Loeries Creative Week Durban

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#Loeries2018: Joe Public on running for the creative future

When you think of Loeries Creative Week, you're likely to picture glitzy award nights, networking with your industry colleagues over drinks in Durban and dancing the night away. If you work at Joe Public United, it's more likely a picture of sweat and the satisfaction of improving the country's creative future. Plus, they've challenged other agencies to join them in their quest.
Image supplied. L to R: Chad Nelson, Eugene Nkundlande, Jarrod Pretorius, Wesley Wolf, Michelle Mckenna, Katlego Ditlhokwe, Chan-Yue Ma, Tshepo Mogorosi, Laurie Sloan, Dave McCullough, Jed Mowat. Missing: Matthew Quarta.

While agencies across the country were putting finishing touches to their entries in gearing up for Loeries Creative Week 2018, taking place in Durban yet again, in just a few weeks’ time, the Johannesburg Joes have also been making sure they do their stretches and run in formation.

That’s because they won’t just hop on a plane to take their place in that dazzling Durban sun. Instead, the team of will be running the full route, in order to raise funds for education across the land. And yes, that’s over and above the annual Joe Public Loeries ride along the promenade that attendees have come to love:

That’s what I call a bunch of good sports.

Their official BackaBuddy post explains the love as follows:
We are taking the strides now to make sure that our learners have to take less steps to have a better future. We are running non-stop the 700km route from Joe Public in Johannesburg to the Loeries Awards in Durban from 15 to 17 August. The aim is to raise R280,000, which will go a long way towards keeping our children in school and giving them more opportunity to succeed post-matric for bursary applications, tertiary education, internships and employment possiblities.
Inspirational stuff! Here, team Joe Public – made up of Chad Nelson, Eugene Nkundlande, Jarrod Pretorius, Wesley Wolf, Michelle Mckenna, Katlego Ditlhokwe, Chan-Yue Ma, Tshepo Mogorosi, Laurie Sloan, Dave McCullough, Jed Mowat, and Matthew Quarta – explains the concept of ‘running to the Loeries’, why it’s important to use the Loeries’ platform for more than just celebrating the region’s top creative work, and how the rest of the industry can follow their example…

BizcommunityTalk us through how the concept of ‘running to the Loeries’ came together.

Working closely with the two schools we sponsor through One School at a Time gave us an insight into the difficulties our children face just to go to school and then stay in school.

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The figurative journey they take through their school life is hard, to say the least. The effort to get to school day after day is even harder.

So we looked at what we could do that took us out of our comfort zone and do something big enough that would garner enough support and make an actual difference to the One School at a Time projects.
We wanted to do step in the shoes of our children, feel the discomfort and effort it takes to get somewhere for something better. As a number of us are going to the Loeries, it was a natural leap that we use the opportunity to do something meaningful as an agency and take an alternate route and do good at the same time.
BizcommunityHow exactly will the 700km run raise funds for education in South Africa? Explain the logistics of how the funds will be allocated.

We’re running on behalf of One School at a Time, a CSI initiative of Joe Public United that assists with the upliftment and advancement of high schools, in underprivileged areas within Johannesburg.

The desired impact is to create a highly functional, quality education system within our targeted township schools, so that our students have more opportunity to succeed post-matric for bursary applications, tertiary education, internships and employment possibilities.

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Our primary objective of the project is to increase the schools’ matric pass rate as well as increase the quality of the pass rate and increase the number of distinctions of the matric learners by providing support and extra lessons programmes over the weekends and during the school holidays for all of our students throughout the year.

That’s what we call ‘Growth to the power of n’ or Growthn. So basically, the funds raised go to One School at a Time, to be able to continue to facilitate these programmes for another year.

Looking forward, we want to offer training in the creative field so that our children can leave school with some skills that would enable them to get work placements, start small businesses and uplift the community.

BizcommunityAmazing. Why is it important to use the Loeries’ platform to do more than just celebrate the region’s top creative work?

As a creative communication industry, we have immense power at our hands to sway opinion, to plant an idea, to change something for the better. If we don’t use our collective talents, we’re not earning our keep as it were, to society.

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We cannot only serve businesses, we must also serve the people who form part of our industry.

Everything we do has to have a purpose. That purpose should not just be motivated by money but by doing actually good, making an actual difference.

Otherwise, we’re just fooling ourselves and wasting a huge amount of time, energy and resources.

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The Loeries is not just about awards, but also the education and development of our youth.
There is much we can do as an industry not just during Loeries but in South Africa to develop the natural raw talent in less privileged areas of society which currently has a huge gap in education. The Loeries offers the platform to talk about this, to work with innovators and businesses to change the way we educate and uplift. If we sort out education, we sort out poverty and crime in turn.
BizcommunityHow does that tie in with the current trend of purpose-driven marketing?

The purpose of this is sustainability. Not for us to use funds to offer a temporary solution, but for us to provide actual skills, knowledge and things that will last longer than most charity drives.

The goal is to uplift education in South Africa, and by doing this we are uplifting a section which could create the difference of a handful of children going out and making a difference themselves at a later stage.

BizcommunityHow can the rest of the industry follow your example and do good rather than just blow their own trumpet?

It’s good to allow one to blow their own trumpet and show what they are capable of, it’s the rallying cry for our peers to do more and do better. But next year, they can join us for the run to the Loeries. In fact, we’d like to challenge the other agencies to put in a team each to run with us. But more importantly, to start creating real work that changes real lives in a real, tangible way. Not just for now, but for the future and for the upliftment of South Africa as a country.

BizcommunityWhat are you most looking forward to from Loeries Creative Week 2018?

We, unfortunately, miss most of the creative week due to the run, but we’re looking forward to seeing all the incredible work that’s been done from our region and obviously our teams on stage being rewarded for another year of incredible creativity.

Seems the team will arrive just in time for the all-important award shows and the relaxing Joe Public-Loeries bike ride. That’s what I call creativity at its finest. Keep up with the Joes by following their updates to social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and donate to the cause through their BackaBuddy page.

You can also visit the Joe Public United press office for their latest news, and keep an eye on our Loeries special section for the latest updates and live coverage of the 40th annual Loerie Awards in Loeries Creative Week Durban, taking place from 16 to 19 August 2018.
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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality. She's also on the Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, was an #Inspiring50 2018 nominee, and can be reached at ...