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Loeries Special Section

#Loeries2018: Xolisa Dyeshana of Joe Public United on winning Agency of the Year

This year's Agency of the Year is Joe Public United, which also came in third as Regional Agency of the Year, announced at the 40th annual Loerie Awards on Saturday, 18 August at the Durban ICC.
Photo by Al Nicoll / 2018 Loerie Awards /
Photo by Al Nicoll / 2018 Loerie Awards / Gallo Images

Joe Public recieved a total of 30 Loeries, including 8 Gold, 6 Silver, 7 Bronze and 9 Craft Certificates. Joe Public United received 15 Loeries, including a Gold in the Tactical Use of Newspaper category for Powa’s ‘News you need to see’ and a Campaign Craft Gold in the Print Crafts (illustration) category for Chicken Licken’s ‘A Little Hungry - Mine, Temple, Bank’; 4 for Joe Public including a Gold and Craft Gold in the Direct Mail and Print Crafts (writing) categories respectively for GreatStock’s ‘The Anthology of Great (Stock) Poetry’; and a Bronze in the Outdoor Media category for Joe Public Ignite and Keepit100’s ‘Burning Billboard’.

I interviewed CCO Xolisa Dyeshana to find out what this recognition means to the agency…

BizcommunityHuge congratulations on being named Agency of the Year, among all your other Loeries wins this year! What does this recognition mean to you and the agency?
This recognition means a lot to us because it is always a special honour to be recognised by your peers. We have put in a lot of effort to provide our clients with the very best creative solutions, and to have those recognised as the cream of what South Africa can offer is extremely humbling.

BizcommunityWhy are you proud of these achievements?
Because as an agency we try to find creative solutions that are relevant, that are resonant and that really stand out from what people see out there, so this recognition is a testament that we are starting to really get that ambition and to really turn that ambition into action.

BizcommunityWhich campaign of yours are you most proud of and why?
It’s always hard to name a single campaign, so, to be honest, I would say every single campaign that was recognised on Friday and Saturday and even those that weren't. Whatever it is that we put out there – that people have loved, have talked about, have engaged with – we are extremely proud of.

BizcommunityWhat do you think set Joe Public United apart this year?
I think this year a great number of clients were really hungry to do groundbreaking work in the market. I think economic times are tough, so we have big pressure from our clients who have added pressure on themselves to really find creative solutions, and I think this achievement was just a testament that we got that right as much as we could where possible.

Photo by Roy Esterhuysen / 2018 Loerie Awards /
Photo by Roy Esterhuysen / 2018 Loerie Awards / Gallo Images

BizcommunityLooking beyond the two award nights, share your Loeries Creative Week experience with us.
Loeries Creative Week is always a highlight of the creative year, all the way from judging during the week and engaging with the different industry leaders, both from South Africa and from the region, and the international judges and jury chairmen. So, it was a very enriching experience once again to be engaged in those debates to look at work, to talk about it, to understand it.

Then when it came to the weekend, the new format of the Loeries made its debut this year and it worked out extremely well. The awards nights were great; they had a great energy and a wonderful local flavour, all the way from the emcee to the entertainment.

It was great to see so many South African agencies doing work that is unique to our region, and then seeing those from the larger EMEA region also doing amazing work that is inspiring, and seeing how we can both as regions inspire each other.
BizcommunityComment on the current creative landscape in South Africa and how this compares globally?

I think the creative landscape in South Africa, just like the creative landscapes on a global scale, is facing its fair share of challenges. I think we are in a space where mediums are more fragmented than they've ever been. I think we're all grappling with people’s choices of what to consume and what not to consume because it’s making us have to do that much more to not only communicate with consumers but to resonate with them. I think those that are exploring all these different platforms and finding how to make all of them become homes of one central idea are the ones that are leading the race at this stage.

BizcommunityWhat’s next?
At Joe Public, we’re always striving to be our best and then better than our best, so for us, this is just the beginning. We want to learn more, we want to give more so that we can grow our people more, grow our clients more and in so doing grow our country more.

In case you missed it, Joe Public United formed a team of runners to raise funds for the agency’s CSI initiative, One School at a Time, during Creative Week. Jarrod Pretorius, one of Joe Public’s creative group heads, suggested running to the Loeries, which resulted in the agency recruiting 11 willing and able runners from within the team. They ran the 700km route as a relay over four days from Joe Public in Johannesburg to the Loeries in Durban. For more on this, read Leigh Andrew's interview:

Go to and follow @joepublicunited on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

About Jessica Tennant

Jess is Senior Editor: Marketing & Media at She is also a contributing writer. moc.ytinummoczib@swengnitekram

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