A surprising new regional force emerged at Loeries this weekend when BBDO took more honours than any other network across the continent. A network stretching from Cape Town to Johannesburg to Lagos to Nairobi to Cairo to Dubai – 1 Grand-Prix, 15 Golds, 5 Silvers, 9 Bronzes, including 6 craft certificates across just about every channel from Outdoor to Print to Digital to Content to Media to Radio to TV to Integrated. Not to mention, Johannesburg’s young talent again taking The Young Creative Award honours.
A jubilant Mike Schalit, BBDO Africa CCO says, “Great to see our focus on liberating and inspiring the continent to world class creativity paying off at Loeries as it itself transforms into a continental awards showpiece. Collaboration doesn’t have to be the lowest common denominator.”
“The growth and importance of Africa is undeniable and whilst others look for dots on the map, BBDO’s focus on the work and talent has carved a different path in the region,” says Gau Narayanan, Regional Director, BBDO Africa. “You only have to look at the incredible success up North to Dubai – ECD Fadi Yaish has attracted some of the region’s best talent and partners with clients including Mercedes, the United Nations and Loto. And then of course, down South, Net#work ECD Brad Reilly is pioneering a new creative landscape across sub-Saharan Africa, from Chicken Licken to Guinness to Tusker. It all culminates in an unrelenting focus on world class creativity to put Africa on the map.”
BBDO’s body of outstanding work, across several brands, has been recognised commercially and at regional awards, most recently taking Gold and Bronze Lions at Cannes for Guinness ‘Made of Black’, the only gold for the African continent in the film category. The work was developed by a coalition under the stewardship of Mike Schalit which featured BBDO offices in London, Lagos, Nairobi and Johannesburg. The work had so much potential that it attracted Sam Brown from Rogue films, features Black Skinhead – a track by Kanye West, and is a celebration of a new generation featuring real creative pioneers from across the continent. Talent that carve their own path, rewrite the rules, embody a progressive entrepreneurial spirit, and are like Guinness, Made of More.
Schalit says, “Dipping into local culture and nuance, we were able to connect this global platform at a more relevant, more compelling level through Made of Black. It’s is more than a TV ad, it is a platform that has redefined the beer category and unites the creativity and ingenuity of the world’s most iconic beer with a continent’s unrivalled potential, energy, passion and confidence. We’re proud of this recognition.”
BBDO Africa’s rise is built on great clients, great work, and great talent. “As an agency we are well aware of the new creative voice that is gaining in volume in Africa and we are excited to be part of its influence on breakthrough, world-class communication platforms and ideas for our clients. It’s differentiating, it’s relevant and it is only now beginning to really be defined. There has never been a better time to be in Africa,” says Schalit.