More local languages finally getting better recognition at the Loeries

The Loeries Awards have been rewarding creativity in advertising, but since inception, most advertising in a multitude of official languages has gone unrecognised, until now.

Outside of English, people who speak South Africa’s 10 other indigenous languages at home make up a combined 90.1% of the population, according to the 2011 national Census. However, English dominates the advertising industry across all media platforms, particularly radio and TV.

The few adverts in local languages are often a direct translation of English, which sometimes misses subtle nuances and or intended humour.

Others while good, like the DStv Compact series of adverts (one of which we’ve posted below) are presented in urbanised slang, a language many outside major cities are not familiar with.


Non-English languages haven’t been given much attention and room for original creativity that generates content that culturally, socially and linguistically reflect how people use it in everyday life. Thus there hasn’t been much recognition for these types of ads either.

You’ll find that they’re traditionally, such ads are all bundled into one side category across most award platforms, while focus is mostly aimed at English.

The new awards category that have just been announced by the Loeries gives vernacular languages they’re own space for recognition, a chance to appreciate the fact that creativity in the way ads are presented in the English language cannot necessarily to used as a yardstick to measure the same in Afrikaans, isiZulu, isiXhosa etc.

Below are the new additions in each category:

  • In the Print category, the following has been added:
    • South African Non-English Print Advertising
  • In the Radio Category, the following has been added:
    • South African Non-English Radio Station Commercials
  • In Radio Crafts, the following has been added:
    • South African Non-English Writing
    • South African Non-English Performance
  • In TV, Film & Cinema Crafts, the following have been added:
    • South African Non-English Writing
    • South African Non-English Performance

It will be interesting to see the pool of nominees growing to accommodate a more diverse line up.

Entries for the 2016 Loeries are now open on the Loeries website, design and ad agencies, PR firms, film and video producers, architectural consultancies, marketers and brands are invited to submit their most creative and inspiring work for the period from 1st June 2015 to 31st May 2016.


Entries close on 16th May and the awards will be hosted on Saturday the 20th and Sunday the 21st August 2016.

[Image – YouTube]

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