Big brands changing the youth marketing landscape

2013 Student Village Makoya Youth Award winners announced

For the fourth year in a row, BlackBerry took home top honours in the 2013 Student Village Makoya Youth Awards after winning The REAL MAKOYA award. This award is given to the brand that demonstrated the most successful 360 degree (multiple channels) youth campaign in 2013.

In 2013, BlackBerry cleverly developed a number of channels in support of its incredible music mentorship programme. This programme culminated in students from various universities countrywide being given the opportunity to be mentored by music sensation, Khuli Chana, with the winning finalists getting the opportunity to go into a studio with Khuli himself, to produce their very own singles.

Student Village CEO Ronen Aires says: “The BlackBerry brand has definitely asserted their dominance in the South African student market. This is why this year it is once again the smartphone of choice for this market. This is a brand that consistently demonstrates what it means to be part of the ‘conversation’ with young people, as well as developing a richer and deeper brand experience year on year.With a youth market that has higher expectations than ever - in terms of the experience and messages they expect from brand – it isn’t easy being the REAL Makoya!”

The Student Village Makoya Youth Awards are based on research conducted nationwide amongst over 1000 students via campus surveys and focus groups. The award nominations cover a number of areas that include media, marketing activations, social media and graduate recruitment. 

The brands and activations are chosen by the students themselves, and are based on what campaigns they felt really stood out for them over the year. “While the awards are not limited to campus activations, most of the winners are linked to campus and this is no surprise considering that it is the place where students spend most of their time,” adds Aires.

“The Makoya Youth Awards are growing from strength to strength with a number of new brands being recognised for their work with the youth. These awards certainly showcase the strong focus that is being placed on youth marketing locally and the race to win this market over,” continues Aires.

The nominees and winners in each of the 9 award categories available were announced at a breakfast event at Country Club Johannesburg in Woodmead on Tuesday, 5th November 2013, with a summary of the winners as follows:

  • Best Graduate Recruitment Campaign went to Unilever for their perfect mix of brand experience and creative platforms with career fairs, lecture presentations, giveaways, print and campus publication advertising, use of social media & reps on campus across the country.
  • Most Aspirational Graduate Employerwent to Anglo American for the second year in a row as a result of their BLAST (Building Leaders and Shaping Talent) programme
  • The OMG! Award went to Mountain Dew for its Dew Tour Bootcamp.
  • The Eye CatcherAward was snatched by Estee Lauder for its Pleasures Eau Fraiche Love Locks campaign.
  • The Out the Box Award went to Red Bull once again this year for an ongoing campaign that looked at funky, intriguing activations varying in nature – such as the Redbull Sound car and Skateramp.
  • The campaign with the biggest social conscience – which is given to the brand whose activation mobilised students to give back to community and not benefit the brand directly – went to 5 FM’s Young Blood campaign.
  • And last but certainly not least, the Social Media SuperstarAward was given to Miller Genuine Draft for its 2 Chainz campaign.

Aires says that “today brands are starting to realise the value of the youth market far more, by going above and beyond their creative limits to ensure they are engaging students with hip and relevant content and opportunities.”

The OMG! and WTF? Awards are designed to highlight a brand’s ability to make an impression and be controversial or provocative. With Mountain Dew’s Dew Tour Boot camp it definitely made an impression on campus – bringing action sports such as BMX and skating to campus.

“Aptly the Out of the Box Award, saw Red Bull delighting and surprising students by popping up on campuses doing unexpected and, many times, extreme activities such as; starting an instant party with their sound car and erecting a skate ramp in the parking lot with skaters demonstrating some mad tricks, to name a few.”

“With four new winning contenders in this year’s awards, including; Miller Genuine Draft, Mountain Dew and 5FM’s Youngblood 5 campaign - there is no doubt that brands are becoming highly competitive in the youth market. The key is to entice and capturing audiences through actively involving them in exciting, interactive and age-relevant activities that speak directly to them emotively,” continued Aires.

Lastly, Pleasures won the Eye Catcher Award for bringing ‘love’ to campus and did it by using love locks. Students were able to write their and their loved ones’ names on padlocks, lock them on a fence and throw away the key. Students were also treated to a pampering of the senses including; smell where Pleasures fragrances were sampled, taste, where students received sweets to delight the tastebuds, sound, where romantic music was played at the events, and sight – an eye catching area that was emotive and connected.

“This year’s awards demonstrated how students are expecting more in terms of experiential activations, but are only clearly connecting with brands that actually speak directly to what’s hot and trendy, as well as brands that connect emotively with them.”

“There is no doubt that brands need to continue to recognise this constantly changing and evolving environment” concludes Aires.

For more information go to

About Student Village:

Student Village is the leading provider of youth marketing solutions on South African campuses and the most credible source of information on what’s hot and what’s not in the 18 to 25 target market. It is also the go-to source for all information linked to graduate recruitment and career development is the largest student social networking portal in Africa and is a leading source of information on graduate recruitment and career development. For more information go to

Unilever South Africa - Unathi Mgobozi External Affairs Manager

+27 31 570 3000
031 570 2470

Explore more on these topics:

Back to top


We are always looking to connect with people who have an interest in a sustainable future.


Contact Unilever and our expert teams to find contacts around the world.

Contact us