This year’s Pendoring campaign that Saatchi & Saatchi and the Pendoring committee recently unveiled is aimed at persuading a predominantly English-speaking advertising profession to enter an Afrikaans advertising competition. The most with-it Afrikaans advertisement can not only bring cash into the pocket of the advertisement creator, but also bring more than six million Afrikaans fans.
“Previous campaigns have mostly tried to sell the uniqueness of the Afrikaans language. A new touch was necessary. The popularity of heroes is currently very relevant in the Afrikaans milieu. “Like the De la Rey syndrome,’ says Leon Jacobs, creative head of the Pendoring campaign of Saatchi & Saatchi.
“The Pendoring campaign illustrates how Afrikaans people in their own unique way raise South African advertising people to heroes,’ says Jacobs. For this purpose Saatchi & Saatchi has selected creative people that are well known in the advertising industry, but not necessarily outside advertising, and specifically the Afrikaans community. These names include Mike Schalit, Julian Watt, Ross Chowels, Lapeace Kakaza, Vanessa Pearson and Alistair King. The message is that someone who receives a Pendoring award can become his/her hero in the Afrikaans community.
“Much hard work and planning have gone into this year’s campaign. We wanted to redesign it – like the rest of Pendoring – to take this project to a new level in its thirteenth year of existence. And the campaign is working! With a catch-phrase like: Speak Afrikaans, talk to the people, it is obvious,’ says Lucille van Niekerk, chairman of the Pendoring working committee.
One of the advertisements in this year’s campaign is a photograph of a typical Afrikaans living room. Above the fire-place hangs a tapestry of a proud Voortrekker general on his horse. When you look closer, it is none other than Wingwing Mdlulwa, who has his own agency – Twist Advertising. Among others he is chairman of the Loerie Committee. The text is simple and reads: ‘Become an Afrikaans hero.’
There is also a photograph of a rugby-mad teenage boy’s bedroom. Against the wall is a poster of a girl leaning against a Mercedes. Advertising people will recognise her as Vanessa Pearson, executive creative head of Lobedo Leo Burnett, the agency that was responsible for among others Mercedes Benz’s advertising. An intelligent hitch is repeated time and again.
To obtain a true Afrikaans character in the campaign, the talents of photographer Stan Engelbrecht was called in. He is not usually a commercial photographer and is best known for his coffee-table book African Salad. With his unique stamp on the campaign a fresh unsophisticated result was obtained.
The radio campaign uses the same principle. A class of nine year-olds sings their Afrikaans school song in high-sounding formal Afrikaans. It appears as if these children do not even understand what they are singing, because alma mater becomes almal maters. But they surrender themselves to the music; proud to be learning at a school like Laerskool Lapeace Kakaza. And needless to say, the latter is a creative head at TBWA Hunt Lascaris in Johannesburg!
The printed media and radio campaign is complemented by the Pendoring website that was designed by Saatchi & Saatchi’s interactive department AtPlay. This website consists of two addresses this year that are linked so that one can move easily from one to the other.
The first address is www.pendoring.co.za, where all the competition rules, entry information and news flashes can be obtained. On this website the public will also be able to vote for their favourite Afrikaans advertisement. The advertisement with the most votes will be announced at the Pendoring gala evening and will receive a brand new prize – The People’s Choice Award.
There is also the www.afrikaansehelde.com website. This is an interactive website where the public can read more about the advertising people that appear in the Pendoring campaign. Below each printed media advertisement a web address appears that will lead you to the Afrikaans Heroes website, where a photograph and brief biography of the specific advertising person can be found. In this way the Pendoring campaign provides the man in the street with a peep into the lives of the people behind the advertisements that they run across each day in the media.