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The sky is the limit if you win big at Pendoring

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The sky is the limit if you win big at Pendoring
In a matter of weeks, Graeme McCree, the 2016 Pendoring Prestige award winner and King James creative director, will be winging his way to the Cannes Advertising Festival, while later this year, Melusi Mhlungu, Ogilvy copywriter and the 2016 Pendoring Umpetha joint-winner, will be jetting to Miami to embark on a whole new advertising adventure at David the Agency. Likewise, Bonginkosi Luvuno, senior copy writer at The Odd Number and joint Umpetha winner in 2016, is setting his sights on a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience abroad.

Then there’s two-time Pendoring Prestige winner, Dominique Swiegers, King James copywriter, who not only had the privilege of ‘tasting’ Cannes last year, but in March this year got to thoroughly indulge in the numerous colourful activities at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

Exhilarating and enriching experiences like these also await this year’s overall winners as Pendoring’s highest accolades - the Prestige and Umpetha Awards - each includes an overseas study trip worth a whopping R100,000.

Erik Vervroegen
Erik Vervroegen
Joao Coutinho
Joao Coutinho
Tom Paine
Tom Paine
Big guns netted for 2017 Pendoring advertising campaign

Not only does Pendoring pave the way for its overall winners to make their dreams come true, abroad; this year the creative team at OpenCo also knocked on the doors of international creative leaders and secured the participation of three international ad legends in Joao Coutinho (Executive Creative Director, Y&R North America), Tom Paine (Creative Director – Y&R, New Zealand) and Erik Vervroegen (Global Head of Art – TBWA Chiat Day, New York) for the 2017 Pendoring campaign.

While these three top creatives may be revered in the industry around the world for their advertising insights and creative clout, they admit they are baffled when it comes to Pendoring.

Built on the premise “that only locals will get it”, the 2017 Pendoring advertising campaign illustrates the point that by exclusively exploring and showcasing the richness and versatility of our mother tongues, Pendoring is uniquely and proudly South African.

This, because the indigenous and truly South African insights and the rich vernacular diversity displayed in Pendoring entries are simply too local for them to grasp, and all is lost in translation, explains OpenCo Executive Creative Director Carl Willoughby.

“Having had the opportunity to work on the 2017 Pendoring campaign was quite a privilege and allowed us to show our creative muscle. Of late, Pendoring has become more profiled, especially because the awards are now open to all vernacular languages and this clearly separates it from any other awards shows insofar as the awards are uniquely South African.

“This also allowed us to tap into local insights that only work from a South African point of view and we are delighted that some really great guns in the international advertising world were willing to play ball to prove this point. In fact, once we explained the raison d’être and mission of Pendoring and its positioning as truly, uniquely South African advertising awards, they immediately bought in,” says Willoughby.

“We also had great fun confronting these ad legends with a range of typically South African advertising work, which they all openly admitted they didn’t get.”

The campaign will consist largely of social media, digital and direct components, with a revised website and look and feel for 2017.

OpenCo team:

Executive Creative Director: Carl Willoughby
Creative Directors: James Armstrong, Mark Northcroft
Associate Creative Director: Kyle Schoeman
Senior Art Director: Baran Hess
Copywriters: Jason Hes, Nathi Sibanyani
Art Directors: Osmond Tshuma, Luzuko Witbooi
Designer: Moshe Mogomane


Only gold winners will be eligible for the two main awards – the Prestige Award and the Umpetha Award. Each gold winner in every category receives R6,000 and silver winners R2,500 each. In addition, the brand behind the overall Prestige winning entry will receive free airtime to the value of R550,000 on kykNET, Pendoring platinum sponsor.

Both overall winners in the Student category – of the best Afrikaans work and the best work in one of the other indigenous languages – will receive R10,000.

Important dates
  • The eligibility period for entries is from 1 August 2016 to 31 July 2017. Submit entries not later than Tuesday, 1 August 2017 at

  • Finalists will be announced on Tuesday, 19 September 2017 and winners at the prestigious gala event at Vodacom World in Midrand on 27 October 2017.
Join the Pendoring Facebook group and follow @Pendoring_ on Twitter and use the hashtag #Pendoring2017. Instagram: pendoring_za

More about the ad legends:
  • Joao Coutinho, Executive Creative Director, Y&R North America, describes himself as “an integrated Creative Director who originally wanted to be an architect, but instead of building houses, ended up building brands”.

    He joined Y&R from Grey New York, where he served as Group Creative Director since 2014, working for clients such as Volvo, Canon, Clairol, Bosch and P&G, among others. His work at Grey helped the agency land the title of ‘Most Awarded Agency’ for two years in a row at Cannes.

    He also served as Creative Lead at Ogilvy Brazil, during which time he helped the agency earn Cannes Lions Agency of the Year in 2013, after winning a Grand Prix and 7 Lions. That same year, he was ranked among the Top 10 Art Directors in the world according to The Cannes Report 2013.

    Coutinho’s career has spanned four countries: Portugal, Spain, Brazil and the United States.

  • Before Tom Paine joined Y&R New Zealand in November 2011 as Creative Director, he worked at DDB NZ, Colenso BBDO and Ogilvy in Auckland.

    He studied creative advertising at the Media Design School and at the Auckland University of Technology.

    Paine was the creative power behind Y&R New Zealand’s global award-winning McWhopper campaign for Burger King, which propelled his office into renown in 2016.
    He is also a qualified ski instructor who once spent a season at Vail, Switzerland. After moving back to New Zealand, he decided to swap the ski slopes for working on advertising pitches.

  • Having embarked on his advertising career in his native Belgium, Erik Vervroegen, Global Head of Art, TBWA Chiat Day, New York, has led agencies in Johannesburg, New York and Paris.

    Under his leadership, TBWA Paris became Cannes Agency of the Year four years in a row. After returning to the USA, Vervroegen joined the San Francisco-based Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

    He has worked on iconic brands such as Nissan, Playstation 2, McDonalds, The New York Times, Excedrin, BMW, Wonderbra, Land Rover and Rayban.

    Before rejoining TBWA New York in 2016, Vervroegen took up the challenge of International Creative Director for Publicis Worldwide, which saw him share his experience with agencies throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America. Erik has been a juror or featured guest speaker at every major international awards show.

11 May 2017 10:20