Most annual reports are turgid slabs of text, documents that only financial analysts have the stamina to read. Not so the reports of Vox Telecom.
For the fourth year running, the AltX-listed telecommunications group has modelled its annual report after a popular magazine.
This year’s report, for the financial year ended August 2009, is based on Sports Illustrated. Called Vox Illustrated, the theme is — you guessed it — sports.
It’s not often you’ll see the directors of a listed company in shorts and t-shirts hamming it up in the gym! But that’s exactly what CEO Tony van Marken and group MD Doug Reed, along with fellow executives Jacques du Toit, Gary Sweidan and Mike van Holdt, are photographed doing in this year’s report.
Edited by Vox marketing head Clayton Timcke, with photography by Jurie Potgieter, Vox Illustrated is meant as a marketing document as much as it is a record of the company’s financial position, says Van Marken.
In previous years, Vox’s annual reports have been modelled on National Geographic and Time magazines. Last year’s report, Vox Geographic, won a Lourie at the advertising industry’s annual awards ceremony.
Van Marken says the idea is to “educate and entertain” the group’s customers and prospective customers. “Every employee gets one and our salespeople use it as a selling tool,” Van Marken says. “Customers love it — it’s a talking point.”
Readers should get a chuckle out of seeing Van Marken and Reed kitted out as football coaches, or seeing Vox Core hosting manager Justin Elms pretending to play squash in the group’s data centre facility.
Then there’s an article on a 14-member Vox expedition, led by Van Marken, a keen mountaineer, up Turkey’s Mount Ararat. Van Marken has led a number of such expeditions in recent years.
Van Marken credits Xfacta, a boutique agency, for many of the creative ideas behind the Vox annual reports. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral