Creative gurus from FCB Johannesburg recently spent time with students from the Imagination Labs to view and critique the work they intend entering in the MultiChoice Vuka! Awards.
The top 30% of entries into the awards, which are solely for public service advertisements, are broadcast via MultiChoice's premium platform, DStv, to over one million homes in South Africa and surrounding countries every year. This equates to approximately R70.8 million of airtime since the awards launched in 1999.
The awards attract entries from local professional and newcomer filmmakers as well as advertising industry participants who have embraced the concept of giving back to non-government and charity organisations that rely on fundraising for their on-going existence. Since launch, the MultiChoice Vuka! Awards have generated over 1200 PSAs.
As part of its corporate social outreach programme, FCB Johannesburg provides financial and practical support to The Imagination Labs in Gauteng. The Imagination Lab network is a Vega The Brand Communications School initiative aiming to develop, amongst disadvantaged communities, those skills used in the advertising and marketing communication industries, and then assisting graduates to secure internships with agencies and other industry suppliers.
Earlier this year, a dozen FCB Johannesburg staffers invested considerable time and intellectual capital to provide students with valuable insights into daily life in the industry, what is required from the various job titles and positions, and the benefits and the pitfalls of working in the industry.
This prompted the students to again ask for FCB Johannesburg's help; this time they wanted feedback on the work they had done so far for their entries into the 2007 Vuka! Awards.
Executive Group Creative Director, Ashley Bacon, and talented team members Gerhard Myburgh, Ivor Forrester, Adam Wittert, Grant Sithole and Connie Powys jumped at the opportunity to share their knowledge and three separate forums were organised; one each for students from the Labs in Alexander, Sandton and Soweto.
Feedback from the students suggests that they learnt a great deal and appreciated the creative directors' feedback enormously.
“The visit to FCB was indeed fun-filled and most importantly it was mind-stimulating,” said Alivhuyisi Nengwenani from the Alex Lab in Alexander. “It, personally, gave me the do's and don'ts of ad campaigns especially from the consumer's point of view.
“I have since learnt than keeping things simple, unique and humorous brings out the best in an ad and thus sells a product, ideas, etc successfully. Indeed, the creative directors' feedback was blunt and a bit harsh to a certain extent; but that's exactly how it should be in this industry as it is definitely not for the faint-hearted. I can now go out there determined and positive in establishing ideas that have the clients' interests at heart.”
“FCB Lecturers were helpful, taught us how to conceptualise more simple and humorous ideas,” added Sandton-based Urban Lab's Boitumelo Mokoena, while Soweto Lab student, Kensane Mutileni, said, “It was good, they gave good tips for our ad concepts; we need to spend more time with them.”