To lose Afrikaans as an advertising language will be a calamity, and if the language were to disappear from the radar screens of advertising agencies, it will be a huge loss to the speakers of the language.
“That is why Die Burger is as a golden sponsor still fully supportive of the Pendoring Advertising Awards, says Bun Booyens,” editor of this stalwart paper who will turn a hundred in two years’ time.
“Advertising awards is not merely a worthy cause to support – advertising is essential to the existence of any paper,” says Booyens. He reckons people buy a paper firstly for the content such as news, sport and entertainment, but also for the advertising. To him it seems important that a paper carries interesting advertisements.
“The better the advertising, the more the reader enjoys the read. And more useful ads contribute to the relevance of the paper,” he says.
His own Saturday reading starts off with the property and motorcar advertisements, laughs Booyens. At that he notices that people cut advertisements from the paper and take them along to shopping malls. He regards this use of the printed media as part of a paper’s service to its readers, and calls it “a great testimonial for the paper as well as the advertisement”.
That is why he regards creative Afrikaans, even in advertising, as crucial for Die Burger. The language has always been Die Burger’s passion, and he regards a poor advertisement as bordering on an insult to the reader. “A weak translation sticks out like a sore thumb to an Afrikaans reader and they often experience it as quite irritating.” On the other hand they have great appreciation for an advertiser who goes the extra mile by placing a creative ad, he says. That is why creative advertising often becomes a topic of conversation, which is another reason why Die Burger will stand by Pendoring.
Booyens regards the rap language or so-called funky Afrikaans that sometimes marks Afrikaans advertising copy as an enrichment of and complementary to the standard version of the language.
“Afrikaans belongs to everyone who speaks the language. It is a creole language and each new influence enriches the language,” he says.
Regarding the newspaper industry and news offering in general time waits for no man either and the printed press too has to adapt. On the development that Media24 newspapers are now compelled to charge for news content on the internet Booyens says that time has shown one can’t build a business model on the premises of giving everything away for free while it is gathered at a great price. “A very important chapter in the history of papers is lying ahead,” he says. He is convinced that everybody realises that people will pay for quality, especially if information is not available elsewhere, and that to boot in Afrikaans.
He is hoping that ad agencies will in time fully grasp the potential of the new ways and the new media and that they will take cognisance of and exploit the possibilities.
“These days Twitter and Facebook are indispensible news resources,” he says. “People see comment on news events as almost as important as the event itself,” he reckons.
That is why Booyens hopes the advertising industry will hand in hand with the media investigate the unexplored possibilities and thereby render the reader a well-rounded service. Any medium’s income is after all its lifeline, he says.
Franette Klerck, general manager of Pendoring, reiterates the importance with which he regards advertising. “At Pendoring creativity took centre stage from the very beginning, and Die Burger is quite right when it claims great ads give consumers enormous pleasure, which is of course in turn to the mutual benefit of the advertiser,” says Klerck.
Entries to the Pendoring Advertising Awards open on May 6 and close on June 15, 2013. Keep an eye on www.pendoring.co.za, as the website doubles as an entry portal. The award ceremony will take place on Friday September 20, 2013, at the CTICC, right in the heart of Die Burger country.