Getting good done

Whether you’ve just started working at Ogilvy or you’re part of the furniture, there is one person in the building that everyone needs to know. Not because she is an intimidating big shot (she is a big shot, but not a scary one!), but because of her warm smile and heart of gold.

Her name is Fiona Kantor, PA to Luca, Ben and Rob; the irreplaceable lady behind the scenes who helps keep their crazy schedules in order. But her role at the agency doesn’t end there; she also heads up the Entertainment Committee, and more importantly, the DoGood Foundation.

Fiona Kantor

Over the years, Fiona has made it her mission help the local charities supported by Ogilvy – Percy Bartley House, NOAH, DARG, and the Night Haven – and is also the driving force behind other initiatives, such as Green Pop, The Volunteer Wildlife Services, Hands of Hope, Casual Day, and the list goes on.

For today’s post, we get to know the woman behind it all…

Q: How did you come to work at Ogilvy and how long have you been here?

A: “After being lucky enough to work from home for over 10 years, and with my children growing up and needing me less at home, I decided to try and get back into the formal job market.  A little daunting at my age.  But, I was determined to get back into the creative industry again. I was interview and employed as Exec PA to Gavin Levinsohn, Rob Hill and Kim Feitelberg in June 2012 – just over 3.5 years ago”

Q: How did the DoGood committee come about?

A: “Each year Ogilvy SA conduct a corporate strategy for the coming year.  2 years ago Rob Hill asked a group of young stars to conduct their own survey with colleagues in the building to build a strategy based on what staff would like to see the company doing more of.  One of the strong issues that came out of the survey was staff’s desire for the company to be more involved in CSI projects.  So, Rob asked me to get a programme going.  We felt it important to make a difference within a 2km radius of our building, hence the choice of the charity groups we support.  We also wanted to cover a spectrum of charities that we felt people would like to support.  E.g. Animals, the elderly, homeless and youth and the environment  There were so many organisations to choose from, but because CSI work was so new to the building and especially to myself, we decided to try and focus on 5 areas/charities and support these well.”

Q: What is DoGood all about?

A: “As mentioned above … its about making a difference in our community within a 2km of our building and playing a part in corporate social responsibility and investment.”

Q: What are some of your more memorable moments while heading up DoGood?

A: “There are many … but the one that stands out is when we started the Birthday Cupcake deliveries to Percy Bartley House.  When I went to deliver the first batch of cupcakes to one of the boys, I was amazed to firstly discover that the poor boy was totally unaware it was his birthday … and secondly, to experience his total excitement and emotion of being remembered and thought about on his birthday.  The thank you letters I get from the boys are quite overwhelming. Lukhayo thank you

Q: You and a few members of the team recently took the boys from Percy Bartley House up Table Mountain. Tell us a bit about the trip.

A: “Another great day with the boys … I contacted Table Mountain to see if I could arrange complimentary tickets, which they very kindly donated.  The boys were thrilled … not one of them had ever been up the mountain – a mountain they look at every day.  So we headed off with Taliep as driver, Brett Webb, Claire Brayshay, Kara Levy and myself and 19 boys plus a social worker (both Kara and Brett also had never been up the mountain!).  It was a long wait in the heat to get onto the cable car, but once on our way the excitement level escalated.  It was strangely cold and windy at the top, but we walked around with the boys, showed them the Dassies which they were totally fascinated by and even more amazed when I told them they were the closest relative to the elephant.  After freezing ourselves a little, we bought the boys a cool drink and packet of chips and headed back down the mountain.  They all said it was an event they would remember for ever.”

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your role?

A: “Firstly, having seen it grow to where it is today (with no previous experience in CSI work) and all the projects we have managed to achieve over the last 2 years.  The relationships I have built with the elderly folk at Noah, the boys at PBH and DARG.  We still have to develop our relationship further with The Haven, but have done some great things for them.  But overall, experiencing the joy, happiness and gratefulness of being remembered, thought of and cared about warms my soul.”

Q: How can we get involved in DoGood?

A: “We are always looking for extra hands to help with the various projects we have throughout the year.  When staff join the company they are told about DoGood at induction and encouraged to take part in various projects.  They also receive a volunteer form in their intro pack where they are able to offer their time and/or make a monthly contribution to the DoGood Fund which is deducted from their salary each month.  And of course, the most important way to get involved is to support the various projects we conduct throughout the year.  It truly makes a massive difference to the organisations we support.”

Watch this video to see their journey up Table Mountain:

To get involved and assist Fiona with the work she is doing, pop her a mail at: fiona.kantor@ogilvy.co.za

Life as an Ogilvy Grad – the good, the bad…and the caffeine.

The year is drawing to a close, but before we go off on our much-needed vacation, we thought we’d check in with our Ogilvy Graduates one last time to see how 2015 has been for these new(ish) Ogilvillians.

Last time we spoke to Glenn and Kara, Glenn was creating content for PR and Kara was moving out of PR and into Strategy for Ogilvy & Mather.

We sat down with them to find out how 2015 was and what they make of #agencylife.

Kara

Q: The programme provides graduates with the opportunity to move throughout the various departments to discover which one they feel best suits them: After a year of exposure to the different disciplines, where do you think your best fit is and why? 

A: “One of the things I have found myself saying quite a lot recently is “Just because you like cooking, doesn’t mean that you are going to be a good chef” and think this is relevant to where I am now. Moving around the agency leaves you in a little bit of an uncertain place because just when you think you are getting a grasp of something, you have to move on. With that being said, I would like to stay in strategy, but at this point – the power isn’t in my hands so we will have to wait and see.”

Q: What have you learned about yourself since you’ve been here?

A: “That I am quite malleable – in terms of adapting to work, in terms of adapting to people, in terms of managing my own expectations etc. This year has been super rewarding, but it’s also been a bumpy ride, there have been so many high highs, but also a few lows sprinkled in-between. I think it’s important to be adaptable and to ensure that you are able to stay at a sort of constant in terms of work life.”

Q: What has been one of your highlights during your time in the agency?

A: “I have to name a few – the dress ups (I think these were my favourite), quiz night, the nights/days out after work, going up table mountain with the Do Good team, most importantly though, but my main highlights have all definitely accumulated from being in all the different departments and having developed both personal and work relationships with so many people the building because I have moved around so much, which I think is quite a rare privilege.”

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Halloween dress up. Martin Magner (left), Kara Levy (right)

Q: Was there a time where you questioned if this industry was for you?

A: “I think it’s only natural to question your line of work from time to time, but on a whole, no.”

Q: Where do you see yourself five years from now?

A: “I’ve always wanted to live overseas for a bit, so I probably won’t be in South Africa – but you never know. I’d definitely like to be doing advertising still, but I would like to be involved with recycling in some way or another, because it is something that I am really passionate about.”

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The Friday tequila ritual. Every Friday, 3pm, Shelley’s office – a Kara fav.

Glenn

Q: You made the decision to stay in PR during the programme. Looking back, what attracted you to the department and the role?

A: “I first picked it because I thought it would be a pleasant balance between what I had learnt at varsity & what I would learn in the real world. It turned out that I actually knew absolutely nothing which was okay because there were people willing to be patient & teach me. Becoming a creative felt like a natural role to go into for so many reasons. Having so many ideas spinning in my head at any given moment and now my job requires me to shape those into something coherent and useful? Sign me up.”

Q: What have you learned about yourself since you’ve been here?

A: “It’s hard to really answer this question just because we would be here for ages. What I will say is that I’ve grown a tremendous amount as a person & managed to find a bit more of myself without having to travel to Thailand for a year or read ‘Eat. Pray. Love.'”

Q: What is the best part of your job?

A: “The unpredictability of it all. I might be putting together a campaign concept one day and shooting celebrities in a music video the next. There are always different challenges and that keeps things interesting and forces me to learn quickly.”

Q: What advice would you give to someone wanting to apply to the Ogilvy Graduate Programme?

A: Just be yourself. In this industry, we’re storytellers and there’s no better story than your own. That sounds super corny but I’m sticking to it. Until 2016.

Q: Any tips for other newbies?

A: I feel like a year into this job, no one should be taking advice from me. But, I would say that you shouldn’t be afraid to screw up. Because you will. The most important thing is to bounce back and learn from your mistakes. And also not to beat yourself up about it, we’re only human.

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One of Glenn’s 2015 highlights was rocking this teeny tiny (also bedazzled) ladies underwear. When we asked for his comment he said “Totally worth it. I got to go to the Loeries which was the best time.”

Glenn and Kara are the last official ‘Ogilvy Graduates’ before the new O25 Graduate Programme kicks off next year. It has been a treat having them and we can’t wait to see what they do next!

Back to the future for big scale TVC’s

Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) Cape Town’s latest campaign for long-standing client Carling Black Label is a throwback to the days of epic, story-telling South African television commercials with high production values.

The Carling Black Label ‘Horse’ television commercial (TVC), shot over six nights in the Cape Town city centre by veteran director Keith Rose and Velocity Films, depicts a wild horse on the loose through the streets and three Carling Black Label champions intervening to save the day and the horse. For a behind-the-scenes look at what went into making the commercial, click here (for online use only – no broadcast rights).

The logistical challenges presented by the concept were substantial, and the investment from the client was significant, but O&M Cape Town Managing Director Luca Gallarelli says that major set-piece TVCs like this still have a significant role to play in the South African marketing mix; “when done well with great creative and high production values they can uniquely position a brand like Carling Black Label in the minds of many people in a particularly emotional and engaging way”.

Gallarelli believes that even with the uptake of digital and social marketing, TVC remains popular and plays an important role in building the brand narrative; “Even in markets like the UK with massive online video penetration, the major retailers still spend big on Christmas TVCs and flight them heavily”.

“Television remains as relevant as ever but as our world evolves with the proliferation of digital media, there is an entirely new array of media channels that clamour for our attention.

“For a TVC to cut through this new media landscape and have impact, we need to think bigger, bolder and smarter. We need to tell stories, we need to entertain, and we need to deliver the kind of cinematic quality which audiences now take for granted. Allan Gray’s recent TVC ‘The Letter’ is another example of this kind of epic, cinematic storytelling”.

O&M Cape Town Executive Creative Director Tseliso Rangaka says; “Carling Black Label is an iconic brand which has always made major statements in its marketing, and this truly was a major statement”.

As well as the six days of prepping and shooting across six different locations, the TVC used five thoroughbred horses which were trained and conditioned for six weeks.

Carling Black Label General Manager Vijay Govindsamy believes the outcome vindicates the effort and the investment as it “powerfully and emotionally delivers the message of Champion Men taking brave action in a crisis and truly deserving the reward of the Champion beer”.

 

Link to television commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRKVQDM6GxA

Link to Behind the Scenes video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7_snrO-lGs

(for online use only – no broadcast rights)

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Press Contacts:

Roxanne Leibrandt

  • Ogilvy Public Relations Cape Town
  • roxanne.leibrandt@ogilvy.co.za
  • +27 21 467 1133
  • +27 76 826 8333

Brittney Kok

  • Ogilvy Public Relations Cape Town
  • T +27 21 467 1271
  • brittney.kok@ogilvy.co.za