Anton Crone writes for Screen Africa magazine and freelances as a writer and photographer. He is passionate about the people and potential of Africa, as can be seen on his website www.brightcontinent.co.za. Email Anton at , connect on LinkedIn and follow @antoncrone on Twitter.
Anton Crone has worked as an advertising art director and creative director both in South Africa and abroad. He currently writes for Screen Africa magazine and freelances as a photographer and writer.
[Anton Crone] When Pieter Nel takes a break it means getting as far away from technology as he can. So, after leaving MXit as chief technology officer, he decided a stint in the Himalayas would be just the thing.
Good to read your opinion piece, but it does not put a very good argument forward.
Advertising is not the only industry that enters award shows. Certainly within the arts and media field they are very common, and one can argue positively that they improve the standard of work immensely and thereby engage audiences. Look at the Academy Awards and many other respected film awards, then the Pulitzers, Man Booker Prize and so on. Where would this work be without them?
Likewise, the value of an advertising award show is to improve the standard of work to engage audiences. By and large, the big ad award shows do that. Imagine the level of advertising WITHOUT them. It would be abysmal. Far, far worse than the standard we see today.
You say in your opening statement: "The only possible justification for an event such as the annual Loerie Awards is that it gives the people who work in advertising agencies an opportunity to escape the daily grind of watching creativity stifled by commercial interests."
If it were not for the Loeries, there would be far, far fewer creative people in the industry because creativity wouldn't be stifled - it would hardly exist. Again, imagine the standard of local advertising then.
The Loeries is far from perfect. What that awards show and agencies can do to improve the level advertising would require a separate opinion piece. But having no other benefits than escaping the daily grind and partying up a storm? far from the truth.
[Anton Crone] Have you seen any good motorcycle or bicycle advertising lately? If the golden pencil is your carrot and you want to be a part of something significant, here's an opportunity. Instead of begging insignificant corner shops to let you do "award-winning" advertising for them, go after the many motorcycle and bicycle brands out there and effect real change through great advertising.
[Anton Crone] Coincidentally, while thousands at Design Indaba last week were being inspired by bold urban design that challenges our thinking, the former mayor of Bogota, Columbia, was challenging urban development policies at a conference in Stellenbosch. Screened during the Design Indaba week, the documentary Urbanized expounded on Enrique Peñasola's initiatives. As bold and controversial as these are, the benefits to the citizens are profound. As he states, "We invested in people."
[Anton Crone] Why does the creative industry, which is so determined to find unique insights, often try to do so by sitting in the office? With so little left to chance, advertising is in danger of becoming more formulaic.
[Anton Crone] There seem to be two prominent paths in advertising. Where they cross, as with many junctions in life, one can find magic. But one can also find conflict and this might be the reason we often avoid these junctions and carry on our ways.
[Anton Crone] Too often, as marketers and creatives, we wait for some justification of talent, some confirmation of a sure-fire winner, and most often we look to the West - for inspiration, for a formula. All we need to do is look around us. After all, the West is already looking to Africa for inspiration. [multimedia]