Feed Your Creative Homunculus
South Africa is truly blessed with a ready supply of energetic, creative and imaginative individuals who continually work to improve the already high standards set by creative fields of endeavour. Although the country leads the world in several specialist industries, the advertising industry in particular consistently produces work that sets new international standards. So, given our abundant ability to innovate within the communicative space between brands and the public at large, the question naturally arises: where does South Africa get its inspiration from?
Is there some neuro-chemical in the air that stimulates that part of our mind responsible for combining wild imaginative meanders with realistic, implementable and concrete media creations? This latter scenario is highly unlikely; but then what could it be? Conceivably, SA’s success in advertising could instead be attributed to the existence (and sustaining) of a culture that holds creativity in high regard and prizes the people whose minds generate ideas which have the power to hold the fleeting attention of a distracted, sophisticated, Blackberry 10 wielding and savvy audience.
As an important component of the above mentioned culture, The Loerie Awards are designed to honour those individuals and creative teams who have managed to create something distinctive enough that it stands out from the crowd. Given the ability and ambition of the so-called “crowd”, anything that individuates itself owing to its relative excellence must be of exceptional quality. Bringing attention to this quality, and the talent who created it, is of fundamental importance in keeping a healthily competitive spirit alive in those both already working in the industry and those who would like to make a career in advertising.
The original Feed Your Ego microsite formed part of a gambit to generate excitement before and leading up to The Loerie Awards evening held in the beautiful Mother City. The digital agency, HelloComputer, was responsible for creating the site that allowed each user to “feed your ego” in response to the general theme of the respective year’s award night.
Users of the microsite essentially played a game that involved, as its object, the feeding of one’s own ego. The details of the game aren’t quite as pertinent as the details of the prize are: that is, to incentivise and attract participants, the winning player would be hosted in luxury accommodation for the night of the Loeries in one of Cape Town’s most highly regarded hotels. This meant that those coming from distant parts of the country wouldn’t have to worry about the overnight arrangements – or look for a house for sale! -, and that those already residing in the Mother City wouldn’t have to worry about cleaning up the mess of the after party the next morning (which was notable given the industry’s notorious reputation for partying like it’s the last night on earth, ever).
It should be noted that the South African ad industry is remarkable for consistently producing very high quality adverts. Keeping apace with advancing technology, the adverts produced for South Africa are best viewed in high definition: as such, to get the best viewing experience, buy a flat screen TV and appreciated the nuances of professional cinematographers and art directors.
The awards night itself was, as per usual, an affair worth attending, especially for those whose work was nominated in the various categories. As for the eventual winners, in true creative industry spirit (and predictably), the after party was only barely remembered, and the hangovers were epic.