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Loeries Remains The Best Platform To Gauge Creativity In Africa And Middle East – Andrew Human

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - 22 SEPTEMBER 2013: General view during the Sunday Awards Ceremony at CTICC on September 22, 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by 2013 Loerie Awards)
Andrew Human, Chief Executive Officer of The Loeries Africa and the Middle East Africa


Andrew Human is the Chief Executive Officer of The Loeries Africa and the Middle East, a proudly not-for-profit organisation that has been rewarding creativity for 40 years. In this interview with Tunji Faleye (via e-mail), he shares his thought on advertising practice, expectations at the 2018 Loeries Creative Week in Durban, South Africa and other sundry issues. Excerpt:


The Loeries In Retrospection

The Loeries began in 1978 (it’s our 40th anniversary this year!) to reward television advertising in South Africa. Broadcast television had only arrived in the country in 1975 so it was a new and exciting innovation at the time.orty years later, the Loeries (a non-profit association) has evolved into the most well known recognition of excellence in the advertising and brand communication industry across Africa and the Middle East. Today we look at every point where a brand interacts with people – traditional categories like film, print and radio but also areas like digital, design, music videos, architecture, live events, PR, shared value, and service design. In 2018, we have entries from 16 counties from the region.


Secrets Behind Excellent Execution

The Loeries rewards creative excellence and it’s important for our association to embody this spirit. We focus on inspiring everyone in our industry and all our activities are measured against this single-minded target.


Eligibility Of Creative Works Entering For The Awards

All work entered into the Loeries is judged according to the same five criteria:

An innovative concept, bringing new and fresh thinking; excellent execution; relevance to the brand; relevance to the target audience; relevance to the chosen medium.As the Loeries represents creative excellence, it’s crucial that work is fresh and innovative. If an entry meets all the other criteria, but is conceptually not new and innovative, then it isn’t deserving of a Loerie award.


Expectations At 2018 Loeries

Once again Creative Week in Durban is made up of MasterClasses, the DStv Seminar and the awards ceremonies as the main focus. This year, the awards have moved to the Friday and Saturday evenings, to allow delegates to make the most of their time in Durban. There are also many networking activities taking place, including the Brand South Africa VIP Brunch on the Saturday for all our VIP delegates, and the Gagasi FM final closing party on Saturday evening.

Also, from this year, the Loeries is including points for Finalists in its Official Rankings, whereas in the past the Loeries only awarded points for Bronze awards and above.

I think this change should be especially encouraging to Nigerian agencies  who are just starting to improve their creative output, because recognising Finalists allows us to drill deeper for a better representation of performance across the whole region.


The Loeries, Cannes Lions And Other Awards 

While Cannes Lion is a global award, the Loeries is the only show that specifically focuses only on Africa and the Middle East. We are looking for excellent examples of regional work – we want to see the best work from Nigeria for Nigerians. Through this focus and our Official Rankings, the Loeries is the best gauge of what’s happening in our region.



Contributions Of Loeries To Advertising Practice in S/Africa And Africa In General

Creative awards, and specifically the Loeries, contribute in several meaningful ways to the industry: They provide a measure of the quality of work being produced across our region. Rather than agencies making claims as to their abilities, the Loeries is an independent index of who is doing what. The best and most effective way for an agency to promote itself is through awards. In the same way that financial indexes rate stocks and even countries, so the Loeries Official Rankings provides an index of the best performing agencies. No marketing can be better than that. Creativity is not a 9-to-5 job like accounting and creatives need to be inspired. Besides the obvious benefit for an agency of promoting its work, awards are a way to give creative teams a target, a focus and inspiration to improve.

Winning awards is the best way to hire the most talented creatives. For young creatives, knowing that an agency is award-winning, immediately makes it more desirable as an employer. This makes it easier for top agencies to attract the best talent.


Areas Of Improvement For The Loeries 

The Loeries is globally recognised and is included in the global Gunn Report. Without a doubt, it is the most recognised regional award for Africa and the Middle East. To improve on this, we are constantly striving to increase participation from all countries in our region, to build our recognition as the primary measure of performance in Africa and the Middle East.


Significance Of Loeries New Ranking To The Agencies And Advertising Industry

From 2018, we have changed our Official Rankings to include finalists – in previous years we only ranked winners. This now gives us a way to drill deeper into the performance across smaller agencies and emerging countries, and to be able to report more comprehensively on local markets, such as West Africa, East Africa, North Africa and Southern Africa.


Impacts Of The Awards On Creativity In W/Afria 

I hope to see that the new participation of countries like Nigeria in the Loeries and other shows like Cannes Lions will lead to an improvement in the overall quality of advertising in these countries. This is a process that we have to work at and build on each year, so we should see the results of these efforts in the upcoming years.


African Agencies At The International Stage

It is important to gauge your output against what everyone else is doing. The Loeries is a great platform because it’s bigger than Nigeria but not too big like Cannes Lions. Look at past winners, and look at how the work was entered. Your entries have to be at least as good as that – preferably better – to bring home some metal.


Loeries Awards In The Next Five Or Ten Years 

I would like to see the number of participating countries continue to grow, and that also means that the jury will become more diverse each year. As advertising continues to change and adapt, the Loeries will remain the best barometer of the industry.

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