John Brown Media South Africa takes home four Golds at the 2020 Pearl Awards

John Brown Media South Africa (JBSA) won four Golds awards at the 2020 Pearl Awards in New York City, beating agencies from around the world, in what is a phenomenal achievement for us.

JBSA took home Gold in these categories for our work:

The annual awards are handed out by The Content Council to ‘the companies, campaigns and individuals using content marketing to deliver marketing excellence and business results’.

“After what can only be described as a challenging year for most, we are so proud and grateful to have won these highly coveted Content Council Pearl Awards on behalf of our incredibly talented teams and client partners,” says Lani Carstens, group managing director at JBSA. “The Pearl Awards celebrate the best work in custom publishing and are recognised as the industry leader in content marketing awards. To be recognised globally by our industry peers is a huge honour.”

MiNDSPACE and Today

MiNDSPACE, a thought-leadership magazine produced by JBSA for Old Mutual Corporate, was awarded Gold in the Best Print Experience B2B category. Relaunched as an omnichannel go-to source of expert financial, business and curated lifestyle content, it covers a strong selection of topics in line with the audience’s interests and the client’s objectives.

“Now that thought leadership underpins the MiNDSPACE content offering, the brand has shifted from being a marketing tool to being a respected magazine that can confidently take its place among business consumer titles – that is something I’m very proud of,” says Gugu-Lisa Zwane-Johnson, Executive Head: Marketing at Old Mutual Corporate.

A second Gold was awarded to Old Mutual CorporateToday in the Best Print Experience B2C category. Created by JBSA, the bi-annual magazine presents financial information in an inspiring, engaging, lifestyle-driven way with clear, practical how-to guidance.

Today succeeds as a financial-lifestyle publication that focuses on improving the financial wellbeing of our readers to help them achieve the life and future they want. The holistic content approach has their needs and struggles at heart and allows us to enrich their lives beyond money matters and personal finance,” says Zwane-Johnson.


JBSA’s Capitec Move Campaign took Gold in the Most Effective Financial Services category for the innovative content strategy in support of Capitec bank’s new brand positioning: ‘Simplify banking. Live better’. Based on audience insights and proprietary research, JBSA built a content campaign that spoke of simplicity. Of certainty. Of calmness. Of happiness. Our creative platform was ‘One thing : One object. One fact. One feeling. One idea.’

“I believe what set the campaign apart was the simplicity of the messaging, which was practical, emotive and delivered through content that delights. Our approach was to view consumers as a whole, rather than just potential banking clients, as we shared ways they could simplify almost every area of life,” says Matthew Smith, content & PR manager at Capitec.

“The results speak to the success of the campaign and bringing home Gold at the Pearl Awards is a massive accolade for John Brown that confirms we have partnered with the right agency. It’s definitely good a way to end 2020 and I would like to congratulate John Brown on this phenomenal achievement,” adds Smith.  

Pick n Pay

The fourth and final Gold awarded was awarded to us for the Pick n Pay Braille magazine in the Most Innovative Content Solution category.

It was her love of Fresh Living that led a visually impaired customer, Jennine Britz, to contact Pick n Pay and offer her Braille translation services so that her favourite magazine could be shared with South Africa’s visually impaired community.  

Thanks to the collaboration between a customer from inside the community and an editor with a keen sense of innovation, Pick n Pay and JBSA shone a light on the lack of inspirational food content for the visually impaired.
Fresh Living’s editor, Justine Drake, says: At Pick n Pay and Fresh Living, we make much of celebrating and embracing our differences, and our decision to print a Braille version presented a really tangible way to demonstrate this.”

“We listen carefully to our customers and we’re delighted that we could expand Fresh Living’s reach to our visually impaired customers. It’s been a rewarding learning process to publish the Braille edition,” says John Bradshaw, retail executive: marketing at Pick n Pay.