Ogilvy Johannesburg was SA’s top performer at the annual D&AD Yellow Pencil Awards in London last week.
The agency won two of four SA Yellow Pencils, for TV branding and TV promotion, for its work on DStv’s MK Afrikaans music channel. It also received an In-Book award — meaning it appears in the D&AD Annual — for photography on the DStv MultiChoice campaign “Nothing’s put on”.
There were two radio Yellow Pencils for SA agencies. Grey Advertising won for the Nelson Mandela Foundation campaign “Martin Luther King Jr/Nelson Mandela” and Net#work BBDO for its multi-award-winning Mercedes-Benz “Attention assist” campaign.
Twelve SA agencies were recognised at the awards. TBWAHuntLascaris (Hunts) was the SA agency ranked second-highest, after Ogilvy, with one Yellow Pencil nomination and four In-Book awards. Ireland-Davenport was also nominated for a Yellow Pencil.
SA Creative Circle chairman Chris Gotz is delighted with the performance. “I don’t think SA has done this well before,” he says. “Last year we got only one Yellow Pencil.”
Hunts won the ultimate accolade, a Black Pencil, in 2010 for its Trillion Dollar Campaign for The Zimbabwean but was a lone SA success that year.
Gotz says: “It’s encouraging to see the broad spread of work from various categories this year.” He considers D&AD the toughest awards show at which to be recognised. It may not have the global prestige of Cannes but its judges are more discriminating. “The body of work acknowledged is generally small and it’s heartening to see the SA performance.”
Gotz is also pleased that so many of the wins were for major business clients. “Traditionally when we have done well in recent years it was with public services and social awareness campaigns.”
Ogilvy executive creative director Fran Luckin says the striking quality of the MK campaign is its real-life intensity.
Grey Advertising SA CEO Sizakele Marutlulle says the Nelson Mandela Foundation campaign was “about initiating dialogue and conversation”. She says: “The work coincided with the foundation’s concern of engaging with a younger audience, which is often not receptive to messages about history.”