guardianSeriously, what could be bigger than the Olympics?

Above are a small selection of some notable Olympic-inspired creations beginning with this project from The Guardian.

Create your own avatar, type in your personal best for a sport and then see yourself compete against famed athletes in all glorious retro 8-bit! You can share the results on Facebook. Read about how the game was created here.

Then there’s this awesome project from EDF Energy, the official electricity supplier of the London 2012 Olympics, who will be using tweets sent during the games to gage the “Energy of the Nation” and produce the world’s first social media powered light show.

You can watch a new video everyday on the EDF Website.

P&G are at it again, the world’s largest consumer products maker recently unveiled an ad that shows child athletes arriving in London and getting ready to compete….

Also, this Olympics will see the debut of a recyclable basketball stadium, a first of its kind!

You can read all about this amazing initiative here.

Who else is getting in on the Olympics action? Well, Coca-Cola is ramping up for the brand’s largest-ever Olympic Games activation. Never before in the Company’s 84-year Olympic partnership has the brand gone for marketing gold in a campaign that has teens at its core.

The Move to the Beat campaign is rolling out around the world in more than 100 countries….! Check out the TVC launched earlier this year.

The campaign includes the Move To The Beat Facebook app which allows people across the globe to connect and interact with the campaign anytime, anywhere.

There’s even a building in the Olympic Park known as the ‘Coca‑Cola Beatbox’ which has the sports sounds from Coca‑Cola’s song for London 2012 embedded within the building itself, visitors will be able to play the Pavilion like a musical instrument and create their own beat for London 2012!

You can find out all about the campaign in an 8-minute documentary here!

The team across at Wieden+Kennedy have certainly been busy creating campaigns for both official and non official Olympics Brands!

In addition to creating the string of P&G ads (including the one above) they have launched an Olympics inspired campaign for Old Spice called….Believe in your smellf because when you smell like a champion, the only thing standing in the way of success is all of the other things it takes to be a champion besides smell.

Hot off the global success that was ‘Write the Future’, the ‘Kings of Brandalism’ are back with this equally sly but stirring masterpiece!

….also done by Wieden+Kennedy.

Last but by no means least is this absolutely epic piece created to advertise Channel 4′s coverage of the Paralympics Games…. ‘meet the Superhumans’!

dogsSherrin Davie spent her 67 minutes with Team Read at  Barking Mad Dog Rescue in Midrand that is currently home to over 100 dogs. Although there is always a waiting list for dogs that have been neglected or abused by their owners, the non-profit organisation has an anti-euthanasia policy and as a result many dogs call Barking Mad their permanent home. Here’s what the visitors thought:

“The group of Ogilvy attendees included a mix of animal lovers across the campus that arrived in their most casual threads and bags of dog food, doggy treats and blankets to donate.

Welcomed by heaps of furry excitement and sloppy kisses we were divided into groups of four and took turns walking the dogs around the closure, feeding them treats and cleaning their doggy houses. The dogs are friendly and are used to welcoming volunteers that help out at Barking Mad. Many of the dogs are in their senior years with many stories to tell from neglect, abuse or illness. Barking Mad relies purely on donations from the community to feed the dogs and help those that have medical conditions. Many of the dogs are on special diets and the team takes extra measures to ensure their health is maintained.

Walking around the grounds there were many dogs in all shapes and sizes that wanted our undivided attention. I was drawn to a shy two-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier named Tammy who had suffered neglect from her previous owners. Fairly shy at first but when you give her a treat and a pat on the back her loving personality shines through.

Then there was Courage, a very sweet-natured Ridgeback who has also been at Barking Mad for some time hoping to find a loving home. He loves his daily walks and loves meeting new people.

Our 67 minutes were up way too soon. Everyone had such a different, fulfilling morning entertaining the dogs and helping where they could.

The Barking Mad Facebook page was launched three years ago and currently has over 19,000 fans. Social networking has provided tremendous success for the organisation with donations and finding new homes for the four footed friends. Join them there to find out how you can sponsor a pet or “click to feed” and get invovled.”

Throughout last week, Liesl Harmse and some of the other ladies from Team Red were knitting away for Topsy. Here’s how they spent their 67 minutes – and then some!

“The Topsy foundation is a non profit organisation which works with those affected and infected by HIV/Aids in impoverished rural communities in three of our country’s provinces. This Selinah advert is a great real-life example of just how important the work that they’re doing is.

One of their main areas of focus is to make provision for the needs of the children and orphans who have become vulnerable due to HIV and AIDS. To this end, and considering the recent cold snap we’ve just emerged from, the idea of some warm woolen items made with love would come in handy during the icy winter months.

A team of ladies all eager, raring to go and barely able to wait to get hold of the wool and needles to begin their contribution to this cause, gathered on the Ogilvy campus to collect the necessary material to accomplish the task ahead of them. Some have already managed to start knitting their little baby jerseys, booties and squares – that will eventually be stitched together into toys and blankets. All of these are being donated to the Topsy Foundation and distributed to those who are desperately in need of the knitted items. There’s a definite click of knitting needles in the agency as the quest to complete as many winter warmers as possible begins.

This group of knitters consists of a mix of beginners as well as advanced knitters with a request for help here and there: for assistance in getting started, casting off or just to check on a team mate’s progress.

Amid the excitement and evident sense of camaraderie within the team is the sense of greater purpose. Here we are in our warm jerseys and jackets with heaters close-by and out there is a little child who so desperately needs exactly what we take for granted. My heart aches as I knit my squares and in my mind I resolve to make this a habit, a hobby which will fill spare moments all through the year and bring some warmth and comfort and hopefully a hint of the love put into this endeavour to help someone in need.

For more insight into who they are, what they do and have to offer log onto topsy.org.za. You can also follow them, like them and help them.

dreamLast week, we hosted an open platform for anyone to ask Miles Young, worldwide CEO and Chairman of Ogilvy & Mather, questions. Here’s what Miles thinks about integration, what makes a great idea great and why he’d never dream about getting a “real job”:

Romy Salant: How is integration working globally in terms of specialist agencies? What is the model that is best working?

Miles Young: The future doesn’t lie with “pure plays”; rather the model working is integration of specialists under one roof.

Jean-Michel Wickli: Do you find that there is too much advertising and thus good ads seems to get mixed in with the bad?

Miles: A good idea always rises above the mediocre. So we just need to keep on doing better work.

Alan Edgar: From a global view, do you believe the rise in digital is killing all the other traditional CRM/DM channels?

Miles: No, rather it is giving them new life, real connectivity and just in time measureability.

Ricki Allemann: Who is Mather?

Miles: This Mather came from London to Scotland in 1850s and set up an advertising agency which later merged with David’s.

Cate Williams: What’s your favourite part of Joburg so far?

Miles: Too early to tell – only arrived at 22:30 last night!

Nimay Parekh: what do you make of our 8habits installations?

Miles: I’m going right out to see them after this

Clement Nkoko: What’s it like sharing an office with Tham Khai Meng?

Miles: It is a wonderful experience; it means we each know what is in the other person’s mind.

Kate Mallet: Is this your first visit to SA?

Miles: No, I’ve been here twice before. I’m looking forward to coming much more often.

Dave Alves: Should Social Media as a specialty sit within Interactive or PR, or simply be one with the entire agency as a whole?

Miles: Very much the latter; it is a part of all the conventional disciplines.

Willem Labuschagne: If you could give a rad TED talk, what would you talk about?

Miles: I would talk about the relationship between belief and creativity.

Abey Mokgwatsane: What in your view is the next game changer in the marketing services industry?

Miles: Mastery of “deep content”.

Jean-Michel Wickli: Do you find there is a shortage of digital talent, thus the need to approach specialist agencies?

Miles: Yes to the first; no to the latter – the best talent finds integrated agencies more fulfilling.

Tarryn Pitchers: What is the most memorable campaign you’ve ever worked on?

Miles: The Guinness campaign which won us back the business in London in the 1980s.

Morgan McGowan: What do you get up to in your spare time? Do you have any interesting hobbies?

Miles: I’m involved in New York’s Design Museum, and also am a spice farmer.

Polelo Masola: What is needed to build a great advertising firm?

Miles: Talent, talent, talent.

Wayne: Where do you see digital skills best aligned, in media agencies for 360 media planning or creative agencies?

Miles: They belong in both; it’s not either/or.

Jean-Michel: What should people involved in advertising watch, read &  investigate to inspire them. And what inspires you?

Miles: They should search out the very best work in the industry and soak it up. It inspires me.

Genna Hansen: If you had to give one tip on how to thrive in advertising, what would it be?

Miles: Ensure that you have some balance in your life.

Julian Ribeiro: What’s the best piece of work you’ve seen across the Ogilvy network this year?

Miles: The Tunisian Spring event.

Andile Khambule: What are your expectations of African agencies in the Ogilvy network?

Miles: To build Ogilvy culture, and to do the best work in their own markets.

Tiaan de Kock: Do you believe that the future of advertising is in social, and the information is provides on consumers?

Miles: Not entirely; main purpose of advertising still remains the generation of awareness & imagery

Jessica Knight: What in your opinion is Ogilvy SA‘s magic factor?

Miles: Culture and values – including commitment to creative excellence.

Akona Ndungane: What attracted you to join the world of communication?

Miles: The people in it – I love people and this is the ultimate people business.

Alan Edgar: If you have / had kids would you encourage them to go into advertising? Or get a real job.

Miles: I don’t. But if I had, I would – not real, but a great job!

CodeRedComms: From the “8 Habits Of Ogilvy,” what does playfulness mean to you?

Miles: Ultimately, it means being prepared to break the rules.

Genna Hansen: What makes a good creative idea, great?

Miles: The degree of originality, both of the idea itself, and in the execution.

Bridget Johnson: How do you define a great idea?

Miles: An unexpected combination of two previously unconnected things.

Dave Alves: What role do you think Social Media plays in the marketing space for brands?

Miles: Essentially, popularising the idea and validating the proposition.

Wayne: I’m sitting in Canary Wharf right now, and you in Joburg, can we swap?

Miles: Not at the moment, thank you! Better weather here.

Polelo Masola: What are the core values that make you wake every morning and smile?

Miles: An intrinsic sense of optimism. And a belief that individual effort makes a difference.

Wayne: How would you rate South Africa creatively when compared to London or New York?

Miles: Very positively. In fact, I think that the “big TV” is often better.

Nimati Emam: Do you think planners should work across the different communication disciplines or is specialisation better for planning?

Miles: At a brand level, I tend to think the latter. At a corporate level, tend to the former.

Polelo Masola: How do you measure talent? Is talent equal to qualification from Vega or AAA or is about passion?

Miles: I think it is about energy and drive; this differentiates. Much talent is simply a commodity.

Andile Khambule: What do you love about work from South Africa’s network?

Miles: It is not afraid of emotion; it captures and uses it so well.

Abey Mokgwatsane: Why should someone choose a career at Ogilvy&Mather?

Miles: They are not just joining an agency, they are joining a family.

Bridget Johnson: Do you think seductive technologies are replacing good, sound thinking?

Miles: Sometimes yes. It’s something that has to be fought against strongly.

Wayne: Do you think the Ogilvy network has stayed true to David Ogilvy’s ethos or has the agency had to adapt for today’s environment?

Miles: It has remained true in the fundamentals, but I also believe it has to adapt to the new world – and it does.

mandelaNadeema visited at the Ibhongo Secondary School in Soweto yesterday, here’s how they did their bit:

“We spent our 67 minutes at one of the 94+ Project schools that’s home to over 930 students. On arrival, the school was so serene that the Ogilvy Team thought the students were given the day off… but the silence meant, students were learning.

Our group consisted of people from different departments that I seldom get to interact with on a daily basis, but as soon as our tasks were assigned the Ogilvy spirit kicked in and we were ready to offer our services. Some painted the kitchen and windowsills, others cleaned the sick bay and the rest assisted with the feeding scheme. The school prepares lunch daily for all the children and this is often their only meal for the day.

Apart from our time spent at the school, we also donated two fridges, toiletries and painting equipment.

Before we knew it, our 67 minutes was up and we needed to head back to the office. Driving back, the journey was relatively quiet – I am sure everyone was reflecting on their time spent at the school and how appreciative the principal and the students were. My thoughts drifted to one iconic and legendary man, Madiba, who has once again inspired a nation to give back and make a difference to those less fortunate.

Although most of us are running in the rat race, we often feel that there is not enough time to make a difference – this day forces us to change our perceptions.”

Check back tomorrow to see what all the knitting ladies have been up to for Topsy.

nkanyeziKirsty Ballard visited the Nkanyezi Centre yesterday as part of the #Ogilvy67 Mandala Day celebrations. Here’s her story:

“9:30 A.M and we’re waiting in the Ogilvy Johannesburg parking lot ready to begin our road trip to Orlando West. For most of us volunteering, Nkanyezi was unfamiliar territory but spirits were high and we were all going for a common purpose.

The Nkanyezi Stimulation Centre was founded in 1989 by Prisca Tshabalala whose son, Nkanyezi, suffered from Cerebral Palsy. Determined to enable and educate the community on children’s disabilities, Prisca founded the Nkanyezi Stimulation Centre in honour of her son.

Prisca is like the Mother Theresa of Orlando West. Her smile was filled with strength and warmth that only a mother and sincere community custodian could possess. We arrived with boxes of donated goods for the kids and although the soft toys were a fantastic addition to the Centre, I feel that the time spent (as Mash mentioned in her post about SKY) was of far greater value.

The children didn’t waste time getting attached either. The minute we stepped onto the playground they were determined to steal us for themselves and rightly so; they’re the reason we were there!

The first thing that caught my eye happened to be the playground. The grounds were exceptionally well kept as was all the apparatus. “Safety First”, my mum always used to say. The round-a-bout amazed me to the extent that I almost felt compelled to get on it. It was custom made to accommodate the children’s wheelchairs including ramps for easy access. Even the swings were wheelchair proof – instead of a seat or old-school tyre fixed to rope, it was a wheelchair safe seat with a ramp. This was an extraordinary example of how disabilities, although restricting, need not be unmanageable with the help of some creative thinking!

Situated behind the classrooms was the Nkanyezi Greenhouse. The Ogilvy Team was quick to get their hands dirty and didn’t wait for an invitation. Fifty green fingers tackled the weeds and rakes with a vengeance but the end result was rewarding. The greenhouse is now primed for sowing those magic beans! Our little helper was anxious to go a step further and start planting away but it was time for us to head inside for a little one-on-one TLC with these amazing kids.

Nonhlanlha, Ncamisile and Prisca are just three of the ladies who have dedicated their lives to these 40 children. They do what the parents are unable to. They’re not only there for the children in terms of education, they’re there for them physically and emotionally because that quality of attention is not available anywhere else in the community. The reality is that they’re unable to sustain the Centre with little to no funds. Since December 2011, the Nkanyezi Centre has received no funding from Government Subsidies, which has forced Prisca to use her own pension to keep Nkanyezi going. Jumble sales and jewelry sales are simply not enough to continually provide the children with food.”

If you are able to get involved you can check out Nkanyezi on their website,  and they’re also doing a superb job of social networking on Facebook at Twitter. For more pictures of the day, have a look at our Flickr feed.

milesMiles Young is the worldwide Chairman and CEO of Ogilvy & Mather and he’s visiting our Campus this week. He’s been with Ogilvy & Mather since 1982, so it’s fair to say that he’s got a wealth of knowledge to share.

Miles is passionate about pervasive creativity and pursuing mobile and digital technology, as well as nurturing creative talent.

We’re giving everyone the opportunity to ask Miles questions about whatever you like on Thursday. Be it on how he sees mobile and digital solutions bringing about change in the way brands communicate; why the next David Ogilvy will probably be able to speak Mandarin; whether he prefers living in the Big Apple over Hong Kong; what it’s like sharing an office with Tham Khai Meng; or simply what he loves about Joburg – you can ask it all through #AskJogilvy.

He’s only here for a short while, so be sure to tweet your questions from 16:00 on Thursday to @OgilvyJoburg with #AskJogilvy and Miles himself will answer you in 140 characters or less.

skyYesterday Mashadi Dube from Ogilvy PR visited Soweto Kliptown Youth, or SKY, for Mandela Day. Here’s how Team Red helped out:

“This center is purely there to give hope to children that have been neglected. They have a kitchen that provides nutrition for the children; they also have dormitories for girls and boys, as well as  a computer lab which is fully decked up, but unfortunately the children cannot use it as there is no electricity. There is also a creche for kids between one and two that is run by two lovely ladies.

I am very familiar with Soweto but I must say that I have never been to Kliptown. In my head I had pictured Kliptown to be like all the other sections of Soweto that I had been to. Little did I know that we would be going to the poorest area in Soweto. The conditions in Kliptown are a severe lack of infrastructure; the shacks are terribly close to each other. Often, a family of 12 stay in one shack. The centre we went to does not have electricity. And I thought to myself how blessed am I with the little that I have.

We started our trip to Soweto in a taxi which fetched us at the campus. The taxi ride was quite enjoyable as we had a tour guide by the name of Mmathabo, she does production for OPR. She grew up in Soweto and she knows it like the back of her hand, but she was also shocked at the section of Kliptown we went to. She had never been there before and she kept on saying that the area is only 10 minutes away from where she grew up.

Ogilvy made an amazing donation of vegetables, toiletries, food and paint. As soon as we got there we got to paint their two main buildings. It is incredible what team work can do. Just in 67 minutes we managed to paint two large buildings and also went to the crèche and played with the children.

The biggest lesson for me was that it is very easy to deposit money into a charity’s account and be proud that you are giving back, however time is more valuable. Giving your time to this cause has shown me that there are so many ways we can help the less privileged. Even if it means mentoring one child. Time is an invaluable resource that we all have and can give.”

See more pictures from yesterday’s visit here and check back tomorrow for Kirsty Ballard‘s post about visiting the Nkanyezi Centre.

mandelaDuring this week, everyone on Campus will be getting involved with different causes to do our bit for the community. One of these organisations is the Topsy Foundation for who everyone who can has been knitting scarves for a while now.

We’ve also partnered with the Department of Basic Education and the Nelson Mandela Foundation on their 94+ project. The main aim of the campaign is to celebrate former President Mandela’s legacy by improving infrastructure in at least 94 schools across the country to give hope and dignity to the learners who attend these schools.

Ogilvy Johannesburg has adopted two of these schools. On Wednesday we’ll be visiting Ibhongo High School and on Friday we’ll be painting walls at Sizanani Primary Shool. Our Cape Town offices are also lending a hand to a school as part of this project.

Today, we visited Soweto Kliptown Youth (SKY) which provides hope and services to some of the most neglected children in South Africa. Read all about what Team Red got up to there in Mashadi Dube‘s blog post.

Throughout the week you can follow what we get up to around the #Ogilvy67 hashtag.

joanna

In a constantly evolving digital landscape, social media is no longer something that can be overlooked or added as an after-thought. Marketers and advertisers are looking for ways to build relationships and leverage the power of word of mouth endorsement that strengthens the brands proposition and provides a concrete competitive edge – Social@Ogilvy can help you do just that.

Joanna is Managing Director of Ogilvy Public Relations, where she leads a team of the country’s best public relations and reputation management professionals. Joanna has built Ogilvy PR to be one of South Africa’s leading reputation and communications agencies, and plays an active role across all clients within the business.

Her experience crosses a number of major economic sectors including state owned enterprises, petrochemical, mining, fast moving consumer goods, logistics and various services industries.  Joanna’s areas of expertise include strategy, high level client services, project and budget management and issues and crisis management. She’s also the custodian of Social@Ogilvy and her chat will be all about how to socialise the enterprise – both within Ogilvy and for your clients.

It’s about more than just starting a Facebook page after all, so Joanna will share case studies and interesting campaigns that show just how important social media has become in successful communication campaigns.

Follow her on Twitter and join the conversation around #HowToFriday.