Hermaneutics, a column by Herman Manson (@marklives) This year the Pendoring Awards will yet again be sidelined by the Creative Circle, even as it shares the Creative Week stage with the Loeries. The Loeries remains the only local creative award that counts to the Creative Circle points system, except for their pendoringown Ad of the Month of course.

But Pendoring General Manager Franette Klerck doesn’t seem fussed. Pendoring has been held, successfully, for 19 years. It has been steadily moving away from being an Afrikaans language creative award show to something that is taking on the sophisticated, multi-lingual character of South Africa in 2013, a move that will be accelerated, Klerck suggests. Last year Khaya Dlanga was tweeting “Black folks winning all over the place … #Pendoring Is this a case of Nationalise Pendorings?”

Its move towards celebrating advertising in South Africa’s diverse languages, rather than (mostly) English, not only makes it more relevant, but also explains the shifting demographics of the winners at the show.

Klerck says that this year the Radio and Truly South African categories saw a surge in entries, while digital, which was the stand out category last year, declined. Digital entries often did not use the different platforms available to it well enough. Integrated campaigns also disappointed, as did the student category, which tended to be either well executed or well conceptualised, rather than both.

Bigger agencies dominated the finalist list this year. Joe Public has 14 finalists, followed by Draftfcb Cape Town with six. Draftfcb Johannesburg, Etiket, and TBWA\Hunt Lascaris Johannesburg each has five finalists while Ogilvy, Johannesburg and Black River F.C. each has four finalists.

The Jupiter Drawing Room, Cape Town and tbsp///beyond the line each has three finalists, while Studio Zoo, MetropolitanRepublic, The Jupiter Drawing Room, Johannesburg and Baie-Lingual Concepts each has two. Orijin, Haas Advertising, FoxP2, Cape Town, M&C Saatchi Abel, Cape Town, and ThirtyFour each produced one finalist.

Brands represented on the finalist list includes Cell C, Clover, Toyota,, Douwe Egberts, Nissan and Hyundai.

Last year the finalist tally looked like this: Ogilvy Johannesburg (12) followed by Joe Public (10), Draftfcb Johannesburg (8), House of Brave (7) and The Jupiter Drawing Room (Johannesburg and Cape Town) 5. TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg and Black River F.C. had four each, and Net#work BBDO and Dojo115 three each. Etiket, human.kind advertising, MetropolitanRepublic, ninety9cents and The Suits Communications each had two  finalists, while BesterBurke, DDB South Africa, Gloo, EURO RSCG, Marchand, 60 layers of cake (now part of Jupiter), Studio Zoo and Trigger had one finalist each.

Some changes have been made to the judging process. Where the international judge used to be able to change awards (so downgrade something from say gold to silver), this year the judging panels’ decisions are final. They also get to award the Prestige Award, another prerogative that used to be granted to the international judge. Instead of bringing in experts to assist the judging panel in the Truly South African categories a whole new judging panel was put in place diminishing reliance on interpreters and allowing the nuances of the different languages to come into play during the decision making process. It shows the awards are serious about being multi-lingual rather than Afrikaans (now to sync its PR and marketing efforts with the message!).

This year entries fell from over 480 to 360. The Loeries had, in their own words, introduced a ‘substantial’ increase in entry fees this year, which affected the Pendoring Awards. The Loeries told the Financial Mail that sponsorship revenue now makes up less that 50% of its budget which will now be driven by ‘entries and ticket sales.’ The hike in Loeries fees was expected to impact on Pendoring entry levels, says Klerck, especially because agencies have a singe awards budget, and a larger slice of that budget would naturally go to entries recognised by the Creative Circle. Entry levels are still up on 2011.

In spite of Creative Circle chair Chris Gotz promising to engage on bringing the Pendoring Awards into the organisations points system no progress has been made in this regard. Klerck says the broader industry needs to drive change and is becoming increasingly vocal in this regard. Here’s hoping for change sooner rather than later.

The Gala event takes place Friday, 20 September 2013, at the CTICC.

* MarkLives is an official Partner of the Pendoring Awards 2013. The partnership respects our editorial integrity and right to report critically and independently on the awards.

* Hermaneutics is a column by editor Herman Manson. It indicates as much opinion as reporting.


Published by Herman Manson is edited by Herman Manson. Follow us on Twitter -

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