Bumper crop of Pendoring entries exceeds all expectations

Just like South Africa’s sport stars wished to shine at the Rio Olympic Games and bring home a gold, silver or bronze medal, the advertising creatives responsible for the bumper crop of 444 Pendoring entries are striving to take home a gold or silver Pendoring. This is only the third time in Pendoring’s 21 years of existence that the number of entries is well over 400.

Most pleasing is the number of indigenous language entries, with Zulu leading the way, followed by Xhosa and Sotho.  To stimulate and reward advertising in South Africa’s indigenous languages (excluding English) was precisely what motivated the Pendoring board to open its doors to all of these languages to compete on an equal footing this year.

To crown it all, it was a record year for Afrikaans entries. The large number of student entries – nearly double that of 2015 – also came as a pleasant surprise. The categories Craft and Radio Communication drew the most entries from the agencies, while students mostly entered work in the Print Communication and Communication Design categories.

Franette Klerck, Pendoring GM, is elated about the strong increase in entries. ”It exceeded all of our expectations. I believe that Pendoring’s initiative to open its doors to all indigenous languages to compete on an equal footing definitely played a role. The industry reacted very positively to this step because it understands the importance of mother tongue advertising in reaching a specific target group.

“The enormous consumer market, which uses languages other than English as a home language, will hopefully inspire marketers to also focus on these languages in future in all their marketing communication.

“Pendoring’s sought-after gold and silver trophies, but especially the Prestige and Umpetha Awards, each comprising an overseas study tour worth R100 000, have undoubtedly also motivated creatives to enter the Awards,” she emphasises.

Esmaré Weideman, CEO of Media24, one of Pendoring’s platinum sponsors, is also excited about the news. “The great number of entries is proof that, in spite of the tough economy and a shift in consumers’ media usage, Afrikaans advertising is moving forward. Media owners know only too well that their markets react positively to the language of their hearts. It is encouraging that marketers also see it that way.”

Adds Molefi Thulo, Ogilvy Johannesburg creative director who will be heading the judging panel this year: “Being asked to be head of jury for Pendoring 2016 has been an incredible honour. Not only because Pendoring has been tenacious at pushing creativity that’s truly South African, but also because this year sees an astounding number of entries – at 444 the highest number since 2012.

“The message then is clear– there’s a love and a bright future for our indigenous languages. So when it comes to judging and awarding the entries, I’ll personally be looking for work that is innovative, inspiring, genuinely representing the language it’s in, and crafted to the highest standard. And I’m sure the esteemed panel of judges will join me in commending Pendoring for giving home-grown work a platform to shine.”

Richardt Strydom, content director at Breinstorm Brand Architects, former graphic design lecturer at Northwest University and specialist judge in the student section, says: “It is gladdening to see that students so eagerly jump at the opportunity and challenge of multilingualism. I believe the future of South African advertising lies in its diversity and unique specialist audiences. It is particularly pleasing to know that our young creatives can express our truly South African stories and brand experiences in a rich multilingualism and with unique visual material. I’m really looking forward to seeing what this year’s entries have to offer.”

Judging will take place from 7-9 September 2016 at Media Park in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. The finalists will be announced on Friday, 16 September 2016 and the winners on 28 October 2016 at the glittering gala event at Vodacom World in Midrand.

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Molefi Thulo, Ogilvy Johannesburg creative director

Richardt Strydom, content director at Breinstorm Brand Architects