Red Huxley – Road to Rancho


Here at Ogilvy, we are lucky to have some great musicians in the house, and one of them is Matt Pullen from the local band Red Huxley. The band have been given a chance to record their debut album in the states with Rock legend Dave Catching from the Eagles of Death Metal and Queens of the Stone Age (to name a few). He runs and owns a recording studio in the California desert & has recorded a host of bands including the Arctic Monkey’s, Kyuss, and the Foo Fighters.

Here’s the catch, they need sponsorship for the band to help cover the expenses. In order to help raise the capital needed they created a KickStarter page (click here).

We need to get Matt out of the studio (his copywriter really needs a break + he is a ginger) so please go to and donate what you can, even $1 would be a great help, alternatively if you are feeling a little skint the best thing to do is to simply share, a tweet, a like, a blog, anything that will spread this amazing opportunity. Help us make a gingers dream come true. Thank you.

67 Minutes For Nelson Mandela

This year, to celebrate Nelson Mandela day and to honour Mandela’s commitment to education, volunteers from Ogilvy Cape Town showed their support for a school in need – Thandokhulu Secondary School.

Together with some very enthusiastic pupils from the school we planted a total of ten trees, including a beautiful Yellowwood, learnt about how crucial trees really are on our planet, and, most of all, had fun giving back and doing something good.

Mannes in Cannes // Part 6 // I know what you did last night.

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Well, this is my final Mannes in Cannes. Reason being, I am not even in Cannes anymore. So this is more “Man in Dubai International Airport on Dodgy Wifi Eating BLT” which has a lovely ring to it you must admit.

To be honest the last few days have been of a mind copulation. Beginning with a lovely, air-conditioned viewing of the outstanding TV Shortlist on Friday. And what a great Shortlist it was, viewed with the bare minimum of low whistles (the Cannes version of the boo, don’t ask me why). This was accompanied by the news that Ogilvy Cape Town had one last Shortlist, in Branded Content and Entertainment, for our Carling Black Label “Be the coach” work. So we were to be in the game for the final ceremony at Cannes, the grand finale of the week.

Also on Friday was the long awaited on-stage chit-chat between Dan Wieden and John Hegarty. Together, as founders of fiercely independent agencies Wieden and Kennedy and BBH, they have given the world some of the most recognizable and best loved work of the past 2 decades, for brands such as Levi’s, Nike, Honda and, more recently, The Guardian. This was barbed, slick, funny and wise banter the likes of which you don’t see often. It was easy to see why these guys have set the pace for advertising excellence for a while now.

Friday night was South African party night. Very cool to see the flag flying over the Croisette. The general feeling was that we had done jolly well ( at that stage 25 Lions for the week) but our paltry 4 film Shortlists was like totally not cool hey bru, we need to make like Avis and try harder. It was good to get together with some local seuntjies after a hectic week of talking in broken English to full bearded Swedish web designers and trying to evade aggressive New York production people.

Saturday, for me, began on the beach, with a vroeg in die more swim in the Med.

As I towelled myself off, my phone buzzed excitedly next to me. It was 10.35. As a shortlisted agency at Cannes you generally spend the day of the ceremony in a state of angsty anticipation in case you get “the call” from the festival organizers, who will tell you that you have won gold. Generally this does not happen and the prickly anticipation fades rapidly after 10.30, to be replaced by a bleak disappointment, which is in turn replaced later in the day by a fresh, although slightly muted, optimism that you may have won silver or bronze.

The message, from my wonderful and tremendously on the ball awards manager back home in SA, said simply “We got gold””.

Anyone who was on the Ville de Cannes beach that day would have observed a man in black swimming trunks get up off his lounger and air punch repeatedly. This was directly followed by a curious hopping dance on the water’s edge. The rest of the day was spent in a trance-like state of serendipity, punctuated by vigorous bromantic hugging of fellow Ogilvy SA people.

Tommy Le RouxSo for the very first time I did not have to queue with thousands of sweaty delegates in the sun for 2 hours before the Film ceremony. Tommy Le Roux and I were shown to our seats at the front of the auditorium. Directly in front of us was Ted Royer, Chief Creative Officer of Droga 5, who was receiving txts throughout the ceremony from the man himself, Dave Droga. We know this because we read them over his shoulder. Towards the end of the evening our big moment arrived and we shuffled happily across the stage to collect our Gold Lion from the Jury Chair. It all happened very fast, a bit like a car accident, only a good one, if that makes any sense.

Gold OgilvyCTFilm Grand Prix went to goody-goody fast food outlet Chipotle “Back to the start”, which I liked a lot. That piece also got the Branded content and entertainment Grand Prix for the work done around it in the Cultivate program. The Gold’s were all good on the night. There are too many to list, and this blog post is very late, mostly due to the aliens’ interfering with our server capacity (at least that’s what the IT guy says). But please have a look at them (Click here), they are a huge part of what was, for me anyway, the best work I have seen at Cannes for years. It’s been lovely jabbering away like this all week. It would be great to do it again this year. It would be even better to do it while my agency clocks up another 7 Lions, although that would be overly optimistic.

chris gotzI will see you all back in SA after my 26 hour flight odyssey. I dearly hope I do not have to sit next to a full-bearded Swedish web designer or a hustling New York animatic production agent.

I have had enough of that for one year. And I really don’t want to have to share my Xtra large bag of duty free Maltesers with anyone.

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Mannes in Cannes // Part 5 // Another one


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It is Friday morning in Cannes and the sun is shining. This would normally be great if I weren’t so bleary eyed from yet another late night. I am too tired even to make that same Malteser joke I have been making in this blog throughout the week. Last night was party night at Cannes. The Ogilvy party, the Shots party, the Velocity party. It was a heaving, thumping mess of groaning plates of canapés, women in strappy heals and hipster Swedes in full beards with slick side partings. If you were wondering where all the mirror balls went, well I can tell you most of them ended up in Cannes. Remember strobe lights, those grim reminders of 80’s matric dances? Well, they’re all here too. Last night was not a good night to be an epileptic in Cannes. I spoke to a lot of interesting people at these parties, intermittently running into unpleasant fast-talking production people from New York trying to tell you why you really should be producing your animatics with them. I can’t think of many more bizarre scenarios than discussing the intricacies of big budget animatic production with feisty, pushy New York production people to the sound of ghastly eurobeat, while strobe lights beat up on your eyes. So I left.

This morning is different. There is a new cruise ship in the harbour. Little boats shuttle back and forth ferrying the passengers and their credit cards to the nearest branch of Dolce and Gabbana so they can spend 100 000 bucks on another white linen jacket. These people are all deeply tanned, as wealthy people normally are. This is because really rich people generally choose not to experience winter. Instead they inhabit summer, wherever it may be, striding around in their green leather deck shoes and Hermes kaftans like they own the place, which they normally do. Today’s cruise ship is white, of course, and is called “The Epic”, which seems a pretty unimaginative name, even for a cruise ship.

Yesterday was Bill Clinton day at Cannes. I was going to make a few cigar jokes but after seeing him speak I was left too admiring to do that. He spoke for an hour or so about the state of the world and what we need to do to fix it. He has to be one of the most brilliant and inspiring people I have ever had the privilege of hearing. One particularly cool thing he said – we are all 99,9 percent the same, yet the world seems to spend all of its time concentrating its energy on the 0,1 percent that makes us different to each other. Now that may sound trite but he backed it up with some facts about mutual cooperation that really made sense. He left me feeling optimistic and inspired, which was really the point.Smokey Robinson (4)

Smoky Robinson also talked yesterday, about social media. Now, I never really thought Smoky Robinson and social media belonged in the same sentence, but he made a good fist of it. He didn’t sing, which I was relieved about, not being a huge Smoky Robinson fan. Turns out he has been working with Crispin Porter and Bogusky (yes, I know, that is weird) on a causal marketing social media movement thingy they are going to call Smoke Alarm ( get it?). Good luck to them.

Today we see the film Shortlist. It is my favourite day at Cannes. Holed up in a dark air-conditioned room, I will watch the 500 or so best commercials and films of the year, as decided by the film jury. Also out today is the Branded content and Entertainment Shortlist, Carling Black Label’s last chance at some extra glory. I will keep you all posted. (Editors note, Carling got the shortlist, so are in for a shot for 1 more Lion).

chris gotzFrom my balcony I can see a flag fluttering in the breeze with a Google logo on it. This is the Google HQ, a lovely section of beach where ad people can go to drink free smoothies and ride on various strange watercraft and also hear about how Google will shortly be taking over the world in a kind of benevolent autocracy that will include free smoothies and free wifi everywhere where we will all be governed by Swedish web designers with full beards and slick side partings. Jokes aside, I wonder if that Google flag fluttering over us is not a sign of things as they really might be one day. Could be worse, it already is.

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Mannes in Cannes // Part 4 // Inspiration days

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It’s really kicking off here in Cannes now. I know this because Peri van Papendorp did “the worm” at Tuesday night’s opening gala. And so he should. Ogilvy Cape Town upped it’s Lion count to 5, with 2 Silver Lions for Volkswagen “Bluemotion Label” and Carling Black Label “Be the Coach”. We also got South Africa’s first ever Mobile Lion. There was much ululating and downing of tequila shots and yeeehaaaaing. South Africa also picked up 2 Silvers in Outdoor for Y&R’s Landrover “Eyes” work and the Hunt Lascaris Campaign for Enterprise meats “Thicker slices“. 

Earlier in the evening we had taken in some of the best work yet in the Outdoor, Mobile and Media Lions ceremony. Once again one of the big themes for the year emerged, shiny new tech embedded in really good ideas, like the fabulous “Invisible drive” for Merecedes Benz from the geniuses at Jung Von Matt in Hamburg. It won one of 2 Grand Prix’s in Outdoor last night. The Germans really seem to be ahead in the application of all the new digital tech and platforms, probably because they are developing and perfecting most of them. Provided it’s only there they keep striving for world domination then we’ll all be safe. The other Grand Prix went to our very own Ogilvy China. Fabulous story behind this one. The Art Director who did the work, Jonathan Mak Long, is 20 years old. It is his first year in advertising. This is one of the first pieces of work he has ever done. So it’s all falling into place quite nicely for him.

The big story of the night was the first ever Mobile Lions Ceremony. The words Mobile Creativity generally do not inspire stratospheric levels of goose-bumpy possibility in your average creative person, but they should now. The work was top class. Some of my favourite pieces of the whole bloody over-priced circus that is Cannes were on show last night. The Mobile Grand Prix went to the incredible “Hilltop Re-imagined” work for Coke, all part of Google’s project:rebrief. More about that later. The “Fake Ad” for Bradesco Seguros by Almap BBDO Brasil was the first piece of truly great work created specifically for iPad, we’ll be kicking ourselves for ages that we didn’t think of it first. And then another of my favourites won Gold, the genius “Backseat Driver” idea for Toyota by Party in Tokyo (remember the small Japanese man who told us we were all shit, well this was his work, clearly he is not shit).

And on to Media Lions, which also threw up some great stuff. Predictably the Carlsberg “Bikers” were in there by Belgian agency Duvall Guillaume Modem, a viral that everybody watched loads of times. This familiarity has been a feature of the work this year, a lot of it is already very well known because of the viral nature of really good, absorbing content, I suppose that gives it extra momentum coming in to Cannes. Finally there were 2 Golds for absolutely beautiful ideas. The first, by Saatchi’s Milan, was “Integration Day” a piece done for World Down’s Syndrome Day. It is remarkable, please watch it. Then there was the “Stumbling Stones” from Jung Von Matt Hamburg, a piece done to remind young Germans of the horrors of the Holocaust. Apparently over 50 percent of them are blissfully unaware it ever happened.

Today I saw a presentation on Google’s landmark work, :project rebrief. Seated at the front of the room were some of the greatest creatives of all time, heroes of the ad revolution of the sixties. They presided, in their careers, over the advent of television, the last great technology transformation in advertising. It was fascinating to hear their thoughts on the digital transformation we are undergoing now, you could feel history shifting around you, goose bumpy stuff. I sat a few feet away from Helmut Krone’s writer Paula Green, responsible for “We’re number 2, that’s why we try harder.”

Amil Gargano was there too, creator of “Drive it like you hate it” for Volvo. And also Harvey Gabor, the man who did the most famous Coke commercial of all time

“Hilltop”. Harvey is in his 80’s, has had a stroke, and struggles to talk, but he was profound and feisty and inspiring about how creative people should go about their business. The google : rebrief project has inspired a full length documentary feature, which will be premiering at Cannes on Friday. Can’t wait.

From there it was on to a Workshop with Geoff Goodby of Goodby Silverstein, the man who gave us pieces of ad history like Budweiser Lizards and Got Milk. The title of his talk was “Why aren’t they buying my brilliant fucking idea? This is a question I frequently ask myself. Geoff answered it very well. I will try to remember what he said and let you all know when I get home. It may come in handy one day, possibly as early as next week. 

Tonight (Wednesday night, although you will probably be reading this on Thursday, stay with me here) we have the Radio Lions, Press, Cyber and Design. South Africa has a veritable light brigade of Shortlists which are sure to come lolloping home with Lions. Well, hopefully anyway. We are “traditionally strong” in Radio and Print, whatever that means (It would be a good thing if we became “traditionally strong” in digital and mobile pretty smartly). As a country we are heading for the biggest haul of Lions we have ever had at Cannes. As an agency we at Ogilvy Cape Town are already having our best year ever at Cannes. I am so proud of everything that has happened this week. Here’s hoping we are in for a few more surprises. If anything it would give me a superb reason to have a celebratory bag of Maltesers. 

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