About the Awards

A DMASA Assegai Award is a mark of victory in Direct Marketing excellence.

The Assegai Awards acknowledge and awards those whose Direct Marketing campaigns deliver exceptional results.

Since their inception, the Assegai Awards have striven to benchmark the South African Direct Marketing industry, to highlight best-in-class examples and encourage all players in the industry to work towards achieving greatness in their campaigns. The ultimate goal remains to keep raising the bar for the whole industry.

The DMASA and our partners on the brand, agency and support fronts see new and clearer trends emerging with each awards cycle. We want to capture these. The Assegai Awards is also a platform for shared experience and fast-tracking learnings about the latest trends. Through showcasing and sharing in each others’ work we’re able to make sure everyone in the industry is connected to the latest happenings, so that future campaigns drive towards one goal – successful, interesting, exceptional marketing.

An Assegai Award does not give honours for extravagant production values, enormous budgets or big-name companies. Rather, it recognises breakthrough strategy, creative brilliance and outstanding results in all Direct Marketing media, from mail and print to digital, from mobile to broadcast.

History of the Awards

The journey of the Assegai began in 1998, not long after the dawn of democracy.

The Direct Marketing Association of South Africa recognised a need in the market for a high-profile event that would serve not only as an acknowledgement of excellent work done, but also as a networking forum for players in the Direct Marketing field.

Michelle Perrow, DMA Board member, was tasked with the bringing the envisioned event to life.

The first order of business was naming the award, and, following industry submissions and a vote, the overwhelming majority of members selected the “Assegai” as the symbol of Direct Marketing excellence. This symbol speaks of the ability to aim at and find your target – of “spearing a specific niche”. The DMASA Assegai Committee then exhaustively studied best-of-breed international programmes and structured the Assegai Awards to suit all direct media and meet all criteria.

In its early years, the Assegais proved highly successful, attracting hundreds of entries and full attendance at the gala evenings. Through experience and by adopting a “learning” approach, the architecture and judging criteria were refined. However, in 2004, under the MFSA, the Assegais were integrated into the Loerie Awards.

This ultimately proved unsuccessful, with one award focusing mainly on the creative component and the Assegais on ROI. 2005: The year the DMA was re-established saw no awards and, in 2006, the DMA created a “direct” section within the newly established Marketing Excellence Awards.

The market wanted their Assegais back, though, and these were successfully re-launched in 2007, independent of other awards. Since then, the Assegais have moved from strength to strength, adding and revising categories in line with market trends anddevelopments, as well as significantly increasing the number ofentries year-on-year, bearing testimony to the growing impact of Direct Marketing in South Africa.