Tag Archives: king james

A Ninterview!

Y’alls can listen to me ‘in my real voice’ on The Digital Edge, who interviewed myself, Tertia Albertyn (What an honour!), Georgina Michelmoore and Diane Charton on what it’s like to “be a woman in digital”. While you listen to the interview, allow me to provide you with this beautiful photo of Bakoven beach, taken yesterday, for you to stare at. Yes yes y’all. Enjoy! xx

My boss’s dog

His master's couch.

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

27 Dinners

27 Dinners was supremely legendary. First up was our pimp-assed limo trip around the peninsula, which was a little like being on the Starship Enterprise.

Warp speed ON!

Warp speed ON!

There was champagne everywhere.

A little champagne before the show.

Mirrors and LCDs everywhere.

Mirrors and LCDs everywhere.

The boys from From The Couch, and Matt Buckland and his lady on the left

The boys from From The Couch, and Matt Buckland on the left

The view from the window as the sun went down

The view from the window as the sun went down

Arrival at Bombay Bicycle Club (the 7-Eleven makes this pic so special)

Arrival at Bombay Bicycle Club (the 7-Eleven makes this pic so special)

Red carpet paparazzi razzle dazzle

Red carpet paparazzi razzle dazzle

One of my fav LBDs - Woolworths Studio W, ladies.

One of my fav LBDs - Woolworths Studio W, ladies.

Presenting Steri Stumpie work.

Presenting Steri Stumpie work.

Getting a T-shirt thanks to RSA web.

Getting a T-shirt thanks to RSA web (click for more)

Some chill time.

Some chill time.

Onto the minor details, I gave a talk that contextualised the Steri Stumpie work we’ve been doing. I tried to show the geeks just what goes into a good messaging campaign, and how social media can be used to enhance and drive home the message, rather than social media being the idea. Sounds very complex but is basically the exact opposite of ‘The Medium is the Message’ (sorry McLuhan), which was really just some catchy l’il viral mnemonic that spread around when tactical had just exploded onto the scene. Must  say congrats to Dave and Chris for organising a supremely awesome 27 Dinners. It rocked. PS. Red carpet photos courtesy of Brandon Golding.

i think i’ve found my Loeries Stage Gimmick

Bubbles. BUBBLES.

Bubbles. BUBBLES.

a bubble dress. can you handle it. am falling more in ❤ with Lady Gaga every day. wish i could go back in time to the agency xmas party and exchange my Amy Winehouse outfit for something more like one of these:


Levi’s® Photography Search: A Case Study in using social media

I know y’ulle think I’m a brainless advertising chick who does nothing but upload hot pics of herself onto flickr and rub her breasts against her the glass of her creative director’s office, but it’s not completely true. They keep me around because every now and again, I prove to be quite useful. I wouldn’t go so far as to say:

“I’m the number 1 creative in South Africa,” like Paul Warner from Metropolitan Republic said in the March 09 issue of GQ (true story).

But I am handy because I know my way around facebook, an invaluable skill that has come in handy while we’ve been running a competition called The Search for the Levi’s® Photographer off onesmallseed.net, and it’s proved to be an insightful exercise in using social media to reach the right consumers.

The competition went live at the beginning of December 2008, and it was a call to South African photographers to come up with and submit their unique vision conveyed through a photographic treatment that would give the Levi Strauss brand a distinctive and relevant look. It came about because we were aware of the wealth of talent out there amongst local creatives, and we wanted to see whether we could discover someone fresh and inspiring to bring something special to the brand.

We got an amazing response – a total of 60 photographers shot and submitted images to be considered. We narrowed the entries down to a shortlist of 12 photographers, out of whom Capetonian Romi Stern was chosen as the winner.You can see the official winning announcement and the shortlisted photographers here.

The Search for the Levi’s® Photographer has been my (and King James’s) first big(ish) project using social media as the primary platform for communication and interaction with consumers, and it worked really well because onesmallseed.net is a creative community, therefore it was a natural place for us to reach photographers. We were able to interact with entrants and answer questions real-time, and tailor our interactions with them based on the feedback they gave us.

We did experience some glitches
– an auto-brief malfunction, and we completely underestimated the number of entries we’d get, so on the weekend of the competition deadline our mailbox was bouncing back entries and stressing out some very passionate photographers, but we managed to solve it in the end.

Needless to say, we are extremely chuffed with how it turned out, and we’re looking super forward to working with Romi this year.

What I’m reading right now.

Fascinating. Hoping it will heal my family.

Fascinating. Hoping it will heal my family.

The boyfriend is quite demanding.

The boyfriend is quite demanding.

A guide to dealing with client service.

A guide to dealing with client service.

Exploring some new exercise options.

Exploring some new exercise options.

Kidding, kids. These are the new King James Coporate Gifts. You get a blank book, with ‘What’s your Story?’ printed on the front, and 2 reversable dust jackets that you can change according to how badly you feel like shocking people at Vida.

Oooooh, clever.

Oooooh, clever.

judgement day

it’s here. the day of the xmas party is finally here. leaving in an hour. petrified.

The party committee can smell fear.

The party committee can smell fear.

trying to channel my inner PR chick. want to be the ‘life of the party’.

it’s the final countdown. we’re leaving the agency at 11am tomorrow to head to the xmas party. they haven’t told us where it is because they want what happens there to stay there. apparently there is no cellphone reception and the staff don’t have teeth. scared of people who don’t have teeth after i read an article about them hanging out at the seattle coffee company in kloof street. let that be a lesson to the vida defectors.

went to the mall today and dropped half my salary on high-res fake tattoos. very ironic because they look low-res because they are designed to mimic ‘the bleed’ of a real tattoo. also bought ballet shoes, lots of hairpieces, 4 hair nets (in case one broke), 2 combs, a hair rose, liquid eyeliner and 5 billion hair clips.

i’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to get the beehive right. problem is this involves brushing out the knots i’ve already got in my hair. i don’t know how i got them but it prob has something to do with the fact that i don’t brush my hair 100 times before i go to sleep every night.

Unfortunately I have a very time-consuming recorder hobby that eats into my hair-brushing time.

Unfortunately I have a very time-consuming recorder hobby that eats into my hair-brushing time.

also feeling nervous about experiencing an agency christmas party as a non-smoker. i’m not worried about starting smoking again, i’m just worried i don’t have enough of a reason to stay up late and that i end up going to sleep at 9 and shouting at anyone who has fun near my Luxury Safari Tent (sic).

wish i had a ‘fun bouncy party slag’ button i could flip in order to be the fun party slag. it just seems like getting drunk and having fun is a lot of hard work. what if i burn more calories than i take in? it’s a very real risk. heaven forbid i end up emaciated and looking like the real amy winehouse. wish i was one of those people who had to work hard to keep the weight off. wish i wasn’t naturally skinny. wish i didn’t have naturally white teeth, eyes and nails. wish i didn’t have exotic asian looks while having the benefit of being classified of caucasian. wish i wasn’t born with a photographic memory that makes functioning in a world of mediocrity dissatisfyingly easy. wish my parents weren’t oil billionaires so i’d know what it felt like to actually achieve something.

When life makes you a pig, make bacon out of yourself. - Alex van Tonder

"When life makes you a pig, make bacon out of yourself." - Alex van Tonder

one thing i have learnt through my adversity is that even though things may be tough and the fates may be against you by always being on your side, it’s no excuse not to smile. smiling brings you one step closer to being the PR slag at the party, and by golly, what more could you aspire to, apart fro maybe being sexually harrassed by the PR slag of the party.

trying to come up with a Loeries stage gimmick. need to make a lasting impression in the industry’s inebriated minds.

Under all sorts of pressure right now. The agency xmas party is on Friday and I still don’t have what I need for my beehive, or my satin ballet slippers. Irksome. Been thinking a lot of about Loeries next year. You know when that book The Secret came out and everyone started ‘being positive’ and ‘following the laws of attraction’ and writing affirmations about money in the gratitude journals? Was wondering if the law of attraction applies to awards. Should I imagine a lot of Loeries flying towards me like magnets? Or is that a bit unrealistic.

Maybe if I flap my hands it will call The Loeries to me and my life will be like a advertising remake of Hitchcocks The Birds.

Maybe if I flap my hands it will call The Loeries to me and my life will be like a advertising remake of Hitchcock's 'The Birds'.

Been thinking about what kind of crazy zany antic I can do when I go on stage to collect my gold Loerie award. You know how some really crazy creatives like to do hand-stands when they collect their awards? I need some sort of stage gimmick like that. Some creatives get zany by throwing their panties at the mayor of Margate. Others have lollopped up the stage like monkeys. I’m not feeling like any of these antics really reflects my deeply introspective yet also fun and lighthearted creative nature.

Should i take a giant crusty fake hot dog / banana on stage with me and hump it? Such a big decision for me to make.

Should i take a giant crusty fake hot dog / banana on stage with me and hump it? Such a big decision for me to make.

I could take a fire extinguisher up with me and set it off onstage. Setting off fire extinguishers unnecessarily is pretty kooky, hey?

Maybe I could roll up a banner that says something about how immersed in the industry I am, such as ‘Interns are for mounting’ or ‘Life’s a pitch’. Do you think anyone will notice that I took those sayings from the zany stickers Net#work BBDO made last year? Ppl will probably shout ‘that’s been done before’ because they will be pretty bitter about my gold.

I could reinterpret a South African classic and do the Nik Nak man dance on stage to show ppl how I have an appreciation of all things local and retro. Hopefully the camera will zoom in on my Casio Gold Calculator watch that I got from ShelfLife, and really bring retro to life.

Maybe I should reinvent myself as a retro electronics brand? Is that more meaningful than strapping a retro electronics bag to your wrist? Sometimes always pushing for concept is a lot of work.

Maybe I should reinvent myself as a retro electronics brand? Is that more meaningful than strapping a retro electronics brand to your wrist? Sometimes 'always pushing for concept' is a lot of work.

Maybe I should be more subtle, and wear some Coverse High-Tops with a flouncy ballgown (a visual contradiction / irony / the tension of opposites), thereby telling ppl that even tho I win gold Loeries and wear ballgowns and shiz, I am still able to keep it real in my All Stars, while retaining township cred (important for a white girl).

I would have to practise my nonchalant shrug. Need to keep it real in my All Stars.

I would have to practise my nonchalant shrug. Need to keep it real in my All Stars.

It’s all a bit much to think about right now. Maybe y’ulle have some cool gimmick ideas that you can send me, for which I won’t credit you but will use in order to advance my social standing and industry credibility. Mail me.

How to Not Keep It Real in your All Stars. For shame, this bro is a 90s surf brand, not a retro electronics brand.

How to Not Keep It Real in your All Stars. For shame, this bro is a 90s surf brand, not a retro electronics brand.

big important congratulations

to Alistair King on being named ‘Agency Leader of the Year’ at the Adfocus Awards 2008.

Our Al. A natural leader.

Our Al on the right. A natural leader.

I think we all share the sentiment his wife expressed by writing on Al’s facebook wall, namely that we are all very proud of you, Sparkles. Click here to read about how awesome Al is.

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found in the bathroom of TJDR cape town

Something to do with the Christmas Party theme being The Great Depression. Anyone else spotted zany agency xmas party invites? Anyone out there work at an agency thats cancelled their xmas party to save $$?

Something to do with the Christmas Party theme being 'The Great Depression'. Anyone else spotted zany agency xmas party invites? Anyone out there work at an agency that's cancelled their xmas party to save $$?

see how much effort goes into agency christmas parties? can you imagine the costume pressure involved in this one? what is great depression attire? great gatsby’s last night out? having second thoughts about my amy winehouse idea. scared i’ll be judged for not being conceptual enough. can’t my work speak for myself? can’t they accept me as an artist despite the fact that i have personal flaws like not digging conceptual costumes? not sure. the last KJ xmas party i attended i dressed up as a ‘Security God’ when the theme was ‘gods and godesses’. feel i put in enough effort there to warrant a simple excuse to rock a beehive.

christmas party pressure. so much pressure to be clever and funny.

Executive Creative Director sent this mail around yesterday:

It seems people are taking the Christmas theme of dressing up as your favourite singer and/or band very literally. You are, of course, very welcome to put on a wig and short skirt and come as Tina Turner, or wear nothing but black and come as Johnny Cash or Roy Orbison, or get 3 friends and come as ABBA. But here are some thought starters on how to be a little less obvious:

Put a flashing blue light on your head and come as The Police.

You could wrap yourself in a black refuse bag and come as Garbage.

You could dress like James and come as James. Duh.

You could strap a Radio to your head and come as Radiohead.

Two of you girls could come naked with a stuffed springbok under your arm. Yep, you got.

You could get a friend, one of you dress in white, one in black, and come as Salt ‘n Pepa. Even better if you each drilled holes in your head.

We don’t however want anyone coming as The Strokes, ok?.

Good luck.

Over and Out.”

Feeling rly worried that i don’t come up with the smartest costume. Especially since I’m a copywriter and supposed to be strong on concept. Supposed to have a brain for strategy, but what if i’ve just got a brain for wanting to look hot at the Christmas party and dress up like Amy Winehouse because i have as much if not more hair than her. And if i have more than 1 drink (not likely, given brand dilemma) it’ll just look like i’m in character?

Dance floors heating up. Time for the speech about how our agency needs to give an extra 10 %.

Dance floor's heating up. Time for the speech about how our agency needs to give an extra 10 %.

Agency Christmas parties are always big on the pressure like this. See, it all depends on what tribe you belong to within the agency. the PR chicks will make any theme an excuse to dress like slaggy whores. you could make the theme ‘Potato Sack’ and they would put ripped fish nets under the potato sack and cut the sack really short.

Client service are kind of similar. you get those client service chicks who essentially come as themselves and then put a flower in their hair and say they are Madonna in that one video where she had a flower in her hair because they are so scared of not looking hot.

You can count on the events company getting pretty zany, since they go to so many parties and have seen every costume under the sun they will very often have access to the best rental places.

But if you’re in creative, there’s big pressure. Big pressure to make some sort of visual pun, to make people work out what you are. Sigh. Thinking of sticking to my original plan and going as crazy britney. really miss those days of hers. Made me feel really together, like a lifestyle brand as opposed to a niche electro label. Gotta keep innovating, I guess.

Should have been a copywriter not a pop star.

Should have been a copywriter not a pop star.

Need a device like a pink wig to warn ppl im on the rag.

Need a device like a pink wig to warn ppl i'm on the rag.

Test-driving a car im about to write radio ads for.

Test-driving a car i'm about to write radio ads for.

Pulling another all nighter. Need the Bull.

Pulling another all nighter. Need the Bull.

not sure i can take this whole ‘dress up as your favourite band/singer’ brief srsly unless there’s some sort of award going. can someone phone Arlene Donnenberg and ask her if we can get cre8ive circle points for highly conceptual and original xmas party costumes? scared i use up my mental desktop thinking of awesome outfits and don’t have any left for award-winning ideas. what if ideas like are the eggs in your ovaries? as in, are you born with a set amount and once you’ve used them all up they’re gone? can i get my ideas cryogenically frozen, that way if i need an idea when i’m over the age of 35 i can use the ones i stowed away in my youth? is it true that older women have ideas with higher IQs than younger women?

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“Always use christmas parties as an opportunity to show your Creative Director that you are one crazy m*otherf*cker by taking off your top and flashing your breasts. That way he won’t think twice about sending the potentially award-winning new media tactical brief your way next time management has a status meeting at Vida.” – Bill Bernbach

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getting my poker on. proving more lucrative than freelance.

Rei, Rei’s copywriter Justin and i mooched on over to Jody’s quaint seapoint palacio to play poker on thursday night. the night began with chips and beer, peaked at imported butter biscuits with chocolate on them and shuddered to a climax with bags of woolies gum sweets and some coke light. the life of the young and the risky.

The flailing neck in the corner is Jody. His contortion followed him mumbling something about a bald spot.

The flailing neck in the corner is Jody. His contortion followed him mumbling something about a bald spot.

things went really well considering it was the first time i played for money. in fact around half way through the evening i was a veritable mogul and the rest of the players were wagering their iMacs, their Flickr Pro accounts and one brave sod offered up a removable hard drive to make up for the fact that they didn’t have any chips left. then i went and did what every overconfident, sugar-rushing poker players does; i started abusing my power and making silly bets that i didn’t even care that much about when i really should have folded until 10 minutes before cutoff time and then forced the remaining chips out of the corners of my dwindling foes. but i didn’t do that – i lost my wealth and my power, miserably. i went all in and came out all out. but it did teach me a few very valuable lessons that i can apply to every day agency life.

Head down, game face on, dignity left at the door. A bit like presenting a concept to a client who doesnt like concepts.

Head down, game face on, dignity left at the door. A bit like presenting a concept to a client who doesn't like concepts.

lesson #1: if you don’t have money to start with, you’re not going to make money. you might make a little money. pussy money. but this is not going to make you rich, and you should keep visualising that wine farmer / applying for a management position / ‘moving into PR’.

lesson #2: once you click how the game works, you will think you own it, and that it’s your bitch. the game, like advertising, is not your bitch. it will lull you into a false sense of confidence in your wildly wonderful creative skills / card flare / luck vibes, but ultimately, you will spend a lot of time beating yourself up for folding before you saw the cards / doubling up the blinds when you were rich / talking like a texan oil baron because that’s the effect money has on you.

lesson #3: the person to your left, whom you call a friend during daylight hours, is fucking you over and cheating you out of your money. i don’t even need to put an advertising spin on that one.

lesson #4: the drunker you can be while playing, the better. sucks for me, since i still haven’t decided on a brand alignment or signed an endorsement deal with an alcopop. 2 cans of coke light down and you get a little jittery. you get annoyed that you have to keep telling the person to the left that it’s their turn. when you tap out your host thinks there’s someone at the door and when he jumps up to answer it, you want to kill him, so you shove a handful of woolies sweets in your mouth and make a resolution not to eat carbs tomorrow. gah!

lesson #5: poker is way better than ad agency-based book club. and i don’t just say this because the king james book club has rejected my application to join them in their naff little meets in the library on fridays. i don’t even want to join their bookclub. i already have a bookclub, even though it’s in jozi, and i hardly get to see them, but i get to watch them on tv because they are so fabulous top billing and the like enjoy following them around. i say this because when we play poker, we all start out as equals, whereas agency bookclub seems to have some sort of strange heirarchy built into it involving a chairman who doesn’t even work at the agency and looks like stephen king. i’m not bitter. i’m just saying.

landed. on feet. like cat.

i’m safely at King James. but readjusting to being on a PC. is like adjusting to living life upside with one left hand. will take me a while. so far so good if slightly surreal since yesterday was my third first day here. was nice to have a leisurely session at gym before taking the lift a floor up to work as opposed to usual parking scrabble. also noting how this vida cafe is like a dogshow where one must elbow one’s way into the queue or be ignored completely / trampled over by some blonde and her blonder friend. makes me slightly nostalgic for the black river vida, which was quiet and queue-free. guess you win some, you lose some. will be back with more meat once i’ve adjusted to blogging upside down with my left hand.

Blogging on PC at new office.

Blogging on PC at new office.

indecision surrounding inter-agency soccer. will i drop the ball?

Oh hai i can haz penalty shootout? Laduma?

Oh hai i can haz penalty shootout? Laduma?

so i’m thinking of dropping out of soccer tomorrow night because there are no other girls playing. saatchi, ogilvy, kingjames – they couldn’t get a single girl on the team. does anyone else find that pretty weird? not that i’m the biggest soccer player. i don’t play at all. i do like running around and screaming and shouting though. that’s like soccer, right? hmm. when did agency soccer get all real and shiz? is this all part of the dreaded World Cup run up?

I was just informed that I will be giving the team a warm up. And I’ve also been informed that there will be free Nando’s. If anyone’s interested in watching this whole inter-agency soccer shebang we’ll be playing at Hartleyvale from 5.15pm.