Commercials that care

Women in advertising are using professional savvy to create commercials that make a difference to local communities.

Working through the MultiChoice Vuka! Campaign, filmmakers have been able to give a face to real social problems. Since the start of the awards, filmmakers have embraced the concept of giving back to charities and NGOs, which rely on public exposure for fund-raising and support.

MultiChoice has donated more than R70-million of airtime to screen the Vuka! ads on its DStv channels and the film and advertising industry has donated about R30-million in facilities and expertise.

Judith Mofutsanyana, who works for McCann Erickson, has been a Vuka! judge and worked on a commercial for People Opposing Women Abuse.

“While I was judging last year I was concerned by the lack of vernacular entries. The Vukas hold workshops around the country before the competition is launched and I was told that this would be a platform for me to do something about the lack of entries in all South African languages. In this year’s workshops I focused on communication in the relevant language for the relevant target market.”


Just how significant does Mofutsanyana believe the Vukas are for the South African film industry? “They are a forum for anyone, from any walk of life and using any language, to express themselves, show their raw talent and have the industry as their captive audience.”

Caroline Switala from Net#work BBDO has also worked on a number of MultiChoice Vuka! commercials over the years – one of which, for the Rosebank Homeless Association, did well at the Loeries and in Cannes.

Last year she was part of the team working on Tar, an anti-smoking ad that made the finals.

Does she think women approach things differently to their male counterparts? “Women are better at multitasking. We are really are good at juggling a number of things at once … They also bring attention to detail, patience and rationality to a campaign.”

Women have often won the overall professional competition: Cindy Lee for a commercial for Women and Men against Child Abuse, Lizelle Mes for her piece for the Tobacco Action Group, and Annelize Bosch took the top newcomer spot for Lost Sons for the City Mission in 2005.

Their take is often sensitive and personal. Last year’s finalist, filmmaker Marina Germishuysen, was brave enough to document the life of her son Luke Germishuysen, who died of a drug overdose in the heart-wrenching commercial titled In a Heartbeat, for the drug charity Narconon.

“I made it about my son and I used my own collection of photographs of Luke. This is my reality that I wanted to share with whoever would listen. The last picture of my son is an actual forensics picture of him the morning they found him. If this PSA [public-service announcement] changed the life of one person who saw it, then I am happy.”

Entry forms for this year’s MultiChoice Vuka! Awards are available from http://vuka.multichoice.co.za, or from most major industry suppliers and post-production facilities. Closing date for entries is October 20. Winners will be announced at a ceremony in November

The Mail & Guardian is a MultiChoice Vuka! Media partner

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

A ‘triple-layered slice of cake’ for all involved

The M-Net Television Awards for Good (TAG) have given a platform to young filmmakers and been a lifeline for many charities

Youth take centre stage

"We decided to rename the M-Net Vuka! Awards, to the M-Net TAG (Television Awards For Good)," says Koo Govender.

Art with a heart

The M-Net Vuka! Awards are the leading exponent of new talent in the local film and advertising industry.

Commercial value

The annual Vuka! awards harness the generosity and creative energies of the South African film industry to give a face to real-life problems, writes Janine Walker.

I see, I hear, I say what I like

Honoured for their development and promotion of arts, culture and creativity in South Africa at the Arts & Culture Trust Awards are <i>Artslink</i> and <i>Word of Mouth</i>, which both won in the category Media of the Year in Support of Arts and Culture. More interactive than ever, SA media has changed the way people are seeing and hearing themselves.

The smarts behind the arts

Tammy Ballantyne, national coordinator for the Performing Arts Network of South Africa (Pansa), has been named Arts and Culture Administrator of the Year at the annual Arts & Culture Trust Awards. In little more than two years, Pansa has become a leading force in the arts and culture sector -- thanks in no small measure to Ballantyne's sterling efforts and unflinching determination.
Advertising

Subscribers only

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

Finance probe into the Ingonyama Trust Board goes ahead

The threat of legal action from ITB chairperson Jerome Ngwenya fails to halt forensic audit ordered by the land reform minister

Ailing Far East Rand hospital purchases ‘vanity’ furniture

Dr Zacharia Mathaba, who purchased the furniture, is a suspected overtime fraudster and was appointed as Gauteng hospital chief executive despite facing serious disciplinary charges

Eusebius McKaiser: Reject the dichotomy of political horrors

Senekal shows us that we must make a stand against the loud voice of the populist EFF and racist rightwingers

Seals abort pups in mass die-off

There are a number of factors — a pollutant, virus or bacteria or malnutrition — may have caused the 12 000 deaths on Namibia’s coast
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday