copyDespite the name, copywriting has nothing to do with copyrighting. So if you’re looking to defend the patent rights of the big fat corporate juggernaut machine who claims to have invented the sky and the song “Happy Birthday to You”, you’re in the wrong place.

Copy is just a name for the words you read or hear on a commercial. In other words, copywriters control your thoughts. Think of them as the illuminati, but happy-go-lucky illuminati who keep a hip flask of whiskey in their desk drawers and just want to change the world.

All the headlines, the radio and TV scripts, the street pole ads offering 3 pairs of pajama jeans for the price of 2, and even the small terms and conditions that state your body and soul are now exclusive property of the underworld. Copywriters write cheerful stuff like that and come up with ideas for ads all day.

Job responsibilities include:

- Write words that approximately 22 million people could see or hear a week.

- Direct radio recordings.

- Going to shoots and being force-fed so many free toasted sandwiches that your liver starts to resemble foie gras. That’s enough to feed a small country.

- Come up with an ad for an NGO and perhaps raise enough money to really feed a small country.

- Surfing the net for ‘inspiration’.

- Laughing your head off whilst watching defenseless actors on casting tapes for that ad you wrote about adult diapers.

- Travel to exotic location for shoots. Bahamas or Hawaii? You get to write the destination, remember?

Yup, nobody said this job was easy. If that doesn’t sound like too much work, come to the Ogilvy Joburg Open Day on 4 October and check out if it’s something you’re into.

unicoenOver the few weeks you’ll be seeing some posts by a special guest blogger. We’d like to introduce you to That Ad Stag. But who exactly is he? Well, he’s a figure shrouded in mystery, an enigma enveloped in an enigma, wrapped in a riddle and smothered in self-tan. Some call him the Dirk Diggler of the ad world, and others even claim to have met him. There are those who say he has the body of a majestic unicorn and the head of a regular horse. He’s been called loud, proud and well endowed… and he works right here on campus.

Tell us about yourself…

I’m the top strategist in the country, I’m a part-time creative, and I’m your demented uncle with a glass eye who won all those advertising awards back in the 70s. But I’m also just a humble horse with good client relationships, a killer brief, and a crazy dream of flying like Pegasus. But until then, first class will do rather nicely.

What’s your take on advertising? 

You’re kidding, right? I love it! And who wouldn’t? We’re in the business of story telling and escapism (even if it only lasts for 30 seconds at a time). I once got my 3-week vacation to the Seychelles paid for as part of ‘market research’, and then the next month I convinced a client to plant 300 trees as part of an urban beautification initiative. Advertising gets a bad rap sometimes, but really that’s because accountants hate that we have so much fun and get to change the world, when the only thing they get to change is their tie. Once a year. On casual day. But hey, don’t take my word for it. I’m just a horse with a perfectly chiseled physique and a penchant for redheads. Also brunettes and blondes. Check out the Ogilvy Open Day on the 4th and 5th of October and see for yourself what this crazy business is all about.

What department are you in?

All of them.

Do you have any connection to @MnrCD?

Yes. I taught him when he was just a lowly intern. The little tyke had some talent…

You talk a lot about charity and NGO work. What are some of the causes you’re championing?

Add hope, The Topsy AIDS Foundation, and some work on Greenpeace. Also, I’m personally heading up the LOLhorses movement. Why should cats get all the glory, while us horses are forced to nibble the dirty end of the Internet carrot? LOLhorses is coming. Be ready.

If you want to meet That Ad Stag, join us at our Open Day on 4 October. It’s going to be everything he promises advertising is. And more.

diversityDavid Ogilvy once famously said “Diversity turns out to be the mother of invention,” which is why we’re starting to celebrate Heritage Day a little early this year. We’ll have a proper shindig on 27 September with lots of Umqombothi to go around, but for now we’re showing off some of the interesting people we have here on campus.

Kicking us off is Priya Jugwanth, an account director, showing off her traditional garb (second from right below). Be sure to check back again later in the week for more stories:


“I come from a small town in KZN called Dundee, if you’re ever in my hood, call my folks, rumour has it my mum would love to invite you over for dinner. Yes, the stereotype is true, Indian families love to gather around as many people as they can, just to feed them! (watch out for the uncles at the car boot outside any event, there’s always a dop to cure your thirst).

“My favourite Hindu celebration is the magical festival of lights called Diwali, which occurs once a year. We light lamps and fireworks into the night sky as a way of always allowing the positivity of Light and Love into our homes and families. We share boxes of sweet-meats (which aren’t really meat dishes) – but are rather decadent and delectable Indian treats.”

Gabi Kuhn-Bernstein is a masterful strategist, she shared what it was like doing the Horah at her wedding:

“If you are ever invited to a Jewish wedding, you are most likely to get a taste of this, through their festive dancing – or what is more commonly known as a Horah. It’s s a traditional folk dance most often performed to Hebrew songs such as Hava Nagila. All guests of the occasion are encouraged to join in and it is customary to raise the bride and groom on a chair during the dancing.

“To start the dance, everybody forms a circle, holding hands, and steps forward toward the right with the left foot, then follows with the right foot. The left foot is then brought back, followed by the right foot. This is done while holding hands and circling together in a fast and cheerful motion to the right. Large groups allow for the creation of several concentric circles. It’s a way to entertain the newly-wed couple and wish them Mazeltov!  Join in next time you’re invited.”

Account exec, Falala Selela is happily married to a Pedi man, but it’s also the start of her baby name woes! “Upon welcoming me into the family, my in-laws bestowed on me the name ‘Mamphela’ – derived from my mother-in-law’s side and chosen by her elders. Now that’s the name they call me, but as a South Sotho I’m still becoming  accustomed to my new clan name.

“When my first born son arrives he will be named ‘Mphela’ which is also my husband’s name, because  his mother’s name is also ‘Mamphela’ which was given by her in-laws when she got married. Funny thing, my hubby’s younger brother got married a year after us and the wife was also given the name ‘Mamphela’ (from my father in-law’s side) – meaning her first born son will also be named Mphela’!

“So just imagine a Christmas holiday when someone calls ‘Mphela’ or ‘Mamphela’ – we’ll all come running!”

mapOn Friday renowned South African adventurer Riaan Manser departed from Cape Town on an epic journey to Add Hope across South Africa. Over the next two months he’ll be cycling the word “hope” across SA while consuming limited calories – highlighting both the plight of hunger and the positive impact that Add Hope is making to the country’s children.

Manser has battled extreme cold while circumnavigating Iceland and Madagascar in a kayak, and cycled around Africa through conflict zones, alone and unaided. Now he tackles yet another challenge: filling hungry tummies.

“I’m calling on everyone to help me save a few lives by the end of my journey. I will be highlighting the issue of hunger and showing people the impact that Add Hope makes and continues to make to children’s lives,” says Manser.

Through the use of geo-tracking, this never before attempted journey will also be visible and traceable on satellite maps for fans to track. Customers and fans can get involved and help “feed” Manser emergency calories throughout his challenge by tweeting about the journey and using the hash tag #AddHope.

Manser’s bike will have a donation collection vessel fastened to it. People who come into contact with him along his trip will be able to contribute their R2 into the box, thus also increasing his load while he rides.

The adventurer will visit various KFC stores and several other Add Hope partner beneficiaries where he will be served the same meals as the children. “I’m looking forward to meeting the children and visitors and uncovering many of the stories of hope that the children have to tell,” says Manser.

If you want to get involved, click through to the KFC Facebook page or visit the Add Hope website to donate.