An outstanding performance at the Cannes Lions Festival last week by Net#work BBDO shot it back to the top of the creative pile after a period during which its trophy cabinet has looked rather bare. The results made Net#work the world’s best radio ad agency for the moment and helped South Africa claim the position of the world’s best radio country. Two-thirds of SA’s points earned at Cannes were in the radio category.
TBWA Hunt Lascaris also has reason to be pleased with itself, holding second spot after an apparent dip in results following the end of its all-conquering “Trillion dollar billboard” campaign. That was a hard act to follow, but Hunt Lascaris managed to push Ogilvy Johannesburg down to third spot.
In the film (TV and other screens) category, where SA rarely does well, we had our best result in years, grabbing four Lions (two Silver and two Bronze). In that category, still considered the highlight of the Cannes week, Ogilvy Johannesburg led the way, winning Silver for its People Opposing Women Abuse commercial, and bronze for Exclusive Books (which recently shifted its account to Net#work). FoxP2 also won Silver with its “They’d love to meet you” campaign for brandhouse, and JWT added weight to its incipient creative surge by taking a Bronze for its Avril Elizabeth Homes.
Other talking points: Bester Burke Slingers also broke a long creative silence by winning Silver for Yardley, for SA’s only win in the previously strong press category; Atmosphere won the first re-cognition for public relations in SA with a shortlist; Grey also evidenced a creative recovery, taking home five shortlists.
It wasn’t a great year for SA. Compared with 2010 our entries and creative points were both down 10%. The number of winning agencies also fell – but by a third. Last year 25 agencies shared the spoils; this year there were only 17 at the trough.