A flood of min­nows

Lo­erie Awards high­light new agen­cies

Finweek English Edition - - Advertising & Marketing -

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-

rect Dol­phi­nar­ium.”

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

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