A flood of minnows
Loerie Awards highlight new agencies
IT’S BEEN A BUSY PERIOD for agency start-ups, many of which appeared on the Loerie Awards winners’ roster in July. Who are these new rising stars, these previously unknown agencies and service providers? Perhaps not surprisingly in an era of change, they’re an eclectic mix of temporary alliances, non-advertising agencies, traditional ad agencies and service providers.
Among the most intriguingly named is Am I Collective, a Cape Town illustration studio that earned a print craft Grand Prix for Scrabble. Turns out, the collective isn’t as unknown as we thought. Now nearly three years old, Am I Collective has 15 full-time illustrators on its staff, plus eight animation specialists.
“We’re not an ad agency,” says MD Mark van Niekerk. “We supply the ad industry with illustrations. We’ve done work for major global corporations worldwide, including Orange in Britain, Vodafone Australia, Coca-Cola in Atlanta, working on a Coke logo for the 2010 World Cup.” Other newbies include: The Scoville Unit. Former FCB media director Brett Morris was appointed experimentally as creative director by his client Nando’s, with the idea of developing a more holistic, channel-neutral approach to creative thinking. Now he’s taken that vision back into the agency arena and at a different, fullservice level, with his new shop.
“We’re looking for business solutions, not just advertisements. Adidas Europe spent its entire marketing budget – amounting to millions of euro – on a couple of activations.”
Clients include Nando’s, Netflorist and Constantia Insurance.
Pixel Project (a silver at Loeries) is a digital agency specialising in museum installations, corporate and training software and gaming. Still with only four members of staff, business has doubled every year for five years.
“We design and program games for marketing purposes, such as promoting a product or idea,” says director Preston Thomas. “For example, we designed a sleuth detective game to promote the need to eliminate software piracy.” Other projects have included Lilliesleaf Farm, the Cradle of Mankind Origins Centre, Momentum and Adobe.
Story Design, a clothing label launched in 2006, won a Gold and bronze at the Loeries, adding to founder Sanché Frolich’s 18 Loeries over the past 10 years. Frolich has had a peripatetic career as a graphic designer, art director and illustrator that’s included the launch of an award-winning magazine, Dossier. Now she’s emigrating to New York to work for a design agency, taking her clothing label with her. But she also plans to open a shop in SA.
Dolphinarium was the name given to a temporary, part-time alliance of six friends, recent graduates working at different agencies but who came together doing marketing for a pop band. “It was a labour of love,” says Moira-Gene Sephton. “Then we all went out for a drink and decided to work together. Now we take on small projects in our spare time to keep the creative juices flowing. Then we had to give ourselves a name for the Loeries.”
Will it become a fully-fledged agency? Its future is uncertain. “We might never resur-
Brainwave (winner with WriteGirl of a Loerie bronze) is a design company that does “a little bit of advertising”. Founder Renée Neil began in advertising in 1988, starting Brainwave in 2001 using three permanent staff plus a pool of outside collaborators. She’s won Loerie Grands Prix for Conservation Corporation and in 2006 for art design. She often collaborates with WriteGirl (specialist copywriter Lynette Lawley).
Coley Porter Bell, , the London branding and design agency, opened in Cape Town in March under MD Tabatha King. It rapidly made its mark, winning a silver and bronze Loerie and gaining an impressive client portfolio that included Cape Town Tourism, KFC, Fairview and Spier.
Mick & Nick has made an impact since its launch last year, not so much with awards as with new clients. Among its gains are Nike, Look & Listen and Hansa.
Also making waves are Euro RSCG, the international network that’s now opened in SA (as reported last week). Baie-Lingual Blink Stefanus was the second-best agency at this month’s Pendorings, for Afrikaans advertising, with two golds. 2 Buffels Melkery won awards at both the Pendorings and the Loeries. Hellocomputer, an online specialist, won three bronze Loeries.
Am I Collective: Scrabble
Dolphinarium: pop band