TRENDING: Lockdown Loeries looks to add some sparkle

by Louise Burgers. The Loerie Awards fly into Cape Town this week, bringing some much needed sparkle to Cape Town.

by Louise Burgers. The marketing industry gets together for the first time this week IRL as the annual Loerie Awards perches in Cape Town again, to reward the latest brand and retail advertising. From an online event in 2020; to a hybrid, smaller event for 2021, the focus will all be on moving forward.

From legal declarations to vaccine certificates and Covid tests, the organisers are taking no chances with health and safety, leading the way in the industry as events begin to open up cautiously. For Loeries CEO, Preetesh Sewraj, nothing has been business-as-usual since he took over last year – although nothing about the Loeries has ever been, what you would call ‘normal’.

From the heady Sun City days of glamorous M-Net presenters and seven hour awards shows choked with the smell of fake tan and a few other things; to the crazy and creative slumming it at the Margate side show, complete with flashers and rogue tents; to Loeries landing in Cape Town for a more sophisticated and modern showcase BC (Before Covid). While this edition of Lockdown Loeries will by no means recapture the giddy excitement of a week of creative play in Sandton’s favourite local playground, Cape Town, it signals an industry chaffing to get back to vital connections that stimulate creative ideas and drive great work.

Brand communications encompasses the whole gambit of advertising excellence, which is celebrated at the awards – from Effective Creativity, Shared Value, Service Design, Integrated Campaign, Young Creatives, Digital Communication, Design, Live Communications, Media Innovation, Out of Home, Print Communications, Radio and Audio, Live Communication, PR & Media Communication and Media Innovation, Film and Student Awards. Work from South Africa, Africa and the Middle East will be celebrated. This time round, Loeries Creative Week, including the Loerie Awards, are a fusion of physical events and a cinematic experience at theatres around South Africa. The Loeries Creative Week also offers a programme of Masterclasses and various social events in the muted four days.

Loeries CEO, Preetesh Sewraj.

The organisers felt it was really important to bring people together again for that all important connection. Sewraj explains: “There was no guarantee that we could hold a physical event this year. We had a look at it and went ‘What if’ we can hold a physical event? We workshopped where we could go for a totally iconic experience from a tourism and creativity perspective – it was between Cape Town and Dubai. We started talking to Cape Town and they bent over backwards. Everything fell into place,” Sewraj tells Retailing Africa. Of course Cape Town came to the party – it’s been a tourism wasteland for 20 months. The fact that Loeries is setting up a branded Loeries Mile at the V&A Waterfront; and bringing in industry folk from Sweden, Nigeria, the UK, etc, is Christmas come early for the city.

We do need to point out that Loeries is about more than a big party (well, for some people); and Sewraj wants to emphasise that the focus is based on a sense of social responsibility as a force to enact true change; and as a force for good in Africa and the Middle East. “The industry impacts the lives of R2 billion consumers. We are moving society forward with the work the industry is producing.” Then there is also that unconscious networking that moves the industry forward, that takes place at events like this. “For many creatives, this will be one of their most prized Loeries, because it is work created under the most trying conditions, with people working from home and away from their teams, in this uncertainty,” Sewraj says.

At the conclusion of the four-day Loeries Creative Week, there’s a Secret Sunrise dance party planned for one of the glam beaches. Personally, I think they should have organised a bonfire for a ceremonial burning of all Zoom outfits and grungy ‘leisure wear’.


Main image credit: The Loerie Awards.


Louise Burgers is the Publisher and Editor and Co-Founder of She has spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global gamechanger in the next decade.


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