2015 Big Reads: The creative work you made time to read about in 2015
by MarkLives (@marklives) We list the 10 most-read stories talking about creative work on MarkLives in 2015.
A total of 166 Loerie Awards were handed out on Saturday, including 17 Gold, and six Craft Golds. Of these, four Student Gold and one Student Craft Gold were awarded. Only one Grand Prix was handed out — to KFC and Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg — for ‘SoundBite’ in the Applications, Games & Interactive tools category.
There’s a beautiful quote about horses by Australian poet, Pam Brown, that speaks so eloquently about the relationship that humans share with these elegant creatures. “A horse is the projection of people’s dreams about themselves — strong, powerful, beautiful — and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence.”
This quote is so apt, given that this week we pay homage to Nedbank and the star of its new television commercial: a horse. And you’re right — the green bank has been making some really great ads of late.
A‘highlight’ earlier this year was undoubtedly the State of the Nation (SONA) address in Parliament. Most people knew it was going to be exciting — I just don’t know if anyone expected it to be as exciting as it was. Well, until the actual speech got underway, that is.
Many Twitter users streaming #SONA2015 on the day would have spotted the Photoshopped images of President Jacob Zuma, leader of the opposition Helen Zille, and EFF ‘Commander in Chief’ Julius Malema in various different scenes, enjoying a ‘good time’ together.
Brand owners and advertising people of the great southern bit of Africa, roll up, roll up — it’s that time of the year again! After choosing his favourite advert each week for close on 50 weeks, Oresti Patricios got to choose the crème de la crème, the pick of the bunch: the Ad of the Year!
Here, then, is the countdown of the top seven Ads of the Year for 2015. [#AdoftheYear: South Africa’s best ads 2015 (part 2) ran after our Big Read list was compiled so should feature in the 2016 list.]
- One of a Kind by King James Group for Santam
- Tears of the Hipster by FoxP2 for Garagista
- More Than You Expect by Ninety9cents for Checkers
- #CelebrateDefender by Y&R South Africa for Land Rover
- #thedress by Ireland/Davenport for Salvation Army’s Carehaven
- Reins by Joe Public for Nedbank Business Banking
- Tuluver by Utopia for BirdLife South Africa
- #TIA/This Is Africa by Ogilvy & Mather South Africa for DStv
- Night Tour Shadows by Y&R South Africa for Johannesburg Zoo
- Without 5 by King James II for 5FM
YouTube has spawned a new generation of video creators — people who create content in the form of short programmes, traditionally done using a webcam. But ever since the first YouTube millionaires hit the headlines, production values have improved dramatically.
Today’s mini-moviemakers seem to have access to uber production, including proper editing, graphics and scripting. South Africa is up with this trend, and, although some attempts are cringe-worthy, there a host of breakthrough and standout brands — and Suzelle DIY is becoming a firm favourite after I added her channel to my subscription list.
The “Bitesized Do-It-Yourself Webseries” is conceived by filmmaker and animator Ari Kruger and illustrator/designer Julia Anastasopoulos, also known as Knolc. In December 2014, online retailer Takealot.com used the holiday season and four episodes of Suzelle DIY to promote the brand, as well as its wish list feature— and I think it’s a very clever association.
From Nkandla to load-shedding, from chaos in parliament to ISIS, the bad news seems to be coming at us hard and fast. Thankfully, there’s a flame-grilled chicken brand with a good sense of humour that’s campaigning hard to get us to laugh.
Renowned for its cheeky, topical and sometimes off-the-wall campaigns, Nando’s always seems to connect with the zeitgeist. And in its latest online ad, from Publicis Machine, it has identified the sense of fatigue that many of us are experiencing with all the ‘bad news’ that gets served up on news sites.
We love campaigns that use new media (sometimes along with ‘old’ media) in innovative and interesting ways. Smirnoff has raised the bar with a multi-channel campaign that promotes one of its more club-oriented products — Smirnoff Ice Double Black with Guarana. Yes, guaraná, that caffeine alternative that all students and ravers know and love.
Consumer complaints were lodged against FNB’s campaign around “Steve” that was flighted on radio and television as well as published on billboards. The theme for the campaign focuses on how people should “Un-Steve” themselves by moving to FNB rather than suffering the frustrations they currently endure.
The complainants submitted in essence that the campaign is offensive as:
- It is insulting to any person named Steve as it portrays such people as idiots, boring and dull, which might cause such people to have self-esteem issues.
- It is insulting and might cause little boys to be nasty and tease other boys who are named Steve. Some of the complainants added that their child (called Steve) was already the subject of teasing at school.
Asking for a donation is a hard sell. Asking people for organ donation is even harder. There’s nothing in it for the donor, apart from the knowledge that — in the tiny eventuality that you are involved in a fatal accident — your body will be harvested for the ‘spare parts’ that will make someone else’s life better.
[It is emotionally difficult to remember 2014’s top ad because that was ‘won’ by a campaign that championed the cause of 19-year-old Capetonian, Jenna Lowe. The young organ-donation lobbyist passed away in June 2015, but her legacy lives on at the Jenna Lowe Trust. If you’re looking for a good cause to support, please consider supporting this trust which works to raise awareness for pulmonary hypertension in South Africa.]
South Africa has many cultural ‘quirks’ that we, who live here, consider normal. Visitors enjoy finding out about them as it gives them a sense of ‘insider’s knowledge,’ of having been exposed to — and become part of — something special.
The new Santam TV commercial, created by King James Group, celebrates this specialness, holding up a mirror to South Africans of some of those things we find normal every day, but are totally weird and inexplicable to a foreigner.
[It was also voted as our 2015 Ad of the Year!]
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