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#Loeries2016: Loeries rankings with Net#work BBDO

Just when you thought the Loeries buzz was over, the Loeries' rankings are in! I chatted to some of this year's top ranked creatives post-celebrations. Here Net#work BBDO's ECD Brad Reilly, art director Heidi Kasselman and head of strategic planning Tebogo Koena share their views.
The Net#work BBDO agency group has taken home an unprecedented 19 Grand-Prix Loeries in 22 years.

The crafty #workworkwork that works for Net#work BBDO

This year, they were the only agency to take home two Grands Prix Loeries. The one for Tusker Lager’s ‘Team Kenya’ in the ‘digital and interactive mobile’ category is a first Grand Prix for BBDO Africa in partnership with BBDO Mediaedge in Kenya, with the work also bringing home ‘media innovation single medium’ silver.

Net#work BBDO’s other Grand Prix win, for Chicken Licken’s “Kung Fu” in the 'TV, film and video' category, is what Reilly calls “an example of work that’s African, without being obvious or clichéd.” The work also resulted in ‘TV crafts production design’ and ‘TV crafts direction’ craft gold, as well as ‘TV crafts editing’, ‘TV crafts original music and sound design’, ‘TV crafts cinematography’ as well as ‘TV crafts performance’ craft certificates, in addition to ‘integrated campaign’ bronze with production company INJOZI. Chicken Licken’s ‘Soul Rocker’ also garnered ‘digital and interactive communication integrated campaign’ silver and a ‘digital crafts illustration, photography and graphic design’ craft certificate with INJOZI.

This team work between ad agency and production company also racked up ‘digital and interactive microsite’ bronze and a ‘digital crafts illustration, photography and graphic design’ craft certificate for Coronation’s ‘Beacauseitsyourmoney.com’. With Net#work BBDO’s work on the Coronation brand’s ‘sirens and sacrifice’ awarded ‘Internet video above 30s’ bronze, with more bronze in the ‘TV and cinema commercials up to 90s’ category as well as ‘TV crafts best use of licensed music’ and ‘TV crafts direction’ craft certificates for Coronation’s ‘Moneymaker’.

Diageo’s Guinness African Special ‘Alive inside’ took home another ‘Internet video above 30s’ bronze, with this work also taking home a ‘TV crafts production design’ craft certificate, and Net#work BBDO’s Mercedes-Benz Virtual Reality Experience for the C-Class Coupe brought home service design bronze with Sinister Studio.

Reilly, a big bird, Kasselman and Koena.
Reilly, a big bird, Kasselman and Koena.

That’s quite a mouthful, as are Net#work BBDO’s recently revealed Loeries 2016 rankings: The agency ranks top of the medium-sized (41 to 99 employees) agencies for the year, as well as top of the interactive and digital communication table, based on their Grand Prix win, and second in the overall 'ranking by agency' table and South African agency table, with BBDO EMEA also second in the ranking by regional agency group table for 2016. In addition to these overall accolades, Mike Schalit is ranked as second best chief creative officer 2016, with Brad Reilly second in the executive creative director table, Heidi Kasselman second in the agency art director table and Tebogo Koena the top strategist of 2016.

Reilly, also part of the 2016 Loeries’ print and outdoor judging panel, was originally at the agency for 11 years before “going walkabout” (he’s been back for two years now and says his biggest project is Net#work BBDO). From a client point-of-view he’s been involved with the Virgin Money relaunch, Google Africa launch, Mercedes-Benz, Tusker Lager and the Libresse Vagina Varsity. Kasselman has been at Net#work BBDO for two-and-a-half years and works on the "very exciting launch campaign" for Virgin Money Insurance, while Koena has been at the agency for four years, and works on the PepsiCo portfolio of accounts, including Simba, Lay’s, Doritos and NikNaks; as well as Virgin Money Insurance, among others.

Here Reilly, Kasselman and Koena share how the group feel about all their wins, plans to extend their winning streak next year and who they admire most in the industry…

1. Share your top three emotions linked to your Loeries’ wins and 2016 rankings.

Reilly: Surprise, relief and gratitude.

Kasselman: I was surprised that we won as much as we did. I was delighted that all of our hard work got the recognition that it deserved. I felt inspired and motivated to produce more great work.

Koena: Euphoria, pleasant surprise and a sense of accomplishment.

2. How do you plan on keeping – if not bettering – your rankings next year?

Reilly: We set a course for the agency 18 months ago and the wins at the Loeries are part of a broader affirmation that we’re moving in the right direction with the right work. So we will continue on the same path with the added momentum of the wins. It’s a path that has seen us playing in spaces we’ve never been before and every campaign we complete is teaching us, making us stronger and improving the next campaign and the next. So, I guess the short answer is that we’re constantly working on improving the work by building on what has been done before, the ranking we’ll leave to the gods!

Kasselman: Just keep on looking for opportunities in every piece of work that I do and inspire clients to be brave.

Koena: We appreciate the rankings, but for us it’s about great work that works. If we are ranked based on our work, then even better, but our focus is on ‘the work, the work, the work’.

3. Where are you displaying your Loeries? How does this year’s flock differ from your haul last year?

Reilly: The Birds are sitting on Victoria’s desk in reception, greeting visitors with a proud glint. Although the awards are not what we chase, we’re still exceptionally proud when they come our way. The birds this year are bigger in size thanks to the double Grand Prix haul.

Kasselman: Yes, this year’s flock is slightly taller and there for all to see!

Koena: We are most proud of these Loeries as they demonstrate our quest to channel agnostic ideas. Both Grand Prix-awarded campaigns were rooted in strong ideas that were executed brilliantly through the use of digital platforms such as mobile and gaming. This is core to our vision of turning the world upside down and putting Africa on top!

4. Tell us who you personally admire in the industry – both an established mentor figure as well as a newcomer making waves.

Reilly: Outside of BBDO and my obvious mentor, I think Alistair King and Ahmed Tilly. They seem to share my belief in the pursuit of smart, imaginative work for people, not awards, and I admire that steadfastness in an industry where it’s easy to chase the wrong things. We’ve got a bunch of exciting kids in the agency, one of whom managed to snare himself a Grand Prix from a previous agency, but again beyond BBDO, I’m quite excited by Lebogang Rasethaba who is a fairly new director on the commercial scene and I’m betting on big things from him.

Kasselman: All of my past ECDs have been amazing teachers and I have learnt so much from them all. At present, Brad Reilly is my mentor and it has been great working with him and seeing creativity from a different perspective. An inspiring newcomer would have to be Katie Mylrea who won the young creatives’ award. I admire her energy and passion for the industry.

Koena: I admire our CEO, Boniswa Pezisa. She’s resilient, smart and highly focused. As for newcomers, that slate remains open for now…

Seems we’re all looking forward to seeing what 2017 holds! Click through to our Loeries’ special section for more, here for a reminder of former Loeries chair and BBDO SA CEO Boniswa Pezisa’s Loeries 2016 experience and be sure to follow Net#work BBDO on Twitter.

About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is former Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality, and of course, gourmet food and drinks! She can be reached on Twitter at @Leigh_Andrews.

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