2011 winners of Pendoring’s Prestige Award take over New York

Posted: August 7, 2012

Riaan van Wyk and André de Wet from Draftfcb Cape Town, winners of the 2011 Pendoring Prestige award, say the Big Apple blew their creative minds wide open, and they already started incorporating some of what they learnt there into their work. This creative duo recently returned from the overseas study trip they won as part of their prize last year.

Van Wyk, senior art director, and De Wet, senior copy writer, spent time at Draftfcb New York, among other things. “We went there to have a look at their systems and the way they do things,” says Van Wyk. “The agency is huge, with more than 600 employees.” Their New York colleagues certainly had to take note of the two South Africans, as Draftfcb Cape Town was – together with the group’s South American-agencies – the company stars at the 2012 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity held last month.

Van Wyk and De Wet brought home a bronze Lion for their Paleis/Pandok-advertisement for Die Burger, the same ad that won them a gold Pendoring and the Pendoring Prestige award in 2011.

New York itself inspired them the most. “Experiencing it all was just wonderful. We couldn’t stop looking at things, even the graffiti, and tried to experience as much as possible of the American culture. For instance, we went to see a big baseball match, and spent an evening at The Comedy Strip, where world famous comedians like Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock started their careers. After all, humour is a very important aspect of advertising,” Van Wyk says.

De Wet says New Yorkers themselves also inspired them. “Just the average Joes and their stories. We came back with loads of ideas, and already started using some of them in our work.”

They don’t think American advertising is better than South African advertising. “Yes, they are doing unbelievable things in American advertising, but the general standard is definitely not as high as in South African advertising. We produce better, sharper work here. Just look at how well South African advertising agencies did at this year’s Cannes,” De Wet says.

Local digital advertising, however, can still learn a lot from the USA. “But it is mostly because Americans have access to better technology and cheaper broadband. Theirs is a digital community, and that is not the case here – people here are much more conservative when it comes to digital media, and the local cost and availability of technology also plays a huge role,” says Van Wyk.

They agree that digital media is on the increase worldwide, and that mobile digital media is the category to watch in local advertising. “At Cannes it fell under general digital in the past, but this year there was a separate category for mobile digital.”

Van Wyk and De Wet say South African agencies shouldn’t focus on the lack of technology, but rather on ideas. “Ideas earn you awards.”

How did the New York-experience influence their careers? “I’ll work ten thousand times harder for the Pendoring Prestige prize award from now on, just to have another experience like this one. It is something, I believe, every creative should do,” Van Wyk says.

It was the second time De Wet won a Pendoring Prestige award, and his previous study trip took him to Amsterdam. What did the New York experience teach him? “To advertise on a large scale! In the USA advertisers must shout harder all the time just to be heard and that is what’s going to happen here as well. We will also, in the near future, have to find new ways just to be heard and seen over the clutter. Even though the general standard of American advertising isn’t all that high, the outstanding ads there are really brilliant. We saw how those can capture and hold people’s attention.”

Van Wyk and De Wet were the creatives behind this year’s Pendoring campaign.

* This year, Pendoring will have its first awards evening in the Mother City since its inception 18 years ago. This prestigious event on Friday, 21 September in the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) coincides with Creative Week Cape Town.

Afterwards the celebrations will continue in true Pendoring spirit at the ever-popular afterparty- once again sponsored by MK – held at The Assembly.

 A limited number of tickets to the Pendoring Awards Evening can still be purchased from Corrie le Roux (corrie@vibrantmedia.co.za or 011 880 5202).


Riaan van Wyk (left) and André de Wet at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, where their Paleis/Pandok (for Die Burger) won a bronze Lion.