Africa has creative talent to burn. We spoke to African creative leaders about how pan-African showcases like the Loeries, help promote African talent to the world – and why awards like these, inspire brands to be bolder and do more creative and effective work.
There is a very human voice to African brand communication, as well as a sense of fun. Lesibane Mohale, Group Creative Director of Ogilvy Africa Group, in Ghana, admires the way “humour is weaved into communication messages”. In Africa, “telecommunications brands thrive on humour and simplicity to connect with consumers,” he says.
Many African creatives are driven by a belief that we can tell better stories by taking inspiration from each other, particularly from the unique and diverse creative resources across the continent. Angolan graphic designer Hilma Sassa feels that Africans don’t yet fully value their creative industry and its importance in society, making it harder to get noticed, “As a creative, you may have more luck getting noticed beyond your country, and outside the continent, if you share your work on the international stage.”
That sentiment informs the work of the Loeries, the most prestigious creative awards across Africa and the Middle East. “Our mandate is to showcase the best creative work from the continent, of course. But, it’s equally about helping brands find the right creative team to help them realise their business goals,” says Andrew Human, CEO of the Loeries.
“Countries such as Brazil and India are great examples of markets that have entered work into international award shows and won by leveraging locally relevant ideas backed by solid local consumer insights,” says Mohale. “As a continent, we should champion work that feels unapologetically African so that we can showcase to the world what the continent is truly about.”
As Sassa puts it: “I am stimulated by the diversity of work created in Africa, which is deeply inspired by our culture and tradition. That signature makes it unique and different from the things we see out there.”
A similar impulse drives Human, who urges more creatives from around the African continent to enter the Loeries.
“The Loeries is the only award in Africa that is recognised by the global WARC Report, which makes the Loeries a unique platform for African excellence on the global stage.” Human says the international standing of the Loeries is the result of a commitment to high standards and an independent and objective judging process. “Every year, we host some of the world’s top creative leaders to act as jury presidents, coupled with panels of leading experts from throughout the region. Their objectivity and expert insight is part of what makes the Loeries the benchmark.”
“Entrants know that their work is being held to the highest global standards, and it’s a unique opportunity for African creatives to show the world just how good they are.”