Finweek English Edition - - Advertising & Marketing -

THE OVER­WHELM­ING ME­MORY I will take away from the 2008 Lo­eries is the spec­tac­u­lar open­ing se­quence of the Sun­day night show. The mood was elec­tric as 2 000 ex­cited young ad-dicts as­sem­bled in the gi­ant Mar­gate mar­quee for the sec­ond night of awards. On stage, the KwaZulu-Na­tal Phil­har­monic Orches­tra played Ode to Joy, with its grad­ual build-up of sound and rhythm, while the Cler­mont Com­mu­nity Choir waited in the other wing.

The au­di­ence, more ac­cus­tomed to the sounds of Bono than Beethoven, ap­peared to be pay­ing lit­tle at­ten­tion.

The cli­max – a thun­der­ous clashing of cym­bals, drums, in­stru­ments and the voices of the 30-strong choir at full pitch – was so dra­matic it brought the en­tire au­di­ence to its feet, scream­ing, clap­ping and shout­ing. The orches­tra clearly didn’t know what had hit it but its en­joy­ment of un­ex­pected pop star sta­tus was ob­vi­ous.

Un­for­tu­nately, it again led me to ques­tion the place of en­ter­tain­ment in the Lo­erie Awards show. My me­mory of the event is more about mu­sic than about ad­ver­tis­ing. Also, the event would ben­e­fit from be­ing a lit­tle shorter. The seat­ing was among the most un­com­fort­able I have ever ex­pe­ri­enced and three hours plus was too long. Less en­ter­tain­ment would have done the trick.

As far as the work on show is con­cerned I don’t think 2008 will go down as one of the stronger years for South African ad­ver­tis­ing. But I liked the TV grand prix, the touch­ing story set in a South Amer­i­can vil­lage about ju­ve­nile love that ends with a mes­sage ap­pro­pri­ate to peo­ple who in­vest through Al­lan Gray. But why was it set in Latin Amer­ica? Couldn’t it have been an African story?

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