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Screengrabs from the ad.
#OrchidsandOnions: Don't hide away from reality... and know the difference between thunder and lightning

The best advertising is always based on a fundamental understanding of human nature - what the people in the marketing business call “basic human truth”. If you can tap into that, you don't have to waste any time explaining or repeating - everybody gets it first time around

By Brendan Seery 1 day ago

Rene van den Berg © –
In 10 years, magazine sales have halved

What does this mean? Well, lots of things, but it's certainly not the catastrophe many would have you believe

By Chris Brewer 2 days ago

Mpange Chapeshamano
#Newsmaker: Mpange Chapeshamano makes an Avatar comeback

Politics aside, integrated marketing agency Avatar has done a management reshuffle with co-founder Zibusiso Mkhwanazi stepping down as CEO to take on a bigger role as group CEO of Avatar Investment Holdings and the Avatar360 Group, which owns the agency's Johannesburg and Cape Town offices

By Jessica Tennant 3 days ago

Artisticco LLC © –
Grow your storytelling, grow your brand

In prehistoric times, great stories were told sitting around a campfire. In the glow of the flames storytellers would share exciting tales to impart information, to teach, to encourage and to entertain. Storytelling is an evolutionary mechanism crucial to human communication and central to our success

By Parusha Partab 20 Apr 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: The power of a still image trumps lazy copywriting every time
#OrchidsandOnions: The power of a still image trumps lazy copywriting every time

I was having an interesting discussion last week with someone who is in the image processing business and he was lamenting the fact that there is so much video around these days - in all areas of life, not just in the marketing sector - that it is becoming like wallpaper and in danger of losing its impact

By Brendan Seery 18 Apr 2017

Fei Wong © –
Real-time advertising can catapult newspapers to greater revenues

Publications can improve advertising revenues if they take advantage of real-time print adverts and that will help not only their ailing fortunes but the ailing fortunes of publishing printers, too

By Vaughan Patterson 18 Apr 2017

Media: Dark art or science?
Media: Dark art or science?

Let's face it, 2017 is already tougher than 2016, which was in turn was tougher than the previous year. The advertising industry is under pressure, and media agencies are not excluded from this

By Quinton Jones 17 Apr 2017

Screenshot of the ad placement.
[Orchids & Onions] When the politicians help market your product... and when your website clevers damage your brand

I wonder if Mark Zuckerberg would consider a special-to-South Africa button on Facebook, which would allow the entire country to update its status

By Brendan Seery 11 Apr 2017

Today, gatekeepers make the worst brand builders
Today, gatekeepers make the worst brand builders

One of the many benefits of working for an advertising agency is that I get to experience working with numerous and diverse businesses. During my interactions one thing is very clear - to create consistency in the mind of the consumer, one needs a single, definable brand expression

By Mike Jones 10 Apr 2017

Screengrabs from the Vivo ad.
Find black actors. Hit the music. Dance. You've got your advert!

Black people dancing in adverts has graduated from being a creative expression derived from a weak observation that was camouflaged as an insight, to what is now a very popular creative device or template

By Bogosi Motshegwa 5 Apr 2017

Screengrabs from the ad.
[Orchids & Onions] Age is just a number - and don't run your ads in bad neighbourhood

I must say that when I saw the shapely blonde woman running across my screen the other day, I looked twice. And I looked even closer when I saw the trim, fit body was topped by a ‘mature' face and grey hair

By Brendan Seery 4 Apr 2017

Bowie15 © –
A view of independent agencies in South Africa

Nowadays, as we are gradually coming out of a global recession and economic crisis in which communication agencies have been greatly affected, all agencies of all disciplines have continued to compete ferociously for local clients

By César Vacchiano 4 Apr 2017

Lightwise © –
Maybe I worry too much

As we stare down the political abyss brought on by Mr Bumble and wonder what on earth is going to happen next, I began wondering if the advertising industry isn't in a similar position

By Chris Brewer 3 Apr 2017

Screengrabs from the ad.
[Orchids & Onions] Ensure you don't end up like a headless chicken... or spoil your grammar

Thank goodness that in the 22 years we've lived in our house, we've never had a burst geyser and its resulting flood

By Brendan Seery 28 Mar 2017

#BrandManagerMonth: Building a whiskey brand that's #3xBetter
#BrandManagerMonth: Building a whiskey brand that's #3xBetter

The export numbers for Irish whiskey are predicted to double to 12 million cases by 2020, with Africa seen as a key growth market for the category

By Lauren Hartzenberg 27 Mar 2017

Despite sounding zen, living in our own bubbles or echo chambers isn't ideal. Image © Nikki Zalewski –
The view from in here: A lesson from 2016

I was in Cannes last year when Brexit happened. In a matter of hours, the lazily hedonistic mood of the festivities transformed into an all-pervasive haze of stunned denial

By Fran Luckin 24 Mar 2017

Screengrabs from the ad.
Orchids & Onions: 21st Century spin: Sowing the seeds of a “good news” story

One of the phrases I hate most in a marketing, and media context is: content generation. It's so soul-less. What's wrong with “story telling”? Too analogue for you

By Brendan Seery 22 Mar 2017

How much of copywriting is writing?
How much of copywriting is writing?

Contrary to what you might believe, not even half of the copywriting job is the actual writing. So if you've ever interviewed a copywriter, employed a copywriter, worked with a copywriter, or wanted to be a copywriter, read on…

By Tiffany Markman 15 Mar 2017

Screengrabs from the ad.
[Orchids & Onions] Colour me shocked... but mind the digital snake oil

How many of you remember the controversial campaigns in the 1990s for Benetton

By Brendan Seery 14 Mar 2017

Be interesting! Image © –
Has advertising lost its sense of humour?

There is a saying in Hollywood that comedies never win at the Oscars. It would seem the stats back it up

By Damon Stapleton 8 Mar 2017

Screen grabs from the ad.
[Orchids & Onions] Cowboys don't cry – but they should play with Barbie...

If I could go back and do my life over, I'd spend more time with my children and be a little less harsh on them. The way I was brought up was definitely from the “cowboys don't cry” playbook, with displays of emotion as few and far between as thunderstorms in the desert

By Brendan Seery 7 Mar 2017

Having a story to tell helps your commodity become a brand
Having a story to tell helps your commodity become a brand

It is not enough to be a great farmer nowadays. You also need to be a great marketer and learning to think about yourself, those that work for you and what you produce in the way that a journalist would

By Brian Berkman 7 Mar 2017

#IAmEllen
#IAmEllen

The brainstorming space is an incredibly malleable one. Not all ideas are manufactured within the confines of four glass walls of the boardroom. Some of them are composed – with theme tune – in the shower. In this instance, however, the organic, creative process used client-agency voice notes as the catalyst

By Mike Sharman 6 Mar 2017

(c) Rommel Canlas -
Creative edge

“Taste tomorrow today.” I can just picture the voice-over artist in the dimly lit studio, headphones on, as he delivers the line for the sixth time. This time with more voice and more conviction, while wondering to himself what the hell he's saying

By Maria Berrios-Carter 1 Mar 2017

Screengrabs from the ad.
[Orchids & Onions] Yappy days for the woofers from an old Buddy...

A sure way to get the attention of many soft suburban people for your marketing pitch is to go the cute route. This has worked very well for Toyota over the years, with Buddy the Boxer endearing himself to people across the country, which can have done the brand no harm at all

By Brendan Seery 28 Feb 2017

Q&A with Hubble CEO on Uber's new entertainment device
Q&A with Hubble CEO on Uber's new entertainment device

Following the announcement of Uber's new interactive entertainment service, provided by Hubble (previously Taxi Media Group), CEO Justin Duveen shares the impact its having on the driver, the rider and the advertiser

By Jessica Tennant 27 Feb 2017

D&AD Pencils.
The value of a pencil

I apologise in advance for the unnecessary use of nostalgia and being a little romantic about it all. Actually, I don't

By Damon Stapleton 22 Feb 2017

Terena le Roux keeps the Ideas/Idees flowing
Terena le Roux keeps the Ideas/Idees flowing

Following the announcement of bilingual Ideas/Idees magazine being closed down by Media24 late last year, editor Terena le Roux approached management to transfer ownership into her name. Now the owner of startup publishing company IdeesFabriek (Ideas Factory), Le Roux says it really was that straightforward

By Jessica Tennant 22 Feb 2017

(c) Leonard Zhukovsky -
Weak Super Bowl TVCs disappoint

The Super Bowl draws 190m eyes, and brands pay the equivalent of R65m for a spot during the game. Of the viewers, nearly a quarter say the television commercials (TVCs) are the most important part of the event, and would rather go to the loo during the game. Despite this, 2017 was one of the weakest years in Super Bowl history for TVCs

By Danette Breitenbach 22 Feb 2017

Screengrabs from the ad.
[Orchids & Onions] Mutual respect – and ignoring your customers in cyberspace

We keep hearing how irresponsible South Africans are with their money and, coming from a family history of little money and not wasting resources, it does sometimes astound me how people in this country live for today with little thought of tomorrow

By Brendan Seery 21 Feb 2017

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