At the 2021 Marketing Achievement Awards online event, held on the evening of 31 March, Hollard Highway Heroes took the Excellence in Brand Marketing B2B category, achieving this honour ahead of household brand names such as Nando’s and Discovery.
Highway Heroes began in 2015, under the auspices of Regent Trucking. When Regent was acquired by Hollard in 2017 and incorporated into Hollard Insure, the group’s short-term insurance division, the competition became Hollard-branded – and then it really took off.
From only 220 entries in the first year of competition to 3 213 in 2019 (there was no competition in 2020, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic), Highway Heroes has grown exponentially. Prizes grew in size and number with the competition, too, with the 2019 winner taking home a very respectable R100 000 grand prize.
The beauty of Highway Heroes, unlike many corporate-sponsored competitions, is that it makes winners out of truck drivers, who can win life-changing prizes, their employers and their insurance brokers, Hollard itself and the general public. Encouraging sustained good driving means fewer accidents, fewer insurance claims and safer roads for all.
The Marketing Achievement Award win recognises the success of both the Hollard Trucking and Hollard Insure Marketing teams, in building Highway Heroes into the highly anticipated and popular competition it is today.
Adel Kriel, Head of Marketing for Hollard Insure, says, “We are super-thrilled to receive this award. Winning such an award is all about the partnership between Marketing and Business, having a clear business objective and developing a robust marketing plan to support this.
“Our marketer, Sara Wright’s passion for Highway Heroes, and her hard work, have paid off. This campaign is all about creating better futures for our highway heroes – truck drivers – and it speaks clearly to our company’s #BetterFutures business purpose.”
In turn, Sara pays tribute to her Highway Heroes team for the success, stating: “It has been a privilege and an honour to be part of this wonderful campaign, and to work with such a passionate and dedicated team. This is truly a campaign that is close to all our hearts!”
Highway Heroes campaign manager Elka du Piesanie also highlights the efforts of the Highway Heroes team by quoting legendary American football coach Vince Lombardi, who said, “Individual commitment to a group effort, that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilisation work.”
Elka continues, “I am so very proud to be part of this journey and it goes to show that hard work pays off in the end. Highway Heroes is a campaign with absolute ‘heart’ and its authenticity cannot be underestimated.
“I wholeheartedly believe in the brand and the fact that it truly creates better futures for all.”
Head of Trucking Wayne Rautenbach – who says this award is “a great achievement” – has the last word, and he lauds the people at the heart of Highway Heroes: truck drivers.
“This journey began in 2015, and we have come a long way since then. We set out to recognise the South African truck drivers who through their hard work and dedication make sure that all South Africans have daily access to every consumable they need.
“We realised that for the most part drivers were going unnoticed for all they good they do, and were only noticed for the bad. Highway Heroes has done so much for truck drivers, and we have experienced and heard amazing stories of what these individuals have to endure to keep our economy rolling.
“The highlight has always been the awards evening; the look of gratitude and pride on the winners’ faces is enough to make the hardest of truckers shed a tear, so without the drivers this campaign would not have been possible.
“We salute these heroes and we are determined to continue with the Hollard Highway Heroes campaign into the future. It has been a truly amazing journey!” says Wayne.