Fran Luckin, Chief Creative Officer at Grey Africa, was recently elected as the new Chairperson of the Loeries Board.
Here are some of her thoughts on the role the Loeries plays in the creative industry, and what she hopes to accomplish as their chairperson over the coming months.
What excites you about your new role as Loeries Chairperson?
I’m really looking forward to working with the amazing people on the Loeries Board in ensuring that the organisation achieves its purpose of creating a world-class festival that aims to transform the communications industry and inspire creative excellence.
Can you remember the first ever Loerie Award that you won?
I think it was for a radio ad for Nando’s back in 1997 when I was working as a copywriter at Hunt Lascaris. Even back then Nando’s were pushing the boundaries and I was glad to be a part of helping them do it!
Which of your Loerie Award wins stand out for you?
My most recent win as Executive Creative Director of a Duracell campaign in 2017, which was my first award win at Grey. This also won a Cannes Gold Lion. The best part about leading a team who wins an award is watching their reactions as they go up on stage to collect their trophies; it’s great to see their excitement.
The Loeries is no longer just about awards, though. What is the role of the Loeries in the SA communications industry?
The evolution of the Loeries into a creative festival has helped hone its focus more on education, learning and inspiration. There is also a lot of emphasis on finding young talent and mentoring them. Underpinning this is the Loeries’ role in changing the profile of the communications industry and making it more diverse.
What would you say to people who believe that the Loerie awards are no longer relevant?
A lot of work has been done to transform the Loeries into a proper festival like Cannes Lions. It’s not a self-congratulatory awards party, but is now more about education and inspiration. In the past few years there have been many changes to the format of the awards, which has included involving marketers more, making judging panels more diverse, and expanding the categories to focus on elements such as sustainability. The Loeries is a lot more serious than it was 15 years ago, and the expansion to include regional entries has given it more gravitas, as it’s good to measure ourselves against the bolder Middle East markets.
What two things do you think you will bring to the Loeries Board?
Firstly, I believe that award shows are key in driving innovation in the industry and can be very valuable, if done right. Awards should be about showcasing original work that breaks boundaries, which can inspire both marketers and creatives to set new benchmarks. I also maintain that award shows are a great educational platform, as it is through them that you learn what great work looks like. These are the kinds of standards that I want us to continue to set at The Loeries.
Secondly, I think my own experiences of realising how valuable it is to have diversity in a creative team will help ensure that our Board continues to devote a lot of focus to transforming our industry. Diversity is key as it helps ensure that our work becomes more South African and more ‘ours’. We need to think of different ways to bring more talent from different backgrounds into our industry. The more diversity you have, the better stories you can tell.
What are some of your plans as the new Loeries Chairperson?
The most pressing issue we as a Board will need to address first is how we will stage Loeries Creative Week 2020 later this year. The current situation has opened up more avenues to it being a partially, or fully, virtual festival, and we need to take advantage of where we find ourselves. How can we increase the reach and impact of Loeries Creative Week, and craft a broadcast model that will offer engaging content to both young talent and the more experienced? I am also looking forward to being involved in mentoring and education projects such as the upcoming Woolworths Student Portfolio Challenge, which is a four-week coaching programme with five mentors and 75 students. The programme aims to get these youngsters ready to begin their careers in the advertising world.
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