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Young creatives excel at Facebook’s first African Creative Shop Hackathon

 Young creatives excel at Facebook’s first African Creative Shop Hackathon

Facebook’s first Creative Shop Hackathon in Africa was a strong showcase for the creativity and storytelling excellence of young South African advertising professionals, with five teams of five talented creatives from various agencies across South Africa, vying for the first place. The Hackathon took place on 18 September at the Cullinan Hotel in Cape Town as part of Loeries Creative Week 2014.

A Hackathon is a workshop where teams collaborate to solve real-world business problems, usually while working against a tight deadline. The Facebook Creative Shop Hackathon was built based on a brief by Cape Town Tourism. Says Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, “Having previously run one of our most successful campaigns on Facebook, “Send your Facebook profile to Cape Town”, it was a great opportunity for us to partner with Facebook and to work with young creatives to see how we can continue to innovate in this space for the benefit of Cape Town. Thanks to Facebook for the opportunity and we look forward to growing the partnership.”

The Hackathon saw the teams compete against each other to deliver on a real creative brief for the Loeries Creative Future Scholarship.  During the workshop, Facebook also provided an educational session showcasing award winning work as well as the latest developments from Facebook HQ on tools and systems being developed specifically for Africa.


Designed specifically for young creative designers with one to two years of experience, the workshop attracted far more responses than it could accommodate with the 40 seats available. The winning team featured representatives from some of South Africa’s top agencies

• 140BBDO: Steph Symonds – Art Director
• Y&R Cape Town: Graham Krige – Copywriter
• Ogilvy & Mather South Africa: Tanya De Jongh – Designer
• Popimedia: Jaco Van Der Walt – Creative Strategist
• 140BBDO: Jeremy Dixon – Project Manager

Jaco van der Walt from Popimedia says: “The Hackathon was an awesome opportunity to work with new faces in a setup that promotes extreme creativity. The fact that we came up with a concept that we’re all this excited about testifies to that.”

The Hackathon was overseen by Rob Newlan, Head of Facebook Creative Shop Europe, Middle East and Africa. “I was deeply impressed by the creativity of the participants, as well as their ability to think strategically on their feet,” says Newlan. “Our winners put together a campaign that leverages our platform to tell a compelling and personalised story that will surely capture the imagination of the audience. What’s more, it was exciting to see the sharing of ideas that took place during this workshop.”

Tanya de Jongh of Ogilvy says: “Getting the opportunity to collaborate with creatives from various parts of South Africa on a brief with a very quick turn-around, was so exciting. The brief itself and working on it with first-hand advice from Facebook along with my team, was an experience I’m very privileged to have been a part of.”

“I was very excited and super keen to be part of the Facebook Hackathon yesterday here in South Africa,” says Pierre Odendaal, Chief Creative Officer of McCann. “Bringing innovation and new concepts to life through Hackathons, are always exciting. When one is able to work with the youth and offer them something different, incorporating the best platform out there by far (Facebook), then who would not want to be involved with something so cool?”

Facebook will give the winners free credit to bring their idea to life. They will participate in two more videoconferencing sessions with the Facebook Creative team to refine their winning idea, before presenting it to Cape Town Tourism. Facebook will help them to bring the campaign to life and launch it.


Says 140BBDO’s Jeremy Dixon: “What really excited me, was how relevant and simple we needed to keep our solution. At the end of the day we deal with humans and our solution needed to be relevant to everyone old and young.”

Facebook has a strategic partnership with the Loeries Creative Week 2014 in line with its goals of promoting positive engagement between brands and consumers in high-growth markets as well as helping people in Africa to connect with each other. In addition to hosting its first Creative Shop Hackathon for Africa, Newlan has been a judge at the 2014 Loeries as well as a keynote speaker at the Loeries DStv Seminar of Creativity.

Facebook’s focus on the Loeries is part of its strategy to invest in the high-growth markets of Africa and South Africa. “With more than 100 million active Facebook people a month – 80% of them on mobile devices – Africa is an exciting market for us,” says Newlan. “Making the world more open and connected is Facebook’s mission and high-growth African countries are central to that mission.”

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