The MMA SA is launching the inaugural sub-Saharan Africa Smarties (SSA Smarties) this year, expanding into key markets like Kenya and Nigeria
Announcing the SSA Smarties, Sarah Utermark, country director of the MMA SA says it is a natural progression.

“These are strong innovation tech markets and a burgeoning marketing industry leads the way for the regions,” says Utermark.

The MMA SA has evolved with the marketing landscape to be at the cutting edge of industry evolution.

Its awards platform the Smarties has evolved to embrace the latest trends in marketing, shifting its focus from mobile innovation to cutting-edge technologies like AI, CX, and purpose-driven marketing.

It makes sense then that the SSA expansion will target countries like Kenya and Nigeria first – the technology and innovation hubs of the region – as they, alongside South Africa, lead the AI wave and are at the forefront of digital evolution in this region.

“Our ultimate goal is to build a strong presence among key sub-Saharan countries, as we have done in South Africa. The impetus behind this expansion, is to build on the remarkable success of Smarties SA since its inception in 2013, with attendance and entries growing each year,” CEO of MMA global Asia Pacific and global head of Smarties Worldwide, Rohit Dadwal.

Dadwal adds, “This next chapter in the MMA SA Smarties has been spurred on by the success of the Smarties – our global awards platform – which has exceeded expectations year-on-year, and the unwavering support shown by CMOs on our South African Board who hold regional responsibilities that stretch into the sub-Saharan region.”
Confirmed categories

Over the years the MMA SA Smarties have grown to reflect 32 categories, ranging from data insights, blockchain and NFT, to social impact and UX & Design.

Confirmed categories for the SSA Smarties include a dedicated AI in marketing category and an Emerging Tech category. The awards will include the Advertiser of the Year, Brand of the Year, Publisher of the Year, Enabling Technology Company of the Year and Agency Network of the Year.
Warc 100 ranks

The Smarties was recently invited into the ranks of the Warc 100 (the World Advertising Research Centre) and the Research Company Evaluating the Media Agency Industry organisation (Recma) – making it the first awards platform in South Africa to achieve this coveted status.

This means that all Smarties winners – including those selected from the sub-Saharan region – now compete against the best in the world and can win multiple titles of excellence by automatically being entered into the Warc 100 and Recma rankings as well as the MMA EMEA’s Business Impact Index (BII).

Agencies from across the sub-Saharan Africa region are invited to submit their entries for the Smarties sub-Saharan Africa Awards by 2 August 2024.
Entries and jury nominations

Early Bird entries close on 10 June 2024. The Gala Awards evening takes place on 14 November 2024.

Jury Week takes place from Monday 16 September until Friday 20 September 2024, and the industry is invited to submit nominations for judges from across the region to join the Judging panel.

To submit an entry, visit Smarties