Straight outta Azaadville

By Safaraaz Sindhi, Creative Group Head at Ogilvy Cape Town 

Before I started in advertising I was just a kid from a tiny, little town in the West Rand of Johannesburg called Azaadville. Where I come from the only music you could get your hands on was rap music and the only movies you’d ever watch were the skop skiet en donner action movies tonight on e. (You read that in his voice, right?) Where I come from you grow up to become a doctor or a lawyer if you’re lucky, if you’re unlucky you run your dad’s motorcar spares shop and if you’re really, really just shit out of luck, you’d get a job at the Oriental Plaza. For me, that was life.

So, when I walked into my first ad agency in 2010, in a predominantly white male industry, it wasn’t the colour of the skin of the people I worked with that intimidated me, it was their knowledge of popular culture. My gut reaction was, yikes! Am I going to make it? And no, not just because I was a few shades darker than everyone else – it was more because I wasn’t prepared – I wasn’t equipped to write witty ads that made references to cult films that everyone else’s award-winning ads did. You want to hear a secret? Before I started out in advertising I didn’t even know who Wes Anderson was. I’d never heard a song by the Beatles and I honestly cared very little about Chuck Palahniuk. I didn’t know it back then but my lack of knowledge on these subjects is what would give me my edge in the industry. You see, I could have gone out and read a bunch of books, listened to some music and spent my weekends watching their movies, but I soon figured that I didn’t need to do that to tell stories. I figured, that to tell stories in the ads I made I didn’t need to know everything they knew, I just needed to know everything they didn’t. My different view of the world allowed me to bring fresher insights into my work, it allowed me to solve problems differently, be more relevant and most importantly I could speak to the markets I advertised to in a language they could understand, because in most cases, I was the market.

We live in a diverse country – we have eleven different languages and we’re the proverbial cultural melting pot of the continent – yet all of our advertising looks, sounds and feels the same. We’ve got to ask ourselves, why is this happening? We have so many of our own stories to tell, so much of our own cultural richness to expose but instead we create work that resembles advertising from different continents to such an extent that international award shows could never tell us apart. We need to create an identity that represents our diversity. And if for nothing else, therein lies the reason for transformation.

And transformation isn’t just about bringing black talent or female talent into our agencies, it’s so much more than that. It’s about teaching them how to harness their own knowledge and their own personal experiences into great advertising, and when agencies realise the power in doing that for their brands, perhaps one day a TV ad written in vernacular will win a Grand Prix at Cannes.

 

 

Ogilvy Johannesburg 2017 Christmas Party

To the nights that turned into mornings, and the friends that turned into family. The 2017 Ogilvy Johannesburg Christmas Party was unquestionably a night to remember. In most cases, cops and robbers would not be seen in the same place, as for criminals, their home is generally a jail cell unless still on the loose! LOL. In this case however, things were slightly different (as per the usual Ogilvy culture).

After a hard long year, the end of year party was the perfect time to sit back and relax while having a drink amongst friends surrounded by good vibes, great music and some killer outfits. In an environment that allows us to be who we are, share our uniqueness and motivates us to create great work, no one knew the rhythm that certain people had contained.

Dominic Shwarz was the talk of the town with his slaying dance moves!

Not too sure whether they knew where the camera was LOL!!

Don’t be fooled, they were ready to start handing out fines.

If you were not a part of the night, catch a sneak peak above!

For more pictures, follow our Facebook page using the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/ogilvySA/

‘From the Lion’s mouth’ with Mo, Dave, Tammy

Molefi Thulo, David Krueger and Tammy Ratter (Mo, Dave and Tammy) are the kick ass creative team behind Ogilvy’s Grand Prix winning radio campaign for KFC. The ‘Sad Man Meal’ campaign – for the KFC Double Down burger – also raked in Gold and Bronze Lions at the 2017 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. We wanted to take a behind the scenes look at what it takes to become a winning creative team, so we sat down with this powerhouse trio to find out what makes them tick.

Q: How does it feel to win one of the most coveted accolades in advertising?

To win a Cannes Grand Prix the first time is amazing, but to win it for the third time is absolutely astounding. We feel grateful, “#blessed” and encouraged to keep working our butts off.

Q: What do you think made the campaign stand out?

The campaign drew inspiration from real life and human insight. We think that a lot of people can resonate with what the guys are saying in these commercials and if none of these scenarios have happened to you, you surely know someone that this has happened to. We deliberately used non professional voiceover artists to give that genuine feel.

Q: How do you guys work as a team?

Three individuals from different backgrounds coming together to have fun while producing work. We actually believe that our strength as a team lies in our diversity and our enthusiasm for humour – we love clowning around.

Q: When do you know you’ve come up with a winning campaign?

One never does know. You just have a feeling, but even then awards are a lottery. You just have to get your idea to the best possible standard and after that it’s in the judges’ hands.

The best work, in our opinion, should elicit a genuine gut reaction. It’s work you never tire of seeing or hearing again and again.

Q: Do you think there’s a formula for producing award-winning creative work?

We could tell you that it’s 90% perspiration, but we don’t want anyone grossing their colleagues at the office (lol). The goal should be to make people feel something when they interact with your work.

Let’s remember judges are human beings, they want to see fresh ideas that “jump” from the page or screen and affect them personally.

Q: What does a day in the life of [Mo/Dave/Tammy] look like?

Tammy: Our day usually starts with a list of what we’re supposed to do. Then we talk about what we’re supposed to do. Then we watch funny videos. Talk more about what we need to do. Then Dave and I take turns panicking, and we finally start working. Mo joins us when we talk crap for a bit and laugh. Then carry on working.

David: Wake up at before traffic o’clock to get to work because I live in Pretoria. Do some embarrassing exercises because I had a back op and now I have a weak spine. Yes. Then eat breakfast and start working. When people start arriving at work I distract as many of them as I can from doing their work. I mostly do that by scheduling meetings to talk about things that concern me. Like the fact that there are no dustbins in any of the meeting rooms.

Mo: I wake up in the morning and do a bit of meditation. Ok I don’t, would like to. I usually sit in front of the tv with my cereal bowl and switch between BBC and CNN. Then I’ll blast hip hop all the way to the office where I’ll join Dave and Tam and we’ll talk nonsense till a great idea emerges.

Q: Do you have any hidden talents? What are they?

Mo: I can impersonate people. Give me anyone at the office and I’ll impersonate them. I find humans interesting. No one is safe around me.

David: Talent is a stretch. I’m taking piano lessons and recently finished my grade three exams with a whole bunch of 8 year olds. They can be quite mean sometimes.

Tammy: Probably not really a talent, but I have under active tear ducts so tears never stream down my face when I cry. That’s actually quite sad.

 Q: How often do you people watch (if at all)? Do you consider it creepy?

Tammy: All.The.Time.

Mo: A lot. People are awesome to watch. I plan on writing a book one day, observing people gives me material.

David: I watch and then make up a story about them and why they’re here and then try to work out if they’re secretly stalking that other person who is actually hiding their true love for the fruit and veg guy over there? Yip. I love people watching. And then story making for the people I’m watching.

Q: Are there any pop culture trends that you don’t get the point of?

Tammy: Nervous to say anything in case it’s not a trend.

David: Ja, the one were the guy says to his friend, “I see you’re not wearing a helmet?” and the friend is like, “wha…” and then the first guy slaps him on the forehead. That’s a weird one. I like it but it’s weird.

Mo: Planking. Don’t get it. But guess it has to be good for strengthening your core muscles.

Q: What are some things you’ve had to unlearn?

David: I think in the beginning I made things very complicated. I thought that the more complicated it was, the more clever it was. So now I’m a lot more simple. In every sense.

Tammy: I’ve always struggled with detail. It’s been and still is a journey.

Mo: I can be a control freak at times. So I’ve had to learn to take it easy and trust in others and the process. Not that I didn’t trust others… you know what I mean.

Loeries 2017 | Saturday Night

It was an electric evening at the 2017 Durban Loeries last night, with the Ogilvy group walking away with a total 14 awards.

The evening started with the funny Donovan Goliath as master of ceremonies, with DJ Ready-D spinning some fresh tunes that helped soften the gradual decline of our sobriety.

Know that each award is as valuable to us as the next, but the amount of pride we felt watching our teams win two Gold Loeries for KFC Soundbite & MTV #FCKHIV, can only be compared to the maternal pride that Daenerys Targaryen felt when she had given birth to her dragons.

Once the ceremony had ended, we had just a few moments to fit in a selfie or two:

 

 

Soon after, it was time to head to the Ogilvy Party to cause some trouble.

About that Ogilvy party 🤘#loeries2017

A post shared by Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town (@ogilvyct) on

 

Game on 💪 #ogilvyloeriesparty

A post shared by Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg (@ogilvyjoburg) on

@thelazarusman on the decks 🙌 #ogilvyloeriesparty

A post shared by Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg (@ogilvyjoburg) on

 

You can check out our full list of wins from last night below: 

Award Client Work Category OCT/OJ/OSA
BRONZE AUDI HEAD LIGHT INDOOR POSTERS OCT
BRONZE HANDWASHING DIRTY HANDS NEWSPAPER ADVERTISING OJ
SILVER KFC SUPPERTIME STORIES BRAND IDENTITY & GEN. COLLATERAL CAMPAIGN OJ
SILVER KFC SUPPERTIME STORIES CREATIVE USE OF PAPER OJ
SILVER VW O11 BEATS DATA DRIVEN CAMPAIGN OCT
BRONZE KFC SOUNDBITE DISPLAY ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN OJ
BRONZE KFC KFC BURRITO DIGITAL AND INTERACTIVE -SOCIAL MEDIA OJ
SILVER VW O11 BEATS DIGITAL AND INTERACTIVE -SOCIAL MEDIA OCT
BRONZE KFC SUPPERTIMES STORIES MOBILE MEDIA OJ
GOLD VIACOM – MTV FCKHIV DIGITAL AND INTERACTIVE -SOCIAL MEDIA OJ
BRONZE VW O11 BEATS DIGITAL INTEGRATED CAMPAIGN OCT
CRAFT VW O11 BEATS DIGITAL CRAFTS – USE OF TECHNOLOGY OCT
GOLD KFC SOUNDBITE DIGITAL INTEGRATED CAMPAIGN OJ

KEEPING UP WITH THE GRADS

GABISILE MABASO

Meet Gabisile, she’s a 23-year-old graduate from the University of Johannesburg with a degree in Strategic Communications: Corporate Communications. She’s an honest, fun-loving and witty Grad from Soweto, who easily adapts to any environment.

Q: What’s a common misconception people have about you?

A: That I am mean and a bit sassy.

Q: What’s the one thing most people don’t know about you?

A: I’m very shy and suffer from anxiety; so much so I bite my own skin sometimes. *Facepalm*

Q: Why did you choose advertising?

A: With my maths and physics skills, I couldn’t be a doctor; so I thought, why not choose something I would actually enjoy. I’ve always been fascinated by the world of advertising.

Q: Why did you apply for this grad program instead of any other?

A: What would be better than starting your career at South Africa’s number one agency?  It’s also great that Ogilvy works together with brands that I consider myself an advocate for. For example: DStv, KFC and my favourite, FNB.

Girl sitting on steps
Gabisile Mabaso

Q: Go back to your first week at Ogilvy, how did you feel?

A: Let’s just say, if I could bite any deeper into my skin, then you would see my teeth from under my lip line.

Q: What has been the biggest surprise about working at Ogilvy

A: I didn’t know I could down so many tequila shots in one go.  Also, Ogilvy is such a free environment, where one can fully express themselves without fear.

Q: What is the best and worst thing about agency life?

The Worst:

The work load and working hours can be quite taxing.

The Best:

As an O25 graduate, the best part is the immersion into the different departments and seeing what goes on in them.

Q: What have you been up to in Digital Strategy?

A: I was initially placed in Digital Strategy, which went well, but then I was introduced to Data Analytics – which I love. I’m hoping to stay there when everyone else rotates to other departments.

Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment at Ogilvy so far?

A: Firstly, being given my own reports to see through for FNB on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis on the Data Analytics side. I thought I would only be contacting and talking to clients directly when I had finished the Grad program.

Q: What are you hoping to achieve at Ogilvy?

A: For now, just getting my name out there, so I can come back next year as a permanent employee, and have more Job Numbers to work with.

Q: What is the most embarrassing that has happened to you?

A: I fell quite badly at bar night trying to run after some guy who wanted to throw my bunny ears on the roof. He won.

Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met?

A: Her Name is Naledi. She works for DStv on the Client Service side. There’s never a dull moment with her.

Q: If you could be anyone at Ogilvy for a day, who would you be?

A: Abey, on his most chilled day. I just wanna sit in his chair without the drama.

Q: Do you have an office crush?

A: I do, his name is Anything Expensive, as in “nice shirt, is it made of boyfriend material?” You get it, right?

Q: How has Ogilvy affected your relationship with caffeine?

A: It made it stronger, we’re practically inseparable.

 

 

One Show and D&AD Winning Work

1. KFC

Shakin Shakin

The Everyman Meal – Coloured Weights

The Everyman Meal – Claw Thing

The Everyman Meal – Cherry Lip Balm

2. Vodacom
You Should Have Called

 3. Mondelez

Cadbury Pre Joy

4. Volkswagen

Technically 

Amarok Test Drives For Good

5.  South African Breweries (SAB)

The SAB Spike Detector Coaster

6. Iziko Museums of South Africa

The Slave Calendar

7. Anglo American

Makarapa

Meet The Winning Team – FC Ogilvy Johannesburg

Three Soccer players posing in a dominant stance

FC Ogilvy JHB, was started in September 2015, when a few people from the creative and account management teams realised that there were a lot of guys who loved playing social football.

We decided to form the FCO team and joined the Dimension Data Corporate League (DiData League), with all match days being on Tuesday evenings.

FC Ogilvy JHB has a roster of 13 regular players and is managed, and captained, by Napo Tsubane (Ogilvy JHB), while Michael Zulu (Ogilvy JHB) often acts as team coach and game strategist on match days. It would not be possible to have the team without the help of Abey Mokgwatsane, Garth King and Angela Madlala, who have been supportive all the way – by getting the team registered for the league and matches, arranging team kits and financing team utilities for game days.

Soccer player posing with his hands on his hips

The FCO team is about bonding and brotherhood, with the joyful bonus of running after a ball for 40 minutes once a week. This extends beyond the players, as we have colleagues who regularly come and watch the team play while enjoying a drink or two.  The team is comprised of members from all over the campus: Account Management, Creative, Hogarth Worldwide, Maintenance, Geometry Global, Team Red, Finance… a great way of uniting people from different parts of the business J. This has resulted in a feeling of inclusion and understanding that has made certain working relationships easier and has assisted in building respect between colleagues.

Beyond playing in the DiData league, we also have challenge matches against Client teams such as SAB, KFC and DStv. We often treat these matches as an opportunity to give other interested colleagues (who aren’t regular members of the team) an opportunity to participate.

The team has grown and progressed from a small cluster of guys just jamming together to a well-managed organisation capable of winning the league. This past season we were ranked number 1 in the league. The aspirations for the team are higher than merely participating in a sport, we have a vision of becoming a linchpin of the Ogilvy culture; getting people active and participative in the most novel of initiatives.

Team Roster

  • Napo Tsubane
  • Lesego Matabane
  • Agisanang Masekela
  • Phillip Matsekoleng
  • Thapelo Leluma
  • Peace Sethuntsa
  • Ernest Ndou
  • Jerry
  • Essien
  • Craig Herzberg
  • Craig Gangram
  • Mohammed Hoosen
  • Mogorosi Mashilo

Support Staff

  • Mohau Bosiu – Match Reporter
  • Michael Zulu – Team Coach
  • Calleb Mbedzi and Siphiwe Sefolosha (Team Utilities)
  • Andile Khambule, Rebaone Makodi, Sibusiso Malinga, Archie Malinga (Support Club)