Category Archives: people i work with

Conversation with a CRM manager

Phone rings. I answer.

CRM dude:     Hello, is that Mr van Tonder?

Me:                  No it’s not Mr van Tonder.

CRM dude:    Um, is that Queen van Tonder?

Me:                  Uh…sure. Let’s go with ‘Queen’ (flashbacks to a very varied Title drop-down menu…).

CRM dude:     Okay, Queen van Tonder, I’m calling from [Premium Alcohol Brand],   and I’d just like to confirm your details are still the same.

Me:                  Sure. How can I help you?

CRM dude:     Is your address still ‘Castle Greyskull, Wembley Square’?

Me:         Uh… (thinks back to that one evening years ago when I was asked to ‘fill in your details if you would like to experience further     communication from Premium Alcohol Brand’) No. It’s Castle Greyskull, 3rd Floor North Block, Wembley Square.

CRM dude:    Thanks. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Tried my best. Over 2 y’ulz.

Y’ulz, all my life
Tried so hard ‘2 be spesh’
So scared of goin’ through this life
With a ‘fake moleskine from clicks’
Decided to ‘take this shot at my future’
And try out
4 da ‘National Cre8ive Team’ (via Design Indaba Supastars)

Y’ulz, all my life
Tried so hard ‘2 be different’
Stuck lots of ‘zany images from fffffound’ on my walls
Wrote lots of ‘zany cre8ive ideas’ on my hands (2 look busy while ‘on the internet’)
Updated my fbook with ‘ambiguous truths that might be about u’
Sang along 2 MGMT / Peter Bjorn & Jbro (even tweeted some lyrics)

Tried so hard 2 ‘do my cre8ive bros proud’
Smoked cigarettes ‘til my gums bleed tar’
Drank alcohol ‘til I pissed premium beer’
Did lines ‘til my antidepressants didn’t work’
Even ‘talked bout digital being da future’ late in2 the nite with my Cre8ive Director y’ulz

Tried so hard 2 ‘differentiate my Personal Brand’
Even ‘wrote all over my shoes’ (via customisation)
Zaned 2 the max and ‘Wore Converse with a dress’
Even ‘slept with all my guy friends’ once (via being a slag)
So I could be ‘truly cre8ive’

Is over to y’ulz now
Can do no more (‘cept encourage y’all 2 ‘clear ur cache’ so y’alls can ‘rig my vote’)
S’all up 2 you now
My crea8ive bros
Click on this link 2 ‘show me some 5 star luvin’
Maybe my dream will ‘cum true’
And I can stop ‘chasing the Loerie’
Maybe y’ulz
Maybe. Tried my best.


If y’ulz would like 2 see me representin’ on the ‘National Cre8ive Team’, please click here and rate my entry (below) with 5 Stars. Then clear your cache & do it again. Ta bros.

Y’ulz can rest assured that if i make it onto the ‘National Cre8ive Team’ I will make sure biscuits are compulsory in ALL cre8ive briefings & will insist that all Client Service ppl ‘wear a bell around their necks’ so we ‘know they are coming’.

My boss’s dog

His master's couch.

I know, right? Yet ANOTHER reason to get into advertising.

Learning 2 speak Client Service y’ulz

Hey y’ulz. Year is “drawing 2 a close”. Nearly holiday time. “A time 4 family” (4 those of y’ulz whose dad di’nt shoot y’ulz due to the recession / being a policeman). “A time 4 giving” (4 those of y’ulz who are new 2 jail / advertising).

NE wayz, Just got handed a debrief with this instruction:

“Please craft copy.”

Is cool, can dig it coz it kind of “makes sense”. Is a debrief on a conceptual job, so the copy ‘woznt 4 realsies’ NE wayz. But kind of confused bcoz we presented 4 different ideas / directions, but the debrief gots no word on which idea / version of not-4-realsies-copy the client bought & wants crafted. Confused y’ulz.

Flipped through debrief but no more clues. Opened job bag 2 see if further instructions were hidden inside like a “Simba Surprise”. Closed my eyes & opened my 3rd eye while moving upside down shot glass slowly over job bag like ouijja board, hoping some friendly demon bro would “clarify the details on the debrief” via “being invoked”. Nothing y’ulz.

Phoned client service due 2 confusion. Felt rly bad coz interrupted her hair appointment plus messed up her nails coz she had 2 answer phone.

I said:

“Am like sooooo sorry 2 interrupt your hair appy, am so sorry, here, bought this chocolate cake i baked myself from flour my grandma ground herself just before she died, but kind of don’t know what u mean on your debrief. Please could you explain, even if you just give me one more word 2 go by. Am really stupid, pls excuse me.”

She said:

“Why are cre8ive so stupid? I meant pls go with option 2, except make it about unicorns instead of pegasuses, plus copy needs 2 sound like it is being spoken by the sound of Danny De Vito’s one hand clapping in Batman Returns, also client would like 3 different version of the copy for use on 3 diff size ads, plus a radio campaign.”

Felt so blessed y’ulz. Normally NEVER get this much information on “what client wants” from Client Service. Offered 2 ‘wash her feet with my hair’ but she was like “you cre8ives are so creepy” and turned her hairdryer back on. Don’t rly know what 2 do with myself now since managed 2 ‘klap the debrief one-time’ when it normally takes 7 000 reverts due to there “never being enough time 4 a proper brief & always enuff time 2 redo the work”. Feel like I have made majah progress. Feel like am “learning the language of Client Service” y’ulz. Huge.

So grateful 2 be just a small part of something so big y’all.

What should I go as to the Agency Halloween party?

Is the agency Halloween Party on Friday. Have pre-filled my timesheets with work so I can ‘get lunch at Garden’s Centre’ while picking up a l’il something a Party Tricks / Mardi Gras / Tinka Tonka Toys. Feel like I rly need 2 ‘bring it’ this yr since the USA took Halloween to a whole new level (via Noah Cyrus aka Miley’s sister aged 9)
Is okay y'als, I'm Christian. The Lord made my body in his image.
Could always recycle my Amy Winehouse costume from the xmas party but will risk creatives saying ‘it’s been done b4’. Dress code is ‘your baddest self’ which is kinda vague (via PR organising a party & not rly getting the idea of “single-minded messaging”).

Fond xmas party memories.

Considering ‘showing some tit’ via saying I’m “dressed as Client Service”, but worried no one will ask me what I’m dressed as (via thinking I rly am Client Service) & will have to drop the words I AM CLIENT SERVICE into casual conversation while ppl stare at my tits & don’t listen 2 what I am saying. Is quite catch-22. Very confused. Will draw a graph.

A graphical representation of the 'excuse 2 dress like a slag' Halloween trend

Don’t rly understand my graph. What are y’ulz gonna be this Halloween? Mike Schalit? John Farqhar? Brian Searle-Tripp? (miss u BST).

I am a super fucking awesome Social Media Guru

Just watch it“. Thanks Dylan.

rebranding phase 1: trying a new look

As y’all know, I’m going through a ‘rebranding’ process. So i’ll be trying out a few new look & feels, messaging, tone, etc over the next few weeks. My first experimental hypothesis is: Should I speak about people as if they are animals, and where possible, make them wear animal masks around me? This would be a strategic move on my behalf that would create a key differentiating factor between this blog & other advertising blogs. After all, ‘we are just animals anyway’. Plus animals are generally ‘genuine at heart’ and without any ‘personal agenda’ which results in their being ‘highly accessible and well-liked’ by a variety of demographics, regardless of the confusing fact that I ‘own a sewing machine yet am not LSM 9’. What y’ulz thank?

Portrait of the author as a horse.

Portrait of the copywriter as a 'horse'.

The Production dept shall be known from now on as the elephant parade.

The Production dept shall be known from now on as 'the elephant parade'.

Designer shall henceforth be referred to as Budgies, or, Budgerigars.

Designers shall henceforth be referred to as 'Budgies', or, 'Budgerigars'.

The head of production, while an elephant, is able to speak horse to get through to the copywriters.

The head of production, while an elephant, is able to 'speak horse' to get through to the copywriters.

The director of Operations is a sheep, because it is ironic, and heaven forbid there not be some form of irony in this post.

The director of Operations is a sheep, because it is ironic, and heaven forbid there not be some form of irony in this post.

Thinking about ‘breaking out’ y’ulle.

Been preoccupied lately. Have so much to think about.

Been preoccupied lately. Have so much to think about.

I am an art director / copywriter
But I feel like my talents are not being used to my full potential
See, I have vision.
I am an all-round creative,
But I have been pigeon-holed as a crayon hugger / wordbird,
And I’m just not down with that shiz.
When I was at high school, I got the writing AND the art AND the drama prize,
Now, no one even knows that I can sing,
Even though I always monopolise the microphone at agency karaoke parties,
Despite the drunk sluts who try steal it to sing ‘Lady Marmalade’.
Just want people to know who I really am.
Sooooooo sick of it.

I am like the caged cheetah who chews its own paw off.

I am like the caged cheetah who chews its own paw off.

Had a deep chat with my friend last night.
We drank some wine, smoked some pot and imagined a perfect world,
Where we creatives could work together collaboratively,
And just make cool stuff,
Which made me decide to ‘break out’.
Gonna put together a Flickr site of some of my Lomo photos,
And become a film /commercials director / photographer.
I know it’s gonna be hard,
Gonna start right at the bottom again,
Will be a bitch since I now have a middle-management salary,
But you can’t put a price on creative expression,
Even if for everything else there’s Mr Card.
It’s going to be so great, working for myself,
Just me and a producer,
Making sweet black and white movies,
Taking wide-angle stills of my friends at parties,
Desaturating everything,
Living off one job for 6 months,
And not putting any money aside for tax.
I’m gonna be my own boss.

New business pitch - my way.

New business pitch - my way.

Now that it’s morning and the weed is finished,
The idea doesn’t seem so great anymore.
At least the filter coffee is free at work,
Man, I have such a headache,
At least they have free panados at work,
I think I’m getting sick,
Should maybe see a doctor,
It could be ‘swine flu’,
So glad my work pays 1/3 of my medical aid.
Maybe I’ll break out and become a director next year.
Just about to pay off my car anyway,
So glad I get a car allowance from my work.
Heard you can just ‘claim back everything from tax’ if you’re freelance
But don’t really know how that stuff works.
Things get kind of fuzzy when people talk about ‘tax returns’.
I just wanna make cool stuff.
Gonna go home and open some wine and smoke a joint.

I have a lot of things to think about.

I have a lot of things to think about.

Feel so relaxed at home,
Wish I could work here always.
Maybe I should go freelance
Maybe I should start a ‘street design trendwatching’ agency
Maybe I should become a full-time illustrator
Maybe I should import cushions from China and ‘focus on money’
Maybe I should ‘start the next Melissa’s’
Maybe I should start a band
Want to make my music happen for me
Going to finish my book
Gonna enter the Fox Network animation competition
But maybe tomorrow.
Way too stoned to do it now.
Gonna rather chill on my balcony and stare at table mountain,
And make a list of what I’m gonna do.

Need some time to think.

Need some time to think.

i are art director

I wear Mac Hat while watchy moon landing.

I wear Mac Hat while watchy moon landing.

“Tread softly, for you tread on my dreams.”

Psychographic Profile: I am an intern

I am an intern,
And I take myself very seriously.
I go to an expensive advertising school,
Where they teach me to be a designer and an art director and a copywriter and a marketer and a client service person,
And when I graduate,
I will be the most amazing advertising being,
And you will all bow down to me
And my Cre8ive Recreation sneakers,
That I bought on sale
At Poppa Trunks
(which is more of a T-shirt store than a sneaker store, just FYI)

I am an intern,
And I am frustrated.
How am I supposed to show off my genius
When the internet doesn’t even work in this sh*thole agency
(oops – did I say that aloud?)
Also no one is telling me how to work the frikkin’ printer,
What do you expect me to just ‘figure it out myself’?
What kind of a show is this?

I am an intern.
I’m giving up my holiday so I can be ‘assured of a job’,
So just shut up about the rece$$ion because rece$$ions only affect mediocre people,
And I am not mediocre bro.
I am the top of my class
(why else would I be here?)
All my lecturers say I’m brilliant,
I even have ‘genius’ written across my portfolio
(Just as a joke, but I actually really mean it),
And my lecturer also says I will suit a ‘creative’ agency
More than a corporate one,
Even though my lecturer says  I am versatile enough to handle both.

I am an intern.
The senior copywriter teases me.
I frikking hate her, stupid bitch.
She thinks she is soooo smart,
Always cracking her sarcastic jokes.
I’ll show her, I’ll put her in her place.
I’ll say
“Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit”
even though she’s actually using irony
(my writing course wasn’t that in-depth).
I’ll just call her on it,
And she’ll know who she’s dealing with.

I am an intern.
Just wish I could graduate and start working already.
I’m sick of pretend,
I’m ready for the real world.
Just wanna get out there and make some ads.
Am sooooooooo frustrated,
And the frikking internet is soooo slow,
Facebook won’t frikking upload pictures.
Gonna text my friend and invite him to the bar
And pretend I ‘own this joint’,
And offer him beer as if it is my own

I am an intern
Where’s. My. Desk.

weekly round-up: a week in parties, tattoos and iPhones

So much has happened during the time that I was imprisoned by Vodacom’s non-existent 3G service, and work has been a swooshing whirlwind of deadlines and free-time-sucking-vortices (that’s the plural for Vortex, for my Client Service readers). so this is just a quick post to bring y’ulle up to speed with the week. firstly, dear friend Genevieve came down from Joburg for a visit. We’d planned to have our tattoos together but the artist designing mine is still busy so I just watched her get hers instead.

Gen getting inked by Tyler at Sins of Style.

Gen getting inked by Tyler at Sins of Style.

The finished tattoo.

The finished tattoo.

We also had another poker evening and made the mistake of inviting Richard, who cleaned us all out because he is a LEAGUE Poker Player and neglected to tell us plebs.

Thats richard at the far end of the table, counting his chips.

That's richard at the far end of the table, counting his chips.

Rei: burning and turning.

Rei: burning and turning.

and then on Wednesday morning I remembered that South Africa’s favourite blog was running an iPhone competition and thought, oh heck, I already pay the Euromillions Lottery, I might as well enter. So i did, and I freaking WON – sheer awesomeness incarnate. So now I have an iPhone, just as my old cellphone contract was up for renewal as well. Happiness.

Seth hands over the iPhone at Wembley Square.

Seth hands over the iPhone at Wembley Square.

And to add insult to injury (the injury of those who didnt win the iPhone) I also won £9 in the lottery in Friday’s draw, which I have recycled into more lottery tickets, because that is how I roll. After I got my iPhone, I was extreeeeeemely busy writing radio ads (which the client hated, FYI) and ‘getting my freak on’ at the agency party that night. Since I have become a holier-than-thou runner, I no longer stay until that point at which some slut from PR takes off all her clothes and runs naked on the balcony for R1000 (it’s a standing offer at King James), so unfortunately I don’t have pics of that (apparently this time it was Ophelia from Events). But I do have pictures of good times before 9pm which I’ll gladly share with you:

Not really sure whats happening here.

Not really sure what's happening here.

Creative Director Devin Kennedy Blue-Steeling Out.

Creative Director Devin Kennedy Blue-Steeling Out.

Debating which slut is going to do the naked balcony run.

Debating which slut is going to do the naked balcony run.

Me and my pink scarf (not to be confused with a pink sock, which is something very different and very rude).

Me and my pink scarf (not to be confused with a pink sock, which is something very different and very rude).

Karin, Alistair and Emma. It was Emmas first night away from her baby Lula - be proud of her.

Karin, Alistair and Emma. It was Emma's first night away from her baby Lula - be proud of her.

Some random snaps: my favourite pair of cousins, when they were over here for dinner a few weeks ago (takes a while for me to get my act together scanning polaroids – what an effort, but worth it):

Kath and Theo.

Kath and Theo.

and a pic of @reigun and I at the old biscuit mill in woodstock about a month ago. Please note, if you have not yet experienced the glory that is a tuna burger from the biscuit mill on a saturday morning, then you are

Happy times.

Happy times.

And that’s about it, apart from this Patty Pan that’s been on top of the fridge for a month now. Not really sure what it’s doing there, but it does make ‘getting the milk out the fridge’ a more ‘blogworthy’ experience.

Watching. Waiting.

Watching. Waiting.

Biding its time.

Biding its time.

review of AdReview 2009.

been reading Ad Review y’ulle, checking out how everything ‘measures up’ in the industry right now. it’s been very insightful. by far the most nb article is on p81 and it’s about which Ad Bosses have the most entries on a site you may have heard of – it’s called one of my bosses is number 2 on the list – Alistair King – which I feel lends my personal brand some ‘online street cred’.

Alistair: online street cred in a bottle.

that’s Al on the left, rocking out. anyway……

I thought I’d summarise the key points we, as creatives, should glean about the advertising industry from Ad Review. Here’s what one can conclusively conclude:

1. Poor People are the New Dead Dogs.

Remember when y’ulle could put a ‘cat undergoing vivisection’ in an ad and it would win an award? And then ad ppl got all irritated that all the Sad Cat ads were winning awards so they did that ad about “Here’s a dead dog, where’s my award?” (check out The Copy Book if you’re a little vague on this), which also won an award? Well nothing’s changed except Corporate Social Responsibility is the new buzzword. ❤ that emo picture of some dude called Deon Robertze with the caption: “Who’s to blame? We are…”. Made me cry out loud.

Also ❤ how on p.51 “The Number 1 Creative in South Africa” (according to Paul Warner ) Paul Warner from Metropolitan Republic is credited  for being the person to “set in motion a campaign to use the creative talents of advertising to help beat crime”. He must be amazing, to be able to conceptualise, art direct, DTP and produce EVERYTHING himself. Paul, if you’re reading this, I’m like your biggest fan. I think you’re awesome.

3 you Paul.

❤ you Paul.

2. Ogilvy owns the world.

Yes, DDB won agency of the year, but they should have it confiscated for that Mrs Balls-up fiasco, and we all know the truth, anyway: Ogilvy owns the world. Rad. ❤ Ogilvy. Have very fond memories of interning there when I was like 7. At the time, the copywriter I was shadowing was having a nervous breakdown, which was great for me coz I got to do her work and produce some of my first real-life advertising. Also have this rad memory of Mark Fisher walking up to me and asking ‘Are you actually even doing anything while you’re here?‘, after which he spat in my face and kicked me in the shin. That was my first encounter with Advertising’s Nicest Guy (true story).

Hey let’s watch that video Ogilvy Athens made as a tribute to David Ogilvy again, just for LOLs.

3. Mike Schalit is Chief Ad Bro.

On p64 you’ll see this list called The Power 30, which basically takes you through who’s the most good looking Ad Boss in the biz. Mike is number 1. Not surprising – Mike is renowned for his good looks. Most chicks in advertising have this deal with their boyfriends, kind of like the ‘Brad Pitt deal’ – which states that “If ever the opportunity arises for me to have sex with Brad Pitt, I will be allowed to do it and you can’t break up with me”. Well, there’s a similar code going for Mike Schalit. My other boss, James Barty, is no 12 on the list. I once had a secret crush on James because of that one time we had to shoot him in his underwear so we could comp some tighty whities onto a model whom we’d shot naked. We had to shoot James because he was the only straight-up-enough guy in the agency to wear clean white jocks, and let me tell you, James has good legs (cyclist). Then James told me he liked Reggae music and I got over my secret crush very quickly.

The 12th hottest person in advertising.

The 12th hottest person in advertising.

And that’s pretty much the gist of it. You can get hold of the full review if you ask Finweek nicely I suppose, but this is pretty much all you need to know – trust me.

Psychographic Profile: I am a copywriter.

Take me seriously, pls. - copywriter

"Take me seriously, pls." - a copywriter

I am a copywriter.
I am just doing this for now, until I
finish my book / record my album / someone picks up on my blog and makes me a presenter on a travel show.
I can do many things besides write
I subject my friends to my guitar / singing / painting / surfing
But I can’t do anything quite as well as I can write
Which is half a disappointment
And half a point of pride.

Wish I didnt know so much about the nature of humanity. - a copywriter

"Wish I didn't know so much about the nature of humanity." - a copywriter

I am a copywriter
I can quote chunks out of cult movies and books by Paul Arden
I update my favourite books on facebook
(Unlike journalists, I love Margaret Atwood because I never studied English at university)
I didn’t really study much at all but
I have a know-it-all air about me which some people love
And some people hate
But I’m not here to make friends
And I don’t get lonely
Because I don’t really like people very much
Because I ‘know too much about the world’.

Were all just monkeys. - A copywriter

“We’re all just monkeys.” – A copywriter

I am a copywriter
I never finish any of the expensive notebooks I buy
Sometimes I don’t start the new ones
Even though I buy a new one like, twice a month
Some of them look real pretty but are difficult to write in
Because they are almost too pretty
(I will basically find a million different excuses for why I can’t write, unless
I’m writing to a brief).

Just trying to think the opposite of whatever Im thinking. - a copywriter

"Just trying to think the opposite of whatever I'm thinking." - a copywriter

I am a copywriter
I am my own worst enemy
I am brimming with potential
But all I can do is get drunk / stoned / eat takeout until I’m sedated
while I ignore my phone and the doorbell
And watch mini series
And talk about ‘how well they are written’.

Im going to make myself some tea and then get a solid chapter in. - a copywriter

"I'm going to make myself some tea and then get a solid chapter in." - a copywriter

I am a copywriter
Deep down inside I really believe I can solve the world’s problems
(I could even be the president)
Even though I can’t quit smoking 20 cigarettes a day
Nor can I quite shake that weird neurosis I developed as a teenager that my parents are too embarrassed to bring up
So we all pretend it wasn’t  real.

A copywriters dog.

A copywriter's dog.

I am a copywriter
I type a lot so my colleagues think I am working
I annoy my art director because I type loud
Because I type hard
But I’m mostly commenting on forums / blogging / microblogging on twitter / skyping other copywriters
Chatting about my plans to finish my book / record my album / get my blog ‘out there’

Some day the world will see me for the genius I am. - a copywriter

"Some day the world will see me for the genius I am." - a copywriter

I am a copywriter
But just for now.

Psychographic Profile: I am in LOVE with great ideas.

Hi, I’m a creative who works in advertising
My work is mediocre – not bad, but not amazing –
but I often miss my deadlines
so I have invented this crazy zany advertising persona
(I’m a meta-creative)
so people think I am an advertising genius.
I talk a lot about how much I love ideas,
I talk about how technology excites me and
how ‘most clients just don’t get it’.
When I go for interviews, I pretend that money doesn’t matter
because I ‘live and breathe ideas’.
Some ppl are fooled
Some are not
Just gotta take your chances.

Imaginising a great idea.

Imaginising a great idea.

I am a crazy-idea-obsessed-imaginator
I recently discovered the internet so
I spend a lot of time talking really loudly about programs and sites that most people already know about
but I am so loud that everyone who doesn’t know about them
thinks that I discovered them first.
I like to pick a controversial opinion
and subject people to it at every opportunity
doesn’t matter what it is
just as long as I am disseminating my opinions
that I read on some marketing blog

I am a zany imaginationista
I have a blog about ideas that I started 3 years ago
I haven’t posted on it for 2 yrs 6 months
but I still put it on my LinkedIn profile
because it still counts (it DOES still count)



I am a kooky imagineerist
I made that title up myself
it is on my business cards
which I ordered on Flickr
I just discovered and sent it  round the office
now everyone knows about it
and everyone knows I knew about it first
if I could, I would write ‘First!!1’ under everything in the office
including the hot secretary at the front desk
(she’ll never tell, but everyone knows)

So much to think about.

So much to think about.

I am a trippy imaginator
I customise my clothes / laptop / laptop bag / trainers
I wear badges with abstract type on them
And the logos from my favourite cartoons when I was a kid

Great ideas. Running through my brain. Cant stop. Like a hurricane.

Great ideas. Running through my brain. Can't stop. Like a hurricane.

I am a mad imaginoodle
And I am in LOVE with new ideas.