5 platinum things to know about the Loeries

It’s that time again.

Time for annual Loerie fever to rip through Cape Town like a disco-bright rash.

General consensus is that the Loerie Awards are not for the birds.

In fact, attendees are known to inhabit the illustrious upper echelons of South Africa’s well-heeled marketing circles, with a few fancy visitors from abroad.

(At this point the great potential for bad puns involving Loeries will be exploited).

Shall we say South Africa’s advertising industry is aflutter, grooming their plumes, flocking to the Mother City in droves (stomach in, claws out!) raring to launch their yearly tequila-fuelled ruffled-feather offensive; to peck merrily at the spoils of mass-consumptive media hype.

Cape Town is again executive hipsterville. Registration for the bash opened yesterday; with packages costing between R400 and R12 000 per person, the cream of the country’s marketing-agency gang is bound to kick up some Mother City dust.

What fun.

Lore around the Loerie Awards is rife.

The night-straddling afterparties are the stuff of legend – and will remain so as the best ones are off limits to journalists, and other mere mortals.

These parties are about as impenetrable as Alcatraz, presumably with better food and fashion, refined repartee and bottomless swag.

“People let their hair down, you know,” a friend tells me.

Well, I scratched beyond the veil of mystery to bring you the following nuggets of platinum information.

Five things you need to know about the Loeries this week:

1. Some 4 000 delegates will attend the string of events, with some interesting microeconomic implications.

Twitter users have remarked that Cape Town’s cocaine dealers must be smiling this week.

So, I engaged in an unscientific survey the other day. I cornered two local car guards/drug dealers in Green Point.

Have you noticed a surge in cocaine sales lately? I asked.

Both shook their heads. Nope. Demand appears to be steady.

2. Unsurprisingly, the internet’s stronghold is on the increase.

Of the 3 000 entries this year, 10% were for digital advertising.

“Digital is finally being taken seriously in the South African media mix,” says Loeries CEO Andrew Human.

The biggest category, however, still remains print media, with 530 entries.

3. The entries were assessed by six overseas judges, who “led” a local judging panel this week.

Gossip around last year’s foreign contingent has caused ripples online.

In a stringent blog post, agency boss Chris Gotz recalled how a judge from Australia boozed on the job last year.

“The Australian judge went drinking at a dodgy pub halfway through judging,” wrote Chris, creative director at Ogilvy & Mather in Cape Town, one of the country’s leading marketing agencies.

“Whether that was prompted by the quality of the work, I do not know,” he added.

Some would describe “dodgy pub” as tautology. Personally, I like my pubs dodgy.

4. Red carpets will be unrolled at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, where prizes will be dished out tomorrow and Sunday evening.

The masterminds of marketing will also be fêted at an International Seminar of Creativity at the Cape Town City Hall today.

Seven global brand ambassadors will deliver talks, including Google Zoo director Michael Yapp from California.

(Perhaps he will also shed light on Google Glass, that terminally awkward gadget shunned even by geeks).

Official Loerie events will be hosted at city venues Truth Coffee, Shimmy beach club, Fiction night club, and Julep cocktail lounge on Long Street.

5. And for those die-hard enthusiasts who always want more? Well, there is more.

Get the official Loeries logo inked on your body.

Rob Turner Tattoos offers the service at the Loeries Expo, which opened at the Cape Town City Hall yesterday.

The monochrome logo of a bird among leaves was designed by Jenny Ehlers of esteemed local agency, King James.


A press release describes the virtues of the body art. Among other things, the tattoo is “a mark of your allegiance”.

Also: “A symbol of just how much you love South Africa’s biggest and most influential festival of creativity.”

I’ll conclude this week’s blog entry with a thought by late British ad executive David Ogilvy, founder of the worldwide Ogilvy empire and considered the father of advertising by many.

Ogilvy said: “The consumer isn’t a moron, she is your wife.”

Which of course brings to mind that epic line: “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right … etc.”

Follow the birdie brigade on Twitter @Loeries.

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