by Herman Manson (@marklives) Ah, Durban, the chillest place in South Africa and, once again, the destination for (mostly) South African advertising creatives looking for some awards-bling and a good time. Regardless, as they gathered on Friday, 17 August 2018, at a Durban ICC conference room to take in talks by various speakers, it was all business.

Nobody could tell me who the MC was (bit aggressive, yoh), and not even the Rastafarian accent could chill the vibes. White walkers promoed DStv — or, as Fahmeeda Cassim-Surtee, DStv media sales CEO, positioned it — “the blesser for today’s creative seminar” and, possibly a little optimistically, as “breaker of Netflix”.

Note on the featured image: Taken from the presentation of Mzamo Masito, CMO, Google Africa, South Africa. His opening slide talked to the power of words and of how one word affected him all his life, ever since he heard it for the first time, aged four.


Here are my take-home points from the seminar (in order of them being made at the conference).

Ramsey Naja
CCO, J. Walter Thompson Middle East & Africa

  1. Advertising, for clients, has become about instant gratification. It’s all short-term KPIs and the the next quarterly revenue cycle.
  2. Brands are being shaped by three factors: worthiness, usefulness and entertainment value. What do you do for me? Are you useful? And do you entertain me? A combination of all three creates news, and potentially affects culture.

Lethepu Matshaba
VP Homecare Southern Africa, Unilever South Africa

  1. The pace of change will never be slow again. We won’t be able to turn back from a hyper- fragmented, connected and empowered marketplace.
  2. On the importance of diversity (race, gender, thinking, you name it): “If two of us are the same, one of us is irrelevant.”

Nicolas Courant
ECD, Ogilvy & Mather Singapore

  1. Ninety-nine percent of what the ad industry produces is crap. It’s fallen into the crap trap.
  2. The best way of cutting through the clutter is not creating more clutter. Do less, do better.
  3. Always ask why people should give a damn about what we do (no answer is also an answer).
  4. Consumers have developed an insincerity detector to protect themselves from people selling stuff (that would be you).

Mzamo Masito
CMO, Google Africa, South Africa

  1. His opening slide talked to the power of words. And of how one word affected him all his life, ever since he heard it for the first time, aged four. Write new words, he told copywriters.

  1. Creativity can help decolonise your mind (in reference to a painting of a black, dreadlocked Jesus he saw in an American church, when he was 17).
  2. Creativity is art and science. Clients have parked their guts and intuition to focus on research. Strategists are failing to make data accessible to creatives and ad schools have failed to embrace science and mathematics, to the detriment of their students and the industry.
  3. We need to be deliberately, intentionally and pro-actively inclusive.

Sebastian Padilla
Co-founder, Anagrama Mexico

  1. When you start a business, surround yourself with the right people. Look for energy, diversity, principles, skills and trust. Then share power.

Fabian Frese
CCO, Kolle Rebbe Germany

  1. Support startups. You can learn from them, you can access young talent and they can help you invest your own products.
  2. Frese won a Grand Prix at Cannes. He felt nothing. He needed change from boredom. He resigned from a dream job to reinvent his career. Boredom tells you it’s time for change.

Ian Mackenzie

  1. What if the big story about the big idea is wrong?
  2. Ideas are networks (the more diverse your team, the more network nodes you have access to). Sometimes executional creativity brings forth ideas.

Awards evenings

Like Design Indaba 2018, Loeries 2018 felt somewhat austere. The venue wasn’t vast, yet it never truly filled up. DJ Ready, the real juggernaut of the Loeries, kept everybody in high spirits, even when the ceremonies felt uncharacteristically long (even by Loeries standards!). Donovan Goliath MCed both awards evenings and did good job at it, too.

The selfie-takers hogged the red carpet. Everybody else dodged flashing iPhones or simply photobombed the lot.

The vibe was happy and relaxed but the amount of alcohol that flowed into the hall was unnecessary and disrupted the event (as people got up and crawled over one another to get to the aisles and the exits, either to get refills or to find a loo. Repeatedly.) Even in chillest this shows no chill. Some adulting here would not have gone amiss.

Everybody rushed for the doors while the final winners of the evening went on stage to collect their trophies. I felt bad for those onstage, staring back at a rapidly emptying hall, rather than rapturous applause. But, yeah, can’t blame people for needing the get out of there. I’m not sure how anyone can really survive three hours of advertising (maybe that explains the booze, then).

In total, 287 Loeries were awarded, consisting of six Grands Prix, 31 Golds, 69 Silvers, 113 Bronzes, 18 Craft Golds and 50 Craft Certificates.

Grands Prix

Communication Design

  • Fear and Fantasy Festival’s “Fear and Fantasy Festival” by TBWA Reklam Hizmetleri, Turkey


Digital & Interactive Communication


Print Communication



  • Louvre Abu Dhabi’s “Highway Gallery” by TBWA\RAAD, UAE


Film Communication


Integrated Campaign

  • La Libanaise Des Jeux’s “Lucky Face” by Impact BBDO Dubai, UAE

My favourite winners

Of course, not every worthy award can bag a Grand Prix. Here are some of my favourite winners of the evening (across Bronze, Silver and Gold, and in order of appearance at the event):

Campaign Silver

Life Beyond the Logo — Angry Birds, Red Bull, Puma
National Geographic Kids

Loeries 2018 angry birds


Brand South Africa Freedom Day
The Odd Number
Brand South Africa

Loeries 2018 Brand South Africa

Gold and Silver

News you need to see
Joe Public United

Loeries 2018 POWA


Think Bench
Rand Merchant Bank

Loeries 2018 RMB

Silver x2

Culture Captcha
Kenya Tourism Board


Campaign Gold + Craft Certificate

Absolut One Source
VML South Africa
Pernod Ricard South Africa



Past and Present
TBWA\Hunt Lascaris Johannesburg
Apartheid Museum



Campaign Craft Gold, Campaign Craft Certificate + Campaign Silver

World Gone Mad – Swim, Festival, Date
TBWA\Hunt Lascaris Johannesburg
Flight Centre Youth & Adventure



Mountain Climber
Impact BBDO Dubai
Mars (Snickers)

Other worthies

Doug Place, Nando’s chief marketing officer  took home the Marketing Leadership & Innovation Award and Greg Gray of Romance Films was inducted into the Loeries Hall of Fame. Joe Public United took home Agency of the Year and TBWA\ won Regional Agency Group of the Year.

And, with that, it was all over and done with, and back to work, work, work. Advertising today really is all business and this year, at its awards weekend, it felt it, too.


Herman Manson 2017Herman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of

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