Morné Strydom, senior copywriter at Draftfcb, Johannesburg, and his art director colleague Marcus Moshapalo, who left for ‘Down Under’ over the weekend to go and study at the advertising agency Droga5 in Sydney, thanks to the Pendoring Prestige Award.
This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain work experience at one of the world's leading and most dynamic young agencies, is as a result of winning the Pendoring prestige award, which the ad 'Jan' (for Vodacom's Player 23) garnered. Morné was one of the copywriters and Marcus an art director of this much-awarded winning ad.
Normally only one winner bags the weeklong study trip, this time of a whopping R50 000, thanks to Media24, which doubled the prize at last year's awards, but Draftfcb decided to add more money so that both these budding advertising stars could go for a full 17 days.
Both Strydom, who until a few hours before his departure last Saturday evening, served as 2010 Pendoring judge, and Moshapalo were thrilled about the advertising adventure awaiting them in Australia.
"To be able to learn from this dynamic young agency and gain some experience among their top creative people, is an incredible privilege - we can barely wait to start," Strydom enthused shortly before their departure.
"I've studied their work in depth and what I particularly like, is the way they approach and treat a client: they don't merely accept a brief; they study it intensely so that they can come up with the best possible, and if necessary, alternative communication and marketing solutions," explains Strydom.
For example, for client and beer company VB in Sydney, which battled to penetrate the youth market in Australia, Droga5 did not simply create a traditional above-the-line campaign, the agency developed a brandnew 'youth' beer VB Raw Dry Lager, which was an instant hit among younger beer drinkers.
This exercise not only included the biggest beer tasting promotion in Australia, but was also involved in each and every music festival in the country, with huge market gains for the new product as a result.
"In South Africa, agencies still tend to focus strongly on above-the-line advertising instead of creating the best possible and most suitable solution for a client's needs," stresses Strydom.
Droga5's excellent achievements at recent advertising festivals, including the Cannes International Advertising Festival, and its fresh approach to advertising, were the determining factors for the two creatives' choice of agency. "They do everything just a little bit differently and this makes them more attractive," says Moshapalo.
The involvement of the two of them in the creation of 'Jan' and Player 23 was great, both agree. "We've seen the players in situations not normally in the public eye... there were so many fresh and unexpected moments, and that's precisely why we all enjoyed it so much," says Moshapalo.
This year Strydom was also intimately involved in conceptualising the 2010 Pendoring-campaign in which Afrikaans rapper Jack Parrow is a central figure and enthusiastic Pendoring-standard bearer.
Initially Strydom wanted to become an actor or movie director, but things turned out differently, he says. "Because the South African movie industry at that stage went through tough times, I decided to pack my bags for overseas. I therefore only started studying relatively late at age 26 and decided to join the advertising industry. And here I still am. Actually, the two industries are not all that different!"
In his career, Moshapalo focused on visual communication, with art direction a specialist field at the AAA School of Advertising. After an internship at the agency Red Nail in Sunninghill, Sandton, he started his advertising career at Draftfcb where he still works as art director - and enjoys every new challenge.
When the two return at end-September, they hope to bring along a bag full of new and exciting ideas that they would love to share with their colleagues at Draftfcb, says Moshapalo.