Talkative Afrikaans prizes

Prizes worth R225 000 should spark additional interest in the Pendoring Advertising Awards this year, as the event mounts a do-or-die bid to build support for advertising in Afrikaans and other indigenous languages. “Money talks,” says Pendoring spokesperson Keki Snyman, on the only cash prize for an advertising competition in South Africa.

But who does it talk to? The creative geniuses behind the ad get the money, but the clients and media directors decide whether the ad runs and where. They would see little benefit in rewarding the creative execution if it doesn’t bring home the bacon.

The R50 000 main prize offered last year wasn’t claimed because “there was no Afrikaans ad good enough to take the Prestige Award,” so the money was rolled over to this year, the 90th anniversary of Afrikaans as an official language. Will a R100 000 payout for the main prize-winner bring in an Afrikaans or indigenous ad that, as they put it, “astounds the nation and becomes a cultural treasure”?

The Umpetha award for the best vernacular ad carries a R20 000 prize, and there’s something for clients too – free advertising from media sponsors.

Unquestionably mother-tongue advertising connects better with consumers, but the share of the advertising pie taken by Afrikaans is nowhere near the share of Afrikaans speakers in the population.

This year’s Pendoring campaign, Vat So! focuses on the love-hate relationship agency creatives have  with their jobs, and challenges them to do their best in spite of negative factors like short deadlines, small budgets and uninteresting briefs,” saysTiaan Ras, director of the ad agency, Etiket.

“You can either have a positive or negative response to the challenge, depending on your attitude. You can choose to give the brief a vat so! punch on the nose and create something brilliant or you can choose to loaf around and do the bare minimum.”

Digital and interactive media will be the point of departure of a mixed-media campaign that includes a website with interactive games, social media, direct marketing (gifts for marketers and creative heads), e-mail marketing, posters, and print and radio ads.

Every winner now gets a cash prize – R6 000 for a gold, R2 500 for a silver. The top student receives R10 000 and an internship at Etiket for 2016.

If it sounds costly, it surely is – made possible by19 sponsors and partners including the likes of ATKV, Huisgenoot, Media24, kykNET and Toyota.

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