Loeries Special Section

#Loeries2021: 'Brand communicators need to show up, listen more and be better,' says Justine Drake

Justine Drake, TV chef, Fresh Living editor, content director at John Brown Media, sat on the judging panel in the Innovation category of the 2021 Loerie Awards. We find out about the experience.
Justine Drake, content director at John Brown Media
Justine Drake, content director at John Brown Media

BizcommunityHow do you feel about judging at this year’s Loeries?


I am absolutely honoured and I feel so inspired!

BizcommunityTell us more about yourself and why you believe you were selected – your judging experience and so on.


My experience in the industry spans three decades working with agencies and publishing houses; as a journo, an editor, an author, a stylist, a director, a trends consultant. You name it, I’ve probably done it…

BizcommunityWhen you heard about being selected as a judge, how did you celebrate the news?


Um! …I didn’t celebrate…but I did feel very honoured and a wee bit proud.

BizcommunityWhat does this mean to you, personally?


It’s a great acknowledgement of my experience …and just bloody brilliant to be involved in such a renowned and respected creative process.

BizcommunityWhich category will you be judging?


I judged in the Innovation categories

BizcommunityWhat do you expect to experience as a judge?


Awe, inspiration, delight…well I hope so anyway.

BizcommunityWhat specific criteria will you be looking for when judging?


Unique, trailblazing ideas, a non-conformist approach, cultural relevance and consideration, and bravery

BizcommunityYou have some major experience in the creative industry. Could you comment on the impact of Covid-19 on the industry?


There are so many aspects, on so many levels…but let's choose a positive one….

The best bit is the public’s new and very low tolerance of BS…There is a genuine need/demand for more authenticity, more EQ, more social listening, which forces us as brand communicators to show up, listen more and be better...That’s a good thing!

BizcommunityShare a few of your favourite Loeries-related moments over the years – either from attending personally or agency winning work-related.


I am a first-timer so I am excited to see what's to come.

BizcommunityAny predictions of trends that are likely to stand out at Loeries 2021?


Most definitely the social impact of Covid-19.

BizcommunityWhat do you believe SA creatives bring to the Loeries judging mix?


A unique, multi-faceted view...The complexities of our heritage and the views, experience and insights of our eclectic panel ensure a fresh approach underpinned by diversity and relevance.

BizcommunityLastly, what are you most looking forward to from Loeries 2021?


I'll be looking for real inspiration.

BizcommunityWhat does #FightTheGoodFight mean to you?


Stand up for what is right - don’t be afraid, make yourself heard, give a voice to those who don’t have one and never back down.


About Evan-Lee Courie

Editor: Marketing & Media; Head of Content for Entrepreneurship


Let's do Biz