#Loeries2021: "Fight for that idea. It's as simple as that" - Keri-Ann Stanton
How do you feel about judging at this year’s Loeries?
Honoured – as always! Relieved – to be bathing in creativity again. Ready to fight the good fight.
Tell us more about yourself and why you believe you were selected – your judging experience and so on.
I have been on the jury since 2017 and have also judged the Sabre EMEA, Sabre Africa, African Excellence and Prism Awards. I have won at all these awards shows too which I always think should be part of a jury consideration – that you know the amount of determination it takes to get an award-winning idea through to implementation and results. I have built three PR agencies: Kezi Communications (sold) and Engage Joe Public and Avatar PR – I now get to be deliciously choosy and doubly impactful (hands dirty) at my own consultancy, KAMuses.
When you heard about being selected as a judge, how did you celebrate the news?
Screenshot and shared it on IG stories of course – haha. That’s my good news, feel-good place. And then I checked my diary for all the key dates to make sure there were no clashes.
What does this mean to you, personally?
An incredible honour, truly. And one that I got quite emotional about this year. We have been in such a long, hard slog these past two years: especially in the communication and PR space where we had to really step up with succinct clear communication in a pandemic. So, to be given an opportunity to take a step out of that, and be exposed to the most creative, thought-provoking, polarizing, beautiful work is like a long cool drink in an oasis.
Which category will you be judging?
Live, PR & OOH
What do you expect to experience as a judge?
Debates, debates, debates in between lashings of inspiration. It’s always interesting when you are in the jury room to get different views, insights and be challenged on your thinking – and of course fighting the good fight for the campaigns that you think hit the sweet spot.
What specific criteria will you be looking for when judging?
Innovation and creativity. I obviously reference the Loeries criteria hard: innovation, quality, relevance (to the brand, audience, medium).
That brilliant big idea that creates talkability, shareability and creates behaviour change, which I am much more interested in versus insane earned media numbers.
I have never been busier. The need for strategic thinking, cut through clear communication, sound counsel and PR from the heart has never been greater and you have seen PR and communication agencies really get to flex their muscles during the pandemic. Of course, for those in the eventing, travel, tourism, restaurant, FMCG spaces etc. it has been devastating. And once the adrenalin of the dreaded ‘pivot, pivot, pivot’ wore off the exhaustion of pure survival has been hard to watch and counsel people through.
Share a few of your favourite Loeries-related moments over the years – either from attending personally or agency winning work-related.
The buzz of presenting never gets old, the parties at The Tall Ships bar in the Elangeni … especially when they spilled out onto the road, the banter in the buses as juries travelled back and forth for judging, the moments in between when you belly laugh with people, and then a real old throwback when the Loeries were at Sun City and we woke up to find a naked man in our room – true story and hilarious calls to security - fun times! We always wondered when we would recognize the stranger in a future meeting but alas.
Any predictions of trends that are likely to stand out at Loeries 2021?
As with anything the last two years, you can smell a stunt or inauthenticity a mile away and it just does not sit right, now more than ever.
We are asking hard questions of ourselves and our work now and that will continue.In the PR space earned media space is just a slice of the story, and whilst we have always asked PR to deliver business results, I see a growing move towards proving behaviour change.
What do you believe SA creatives bring to the Loeries judging mix?
A contextual understanding. Just as the international judges can weigh in on the nuances and the truths of their regions. We all have different viewpoints and experiences and that’s what I love the most: when someone says what you have been thinking, or when you are swayed by someone’s insights.
Lastly, what are you most looking forward to from Loeries 2021?
The inspiration. Always. I love awards generally because they give you a chance to test your thinking, your standards, your work. To be exposed to great work and to great thinking and the robust debates are proper brain fuel for months.
What does #FightTheGoodFight mean to you?
It means fighting for the idea. As simple as that.