‘We Should Tell Authentic Stories About Our Relationship With Brands’ – Sewraj

Preetesh Sewraj

Mr Preetesh Sewraj was recently appointed by The Loeries Board as the new Chief Executive Officer from 1 April 2020 after Andrew Human who served as CEO for 15 years stepped down in 2019.  Sewraj, a leading business innovator will take over the reins of the Loeries, Africa and the Middle East’s largest brand communication awards. Sewraj, an experienced business leader and innovator has worked with major brands including Unilever, Samsung, Nedbank and Vodacom. He successfully launched Product of the Year in South Africa, the world’s largest consumer-voted award for product innovation. Since its launch in 2008, it has helped millions of consumers identify great innovation that adds value to their lives. In this interview with Brand Communicator’s Tunji Faleye, he talks about Loeries, and other sundry issues. Excerpt:

Brief background

I am currently the CEO & Chief Innovation Analyst at Product of the Year South Africa, an organisation that supports innovation in new products. I have worked in both the agency and brand space so, I have been lucky to experience the unique challenges and strengths of both these sectors.

Joining the Loeries

The Loeries are a highly respected institution and I was honoured at the prospect of leading it during its next phase. I also see the potential for me to add value to the organisation and ensure it builds on its reputation as both a celebratory event and as a platform for sharing ideas.

Reason for Loeries Awards

The Loeries was initially launched in 1978 with the aim of celebrating great advertising. It has since grew to become a celebration of great creativity and innovation in all areas of brand communication.

Key Areas of Improvement for Loeries Awards

Key for me is to support the growth of the Loeries across Africa and the Middle East. We have to ensure that more organisations in our economic region are able to benefit from the great insights unearthed by the Loeries. We have to ensure that Nigeria, the UAE and South Africa are all on a level playing field in the brand communication space and this benefits all consumers in our region.

Impacts and Achievements of Loeries Awards

There have been many successes but if I had to hone in on a few I believe that the Loeries have been a great platform for 1) Creating stronger networks across the Africa and Middle East region, 2) Identifying great creative execution that helps brands deliver better communication and 3) Creating a truly prestigious platform that is globally respected and ensure global appreciation for brand communication from our region.

The Loeries and Cannes

Cannes and the Loeries are both celebrating and promoting creativity. We are not dissimilar in our strategies but our key goal is to focus on Africa and the Middle East with a view to supporting the development of brand communication that will be celebrated as  being some of the best in the world.

Contributions of Loeries to Creativity

The Loeries has utilised the talents of some of the best brand communication minds in the world to evaluate brand communication from our region and share insights into what truly qualifies as great creativity. Through this in-depth approach, the Loeries has been able to allow brands and agencies to better understand how we can generate creative execution that truly has the ability to resonate with consumers and bring key topics of interest to the fore.

African Agencies and Improvement of Creativity

It is quite simple, we should tell authentic stories about our relationship with brands. Our stories are powerful as they are rooted in genuine human truths, as soon as we neglect these we move from a place of authenticity to merely being generic. The Loeries are geared to celebrate these stories and therefore brands aspire to win an award at the Loeries.

Expectations From Loeries 2020

I would not want to spoil the surprise but I can share that early discussions with the Loeries team have been exciting and we are going to have a very creatively stimulating experience at this years Creative Week. It is definitely one that cannot be missed.

Projections for Loeries Awards in the Next Five or Ten Years

I am always wary about trying to predict the future but I have no doubt that the next decade is going to bring even greater opportunities for collaboration and amazing innovation.

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