Bright and early on Thursday morning, a team of enthusiastic Ogilvy dog lovers spent their 67 minutes for Mandela Day helping out some four legged companions at Dogtown SA, also known as Barking Mad. Kate Turner and Codey Sueltz writes about their experience:

This great organisation was established in 2009 and specialises in rehabilitating, training, re-joining and giving the abused, neglected and abandoned dogs and puppies a second chance at finding there forever home. There are roughly 100 dogs at Dogtown and each is put through socialization and behavioural programmes to ensure they are able to be adopted. All the staff and volunteers at Dogtown are mad about dogs and give them much needed love and attention that they deserve. Dogtown is a pro-life organisation, meaning that they do not believe in euthanizing any of the animals.


The Ogilvy Staff were all eager to help, painting kennels and cleaning the kitchen, the Ogilvy love was spread across Dogtown. Thanks to all the staff who joined in and got those tails wagging!

All these innocent victims need is a home, lots of love and a chance at leading a full and happy life. If you would like to add to your family, please visit this organisation before going to a pet shop to buy designer dogs. Otherwise, if owning a dog it too much of a commitment, sponsor a kennel at only R350 per month.


Last week some Ogilvians spent their 67 minutes re-painting the girls and boys toilets at Reshomile Primary School in Diepsloot. Thandeka Ndidi writes about their experience: With paint in our hair and on our faces and clothes the spirit of giving back was contagiously spreading through to everyone.


Smiles all around as paint brushes were dipped into paint and a fresh new coat was painted on to the walls. Surely the boys and girls will be smiling at the bright walls of their toilets. To thank us the learners broke into song and dance enabling us all to practice one of our 8 habits – Playfulness as we all joined in too. To end of the 67 minutes we had dedicated to the school, we handed over learning charts, encyclopedias and other educational materials to the learners.

cannes_60thCaree Ferari is our Managing Partner on MultiChoice and writes from Cannes on what her first trip there has been like so far;

It is Day 3 of my first Cannes experience, and I am still overwhelmed.

My debut to Cannes has been a complete eye opener. From beautifully bronzed people strolling down the Plage de la Croisette, people basking in the sun on the various beaches (some a real sight for sore eyes) to thousands, and I mean thousands, of fellow Cannes Lions delegates moving between auditoriums and break away rooms.

Without the help of the Cannes Lions guide, both in book and digital format, I would not have known where to start.  Over the week there are 60 Seminars, 17 Workshops, 30 Forums, 10 Masterclasses and 9 Techtalks to choose from as well as all the work to view.  I feel like a kid in a candy store, not knowing where to start and which direction to turn.  It is pure sensory overload.  In true Virgo style I spent Sunday night working through the content programme picking what I want to attend and realised that this week is going to be one big juggling act!  Many of the talks overlap and choices need to be made.

You can judge by the queues as to which seminars are the most popular as the already long queues often double back on themselves such as the “Iconic storytelling frame by frame” with Annie Leibovitz; “Stories are more than a narrative, and fashion is more than design” with Vivienne Westwood; “What connects in comedy” with Conan O’Brien and “Culture as a creative catalyst” with Sean Combs aka P Diddy.

Somewhere in amongst all the talks I have managed to find time to stroll the back streets of Cannes and fit in a party or two.

We have been to 3 awards ceremonies so far.  They are slick, and are over within 2 hours despite an average of 30-60 Gold Lions being handed out.  The Silver and Bronze Lions appear on the screen only.  It was great to see KFC Add Hope receive a Bronze Cannes Lions for Media.

There is just so much to see and take in, and I suspect sensory overload by the end of Cannes Lions 2013. This has been an awesome experience, an absolute privilege to attend Cannes Lions and I have found the opportunity most certainly inspiring and fulfilling.

That we’re massive fans of  Shelly Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus of Ogilvy & Mather and this year’s Creative Effectiveness Lions jury president, is no secret. We were hanging on her every word in this video interview with Thomas Crampton on how they chose the winner for this new and terribly elite category.

The chat is particularly interesting considering our last week’s Apex Awards that also measure the effectiveness of creativity. We like to all it the Twin Peaks – and planting your flag on top of each is surely the biggest achievement any Adland inhabitant could dream of.

Cannes 2013 kicked off on a high for Ogilvy & Mather – winning 39 awards overall. The first one that won big, was the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign launched in Australia in 2012 before rolling out across the globe as a result of its impact: in just three months consumption of Coca Cola by Australian young adults had increased by 7%. The initiative built on Coke’s sharing positioning, encouraging members of the public to personalise bottles of Coca Cola with their friends’ names, as well as their own.

The initiative was one of just seven campaigns to be honoured with the competitive award at this year’s Cannes Lions. The category – now in its third year – only considers work which won a Gold Lion in the previous year.

Worldwide Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy & Mather, Tham Khai Meng, said: “The most creative work is also the most effective, and here is the indisputable proof.  “Share a Coke,” which rounded up a pride of Lions at last year’s Cannes is back to bring home a coveted Effectiveness Lion. This infectious idea helped Coke pick up the Lion’s share of sales in Australia.”

Another big winner was  Ogilvy & Mather Brazil’s “Immortal Fans” for Sport Club Recife, walking away with a Grand Prix for Promo & Activation work. It’s one of those campaigns we all wish we could create – doing something good while helping a brand achieve their goals.

Ogilvy and Sport Club Recife introduced the world’s first ever organ donor card from a football team, encouraging football fans to become immortal fans by registering as donors. Over 51,000 people have registered for a card, and organ donation in Brazil has increased by 41%.

Tham Khai Meng added: “This Grand Prix-winning work from Sport Club Recife connects the bone-deep passion of its fans with a cause that touches the heart. This idea has emotional impact and a strong message. Die-Hard Fans knocked me out cold … it seems to have hit the judges with the same force.”

This campaign also meets all the criteria for the first big trend spotted on the first day of the Cannes talks – doing good through creative work. See more on this and other highlights in the slideshare below:

tshepoTshepo Chaka is one of last year’s Ogilvy Graduate Programme winners. He impressed us endlessly with his amazing blog, hopefully he’ll do the same for this year’s batch of aspiring Grads.

How did you know what you wanted to write about?

I knew that I wanted to write about business because entrepreneurship has been an integral part of my life and I enjoy reading up on captains of various industries.

How do you keep disciplined to keep updating?

I wish I was more disciplined! I have made it my mission to become a more disciplined blogger.

Where do you find content?

I usually find content from business journals, inspiring spaces like The Grove Market, Maboneng Precinct, creative blogs and from personal experiences I’ve had running a business.

Clever ideas to keep people coming back for more?

I think the trick lies in the storytelling element of the content and urging/inspiring readers to want to become more than they are.

Easy wins to build followers – are you also active on social media to drive to your blog?

I drive my blog through Twitter and my personal Facebook profile. After having posted content on my blog, I tag influential followers on my timeline in a tweet and more often than not, they retweet the link to their followers.

What do you love most about blogging?

Touching people’s lives; I have had people send me mails noting that my blog has inspired them to start something, be it a business or a portfolio to look for formal employment.

Why did you start the blog?

I started the blog to document my thoughts around business and to encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship among young people

Has your blog helped you in your professional life?

I have had a number of young entrepreneurs calling me to ask me to share with them my views on some aspects of their businesses. In a way, I’ve become a business consultant for small businesses.

capnerdsIf yesterday’s post from Michael Stopforth didn’t set your brain afire with ideas for your #OgilvyGrads entry, then another Ogilvite blog, Caps & Nerds, undoubtedly will. We chatted to Masego who makes up one half of the team:

“Our blog is driven by our passion for art. We generate our content from daily inspirations in our environment. We’re passionate about sharing ideas, beautiful artworks that hopefully inspire people around the world. Having daily themes to help guide your posts and generating enough content in advance makes it easy to post constantly. It also keeps our followers interested and looking forward to the next post. Our followers are online friends, other bloggers and people with the same interest. We also keep ourselves inspired by posts from other bloggers and hopefully make friends along the way.”

mikeTo inspire our 2014 Ogilvy Graduates-in-the-making, we’ve asked some of the Team Red bloggers to share their online worlds with us. First up is one of last year’s winners, Michael Stopforth, from one of our favourite spots to visit, Have Superpowers.

There are only two weeks left to register for this year’s epic internet battle, so hurry over to to get going and be in the running!

How did you know what you wanted to write about?

Write about stuff you’re actually interested in. There’s no point in putting on a façade, because believe you me, when curtains call and masks fall, a naked you will always be the naked you.

How do you keep disciplined to keep updating?

To quote that guy that played Mark Zuckerburg in the Social network: “we don’t crash EVER!” That’s the difference. You need to show that you have one of the most admirable qualities ever – consistency.

If you’ve got 13 fingers and can Jimmy a Hendrix like no-one alive, but never work enough to get a gig, you suck. If you can just fret a string, but have continuous sessions at some indie bar where you eventually meet Skrillex in the toilet, do his acoustic set, survive dubstep’s fever and hit the ground running when the new guitar hero is the old guitar hero, you win.


Where do you find content?

Life. Keep your peepers peeled and I guarantee there are infinite amounts of blog-worthy delicacies around every corner. The world has pixels single atoms wide with multi-sensorial magic, all you need to do is start recording.

 Clever ideas to keep people coming back for more?

Find out what YOU’d like to know, not what you THINK your audience would like to know. An audience is essentially a group of people, and people associate with people. And you’re a people. All you need to do is bring another person into the intensity that is your life with your writing. You’re more interesting than you think.

Easy wins to build followers?

You might write digital antimatter, but if no-one knows about it, no one’s going to read it. The internet’s about linking, if there’s no hyperlink, there’s no traffic, and there’s nobody reading your beautifully crafted self-indulgent ranting.

What do you love most about blogging?

It’s the heart of the internet. The internet is about the world’s knowledge, free to anyone, and open to anyone to contribute. The idealism of John Lennon in one digital hippy colony, only with more hipster Instagram posts.

 Why did you start the blog?

For me, the most incredible thing about the net is that the world’s knowledge is out there. You can teach yourself anything. Parrot wrangling, wish-granting ostrich summoning, bionic chicken engineering. As well as other things that don’t involve birds. You can do the splits, you really could.

Has your blog helped you in your professional life?

On many occasions. I’ve gotten commissions and even dates from people reading my blog. If someone walks up to you, quotes your sub-header and gives you a hug, you feel pretty damn good. Just make sure your content speaks to savoury peeps.

alphThis year, DStv was once again one of the major sponsors of Design Indaba. As such, they needed to have a strong presence at the event. But how do you talk to what DStv is all about, all the entertainment and a wide range of amazing content, while also making a piece of communication that all those artsy folks at a world-renowned design conference would appreciate?

The solution came in the form of creating DStv’s own entertainment-inspired typeface. This DStv alphabet was intricately crafted with each letter representing an iconic character or piece of entertainment. Can you guess what each letter stands for?

Four fantastic, young illustrators from Cape Town were briefed to design the letters, thus also giving local talent a platform at the event.


The idea then exploded into other mediums from an A-Z digital icon suite and papercraft letter giveaways to posters and giant 3D letters.

After buckets of blood, sweat and tears and a couple of grey hairs later, the 2m high 3D letters were completed and carefully delivered to Cape Town. They were placed in high-traffic areas at the venue, giving people the chance to enjoy and interact with them.


With speakers like Marian Bantjes, Jessica Hische, Louise Fili and Matthew Carter on the line-up, typography and illustration were major themes at the 2013 Indaba, making the DStv typeface project all the more relevant.

Ultimately the campaign combined entertainment, technology, design and creativity in a delightful, fun and engaging way – ensuring DStv’s involvement in the conference didn’t go unnoticed.

Team credits:

Georja Bunger – Art Director

Tracy-Lynn King – Copywriter

Carl Willoughby – Creative Director

Fran Luckin – Executive Creative Director

Tom Prentice – Group Account Director

Caree Ferrari – Managing Partner, MultiChoice

Shirley Wagner – Head of Print Production

Quintin Wright – Head of DTP

Aldo Pulella – Digital Art Director

Greg Pentopoulos – Model Maker

Emma Cook – Illustrator

Daniel Ting Chong – Illustrator

Adam Hill – Illustrator

Jordan Metcalf – Illustrator

In all the conversations we’ve had during Design Indaba, people have mentioned how speakers closed loops for them. Things we knew and in many cases had forgotten was resurrected and given a new, shiny, better  life. To a great extent, the final day closed some loops that were started on the first two days.

Alexandra Daisy Gingsberg (above) is a designer by trade, but she’s morphed herself into a biologist. Without any formal training, she is manipulating bacteria to do all sorts of things. She works from the premise of making things better – making life better. In her version of a better world, nature is manipulated to give us all the things we need – even grow our products. One of her projects, E.Chromi, can be used to test the pollution level of water, but they have much greater plans for this little bit of science fiction, like why not turn our poop different colours to show if we have any diseases?

Their argument is essentially that truly disruptive technologies need to be new creations, they can’t be created from the same things we’ve always had. So in essence they’re building new tools, new bits and pieces to create and design with.

Very much like Alexander Chen and the Google Glass team who create ads for products that don’t exist yet, she believes that carving out this space and predicting or exploring the future is the first step to opening it up to becoming a reality.

If Daisy looks to the future for her inspiration, then type maestro Matthew Carter looks to the past. His all-consuming obsession with types and where they come from, who took part in changing them is the mark of a true craftsman. He taps into old draft books and gravestones for inspiration, meticulously researching fonts and how they were used. Matthew describes it as a “messy interaction”, but the results are quite beautiful:

Illustrator and NY Times columnist Christoph Niemann, is the man who drew/tweeted/ran the New York Marathon (see a video about it here). But that might be a too simplistic description of his work. He has created so many great images that seem to have wit and basic truths fed to them intravenously. Like this video he created for Google Chrome:

He told us his life story, saying that at 25 he was brave and careless – his “pain threshold” was so much higher than it is now. He argues that this is a great quality for creatives. “You take chances that you wouldn’t take when you’re older. Pursuing dead ends is your creative life insurance. You need to make mistakes and fail in order to go to the next step. Being careful and taking care can actually kill your creativity.” Which probably explains that zany idea of run/draw/tweet-ing the marathon.

Another great insight from Christoph was that we all need an inner Artist and Editor. “It can be liberating getting your hands dirty, but you always need to bring it back to its essence. I can’t live with people not understanding what I do. Simplicity doesn’t mean doing something without a lot of ornament or detail. It’s going very complex and then cutting it down to its pure essence.”

He’s also not precious about throwing ideas that just don’t work out. “Even if you’ve brought it down to the essence it still sometimes doesn’t work. Then you have to let it go. No matter how much you’ve fallen in love with that thing, just ignore it.” He says that the most exciting and relevant struggle we can engage in is an “open childlike love for what you do vs a grungy little evil accountant going ‘No it doesn’t work’”.

Spoek Mathambo had to cancel his talk because of a death in the family, but he was quickly replaced by the gutsy (who goes on in front of 3000 people without months of planning!) Daniel Charny. He’s made it his life mission to link skills with imagination, a journey that started with the Power of Making exhibition. The greatest thing he learned from that experience is that we are still learning new skills from people. We’ve essentially come full circle from the stone masons who were taught by masters to online forums where we’re still taught by people.

His newest project, Fixpert, is his answer to the question of whether design is going through a renaissance or requiem. It’s an appeal to normal folk to use their brains to help others, pairing a Fixpert with a Fixpartner, and that’s when the magic happens:

Renowned architect David Adjaye showed us many of his brilliantly designed buildings, really exploring his thinking and references in each of them. One of the most impressive is the Francis George Library in Washington D.C. “Libraries are no longer necessary everyone is going to be online for information, they are no longer the only depository of knowledge.” But, he thinks that “technology is missing something that is engrained in us, this emotional thing of going somewhere to be with people and feel things”. So he’s transformed this library into a space for “doing things together”, whether it be yoga, acupuncture, or doing your home work. These emotive spaces are most important in neighbourhoods that have the least amount of shared public space.

Matthew Carter spoke about how something you do, see or hear lies dormant in your brain and then it jumps on you much later, prompted by a new thing you learn. It helps to close the loop and understand or do a new project. In this sense, Adjaye completed Jeanne van Heeswijks thought on collectively creating neighbourhoods; Daniel Charny continued Ben Terrett’s idea of open discourse and joint ventures of improvement.

The day ended off with Sir John Hegarty, who believes  that you cannot be a successful creator if you do not have some fundamental beliefs and if you don’t put those beliefs into the work you do. “Creative people are syphons:  they take in all sorts of information and they feed it back. Your fundamental beliefs are central to your creative output. What is it that drives you to do what you do? If you don’t know what the answer is you can’t be successful in your work.

“I was driven by irreverence. World of art didn’t always appreciate irreverence, in fact it was about revering.”

He doesn’t see irreverence as a negative trait though. ” The nihilism of punk made it fail as a philosophical premise. They were all about tearing down, but not putting something new up again. Unless you propose, you can’t just destroy.”

Ultimately, he says, humour is the enemy of authority and he believes that the quality of our work has gone down. “It’s not my opinion  empirical evidence exists that proves that our audience thinks the work we do now is not as good as it used to be. It’s like we’re trying to find new ways of tripping people up, instead of making the product better.” He also attributes it to the fact that creatives aren’t leading the industry and taking charge.

The day ended with this massive call to action – to take charge, to take on the world and shape it into what we want it to be. But really, that was what the whole conference was about: educating yourself; moving beyond your boundaries; trying and failing; working collectively; and most importantly, doing all of this with a conscience, doing it for good and for better rather than “selling more”.