Tag Archives: alex van tonder

for the record, i don’t discriminate.

i just want y’ulle to know something. there are copywriters out there who discriminate against briefs. they see some briefs as ‘not being cool enough’ for them, so they give them less attention and do things like run around the studio making a noise and being ‘zany’ and ‘crazy’. i am not one of those copywriters. in my eyes, every brief is equal. every brief deserves to be treated like an allan gray tv ad, even if it’s a simple promotion.

If there is ever a flood in the agency i will take a pair of every brief so that when we begin advertising life anew all the briefs can mate and make new briefs and life will be preserved. The meek briefs will inherit the earth.

If there is ever a flood in the agency i will take a pair of every brief so that when we begin advertising life anew all the briefs can mate and make new briefs and life will be preserved. The meek briefs will inherit the earth.

********************************DO YOU KNOW ANY DISKRIMINATORS?*******************

discriminators give copywriters a bad name. they make us seem like shallow dimwits who are only looking out for the next pun we can make, or the next LOERIE D&AD GRAND PLATINUM PRIX EAGLE we can win. really, being a copywriter is about so much more. it is about giving a voice to the brands that shape our minds / homes / wardrobes / poor sense of self-image / addiction to sex/spending/eating / addicition to the hot fragrance ads in glossy magazines / loyalty programmes that give us free coffees/half a book/points we can collect like Diaper Babies / personality disorders. it is about giving people ready-made opinions so they can get on with the important stuff like changing nappies and choosing Low G.I. it’s about helping humans judge and discriminate against other humans. but it is certainly not about winning awards.

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Did you hear? I won a Grand Pencil Loerie Lion on Saturday. Yeah no big deal its my tenth one. Do you believe me about how i am awesome now? Huh? Because if you dont Ill just win another one and then you wont be able to deny my awesomeness any longer. PS after i eat i make myself puke.

Did you hear? I won a Grand Pencil Loerie Lion on Saturday. Yeah no big deal it's my tenth one. Do you believe me about how i am awesome now? Huh? Because if you don't I'll just win another one and then you won't be able to deny my awesomeness any longer. PS after i eat i make myself puke.

“It is a writer’s duty to come up with fancy ways of saying normal things so that people don’t realise how boring life actually is, and to encourage them to eat more fatty burgers because living for a long time while not being excessively wealthy is not much fun.” – Bill Bernbach

I once read this saying about how artists make art to escape from reality. Do you think copywriters and art directors make ads to escape from art? sometimes art is too meaningful to me and i cannot access the message because i am too used to brands delivering very clear messages to me and teaching me how to think and communicate clearly. i think art taught me that there are people out there who are searching for such extreme experiences that they would pay money for something that i made even though it looks like shit. miss those days. but i try to apply that learning when i am designing and conceptualising brand experiences, ie. i make them as extreme and experience-ful as possible, because there are obviously many people out there who have logged into the void that all of us humans feel inside, or, VOIDBOOK, as i like to call it.

Would you like to add the Deep Down Inside We All Just Want To Be Loved Application?

Would you like to add the "Deep Down Inside We All Just Want To Be Loved" Application?

How to deal with a discriminator:

Discriminators are tricky to deal with because they have a niggling suspicion that they are more awesome than anything in the world. I would have this advice for you:

Point out their physical flaws. It’s a cheap shot, but it works. Telling a discriminator they should lay off the Vida Muffins will cause them to brood for a good few hours because they will be struggling to deal with the fact that you don’t think they are wholly and utterly awesome.

Use the brooding time to question whether awards actually mean anything in the greater scheme of things. This is like kicking them when they are down. Because they have had a loss of confidence, they will entertain your line of questioning. Suddenly, they will not feel so awesome.

Use this crisis of self-esteem to toss out the saying “Ah life. You’re only as good as your last ad you know,” at random. The discriminator will take it personally, and probably blush as they realise you’re trying to tell them that their attitude has run away with their talent. Now would be a good time to push the brief that’s being discriminated against across the desk and say ‘Take a look at this when you get a chance?” The discriminating copywriter will get right on it.

its all about finding a balance.

Remember y'ulle: it's all about finding a balance.

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there’s no ‘i’ in team; there’s no internet connection at a rugby stadium

on friday we all got chased out of the studio and told to meet at a door on the side of the Newlands Rugby Stadium. for those of you who abhorr rugby as much as myself, this was a bit like being told to meet at the Red Door in Woodstock. not that i know what the Red Door is. maybe it was Yellow Door?

above the rules.

Mallix: above the rules.

anyway, we were taken into the bowels of Newlands, and treated to a career peptalk that went something like, Work Harder, Win More Awards, Make Ideas That People Notice, Win More Awards. which got us all really inspired, so we ran out onto the field and practised our ambition lunges:

Ambition lunges are a very if not THE most important part of your workout, so be sure to factor them into your training schedule.

Ambition lunges are a very if not THE most important part of your workout, so be sure to factor them into your training schedule.

fair enough. What i enjoyed most was being exposed to what the JDR Creative Directors believe to be legendary work. all too often you get used to work getting bombed or approved, but you don’t really know what appeals to the people approving your work. Jo showed us a lot of fashion-related ideas. Ross showed us some of the old Musica work, which was simple but great. And Livio showed us this really long video about Ferrari… (No he di’nt!) Yes, he did.

Random picture of rugby stadium so you can pretend you were there.

Random picture of rugby stadium so you can pretend you were there.

once we’d been inspired, we were all tasked with brainstorming a billboard for Hyundai, along the lines of 2010 if we felt so inclined. watching a bunch of indoorsy creative types pitter-pattering-cigarette-puffering around an empty rugby stadium did bring the LOLs a bit. then, we all painted our ideas up on a giant canvas that was set up inside.

Pushed to our limits by the introduction of unconventional scamping media.

Pushed to our limits by the introduction of unconventional scamping media.

Our staid ways of conveying ideas are obliterated as we adjust to this new way of communicating with those judging our work.

Our staid ways of conveying ideas are obliterated as we adjust to this new way of communicating with those judging our work.

Jarred gets fully into it while everyone else gets into the butternut samoosas.

Jarred gets fully into it while everyone else gets into the butternut samoosas.

Good times, good times.

a spot of tennis on Sunday

Tennis Time. Outfits are most important. We have gone for a mixture of retro Royal Tannenbaum (Rei) and silly ra-ra skirt from YDE ie. Herschel schoolgirl (me). Together we are not so cool as to be intimidating, not so uncool as to be mistaken as a couple from outside of the city bowl area.

Tennis Time. Outfits are most important. We have gone for a mixture of retro Royal Tannenbaum (Rei) and silly ra-ra skirt from YDE ie. Herschel schoolgirl (me). Together we are not so cool as to be intimidating, not so uncool as to be mistaken as a couple from outside of the city bowl area.

even though the weather was nothing like Paradise Island Saturday, we got up at 9 and munched down some oats with apple and syrup and almonds, and got ourselves off to the Gardens Lawn Tennis Club. we go there because they have a general attitude best embodied by this sign:

If one is to be authentically Capetonian, it is important to be closed to new people and things, and to uphold every small and insignificant rule in the hopes that you will offend anyone who doesnt know that this is the way. If done correctly, you need never meet anyone from outside of Cape Town - ever - nor will you find yourself having to broaden your mind or use your imagination.

If one is to be authentically Capetonian, it is important to be closed to new people and things, and to uphold every small and insignificant rule in the hopes that you will offend anyone who doesn't know that this is the way. If done correctly, you need never meet anyone from outside of Cape Town - ever - nor will you find yourself having to broaden your mind or use your imagination.

of course, Rei and I are not actually members. this is not on purpose – every time we arrive someone official-looking just buzzes us in and never asks us for money. who are we to make conversation with someone we don’t know, let alone make conversation about tennis club payments?

Life in Cape Town - pretty confusing.

Life in Cape Town - pretty confusing.

A grey day for tennis.

A grey day for tennis.

after a few games and some rallies and a lot of chilly cloudy air blowing on our sweaty hocks, we thought we’d better go home and get changed so we could go shopping. this was to be a big shop since our cupboards have been bare for quite some time. this is due to the fact that there’s a recession so the money we’d normally spend on food has been cut out of our budget, which now looks something like this:

Wallpaper Magazine ********** R5 000

Monocle Magazine************R4 000

iPhone 3G x 2****************R10 000 (we have both broken the ones we got free from Apple – hey who knew touch-screen Mario could be so addictive)

Medium broadband connection****R15 000 (South African internet prices tsk tsk)

3rd World Ambient Trauma Counselling (it’s the latest thing, helps you stop worrying about crime and getting hijacked or diseased or when Horlicks will finally become affordable here)************R20 000

Parking Retainer outside The Waiting Room on Long Street (a new thing, so we don’t have to drive around the Long Street block over and over on a Saturday night) *******R2 000

Flickr Pro Accounts*********$50 (don’t know how much that is in Rands)

So that pretty much uses up our disposable income, which is why this shop had to be good and last us at least a week or so until we can sell some art on Etsy or sell our friends taste in fashion and music out to some market research company in order to earn some extra monies.

Are you ready for Gardens Centre?

"Are you ready for Garden's Centre?"

Ready as Ill ever be!

"Ready as I'll ever be!"

Staple diet for young professionals in the creative industry.

Staple diet for young professionals in the creative industry.

Moooooooooslie! Makes those days you forgot lunch bearable. Alpen is cheap and less molasses-coated than many mueslies on the market. That is why it wins with us.

Moooooooooslie! Makes those days you forgot lunch bearable. Alpen is cheap and less molasses-coated than many mueslie's on the market. That is why it wins with us.

Coconut milk - because conditioner is too expensive these days and if theres one thing we both need, its hair shine.

Coconut milk - because conditioner is too expensive these days and if there's one thing we both need, it's hair shine.

Because the internet will soon be a luxury for us middle class folk, we are stocking up on fax paper. Email me if you want my fax number so you can send me your comments. I promise a personalised reply to each and every one.

Because the internet will soon be a luxury for us middle class folk, we are stocking up on fax paper. Email me if you want my fax number so you can send me your comments. I promise a personalised reply to each and every one.

Guavas - the it fruit at the moment. Fruit is similar to hair accessories - they go in and out from week to week. Luckily fruit also goes off. Imagine those pink extensions you got just rotted out of your hair in a week? Anyhow this week is guavas, and we are happy to embrace them. I cant figure out why a makeup brand hasnt covered certain fruits with their stickers yet. A gloss brand in particular. Juicy Tubes?

Guavas - the 'it' fruit at the moment. I can't figure out why a makeup brand hasn't covered certain fruits with their stickers yet. A gloss brand in particular. Juicy Tubes? I am wearing Elizabeth Arden Gloss in this pic in case you're wondering.

Shopping took a lot out of us, so we napped a large part of the afternoon away. Then Rei got down to making dinner while I took photos of him, and then me and him.

Chopping stuff to go in the wok.

Chopping stuff to go in the wok.

Dinner anticipation builds in the kitchen.

Dinner anticipation builds in the kitchen.

Dinner gets down to cooking. Rei is an amazing cook - this is the first phase of an elaborate pasta meal.

Dinner gets down to cooking. Rei is an amazing cook - this is the first phase of an elaborate pasta meal.

Dinner is served. Not so bad for a pair of creative young professionals in a recession.

Dinner is served. Not so bad for a pair of creative young professionals in a recession.

The Loerie Awards 2008

wow. i have to say, i am impressed. from ramshackle seaside event to slick sunny extravaganza, The Loerie Awards finally grew into all its potential this time round. i think one’s experience of the awards depends on a number of factors, including where you’re staying, who you’re with, etc. This year we stayed slap bang in the middle of Margate in the flats about the Rondevoux Mall, which made access to shops, the beach and ceremony exceptionally easy, and thus we had a great weekend. the weather in Margate was sheer perfection – not muggy, very sunny and the water was warm and swimmable, so i managed to fit in a mini seaside holiday in the off-time. the rest of the time was spent catching up with people i haven’t seen in ages, which is a large part of what makes going so much fun. here are some of my pics, i will add a few more later. oh, and here’s the link to the saturday winners and the sunday winners.

before we left, we made a whole bunch of enlarged Jason faces. Jason works with us in client service, and in his spare time he is a paramedic and a bit of a dork. we like to make fun of the fact that he never doesnt pull a blue steel face in photos. we also like to make fun of his Safety First policy.

before we left, we made a whole bunch of enlarged Jason faces. Jason works with us in client service, and in his spare time he is a paramedic and a bit of a dork. we like to make fun of the fact that he never doesn't pull a blue steel face in photos. we also like to make fun of his 'Safety First' policy.

We even got Jason to stop freaking out long enough to embrace his faces in a totem pole formation.

We even got Jason to stop freaking out long enough to embrace his faces in a totem pole formation.

We made the Mugg & Bean waiters quite nervous.

We made the Mugg & Bean waiters quite nervous.

Digital won a whole bunch of awards on Saturday night, which made people say things like We really need to get into digital,. Hmm. Rather late than never, I guess.

Digital won a whole bunch of awards on Saturday night, which made people say things like "We really need to get into digital,". Hmm. Rather late than never, I guess.

I was really impressed by the various screens on the stage. A vast improvement from just 2 screens with a barely legible powerpoint presentation on it. This actually looked good, and you could see the work, which is what we were there for, after all.

I was really impressed by the various screens on the stage. A vast improvement from just 2 screens with a barely legible powerpoint presentation on it. This actually looked good, and you could see the work, which is what we were there for, after all.

More stage prettiness.

More stage prettiness.

Arguably the biggest awards (Television Grand Prix) went to King James for the Allan Gray ad, Beautiful. I think they deserved it.

Arguably the biggest awards (Television Grand Prix) went to King James for the Allan Gray ad, "Beautiful". I think they deserved it.

This is an action shot I managed to capture during our Friday night braai in Margate. At some point someone threw breadrolls, which resulted in a fully fledged food fight. Here we have a precious shot of the tomatoes landing on Michaels head.

This is an action shot I managed to capture during our Friday night braai in Margate. At some point someone threw breadrolls, which resulted in a fully fledged food fight. Here we have a precious shot of the tomatoes landing on Michael's head.

Me and Jean, who is now a designer at Grid.

Me and Jean, who is now a designer at Grid.

Christian, Brandt and me. Thunda.com was everywhere, capturing the memories youd rather not have.

Christian, Brandt and me. Thunda.com was everywhere, capturing the memories you'd rather not have.

Rei and Mark on the beach, where we found respite from the loud and bad house music at BackLine.

Rei and Mark on the beach, where we found respite from the loud and bad house music at BackLine.

Looking a little sunburnt, I found Jen lurking at the back of Backline.

Looking a little sunburnt, I found Jen lurking at the back of Backline.

Pecha Kucha Nights Cape Town

pkn

Something i’ve been dying to blog about for a while is that we’ll be running Pecha Kucha Nights in Cape Town, and the date for the first event is set at 17 June 2008. this is super exciting – sharing ideas, passion and inspiration is something we try to do as much as we can, and something we started doing with IG Assembly, which we held 2 months ago. we’re going to let that go gently and take over custodianship of an internationally successful platform – Pecha Kucha is growing all the time in cities all over the world.

we’ve got a few things to knuckle down, mainly the venue, as we need somewhere that’s not too big but not too small either, since we’ll need to have space to project the talks. for those of you who’d like to get involved, i’ve started a group on facebook which you can join to be kept updated. otherwise go to the the official site and drop us a mail. we’re still establishing speakers so you’re welcome to submit yourself if you want to show your work. just be sure to stick to the 20 slides at 20 seconds each guideline.

we’ll need to receive your presentation by the 16th of June as well so we can line up all the work.

so yay. for those of you who love design and creativity, this is something you’re not going to want to miss. best of all, it’s free. xx

a day of lists

first one being South African Twitter users wiki.

and then second being number 1638 on the Million Blog List experiment.

customised cigarette boxes

we have a whole bunch of unbranded cigarettes, though we can’t say why just yet. but we’ve had loads of fun getting our smoker grasses to customise them. here are some of the results:

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