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The power of a Loerie starts once you win one. “Because when you win one, it calls out for more,” says Sbu Sitole, chairman of the Loeries and the Odd Number’s cofounder and chief creative officer.
Sitole was in conversation with The Loeries CEO, Preetesh Sewraj, recently on Instagram Live, following the announcement that entries to The Loeries had opened.
The Loeries are the brand communications awards across Africa and the Middle East and opened for entries on 8 March.
“Entries are open! This date always makes me nervous – because it means it is time to get to work. And our industry works very hard; it goes through Blood, Sweat and Tears,” Sitole says, referring to this year’s Loeries’ theme, “So is important to celebrate the work we put in and be acknowledged by our peers.”
For him the work is what it is all about. “We make work for people, not ourselves, but that does not mean we cannot show off our work. I mean we all love what we do and love the work that we do.”
Work that resonates is work that you play over and over again. “I don’t know the exact science of how to win a Loerie, but I believe it starts with a powerful idea.”
He adds: “All I know is that I walk into the Loeries Awards event nervous because you never know, will you win… and if you do, will you win gold or silver or bronze…?”
Sewraj encourages agencies to enter their work. “Don’t not enter because of fear. Now is the best time to take a chance on your work. Test it. See what happens.”
Celebrating 45 years this year
This year the Loeries celebrate 45 years of existence.
“The last few years have not been normal. Covid and the lockdowns meant that we could not hold our normal judging sessions and Creative Week activities. Our Awards celebrations were also curtailed,” says Sewraj.
In 2020 Covid forced The Loeries’ activities online, with free entries and a virtual event. While The Loeries finances took a big knock, it was worth it says Sewraj. “The Loeries exists for the industry and during what was a very scary time for the industry this was our way of supporting the industry. It was the right thing to do, and it was well worth it.”
The next year saw some return to normality, with a small in-person awards event, but nothing on the scale of a normal year.
Last year The Loeries hosted a ‘recovery event’ which began the move back to what the industry has come to expect of The Loeries, with international jury presidents flying into the country, some live judging sessions, an in-person Ceative Week, and Awards ceremonies, with some 20 countries in attendance.
“This year we hope for a return of a full-on event,” says Sewraj.
Sitole says the importance of the industry coming together at Loeries Creative Week cannot be underestimated. “It is the connection point, where as an industry we can look at the work, discuss it, mingle, talk, and share. This for me is what is great about The Loeries.
“And this year I am looking forward to a bigger and bolder event – one with a swagger. I am looking forward to the party.”
He adds: “Watch this space; we have a lot up our sleeve.”