LUSAKA — Personal care company Lil-Lets and South African public relations firm Retroviral took home the Platinum SABRE Award for the best public relations campaign of the year at the African SABRE Awards ceremony, which took place yesterday in the Zambian capital of Lusaka, as part of the African Public Relations Association annual meeting.

The “Be You. Period” campaign had previously come in third among entries from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, at the EMEA SABRE Awards ceremony in Frankfurt.

“The ‘Be You. Period” campaign was a superb example of the kind of bold creative approach we saw from many African entries this year,” said Paul Holmes, who chaired the SABRE jury in Africa. “It was brave and inclusive, it used digital channels and traditional media and innovative content creation to start a conversation in South Africa and beyond in a way that empowered people with periods to take control of their own bodies.”

The campaign beat out four other finalists for the Platinum SABRE. They were:

  1. Vodacom Africa. Connected: Working together towards an inclusive, digital future—Vodacom with WE Communications
  2. Keep Walking Africa Top 30—Johnnie Walker and TRACE with Celebrity Services Africa, Omnicom Media Group, Publicis Groupe
  3. Mercy Ships Africa Celebrations—Mercy Ships with APO Group
  4. Reimagining Mental Health— Investec Life with Razor PR / M&C Saatchi Group SA

“The quality of work from across the continent was exceptional this year, and should dispel forever the idea that Africa is playing catch up with the rest of the world in terms of strategy, creativity and effectiveness,” said Holmes. “Budgets may still be smaller in Africa, but these campaigns deserve to take their place among the best work in the world.”

As previously announced, pan-African communications consultancy APO Group and its clients have won five African SABRE Awards, more than any other firm in this year’s competition. The work covered campaigns for the Basketball Africa League, the Jack Ma Foundation, and not-for-profit Mercy Ships.

Global agency BCW and Retroviral each took home four trophies each. Other multiple winners include Ogilvy South Africa, and Razor PR / M&C Saatchi Group  (three trophies each) and Edelman, Hill+Knowlton, MSL, P&L Consulting and WE Communications (two each).

A complete list of winners can be found here.