Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part initiative was one of 34 Gold award winners at the Loeries this year. Here’s more on the award-winning radio ad and the current campaigns of Play Your Part.Sithembile Ntombela (right), Brand South Africa’s general manager of marketing, is pleased with the Loerie Gold award won for the Play Your Part radio ad. Here she is with Thobile Mushwana, a Play Your Part ambassador. (Images: Mathiba Molefe)Melissa JavanBrand South Africa’s Play Your Part won a Gold award at the Loeries this year, held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban. The Loeries awards ceremonies were held on 19 and 20 August 2017 during Loeries Creative Week Durban.The Loeries are the marketing and advertising industry’s awards. They are an opportunity for brands and marketers to view the very best work coming out of the region. All countries from Africa and the Middle East may enter all the categories, but entries from outside South Africa are judged separately.The Media Update reported that more than 3,000 entries were received, with 20% of them from outside South Africa. A total of 800 brands were represented by 400 agencies from 18 countries in Africa and the Middle East.The awardsThere were more than 240 Loeries awarded in 22 categories, including five Grand Prix, 34 Golds, 24 CraftGolds, 73 Silvers, and 102 Bronzes.The special awards included Nathan Reddy of Grid Worldwide, who was inducted into the Loeries Hall of Fame. He is the first designer to receive this honour.Brand South Africa was entered in the Radio Communication: South African Non-English Radio Station Commercials category. Its agency, The Odd Number, won the Gold for the After Tears radio ad for Play Your Part.Listen to the advert (or read the subtitles) here:In the same category, The Odd Number won a Silver for its BBC Lifestyle campaign, Hell’s Kitchen – Mama, Mfundisi, for the Hell’s Kitchen initiative.Joe Public won a Silver award for its Back to School campaign for Jet, called Hand-me-downs – Is’khaftini, Is’cathulo, Isokisi.Runners-up in the category were DDB, which won a Bronze for the Medal Paints Inkanyamba campaign, as did I See A Different You for the self-promotion campaign, Wa hamba Nathi.Communication for niche audiencesLoeries CEO Andrew Human told Campaign Middle East that the Loeries focused on being a regional specialist show. “In our judging, our judges are guided to look for regional excellence, to look for regional relevance.“Often you might find that niche work that may be overlooked in a global show, is what really comes out here and might get a strong award… We are looking for work in local languages that has a small cultural significance to the niche audience,” he said.“It doesn’t have to be a global campaign. It doesn’t have to make sense in London and in New York City. It can make sense in one city, in one country and region and we want to see how communication is being targeted to niche regional audiences.”The Q&APlay Your Part is a movement not a campaign, explained Sithembile Ntombela, Brand South Africa’s general manager of marketing. She was speaking at the media launch of the Play Your Part television series on 24 August 2017. “A campaign ends.“It is imperative to get South Africans to rally behind the Nation’s Brand. There are endless opportunities of getting involved and that is Play Your Part is a call to action programme that challenges every South African to play their part in their communities and contribute towards a positive social change.Sithembile NtombelaJournalist Melissa Javan spoke to Ntombela following the Gold Loerie win; she talked about what Play Your Part was currently doing:Melissa Javan: Congratulations on the Loerie win. How do you feel about it?Sithembile Ntombela: Ecstatic! Play Your Part was launched in 2011 with an objective of promoting active citizenship among citizens with a view that when we as a collective play our part, we will achieve what is set out in the country’s vision.After six years of hard work, receiving a gold award is a huge success and a key milestone for the organisation. This is also indicative of a hard working organisation, an organisation that continues to create a Nation Brand that inspires its people and is admired globally. Play Your Part affords us with a platform of bringing inspiration to life.MJ: What was the idea behind the radio ad?SN: The big idea was to show the reality of the consequences of driving after drinking alcohol. We believe that the number of road accidents continue to be on the rise and the campaign objective was really to activate the “rude awakening” of this reality.That is why the set of the ad is in heaven. If all citizens can play their part and promote responsible driving, the number of accidents can be reduced.MJ: Why was it specifically targeted at non-English speakers?SN: My view is that due to the lingo used, the ad lands itself naturally to a vernacular station. The plan is to get stakeholders to promote the ad and flight it on various platforms, including social media.MJ: Was it part of a campaign?SN: It was a tactical advert in support of the Arrive Alive campaign, which is often championed by the Department of Transport.MJ: How often does Brand South Africa do campaigns like these?SN: Brand South Africa works with and through various stakeholders and there are different collaborations that often take place. For example, there are the South African Premier Business Awards in collaboration with Proudly SA and the Department of Trade and Industry.However, this advert will be aired on different radio channels during the holiday season, with the objective of issuing a strong call to action.MJ: Can you name a few campaigns you are busy with now?SN: We are working with the Department of Trade and Industry on the South African Premier Business Awards. We are also busy with the Play Your Part TV series, which will start airing on 26 August 2017 on SABC 2, at 18h00.In addition, we are promoting the nation brand on international platforms through a partnership with CNN. We have an on-going media engagement to strengthen our relations with the media and get them to understand the nation brand performance.MJ: How important are the Loeries for South Africa?SN: Very important. They enhance the nation brand’s reputation and hopefully this can help in promoting the visibility of Brand South Africa. For me, the Loeries are a platform of celebrating creativity, talent and innovation. If a brand gets recognition at the Loeries, it enhances that brand’s reputation.MJ: Any final thoughts?SN: We will continue to work hard to ensure that the nation brand is recognised and that many South Africans can rally behind the brand and support Brand South Africa in advancing the long-term reputation and competitiveness of South Africa.Watch this year’s Loeries and the winners on its official site.Sources: Loeries, Campaign Middle East and Campaign Middle East, YouTube.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.