A young South Africa man named Nare Mokgotho won gold with his first ever TV commercials at the 20th Shots Young Director Awards, held during the Cannes Lions Festival. The address campaign which drew the attention of the ASA when it aired in South Africa, is for the Showmax Zero Bucks Given campaign.
The South African man clinched two top prizes at the world’s most prestigious young directors award festival. With one of his first ever TV ads pitted against commercials from around the globe, Nare Mokgotho won gold in the Commercial category for the Showmax Zero Bucks Given ad. Thereon, he also wins a bar of second gold, in the Online Branded Film category for his Wreaths ad for the South African International Film Festival.
The annual Young Director Award (YDA) has become prominent internationally as the most important “must-see” fringe event of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The prerequisite for entry is that the film director must not have been directing professionally for not more than three years and the entry must be one of the first five commercials they have produced. Over thousands of entries are typically received and the awards are judged by high-profile advertising executives, executive producers and film directors from all over the world.
The Showmax Zero Bucks Given ad was a hilarious take on an office staff who decided he just didn’t care about work anymore and only wanted to watch TV shows. Commenting on the ad, Mokgotho said: “I was only fortunate to work on Showmax’s Zero Bucks Given campaign, which is in my wheelhouse: strong, simple concept infused with a subtle, mischievous wittiness. I’d like to thank Showmax and the creative department for really trusting me with the brand and also entrusting the scripts to me.”
The ad, which was recorded in Showmax’s offices in Johannesburg, was not without criticism. The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) received a complaint that the ad portrayed “complete rudeness for the employee’s work environment and co-workers” and that young people will “get the wrong impression of how to behave at work”. The ASA declined the complaint and Showmax’s ad become the cornerstone of one of its most successful campaigns ever, resulting in an important addition in the company’s subscriber base.
The TV commercial was conceptualized and written by Art Director Tree Pechau and Showmax’s in-house Creative Lead Philippa Heal, and additional credit goes to marketers Lauren McInnes, Macy Seperepere, Nicola Van Ast, Neil De Witt, and strategist Thandeka Mali. This feat for Showmax’s in-house agency follows three recent wins at the Bookmark Awards for the Roast of Somizi and Tali’s Wedding Diary campaigns.
Mokgotho, a practicing visual artist who has exhibited both locally and internationally, and whose honors include nominations for the Sasol New Signatures, the MTN New Contemporaries and Vera List Prize for Art and Politics. He began working with Massif, the production company behind the winning Showmax ad, in 2017.
Speaking on the award, Massif co-founder Peter Carr said: “Winning two gold awards at the YDA in Cannes for two different TV commercials in the same year is a remarkable accomplishment, which is testimony both to Nare and to the depth of rising new talent that we have in SA.”