The organisation of the 29th annual Loeries on the ground this year was the most “slick and professional” operation in many years as Margate rolled out the red carpet and the weather played along, providing an oasis of warmth and sunlight from the weather-battered centres of Cape Town and Johannesburg. From a circus carnival atmosphere on the beachfront Sunday night courtesy of the SABC after party, to the Vodacom VIP lounge, the media centre at the Margate Hotel, to the Media24 Heat afterglow party Saturday night and the various private parties around town and brand activations, the organisation of the whole weekend was a significant success.
While the element of surprise was clearly lacking for some people at the Sunday night awards after having seen lists of some of the winners last week already - and having had their suspicions confirmed on Saturday night that the list was authentic, it didn't, thankfully, detract from the huge fun this industry can be when it flocks together. The raucous spontaneity of the first Margate Loeries was back on Saturday night, but without the chaotic element! Sunday night was smoother with more bling and rockstars in the audience, but no less loud, with vuvuzelas in full cry accompanied by whistling and cheering.
Jupiter definitely gets an honourable mention for making the most noise!
An eclectic mix of fashion graced the Loeries this year as the earlier timeslot meant that most people lurched from one party to another in the usual jeans and T-shirt uniform that the industry usually embraces. Those that did, however, take the trouble to dress up were blinged up to the nines, so we had ballgowns to T-shirt chic to ‘I just woke up in the gutter and remembered I have to be at some awards'. Judging by all the sunglasses some clearly went too large on Saturday night or decided to play the cool card. The number of Mohican hair styles amongst the men that couldn't decide whether or not to be mullets or not was scary.
MC Marc Lottering, who didn't do much except announce the various industry people presenting the golds, pointed out that Bronze and Silver winners should also feel as proud as they were in the top 10% of the industry.
The Loerie Awards MD, Andrew Human, announced that due to business commitments and the imminent birth of his first child, WingWing Mdlulwa was stepping down as Loerie Awards chair. Festus Masekwameng, McCann Erickson SA creative director, takes over. In accepting the appointment, Masekwameng said it was key for the industry to keep clients on board in the process.
The weather played a huge role of course and having warm weather with gorgeous sunlight brought everyone out into the sunlight this weekend as a respite from the temperamental weather elsewhere.
Wozani Africa in Margate was in charge of organising the activations and parties on the ground and H-Factor for staging the awards ceremonies.
Louise Marsland is an independent editor, journalist, trainer, speaker and blogger in the media, marketing and advertising industry in South Africa, and a specialist in B2B media. Email her on , read her blog on Bizcommunity and follow her on Twitter at @Louise_Marsland.