Now in its 21st year, the Epica Awards aims to encourage the highest standards of creativity in European advertising and to help agencies, film production companies and photographers to develop their reputations across the continent. This is the first time that the awards have been opened to companies in the EMEA region.
Given that the 2007 competition received 5 642 entries from 732 companies in 47 countries, 3.3% more than in 2006, Die Burger's wins are an amazing achievement for its brand team and for Draftfcb Cape Town, its advertising agency.
The two print executions singled out by the judges as deserving Silver winners are ‘Iwo Jima' and ‘Soldaat'. They form part of Die Burger's current campaign which emphasises its new pay-off line ‘Die Burger Praat Saam', which loosely translates as ‘join the conversation'.
The campaign was launched to communicate this new pay off line, which accurately reflects the publication's role as an ‘information partner' – a reliable source of honest and unbiased fact and analysis as opposed to simply a ‘news reporter'.
The campaign developed by Draftfcb Cape Town therefore challenged readers to form their own opinion, backed by the insights they have gleaned from Die Burger's superior quality journalism. The subjects it features are burning issues around which people are already talking.
For example, one of the examples features a food parcel; its copy discusses the HIV/AIDS pandemic how it can be combated. Another features a picture of guns and debates the issue of illegal arms dealing and the right to bear arms; yet another the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station to draw attention to the issue of the safety of nuclear power. The two winning ads question the United Nation's role in Africa and the United States' true reasons for waging war.
Die Burger's Publicity Manager, Edmund Beukes, is thrilled with the international recognition the campaign has received. “We were confident that our response to the ‘news online' age – that of becoming a reliable source of better insights based on integrity and the highest journalistic skills – was the correct one to take.
"We were also certain that the strategy and creative execution behind our communication campaign was exciting and memorable, and would generate significant public comment. This it certainly did: a smallish tactical element published in Die Burger generated over 700 responses in just two days.
"To receive such high praise and recognition from our peers in Europe, however, is the proverbial ‘cherry on the top' after all the hard work a very committed team has put into Die Burger's repositioning and marketing efforts. We're exceptionally proud of this achievement and know that it will spur us on to be even more innovative, provocative and effective,” Beukes said.
The campaign was developed by Draftfcb Cape Town's creative team consisting of executive creative director Francois de Villiers, art director Anthony de Klerk, and copywriter Marius van Rensburg, with Jacques van der Merwe, Howard West, and Andre Beyers as strategist, media manager, and account manager respectively.