The finalists of Ads24’s ‘Think Afrikaans’ competition have been announced after judges considered an “entertaining mix of entries”. The three finalists of the fourth annual competition, in alphabetical order, are Francios Botes (Y&R JHB), Riaan Van Wyk (Draft FCB Cape Town) and Bernelle Visser (Shoprite Checkers Cape Town).
“The mix of entries was entertaining to say the least, from beautifully crafted design work to stunning humorous conceptual thoughts. Unfortunately a big portion of them were not eligible for the prize because of language mistakes. The jury debated at length about the validity of these entries. It’s a pity that some of the more creative pieces had to be left out of contention. The standard was quite high but the top three stood out for most judges,” says Stephen du Toit from Ogilvy, a judge for Think Afrikaans.
The final phase of this competition was a T-shirt design that was a cover for the retro-funky ‘Fotoverhaal’ or Afrikaans graphic novel that formed the first part of the competition. Click here to see the completed ‘Fotoverhaal’. The thinking behind the competition was to give advertising professionals an opportunity to hone their skills in conceptualising Afrikaans copy and design so that ultimately they will be able to produce better vernacular advertising campaigns.
“In our experience readers value vernacular advertising and place trust in it in a way that they would not necessarily feel about an English campaign, as it is not in their mother-tongue. This buy-in would outweigh the initial investment of creating a vernacular campaign. Vernacular advertising pays tribute to South Africa’s rich cultural heritage,” said Linda Gibson, CEO of Ads24.
Anneli Roux, manager of Language Services at Absa in Marketing and Communications, also a judge, said, “I was impressed with the creative, seeing that it is not something we are exposed to on a daily basis – we mostly focus on the copy side of things, so it was good to see the two merge. I thoroughly enjoyed the typical Afrikaans sayings and idioms used, and also the wordplay on some of them. It is a pity that we had to eliminate some of the better creatives because of spelling and grammar errors, or direct translation, but the entrants still need to be commended for their efforts with the taal.”
Another judge, Dina De Vine, creative director of Mortimer Harvey said while the competition aims to promote original Afrikaans thinking within a predominantly English speaking (and thinking) advertising industry, “it’s fair to say that, while progress may be slow in this regard, it certainly is steady… stadig maar seker. Once again, entries varied from well thought through and thoroughly proofed to quite the other extreme of the scale”.
“One entry deserves special mention for effort expended in photographing and featuring a hero brandishing the Handwoordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal or HAT. Unfortunately, and ironically, this entry also contained language errors. Could it be that our industry still relies on ‘daai tannie wat Afrikaans kan praat’ to translate, proof and direct our Afrikaans ads? Would we really approach some stranger on a street corner and say, ‘Excuse me, you speak a bit of English, don’t you? Won’t you quickly proof this English ad for me before it goes to print?’ Ek vra maar net…’
“On the whole the judges were particularly pleased with the quality and thinking of the top five entrants – all of whom managed to capture the essence of the Afrikaans photo novel in different and interesting ways. We thank the qualifying entrants for taking pride and care when they ‘Think Afrikaans’ and congratulate the 2013 finalists,” Gibson said.
Think Afrikaans and you’ll think of a descriptive language with a colourful tradition of storytelling. Before die ‘kassie’ (TV) and die ‘wêreldwye web’ (interweb), there was die ‘draadloos’ (radio), ‘spotprente’ (comics) and the ‘pièce de Afrikaans résistance, fotoverhale’ (photo novels). They were cool then and, in something of a cult revival, they are now retro-cool. The inspiration comes from Afrikaans comics such as Bittercomix.
Fotoverhaal full-link: http://www.ads24.co.za/media/shared/mailers/flipbook/
Bittercomix full-link: http://www.oulitnet.co.za/komix/