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Hard-hitting 2009 Pendoring campaign wants to prevent Afrikaans from losing its lustre

TV newsreader Riaan Cruywagen, a waiter in a steakhouse? Not so far-fetched and inconceivable - if Afrikaans advertising is allowed to lose its brilliance!
Hard-hitting 2009 Pendoring campaign wants to prevent Afrikaans from losing its lustreUnlike the Pendoring campaigns of previous years, which highlighted the impact and financial value of Afrikaans advertising, advertising agency Joe Public this year climbed into the ring with a knock-out blow: if Afrikaans, also as an advertising language, is treated shabbily, its brilliance will fade. And it might eventually even lead to its demise.

The recently launched campaign coincided with the launching of the 2009 Pendoring website ( and the opening of entries. The closing date for entries is 17 July and judging takes place on 14 and 15 August. The sharpest creators of Afrikaans advertising will be crowned at Vodaworld, Midrand on 18 September.

“If a garden is neglected and not watered properly, it will eventually become barren. The same applies to a language or culture. This is the reasoning behind this year's Pendoring pay-off line: “Don't neglect the language (Moenie die taal afskeep nie), followed by the clarion call to: “Create in Afrikaans and prevent our most beautiful language from losing its lustre” (Skep in Afrikaans en keer dat ons mooiste taal sy glans verloor),” says Pepe Marais, Executive Creative Director of Joe Public, this year's Pendoring advertising agency.

To bring home the message that the language and its users could eventually suffer if it doesn't get its rightful attention from advertisers and marketers, the creative team used well-known Afrikaans icons.

For the consumer campaign of print and radio advertisements, the well-known Afrikaans TV news reader Riaan Cruywagen happily obliged to act as a waiter in a steakhouse, while the industry campaign centres on much loved Afrikaans TV characters like Haas Das and Bennie Boekwurm, who in no uncertain terms show what can happen if the language is neglected.

A fun-filled online-game aimed at interaction with and participation by the advertising fraternity also forms part of the 2009 Pendoring campaign. Participants are invited through emailers to test their Afrikaans competency (Afrikaansgeit) at “standard, higher and honours level”.

Every correct answer results in question master and ‘hero' Haas Das growing healthier and more vibrant, but with each wrong answer he withers away. Participants, who correctly answer all ten questions in the shortest possible time, stand a chance of winning a fantastic prize.

“There is no doubt that Afrikaans advertising has been relegated to the hind teat, despite the fact that Afrikaans speakers still constitute a strong market segment with considerable spending power. By showing how this could affect Afrikaans speakers, their language and culture, we want to encourage marketers and advertising creators anew to reap the benefits of original Afrikaans advertising to a sought-after target market,” explains Marais.

As a frequent Pendoring judge, Marais and Afrikaans advertising awards come a long way. Over the years, Joe Public has also received a number of gold and silver Pendorings.

“Pendoring most certainly has a role to play in the South African advertising landscape - which is to encourage and reward original and sharp indigenous advertising. Although Afrikaans speakers only represent some 10% of the population, they account for 28% of the total household expenditure in the country. It therefore makes good business sense to communicate with them in their mother tongue, which, in turn, will encourage them to empty their wallets, which advertisers and marketers should realise,” Marais stresses.
  • The full creative team of the 2009 Pendoring advertising campaign is Pepe Marais (executive creative director), Maciek Michalski (creative director), Antoinette Fourie (copywriter), Simone Rossum (art director) and Samantha van Tonder (client service director).

12 May 2009 13:50