The truly South African advertising awards.

Yes You Cannes - 2017 Umpetha Winner’s experience


Ntando Msibi, Creative Group Head at The Odd Number, won the 2017 Umpetha Award. He took a trip to the Cannes Festival and had this story to share about his experience. 

Bonjour my lovies. Let me start by saying kumnandi ukuba sekhaya, which simply means it’s good to be back home. Oh, what a great time I had in Cannes, France. If you’re in advertising, going to Cannes should be one of the things you do before you retire. Do it and you’ll thank me later.

Let me share with you how my dream of going to the Oscars of Advertising was realised. Last year I won the coveted Pendoring Umphetha Award, which came with a study tour to the value of R100 000.

Winning the Umpetha Award affirmed one thing to me. And that is, when a brand speaks to its consumers in a language they feel, it moves them.

This takes me back to what I saw in France. The French love their language. The moment you start talking to them in English, they switch-off.

I guess that’s why I got lost the first day I got there. See, the thing is I stayed at an old town and it was quite tricky to manoeuvre around as a first timer and the French didn’t make it easy for me, especially when I wanted to buy the ginormous French burger. Yey, that thing is delicious. So when you see me looking like I swallowed a French begger, please blame it on the burger.

After I eventually found my way back to my apartment, I went to one of the many talks I had the privilege to attend and it was led by a panel of Germans and Americans. There I learnt that even though language is important, nothing trumps the BIG IDEA. When the idea is coupled with the right language, it has the potential to create magic for the brand and its consumers.

It was also refreshing to see fellow South Africans do so well at award shows. It really felt good to be a South African.

Now for the not-so-serious stuff. Parties, parties and celebrities…whoop, whoop! Guys, let me tell you something about Issa Rae - issa hottie. I couldn’t help but go all groupie on her and I also had to put on a dope American accent. My proudly South Africanness escaped me for a moment.

I also had the honour of meeting Akon and Thandie Newton. These two are changing the world, something we as advertisers need to strive to do, sometimes. As for the gish-gish (parties), they are hectic. I got home at 3 am every. damn. day. That’s all you’re getting from me when it comes to the parties. After all, what happens in Cannes, stays in Cannes.

Lastly, from my mouth to the universe, I wouldn’t mind winning the Umpetha Award again this year. 

To stand a chance to win the Umpetha Award like The ODD Number did enter the Pendoring Awards today. Entries close on 23 August 2018.

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