Commenting on being a part of the challenge, Suhana Gordhan said, ‘Something like Clean Creatives is a necessary conversation. It’s a tough one in South Africa because we are plagued with so many other challenges but I don’t think that should stop us from being able to talk about it, being able to see how it can influence our work, and how we can start to take a stand against any brands that we consider to be harmful to the environment.’
Nkanyezi Masango added, ‘I found this brief very educational. I think it’s something that as an industry we can take on and really interrogate where our values lie.’
The challenge winners were announced at a panel discussion event titled ‘Unleashing Creativity for Climate Action’ held during the African Climate Alliance’s Cape Town Climate Week in September.
Daniel Kaplan, a Loeries board member and Executive Producer at Bioscope Films, praised the simplicity, clarity and inventiveness of the winning work, saying it was ‘extremely encouraging to see the various executions that the students used’ to respond to the brief. He added: ‘As creatives in an industry where we have power to change perceptions, it’s important to consider carefully when we use our creative skills to change these perceptions for fossil fuel companies specifically, who are … significantly responsible for the climate change crisis.’
Founder of IDIDTHAT and well-intentioned but forgetful recycler Julie Maunder said, ‘We can acknowledge that declining work while facing the current financial pressures on our industry seems wild. We can also acknowledge that the advertising industry is the primary industry responsible for shaping perceptions around the companies responsible for the greenhouse gases which are causing climate change. Both can be true. This Creative Cleanup brief is a great way for senior and emerging talent to engage about our industry’s future role in climate change. I really think it has the potential to shift our industry’s conscience and to action real change.’
Karla Koekemoer, this year’s joint winner from the Open Window Institute, commented on the experience of the challenge saying: ‘Creativity plays a crucial role in climate action. And it has the power to inspire, educate and drive change…I’m really proud that we were able to use our innovative storytelling and design to motivate individuals and businesses to adopt sustainable practices.’
Joshua Kelly, this year’s joint winner from Red and Yellow, also reflected on the challenge saying: ‘Getting to participate in the Creative Cleanup Challenge was honestly such an honour. And even though it started out as just a brief that I got for college, it blossomed into this thing that was the eye-opener into how much I’m able to say with what I do…If I could give one message to the creatives that are wanting to work in the PR industry and for fossil fuel companies: do what your heart says you should do. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. So create what you want to create.’
The judges also gave special mentions to a team from AAA Advertising School for the effective copy: ‘Why Create For Those Who Destroy?’ and to two other Red & Yellow students who subverted agency philosophy to encourage them to cut ties with fossil fuels: Ogilvy, which use ‘change is our lifeblood,’ as their philosophy, was challenged to think about ‘which side of change are you on?’. Joe Public’s agency vision is G.R.O.W.T.H. which stands for Greatness, Resilience, Ownership, Work, Thinking and Honesty. The agency was challenged to think about whether these values are compatible with working for fossil fuels with a clever reconceptualised acronym: Get Real! Our World’s Too Hot.
The winning work was profiled in the Clean Creatives SA 2023 F-list report which was launched at an event held to coincide with Loeries Creative Week 2023, and featured in leading media outlets like News24, Business Day, and Daily Maverick.
Read more about Clean Creatives publishing the F-List, naming 41 South African agencies and PR companies using their talents for fossil fuel companies
‘The student engagement on this brief has been phenomenal, with many instantly taking the Clean Creatives pledge to not work on fossil fuel creative briefs throughout their entire careers,’ said Clean Creatives SA’s country director, Stephen Horn.
All the submissions to the Creative Cleanup 2023 challenge can be viewed on the Creatives For Climate hub here.