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Digital leads the way at the 2012 Loeries

At last year’s Loerie Awards, Hello Computer took home a Grand Prix for its Flow Browser concept for Musica. Strictly speaking, a digital campaign didn’t score as highly at South Africa’s premier advertising showcase this year, but in many ways, the impact of digital and social media was even more obvious.

From Helen Zille reading out #loeries tweets during her speech, to the fact that some of the winners were viewed more on YouTube than they were on TV (it was hard to miss the irony of Nando’s Diversity ad being award gold in a category sponsored by the same SABC that banned it) online has become an essential aspect of how almost all brand communication is now consumed.

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Ogilvy Cape Town’s Be The Coach campaign for Carling Black Label was the big winner at last weekend’s 34th Loerie Awards in Cape Town. The only gold digital mixed media campaign winner, it also took home one of four coveted Grands Prix.

That an idea built at its core around a relatively simple mobile mechanic should win a Grand Prix is a reminder of the potential of mobile to enable ideas that empower consumers in radical ways. Almost all of the really interesting campaigns that were shown during last Friday’s International Seminar of Creativity, a new addition to the Loeries lineup, used the power of technology to effect positive social change, and Ogilvy’s winning idea — to put the power to choose players in the hands of the fans — would have been almost impossible to execute without widespread access to mobile phones.

Joe Public has had a banner year in terms of picking up new business and it did well in the digital category, picking up gold for JHHESA Twitter Army and a craft gold together with Gloo for the animation on the Clover Way Better microsite as well a silver, bronze and craft certificate. Though Gloo and Hello Computer both picked up silverware — Gloo taking home five bronzes and a gold craft certificate; Hello Computer a silver, three bronzes and a craft certificate — and Base 2 scored a silver for Absa Team of Millions, specialist digital agencies didn’t feature as prominently as they have in the past. It’s worth noting that the big winner isn’t a digital agency, but a full service agency that happens to do digital.

We’ll have to wait until next year’s Loeries to see if this is a developing trend. What is clear is that campaigns that wish to gain traction and generate buzz have to engage with digital in general and social media in particular. There were only four golds across digital categories at the 2012 Loerie Awards, but social media played an integral role in several of the big winners even if their awards were for more traditional categories like television and film.

As with Diversity, Nando’s very popular Last Dictator Standing campaign — also a Grand Prix winner — was viewed more on YouTube than it was on people’s TV screens after it had to be pulled in the wake of threats of violence in Zimbabwe. In what may well be a world first, gold went to two campaigns for two separate brands; the Nando’s vs Santam spoofs wouldn’t have anything like as much impact as they did if they hadn’t generated so much social media buzz.

Here’s the list of Loeries winners in the digital category:

Digital Mixed Media Campaign
Gold – Carling Black Label Be The Coach – Ogilvy Cape Town
Silver – Volkswagen Polo GTI Date Drive – Ogilvy Cape Town
Silver – MK Is – Ogilvy Johannesburg
Bronze – Clover Way Better – Joe Public and Gloo
Bronze – Toyota Etios Here to make you smile – Draftfcb and Hello Computer
Bronze – Stimorol The World’s first alien abduction flavoured gum – Ogilvy Cape Town

Internet Advertising
Silver – Volkswagen “Scroll Up” – Ogilvy Cape Town
Bronze – BMW 3 Series Infographic – Gloo
Bronze – Samsung Galaxy Note Rich Media – Gloo

Email Marketing
Bronze – FNB Kruger Gold Rush – Gloo

Silver – Clover Way Better – Joe Public and Gloo
Silver – Volkswagen Date Drive – Ogilvy Cape Town
Bronze – Hyundai Accent – Hello Computer
Bronze – Wimpy Scrum vs Scrum – Hello Computer

Mobile content and applications
Gold – SAB Be The Coach – Ogilvy Cape Town
Bronze – Visi Window Shopper – 140 BBDO
Bronze – go! South Africa – Touchlab

Viral and Community
Gold – JHHESA Twitter Army – Joe Public
Silver – Absa Team of Millions – Base 2
Silver – Peugeot Let your body drive – Euro RCSG
Silver – Top TV Fox International Channels Walking Dead – Ireland Davenport
Bronze – Bronx Men’s Shoes World’s Manliest Billboard – Bletchley Park

Interactive tools and applications
Silver – Toyota Etios Tweets for Sweets – Draftfcb and Hello Computer

Digital Craft Certificates
Craft Gold – Animation – Clover Way Better – Joe Public and Gloo
Craft Certificate – Animation – Continental Power of Stop – Hello Computer
Craft Certificate – Interface and navigation – Peugeot Let your body drive – Euro RSCG
Craft Certificate – Van Coke Cartel Wies Bang – Dojo115
Craft Certificate – Writing – Clover Way Better – Joe Public

Images from winning ads are on

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