It's time for the annual Loerie Awards, and Gearhouse SA is more involved than ever in this highlight on the advertising industry's calendar.
The first Loerie Awards were held in 1978, originally to promote and reward television advertising, back then a brand new medium in South Africa. Thirty years later the aim is still the same: to recognise, reward and grow creative excellence.
The Loeries are not called the Oscars of the brand communication industry for nothing. From a humble start in the decade that brought us Saturday Night Fever, the Loeries has grown over the years to include every area of brand communication including radio and print advertising, design, architecture, direct marketing, non-broadcast video, live events, and digital media. And instead of one awards ceremony, the Loeries has evolved, specifically since 2005, into a series of events and promotions throughout the year. These include a biannual magazine, a DVD of the year's leading brands and agencies as well as a hard-cover printed annual that serves as a major reference in the marketing industry.
Since 2006, the Loeries also travel throughout South Africa annually, showcasing each year's winning work and has been viewed locally at art festivals like Aardklop and Grahamstown as well as the Rand Show, educational institutions and corporate venues. Even Namibians and New Yorkers were privileged to see the Travelling Loerie Exhibition!
The Loerie Awards is internationally recognised, and is endorsed by a variety of organisations. Previous Loerie winners have also gone on to win major international advertising awards, proving that South Africa doesn't have to stand back when it comes to creative excellence.
The Gearhouse group has been proudly involved with the Loeries for a number of years, and played a major role for the last three years as turnkey supplier and sponsor, contracted by H-Factor. This year it will be no different, as Gearhouse SA, Havaseat, Tensile 1, Gearhouse Scenic and LEDVision are all official event production partners, supplying services such as lighting, rigging, seating and structures including the awesome portable venue, Tensile 1. The group is also responsible for generators, power supply, sound, AV and LED screens, and the generation of some of the AV content.
According to John McDermott, Branch Manager of Gearhouse SA's Johannesburg branch, the event has evolved over recent years. “It is now being managed in a far more holistic fashion than in the past. We find that being involved with the Loeries gives us the opportunity to showcase our key talents and cutting edge technology to the advertising industry as a whole. After years of servicing this industry, we know that if there is a new and exciting way of communicating the brand message, the agencies will want to know about it!”
In today's competitive landscape, brands are looking for ever more inventive and innovative methods of reaching their target markets and as a result the event experience has become an effective vehicle for influencing client perception and purchasing behaviour. As technical supplier to the advertising market, Gearhouse has found that the expectation from their clients goes way beyond the provision of technical equipment and services and that very often the trend is to contract the supplier as technical partner and creative solution provider from inception.
“When the technical supplier is involved from the outset in technical concept and design, the result can be not only an unforgettable, interactive and stimulating visual experience but will also be completely aligned with the brand message in look and feel,” says John.
Although he will once again be attending this year's event to ensure that the event goes off smoothly from a technical point of view, he admits with a wry grin that it is also for the complete blast of it. “I have had a fantastic experience every year so far and it's a really great opportunity to catch up with everyone in the industry in a completely relaxed situation. I'm sure this year will be no different.”