An Officer and a gentlemen


There are so many people who can attest to Graham’s ability to do whatever it took to deliver creative excellence and to initiate campaigns that made business sense as well. However, over and above this he always remained a true, charming gentleman.

Looking at the posts and condolences on various Facebook pages it is abundantly clear that Graham touched many lives in the advertising world, as a mentor, a gentle giant, a leader, a creative force, a pillar of strength and a friend.

Graham spent just over 20 years at Ogilvy and the Cashbuild@Ogilvy team were fortunate enough to enjoy the last five years with Graham as our Creative Director. His input was invaluable and changed the course of Cashbuild’s advertising.

Our client fell in love with not only the concepts that Graham created but also his ability to make unparalleled sound effects when presenting radio and TV scripts. His rendition of the Cashbuild radio tag will forever be etched in our memories and has become the standard in Cashbuild presentations.

Graham was more than just an ‘adman’, he was also an incredible father, brother, uncle, a builder and prospective guest house owner.  He spent the last few years of his life building a tree house which was designed to provide unique guest accommodation.  This was to be his retirement project. He wasn’t afraid to literally get his hands dirty and often arrived at work with cuts, grazes and bruises he attributed to manual labour.

One a more personal note and one which I think sums up the fun loving man Graham was, he joined me as a dance partner when no-one else would rise to the challenge.  We had dance lessons together every week and he became quite the kizomba dancer much to his daughters’ amazement.  (For those of you who aren’t familiar with this form of dance, it is a Congolese/Angolan form of Salsa/Argentine tango and the hottest addition to the dance world.) Graham embraced this challenge with swaying hips and complicated footwork like a true dance pro.

There are so many more anecdotes and stories that his colleagues and family would be able to add to this tribute but I think we agree that Graham was an all round extraordinary man who lived life to its fullest and gave his all to everything he embarked on.

Graham, we salute you for the massive 45 year contribution you made to the advertising industry , for your commitment to Ogilvy for the past 20 years and for the difference you made to businesses, clients and all the people you met along the way.

Rest in peace Great Man! You will be sorely missed!

Ogilvy Wins Loeries 2018 in Marathon Style

Ogilvy South Africa took home 23 statues from the 2018 Loeries held in Durban, including its 8th Grand Prix in a row. The group’s awards tally was led by an exceptional performance from Ogilvy Johannesburg, which claimed the Grand Prix in Film Communication for Kimberly-Clark “The World’s First Baby Marathon”.

Winning work for Ogilvy came from a range of clients including Kimberly-Clark, AB inBev , OMO, Volkswagen, KFC and Vodacom.

Ogilvy South Africa CCO Pete Case adds, “What an amazing achievement for our teams and clients. Our ability to consistently deliver multiple gold and Grand Prix at Loeries is a wonderful achievement for us all. Congratulations to all the winners this weekend and most especially Kimberly-Clark for bringing the biggest statue home with us. Looking at the work we won for, it’s certainly a proud time to be in this industry.”

Ogilvy SA CEO Alistair Mokoena adds: “Our client relationships are driven by only one thing, and that is the power of creative excellence to deliver commercial value. We are thrilled that the ideas that have created value for our clients are being recognized by our peers this weekend at the Loeries Awards.”

Winning work was placed in a wide range of categories including; data driven marketing, shared value, creative use of paper, digital, media innovation, live activations, radio, film, craft and integrated.

The Kimberly-Clark “The World’s First Baby Marathon” Grand Prix case study can be viewed here:  



 Category – Branded Content Video – Series

Brand – Kimberly-Clark, Huggies

Title – The World’s First Baby Marathon


 Category – Data Driven Campaign

Brand – Kimberly-Clark, Huggies

Title – The World’s First Baby Marathon


 Category – Live Activations

Brand – AB InBev, Carling Black Label

Title – Soccer Song for Change – Activation


Category – Integrated Campaign

Brand – Kimberly-Clark, Huggies

Title – The World’s First Baby Marathon



 Category – Creative Use of Paper

Brand – Unilever, OMO

Title – The Omo Book of Dirt


Category – Digital Integrated Campaign

Brand – Kimberly-Clark, Huggies

Title – The World’s First Baby Marathon


Category – Media Innovation – Media Campaign

Brand – Kimberly-Clark, Huggies

Title – The World’s First Baby Marathon


Category – Media Innovation – Single Medium

Brand – AB InBev, Carling Black Label

Title – Soccer Song for Change – Media


Category – Branded Content Radio & Audio

Brand – AB InBev, Carling Black Label

Title – Soccer Song for Change – Branded Audio Content


Category – TV & Cinema Commercials – up to 90s

Brand – KFC

Title – KFC World Cup


Category – Integrated Campaign

Brand – AB InBev, Carling Black Label

Title – #NoExcuse Integrated Campaign



Category – Digital & Interactive Social

Brand – Volkswagen

Title – #Marco #Polo


Category – Shared Value

Brand – AB InBev, Carling Black Label

Title – #NoExcuse Integrated Campaign


Category – Radio Station Commercials

Brand – AB In Bev, Castle Lager

Title – Make A Different Friend – the no sense of personal space guy, the pinkie ring guy, the really smart watch guy


Category – SA Non-English Radio Station Commercials

Brand – Vodacom

Title – Enkinga  


Category – TV & Cinema Commercials – up to 90s

Brand – Volkswagen

Title – The Learner


Category – TV & Cinema Commercials – up to 90s

Brand – Volkswagen

Title – Red Flashy Thingy


Category – TV & Cinema Commercials – above 90s

Brand – AB InBev, Carling Black Label

Title – #NoExcuse




Category – Digital Crafts – Writing

Brand – Kimberly-Clark, Huggies

Title – The World’s First Baby Marathon


Category – Radio Crafts – Original Music & Sound Design

Brand – AB InBev, Carling Black Label

Title – Soccer Song for Change – Craft




Category – Digital Crafts – Use of Technology

Brand – Kimberly-Clark, Huggies

Title – The World’s First Baby Marathon


Category – Live Crafts

Brand – DSTV

Title – Halloween Sleepover


Category – Film Crafts – Writing

Brand – Kimberly-Clark, Huggies

Title – The World’s First Baby Marathon


The art of an influencer

By Tassin Albertyn

Today I sit, barely 31, reflecting on my life and an experience that took place 20 plus years ago and all I keep asking myself is how could a child possibly know the magnitude of such an event? Well, I have learnt over the years that when you are that young your mind perceives such influential people with pure emotion. I have realised that the art of an influencer is subtle; they speak a language that science cannot speak. My story begins with such a person, so let me tell you the story of my encounters with greatness.

Before we all knew what was really happening, there were a group of people following the right people. These individuals knew greatness before we could even comprehend what was really in motion and I was fortunate enough to be related to one of them. My aunt, the late, Virginia Engel was Nelson Mandela’s personal secretary. I remember the call like it was yesterday, she knew I was a borderline fanatic of Michael Jackson and at the time he was scheduled to visit one of his hero’s all the way from America which happened to be our then president Nelson Mandela. It was strange that she was telling my mom this and calling unexpectedly, and then she asked the question that every fan dreams of… Would you mind if Tassin accompanies Michael Jackson on a tour around Parliament?

The flood of emotion filled every iota of my body. If you knew my aunt you would know that this was unethical to her. To this day her incredible kids have had few, if any, experiences similar because she served our country with the same values that our late president did.

The day arrived and evidently I wore my best interpretation of Michael Jackson attire which at the time was all my parents could afford. My parents who were both working had asked my grandfather to escort me to parliament and make sure that I didn’t make a total fool of myself on the tour. I was extremely close with my grandfather; he was a legend to many and was the perfect person to share this with. We parked outside of the parliament and approached security. I remember feeling the most surreal emotions; we were transported from the public gates by a dark vehicle that would take us to the door of the prestigious parliament building.

My aunt stood at the entrance waiting and said in the most professional tone, “Tassin I’d like you to meet President Nelson Mandela”.  I looked up at this figure that I can only describe as infinitely boundless. His mere existence filled the room and he embraced me with the sense of protection that only a sincere soul could translate without words. Up to that point I was consumed with the idea of meeting my idol, the man who sang the truth. What I did not expect was meeting the man who was responsible for influencing the mindset of millions. Nelson Mandela was effortless in his thought process; he spoke with such purpose that even witnessing small talk between him and Michael Jackson seemed significant. I remember sitting in his office, just the five of us, Madiba, Michael, Michael’s parents and little old me and although I could not comprehend the conversation, I knew that day that I was in the company of the world’s greatest influencers.

The rest of the afternoon I expected to be asked to leave but instead I walked the hallways of parliament in-between Michael Jackson and Nelson Mandela while he explained the history and visions he had for our country. I was in total ore the entire time and even though I was an insignificant child, in the presence of greatness they constantly made sure I was included. It was an intimate experience that shaped who I am in so many ways that cannot be articulated.

I recollect the smells and history that I saw walking through the corridors of Parliament with immense pride in our people. I can undoubtedly say that the art of influencers will stay with me throughout my life. These people have shaped us on every level and are responsible for what we are today. To the influencers which are the parents, the aunts, the presidents, the idols, the husbands, the children and the fellow citizens of South Africa… we were blessed to live in a time of legends. They have built the foundation that we need to enhance every day and they will be a part of our legacy for eternity!


A Tribute To Bob Rightford

By Brian Searle-Tripp

Bob Rightford, you made work, respect, soul, toughness, pride, commitment – and a promise – to truly mean something.  I will remember your big heart, big soul, big hunger, big love.  Bob Rightford, I owe you my life.

By Roger Makin

Bob Rightford was my mentor, my partner, my role model and above all, my friend.  I owe so much to him that I cannot fully express my thanks and my good fortune for having met him.

I first worked with Bob at the advertising agency De Villiers and Schonfeldt, where he was MD. Thanks to him, the Cape Town company was growing rapidly, and late nights at the office were commonplace.  One evening we were due to have a new business presentation the next morning, and the creative studio was working flat out to meet the deadline.  Bob’s report for the presentation was finished and typed; his work was done and he could easily have gone home to his family.  Instead he went out and brought back steak rolls for everybody in the studio, and joined us for a late-night picnic. I remember thinking: “I’d be happy to keep working for a man like this.”

And so it happened, and I thank my lucky stars for my many years with Bob at Rightford Searle-Tripp & Makin, and beyond. He enriched so many lives, especially mine.

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.