Checking in with the Ogilvy Grads

Kara Levy and Glenn Kisela have been learning the ins and outs of agency life through the Ogilvy Graduate Programme (OGP). Our last check in with them was in April. Find out what life has been like at the Big O.

KARA:

Kara

Q: The last time we checked in you were leaving Account Management and heading to OgilvyOne (OO). Name one high and one low from your time at OO.

High note: There were so many! On a light note, sharing a desk with Claire and having some bonding time (we made a ‘your side/my side line’) and took it very seriously. Another high was actually working on a Sunday with a colleague from another agency putting a strat together for a presentation that was due to be presented on the Tuesday morning – that moment when things start to come together and a strong story and argument is built succinctly is so rewarding.

Low note: This is tough – there weren’t many lows, but if I had to say something it was probably having a mild panic attack when I realized I hadn’t ordered enough Lego for one of the workshops we were running and I had to get it couriered to my house – yes, we use Lego for workshops.

Q: You’re in Ogilvy PR (OPR) now. How has travelling through all these departments opened your eyes to what agency life is like?

I guess it has shown me how every department is able to function as a mini-agency on its own, but how important it is for all the departments to work together because everyone has such niche knowledge and skills.

Q: What are your plans after OPR?

I am planning on making my way back up to the 6th floor, to do some time in ATL strategy. It will be interesting because I have worked my way from very specific digital strategy, to a bit more of a broader perspective in PR strategy and I will end off with time looking at things from a very top line perspective.

Q: If you had to create an agency survival kit for an OGP, what would you include?

  • A notebook: Chris Rawlinson told me something really interesting in one of my first months at the agency, he said that you always have your best ideas in your first/first few years of working, so I always write down new ideas when they come to me and hopefully I’ll be able to implement them at some point.
  • Earphones: These serve more than one purpose, they are the ultimate “do not disturb” signal and they save you from the questionable music that sometimes comes out of the buzz
  • Flash drive: As you are working on presentations and with different people all the time, a well organised flash stick is a must have
  • Comfy shoes: people underestimate the amount of stair running that gets done in this building, and being looked down upon for taking the lift two floors is a real thing
  • Coffee/identify a good coffee spot: this is the 9 o’clock turbo fuel injection – make sure it’s good
  • Minimal desk decoration: as you move around a lot (I am on my 6th desk), you must have desk decoration that is easily movable and not much of it.

Q: Who is your “ad-crush” and why?

The people at Ogilvy Brasil who made an advert called “immortal fans” for Sport Club Recife. That advert was a large contributor to me wanting to get into advertising. Check it out:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8GFcAlWhBM

GLENN:

Glenn 2

Q: You’ve been with Ogilvy PR (OPR) for about 6 months now. What have you been up to? 

PR has been a whirlwind ride. It’s hard to put into words really. I’ve been involved in everything from setting up a newsroom for the agency to creating campaigns for various brands. Creating social content to doing fashion photo-shoots. It has been an incredible experience working in a place where I never actually know what each day is going to bring.

Q: If you could create an OPR survival kit, which 5 items would you include?

  • A bottle of Jameson to help you get through the late nights
  • A book that taught you a sense of humour in case you lack it
  • A music playlist that only featured Drake because obviously
  • A 4 pack of Red Bull because sometimes the world of PR moves too fast
  • Lastly, a dictionary because typos in our world means death.

Q: Who is your “ad-crush” and why?

It’s not Brittney Kok because she’s the worst.

Q: During your 6 months, name one high and one low while being at OPR.

A high would be winning the Times Creative Challenge, definitely. A low would be a particularly frustrating client presentation.

Q: How much caffeine do you need to get through a typical day?

2 cups a day. Excluding my daily Red Bull.

 

Quicker Than A Creative Brainstorm

Mobile was the word at Cannes – and it’s all about speed, baby.

Originally written for the Sunday Times by Chris Gotz, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy & Mather South Africa.

While the FIFA World Cup rollicked along in Brazil, advertising and marketing’s World Cup, the Cannes Festival of Creativity, was held last week on the French Riviera.

David Hasselhoff plans to stay relevant, but how important is that to know?
David Hasselhoff plans to stay relevant, but how important is that to know?

Once dismissed as an in-house yahoo and prize giving, the week-long event has gained some serious momentum in recent years.

All the world’s big chip clients are there from Unilever to Coca Cola. The tech muscle is also on show in the bright sun – Google, Samsung and Apple all hosted workshops, seminars and panel discussions.

This year was particularly celebrity flavoured with guest appearances by Kanye West, Bono, Jared Leto, Courtney Love and entertainment titans like Jeffrey Katzenberg, Aaron Sorkin and the boss of Vice Magazine Eddie Moretti. Why so much fuss is made over an ad festival is questioned by some, although industry luminaries will tell you it’s all terribly important. So is it? I mean, how vital could it be that we know David Hasselhof’s plans to “stay relevant” (one of the first talks of the week) and one wonders whether seeing Sarah Jessica Parker talk on a panel isn’t really more just about, well, seeing Sarah Jessica Parker.

While, undoubtedly, Cannes draws its fair share of celebrity spotters (the queues to the glitzy talks are always much longer), there is a serious reason why close to 13 000 of the heaviest hitters in marketing, tech and communications gather in the South of France every year.

A little while ago the world started shifting, it was if Captain Kirk asked Scotty for warp speed and the future started coming at us very fast. In the middle and upper end of the market we are surrounded by ever more sophisticated devices which have radically altered the way media is consumed – we snuggle up with our partners and watch laptops in bed instead of TV, we can get the answer to any question we care to ask from a small device in our pocket and we are slowly building up a digital profile that will tell anyone who wants to know, everything they want to know.

Translation SEMINAR Kanye West (19)

This media revolution is part of why this Cannes thing is so important, it’s a gathering of the new advertising and marketing intelligentsia – all restlessly hunting for fresh ways to persuade people to buy stuff in a radically different media environment. If the rest of the world is on warp speed, the marketing, media and ad people have installed a nitro kit.

If the big speakers at the festival are to be believed, the mobile device (note that we no longer talk about mobile phones) is the big daddy of game-changers right now – it’s the future of retail, the future of news, the future of communications and definitely the future of advertising and marketing. After all, would you rather pay a fortune for a billboard on the off-chance someone might see it while driving by, or send something directly to the pocket of the person you know you want to talk to? Of course it’s not that simple, and ad people and marketers around the world have been terribly bad at mobile everything and anything. Still, as people do more with mobile, as the processing power goes up and up, possibilities multiply. Soon, facial recognition technology in public places and shopping malls will identify you, alert retailers to your presence, track your purchase history, review your social profiles and then serve you special offers and choices from the store you happen to frequent most often. You’ll pay with your phone too.

The more things change though, the more they stay the same, and, while new technology was the no-brainer theme of the festival, the other big focus was a return to good old “storytelling”.

Speaker after speaker banged on about the importance of stories.

Call me cynical, but going on about “storytelling” as if it was discovered last week in a remote Peruvian village is a bit much. Stories are embedded in humanity and saying they’re vitally important is risking a long spell in the idiot corner. I suppose re-packaging the bleeding obvious and presenting it as a remarkable new development is what ad people have always been good at. Nevertheless, there is a point to be made about “new” frontiers in storytelling because technology has given us a vast array of options to carry people along and to allow them to participate if they feel it’s worth it.

The big winner of the week, apart from the organisers of the festival, who make good coin from entry tickets, delegate fees and various “sponsorships”, was the superb work for Volvo Trucks, “The Epic Split” with Jean Claude Van Damme, which was only flighted online – a more common event than you would think these days.

A great snapshot of the whole festival, including the talks and the work that won (which includes plenty of great South African stuff – including a Grand Prix for Radio from Ogilvy Johannesburg for Lucozade), can be found at www.canneslions.com. Obviously visiting the website won’t be the same as being there, fuelled by rosé and bewitched by the frayed glitz of the Riviera, but you’ll get the gist without waking up with a hangover.

Images by Getty Images.

Queen B’s Gumtree Boutique

Here at Ogilvy, our obsession with fashion is well-documented, so we’re thrilled to be working with our client, Gumtree, on Queen B’s Gumtree Boutique – an exciting online shop where aspiring fashionistas can purchase some of Bonang Matheba’s most stylish items.

Queen B's Gumtree Boutique_17

The items range from trendy handbags and sunglasses to skyscraper stilettos and stunning dresses, including the beautiful Gavin Rajah dress that Bonang wore when she met Prince Harry in 2013.

TV presenter, SK Khoza, teamed up with the Gumtree Crew to collect some of Queen B’s glamorous goodies at an exclusive event in Johannesburg.

 

Fashion fans can make a purchase from Queen B’s Gumtree Boutique by visiting www.gumtree.co.za/queenb before Friday, 13 June.

Ogilvy Suits Up

In celebration of High Heel Hump Day and Tie-Day Friday two very stylish Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town employees were awarded the titles of Ogilvy Outfitter’s Best Dressed Lady and Gentleman (of March 2014). Bongi Matsolo and Ntlalontle Xhala, both Account Executives in Geometry Global, turned out in some serious threads and 9 inch heels, setting themselves a cut above the rest.
 Heels group shotHeels winnerTies groupTies winner

I Hate Valentine’s Day (WeChat / Anton Taylor)

Below is our very first YouTube video for new client, WeChat. In conjunction with YouTube personality Anton Taylor, we put together a little video called I Hate Valentine’s Day.
The video was made by our R.E.C. & Ogilvy Public Relations teams.

Warning: This video contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing. It also contains scenes of a sexual nature and strong language.

‘Bossman says it disrupts’

Google recently released its list of the top trending videos on YouTube in 2013.

Our Klein Kimmie advert for Halls, which was recently awarded a Gold at the Bookmarks, is South Africa’s third most watched YouTube video of the year!

Chappies Edible Street Art across South African

Chappies Edible Street Art

In January we helped local iconic bubble gum brand, Chappies, pay tribute to its fans by creating and sharing six edible street art pieces, each inspired by “Did You Know?” facts submitted by South Africans. The largest of the six murals took 177 681 pieces of Chappies to create, about 15 hours to complete – and not surprising less than 15 minutes to be eaten by the ever eager fans. The above clip shows an quick and easy overview of the work. Enjoy.

The edible art went up on walls in Cape Town, in Woodstock, Khayelitsha, and at Cape Town Station. The Johannesburg edible art went up on 4th Ave, Parkhurst, at Arts on Main, in the Maboneng Precinct, and in Greenside. The campaign was put together by us, and the edible art was built by SJ Artists.

DID YOU KNOW? FACTS ABOUT CHAPPIES

DID YOU KNOW Chappies was introduced in the late 1940’s by Arthur Ginsburg who worked for Chapelat, a Johannesburg confectionery manufacturer? The name ‘Chappies’ is derived from the then company name Chapelat, which was apparently named after Miss Chapelat. The “Did You Know?” concept has been part of the Chappies history since nearly the beginning. And where did all those questions come from? The ‘Three Wise Men’ was a popular quiz programme on Springbok Radio which inspired the DID YOU KNOW facts. The “Did You Knows?” have taught South Africans countless weird and wonderful facts for over 60 years. They’ve also helped settle a few arguments in the process! Did You Know that up to 7 million Chappies are bought every day.