Loerie Awards; live events nominees go big!

Posted: September 25, 2009 in Investigative articles
Tags: ,

First Published in The Event – September ‘09

By:  Astrid Stark 

Holographs, a musical dual, time travel, opera singers and a death match all featured in the experiential exhibitions created by the 2009 Loerie Live Events finalists.   Campaigns were hosted as far away as London, Las Vegas, Paris, New York and Rome.  Strategies used by the nominees included finding innovative ways to use social media networks, and rallying communities around a brand, rather than imposing the brand on the consumer.

Draftfcb, who scooped silver last year for its Savanna “wedge-off” campaign for Distell, has acquired no less 25 Loerie Awards for previous campaigns. This year they have been nominated for creating Santam’s Great Umbrella Ball, celebrating Santam’s 90th birthday.  The agency’s challenge was to create an original event concept that communicated ‘thinking big’, and to carry this through into every element, from décor to entertainment; creating touch-points along the way.  The concept devised was, ‘Think. Dream. Imagine.’ The thinking behind this was that all great innovations begin in the subconscious mind; a place where dreams happen and anything is possible.  The idea was developed by the creative team of Schalk van der Merwe, Marius van Rensburg and strategist Jeremy Bouwer. It includes television, print and radio advertising as well broker and staff communication and events.  The team created a wonderland that stimulated creative thought and enjoyment. The live event featured massive image walls that guests stepped through and dream cards with creative thinking exercises on them. There were also clocks that doubled as place-names and menus, carousels and opera singers.

New kid on the block, Hello World, has been nominated for two different campaigns, the first being its own launch.  The agency created an interactive exhibition where guests viewed Hello World art and photography, listened to music specifically created for Hello World as well as a short story about the agency.   Live wall art was created and people could buy limited prints and bags.  Hello World’s Chief Executive Creative Director, Theo Ferreira, says they integrated a variety of mediums to tease the exhibition. “These mediums,” says Ferreira, “Range from the traditional – such as posters, PR, website and postcards – through to new media conversations like Facebook and Twitter. We are especially excited about our use of unique ambient mediums where messages were communicated through lights on buildings and cups in fences, to a massive guerrilla sticker campaign on boxes, windows, venues, phone booths, bus stops and buildings.”  Artworks displayed during the launch were created by leading photographers and artists, and they also approached their own staff, media and clients to participate in exploring the concept of an organic brand identity.

Hello World’s second campaign involved creating a series of fake online personalities for PLuGG, a new IS broadband provider.  The personalities started a debate as to who are the better gamers – boys or girls.  The campaign called, An Argument that launched an ISP, targeted the gaming community as a core niche of PLuGG’s customer base.  They infiltrated some of the top gaming sites in South Africa such as MyBroadband, Prophecy and Systemshock, and appointed a number of independent seeders who created discussions on social networking sites such as Facebook, and posted videos on YouTube.  The campaign ended with a ‘death match’ between the world champion female gamers, the PMS Clan, and the local ruling guy champs, the Bravado Clan. It was hosted at the Turbine Hall in Johannesburg. The girls put up a good fight but the boys were victorious in the end. DJ Sibot and Evolver entertained at the after party.  Theo Ferriera comments, “The fact that PLuGG is aimed at such a techno-savvy target market gave us the opportunity to develop an effective viral online marketing campaign using various forms of new digital media and below the line activities.  The success of the campaign was based on understanding the target market, speaking to them via digital mediums that they use and like, and finally packaging the concepts in an exciting manner so that they shared it with their peers.”

Another newcomer, NINETY9CENTS, effectively ended the decade and a half relationship between Checkers and Berry Bush/BBDO.  No small feat. The Checkers brand has an annual above-the-line ad spend of R200 million. NINETY9CENTS’s campaign, Checkers Wine Route KKNK, used the traditional festival mediums such as T-shirts and posters.  What set them apart is the use of a live ad preformed on stage at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (KKNK).  Derick Muller wrote and performed an off-the-wall Afrikaans song about a guy who’s in love, and down on his luck.  He decides that Checkers will actually suit him better as a love interest. Agency Art Director Marius van Rensburg says the song also communicated some strategic messages about Checkers as a whole, while entertaining the audience. Marius’ personal philosophy on festival branding and communication; “If they’re not wearing you’re T-shirts and stealing your posters, you’ve wasted your money.”

A speed painter, Jean Francois Detaille, flown in from Las Vegas, was the highlight of Launch Factory’s experiential campaign for Samsung’s range of office printers.  The agency’s aim was to highlight the printers as super-fast, hassle-free and superior in quality.   Detaille who has performed his art at events such as the Olympics, Emmy’s and Cannes, used bold colours in painting speed portraits of Nelson Mandela and Albert Einstein – each of which took no more than five minutes to complete –  illustrating speed, colour and quality. The campaign called Office Automation Launch, included other ‘colour parties’ that were held in South Africa where crayon inspired décor and brightly coloured boxing and interactive paintball zones were on display.

Through-the-line agency, Mick&Nick’s campaign for Hansa consisted of launching the Hansa Board of Approval (HBA). HBA, which is also the campaign name, is a group of dedicated beer lovers who search the world for ‘refreshingly different styles of beer’.   The agency offered a position on the board, with a salary for 1 year totalling R600 000.  An interactive interview for this coveted position on the board travelled to consumers in the form of 5 custom built booths to over 250 taverns and shebeens across South Africa. More than 5000 people being were interviewed over a 3-month period.  The interview featured real time filmed interactions with the HBA board member conducting the interview and an HBA scout in the field. 4 global destinations, including Prague, Dublin and Cape Town could be selected from after which each interviewee played 3 fun games that tested how well they knew their pilsner from their lager. Interviewees would also receive random spot prizes from the HBA and became part of the organisation’s core database.  This campaign rustled up no less than one million sms’s. Mick&Nick’s Dunks launch for Nike took bronze at last year’s Loeries.

 Mick&Nick, Hansa Board of Approval

Mick&Nick, Hansa Board of Approval

O’MAGE’s approach to introducing the new BMW X6 to the South African market was to focus on the car’s contradictions.  The BMW X6 is the world’s first sports activity coupe, which means it combines off-road performance with the stylish elegance. BMW invited an exclusive group of 200 guests per event to the premiere.  BMW then made history by hosting the first event in South Africa to use photorealistic holographic technology. BMW’s head of sales and marketing, Wilhelm Schmid, kicked off the evening by interacting with a holographic image of himself to demonstrate the contradiction that we are exposed to in our modern world.  His speech was followed by entertainment choreographed by internationally renowned choreographer Tyrone Watkins. The show included a UV Fashion display, a tango performed in the middle of a musical duel fought between a cello and electric guitar, and a mime performance featuring a man trying to outwit his own shadow.  The grand finale was the unveiling of the new BMW X6 which through the fusion of video footage and holographs. Graphic lines flowed across the stage, drawing the coupe shape of the vehicle.  The graphics rotated in a 3D space before docking and disappearing to reveal a real BMW X6.

VWV has won 9 Loerie awards in the past, and this year two of their campaigns have made it to the live events nominees list. The first, their video to open the 2009 MillerCoors distributor conference in Las Vegas used a 175 foot long continuously curved screen.  The video images shot by VWV in the USA were sent back to South Africa where the audio track and final mix was done. The 2009 conference was held at the Rio Hotel and Convention centre in Las Vegas.  VWV produced all the video and presentation work in conjunction with individual presenters. They also supervised the construction of all set and decor elements and managed presenter rehearsals in Milwaukee and Colorado two weeks ahead of the event; finally bringing everything together over a five day period. 10 VWV heads of departments worked on the event over a four month period and went across to Las Vegas to manage local sub-contractors and suppliers. 

VWV’s other nominated campaign is for the MINI convertible launch.  VWV figured that since MINI is an urban brand, Jo’burg CBD would be an ideal venue for a series of open air events that will give guests an authentic experience of the new MINI convertible’s ‘Always Open’ positioning.  Then VWV decided to go global.  Working across four city blocks VWV created a series of street parties in London, Paris New York and Rome.  The evening started off in MINI’s birthplace, London.  VWV featured a MINI that was produced in 1959, one of only a hundred left in the world today. To bring each city’s street party to life authentic foods were served – fish and chips in London – and eight performers that enacted a slice of life from that decade were used. Paris 1979 featured an amateur movie crew – who elicited the help of unsuspecting guests. New York 1989 included an altercation between a cabby and his passenger. Street performers, roasted chestnuts and a bag lady added authenticity.

Rome 1999 was the dessert and coffee moment of the culinary experience, with a taste of Italian opera, and a fashion shoot with where guests posed with models on a black MINI.  The time travel whirl around the world ended back in the city of Jo’burg in 2009 with a party in an underground club.

The End


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