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?
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.