media & Communicaitons Manager for Nestlé Nespresso MENA. He brings16 years of Traditional & Digital Media, Social Media and eCommerce experience, working with and for some of the biggest global brands, which include Chevrolet, Nespresso, Airtel, Bacardi, Coca-Cola, BMW, Renault, Pepsico, Cadbury's, Virgin Money, Olmeca, Food Network, Lay’s, Doritos, Toyota, MINI, South African Tourism, FNB, Avios, African Bank, Magrabi Optical, MTN Africa, BBC and Vodafone to name a few to the jury panel. Andre has been listed twice as one of the Top Global Digital Marketing Leaders by the World Marketing Congress, which shows his commitment & expertise in his field.
In the interview below Andre shares his experience from the brand side, offering insights on the evolution of brand positioning, values, and tone of voice during COVID, the shift in the focus of ecommerce, and why he's agreed to share his industry expertise on teh 2021 AME Grand Jury.
AME Awards: Why are effectiveness competitions like the AME Awards important?
Andre van Nierkerk: It allows brands and their agencies to truly innovate their marketing efforts, and more importantly, it allows budgets to stretch even further. The best ideas are not always the most expensive ones, and this is the beauty of a competition like this. You don’t have to be the biggest brand or most awarded agency to partake & showcase your skills.
AME Awards: How has the brand’s voice changed since the pandemic confinement measures? Speak to the evolution of brand positioning, values, and tone of voice during COVID.
Andre van Nierkerk: I don’t believe a brand’s voice had to change during the last year, the way the voice spoke to people had to be adapted. As bold as this statement may be, it’s of my own opinion that people needed brands to be there for them. Many of us felt alone, lost and somehow needed that sense of comfort from the most trusted sources we know – THE BRANDS WE LOVE.
2020’s stand-out campaigns, were the ones that allowed people back into their comfort zone and made them feel part of something again.
AME Awards: What will advertising look like next year? What brands have evolved and succeeded during this year and why?
Andre van Nierkerk: With the global advertising landscape shifting it’s focus (and very quickly) towards eCommerce, I strongly believe there will be even more focus on this channel going forward. It’s not only become a must-have, but an opportunity that saved many brands from complete disaster during the past year.
I avidly follow luxury brands to see how they are evolving & how their product changes to meet the demand of a much younger, savvier consumer. Traditionally, luxury brands have worked on a model called “Exclusivity” – My motto: Disrupt yourself before anyone else does it… Why can these brands not carve the way forward for eCommerce & give consumers a whole new way of shopping for something that everyone wants?
Dior stands out as the brand with an upper hand in terms of evolution. Their colab with Nike sold out globally in hours, and created a 5-million-person waitlist for the coveted shoes… What a great position to be in as a brand, during a pandemic. Go where the demand is, and you will soar.
AME Awards: Why did you agree to participate on this year’s AME Grand Jury and What do you hope to learn by viewing entries into this competition?
Andre van Nierkerk: It’s so important to give back to the industry. We have the ability to reward the efforts and hours individuals put in to make our brands stand out. It’s the simple executions & ideas that make the difference. I am an avid supporter of “less is more” and hope to see some amazing ideas that tower out above the rest.
A key learning from the entries would be to see how a campaign / idea changed user behavior during a time when people felt lost & brands were shy with spending.