Conn Bertish – creative strategist, cancer survivor, and then some.

We recently had former adman and all-round inspirational guy, Conn Bertish, host a How To Friday at the office.

Conn Bertish is the former ECD at Saatchi & Saatchi, JWT and Quirk; and more recently, the founder of the Cancer Dojo. He came to chat to us about the disease that changed his life in a way you can’t imagine.

Have a look at his story:

He also took some time to answer a few questions…

1. Since your diagnosis have you had any crazy YOLO (yes, we can say YOLO here) moments?

I do, every six months, but they’re called MRI scans. They are true perspective YOLO moments that last about 25 minutes while fully immersed in an MRI machine scanning tube that checks for signs of cancer in my brain. I used to fear them, but have learned to really appreciate the 25 minutes of true perspective of what’s important, and what is not. It’s amazing how much crap we worry about, that we shouldn’t.

2. If you could describe your journey in 10 words, how would you do it? (or draw it if you like)

It’s just begun – stay tuned @connbertish or @cancerdojo.

3. What would you like your tomb stone to say about you?

Led an extraordinary life. Affected the world positively. Had lots of fun. 

happy people harder to kill

4. Your illustration above says “Happy people are harder to kill.” What would your main tips be for people to start living happier lives?

  • Follow your gut. 
  • Play more. 
  • Don’t take yourself so seriously.
  • Get rid of baggage that holds you back.
  • Love humans and nature.
  • Scare yourself on a regular basis.
  • Go surfing.

5. What is your 5 year plan?

Change the way the world views cancer and healing. Stay tuned…

Find out more about the Cancer Dojo here.  


Castle Lite breaks the ice

Castle Lite is known for having a continuously fresh approach to branding and their latest campaign was no different. ‘Ziyabanda‘ is the first track to be recorded at the sub-zero temperature of -2.5°C and comes courtesy of Castle Lite, the only beer lagered at – you guessed it – minus two point five. If you’re wondering how this is possible: the beats are made out of ice.

The video, featuring South African hip hop star Stilo Magolide, was directed by Lebogang Rasethaba who has been documenting the music scene for the last few years. This hard hitting track will definitely get you prematurely ready for summer.

Watch it here:


  • Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town
  • Production Company: Arcade Content
  • Directed by: Lebogang Rasethaba
  • Shot by: Rory O’Grady
  • Edited by: Julian Redpath

The ‘So What’ analysis on mobile marketing

Ben Evans, Managing Director, Digital Portfolio Ogilvy & Mather South Africa shares his insights on mobile marketing and what South African brands should be doing to stay ahead of the curve. Have a look at his piece that was published in The Times today.

Ben - The Times

Audi quattro – Dirt Road & Wet Road

We created a campaign that highlighted the new Audi models, which included quattro technology as a standard feature.

The great thing is, with quattro technology, you can safely drive on any terrain without worrying about the road being too wet or too tough.To communicate this, we captured aerial shots from 13 metres high, and transformed the Audi into a magnet with the terrain forming a magnetic field. So whatever the terrain, like a magnet, with quattro, the Audi will stick to the road.

Audi Quattro - Dirt Road Craft 74168-Audi Quattro Loerie Entry A3-50mm.indd 74168-Audi Quattro Loerie Entry A3-50mm.indd

VW Touareg: Rear view camera

Every year, thousands of children and pets are killed or seriously injured because a driver backing up didn’t see them. This campaign demonstrates the importance of installing a rear view camera.

Print_Cape Town_Volkswagen Rear View Camera_ DOG Print_Cape Town_Volkswagen Rear View Camera_ GIRL Print_Cape Town_Volkswagen Rear View Camera_BOY

Loeries 2015 – The Durban Twist

The Loeries awards have arrived! Before we jet off to Dubran, have a look at what Executive Creative Director of Ogilvy Cape Town, Tseliso Rangaka, expects from this year’s awards.

Tseliso Rangaka - O&M CT ECD

Tseliso Rangaka

From as far back as the wall-to-wall carpet days in Sun City, each host location for the Loeries has brought its own flavour to the event. Durban is promising to do the same this year.

The city of a million bathers is not to everyone’s taste but this is probably the closest the Loeries will ever get to feeling like Cannes. We’ll have our very own Boulevard de la Croisette in the form of O.R. Tambo Parade, the Elangeni and Maharani Hotel will bring the bling just as well as the famous Martinez and Carlton International, and Palais des Festival is really just a fancy way of saying Durban International Convention Centre.

The novelty of setting up camp in a different city will add much to the experience of Loeries 2015. There will be lots of new drinking holes to explore along with plenty of interesting, dark spaces for agency folk to dispose of names in. Out of the tropical haze, a South African version of the infamous ‘Gutter Bar’ will no doubt emerge.

In between the throbbing headaches and big small talk, other similarities to the ad mecca in the south of France will play out. Traditional advertising will put up a fierce fight to defend its receding coastline against a rising tide of stuff the consumer is more interested in. The first awards in the brand new Music Video Category will chime this point home loud and clear.

Marketers who are stuck in 30-second, one-sided “me, me, me” conversations with their audience will experience multiple epiphanies as metal gets handed out to the inaugural winners in the Service Design Category. This is an award recognising brands that innovate in the way they engage with consumers. These are the guys who have moved beyond short-lived campaign spurts, to prolonged, active and meaningful connections with their customers and this is the way we should all be going if we’re to remain vaguely relevant.

Much like in Cannes, we will also see the tech giants and ‘digital’ agencies stream in and, not so quietly, take more than just their seat. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the speakers lined up for the DStv Seminar of Creativity where only two out of the seven are from traditional ad agencies. A sure sign of things to come.

Personally, I’ll be keeping a keen eye on the pushing and jostling in the Student Category. This is the fontaine de vie of our industry and one we cannot allow to run dry.

Taken as a whole, the Loeries Durban 2015 experience has all the ingredients of a world-class creative showcase with just the right amount of local grease to make it more memorable than anything the French could ever cook up.







Talking Loeries, with Luca.

Managing Director of Ogilvy Cape Town, Luca Gallarelli, recently shed some light on his expectations for the 2015 Loeries Awards. Here’s what he had to say:

What are you most looking forward to from Loeries Creative Week 2015, set to hit Durban in August?

The Loeries is something I look forward to each year and 2015 is bound to be one of the best yet. The shift from a two-night affair to a week-long celebration of both the creative industry and of creativity in South Africa has been marked. The judging moving to the week leading up to the event has added momentum to proceedings and certainly helps build excitement and anticipation.

Of course, the move to Durban also provides added excitement. Change is good and it will be great to see how the event is re-shaped in a distinctively Durbs way.

I’m looking forward to getting a sense of where we stand as an industry in South Africa and the quality of our work is the best barometer for determining that. Outside of a few standout pieces in 2014, I felt the general quality of work on display was disappointing and I am eagerly anticipating a lift across the board this year.

Tell us some of your own agency work you’re entering this year.

In an effort to avoid jinxing our work, I’ll talk more generally. Winning across multiple categories is always what we strive to achieve – it shows our depth and breadth as an agency. It says a lot about the kind of agency we want to be, and the kind of agency our clients want. Hopefully this year we will win across every category.

Who do you predict will win big this year, and why?

Very tough question but with the One Show and Cannes Lions Awards having just taken place, it has been interesting to see who the early front-runners could be.

What’s your biggest Loeries highlight of years past?

Purely from a personal standpoint, I drew massive satisfaction from the success of the Carling Black Label “Be The Coach” campaign. It was a huge venture and the broadest and most robust team effort with client and agency I’ve ever been a part of.