Featured

Timing Plans and the De-Mystifying of Creativity

A Case Study:
Consider this, If there is an emergency and someone needs urgent medical attention, there is a specific timeline for treating the situation according to the details of the incident, yes?

Similarly If you’re a firefighter called upon when there is a fire or if a kitten needs rescuing, also a time sensitive emergency, yes?

If a cop is chasing a robber, common wisdom would indicate that the success of this too would be time dependant.

Catching flights, arriving at work, drinking your latte at the perfect temperature, equally importantly, equally have a timespan.
So why in – let’s use advertising as a completely random example- is there such a sense of urgency placed on timing?

URGENT vs. NOT FUCKING URGENT

Creativity takes time, so why the pressure? Why exactly does this campaign and the delivery thereof constitute an emergency?

As part of our ongoing pursuit of debunking the glamour and the mystery surrounding agency life, here are a couple of buckets of cold sick to wash down.

Advertising exists for the sole purpose to sell. We are smouses, We are but one cog in the OG four ‘P’s, somewhere between PR and door-to-door sales. 

Without sales our clients have no money, without money they can’t afford advertising,  without advertising we have no jobs And no amount of Suberbalist vouchers are going to assist us in flexing  our sneaker wardrobe unless we’re still being paid those medium-sized bucks.

Ironically most large corporates can the marketing departments first when sales are tanking. When ideally they should be best supported to drive sales. But that’s another whinge for another post. 

When is the ideal time to penetrate a market? When is the perfect occasion to target a consumer? When is the best opportunity to serve an ad? At what lengths are we willing to go?

The answer to when and to what measure is simple. At any possible time and at any possible length. We will expose you to advertising from the moment you’re born until you’re shuffling around in god’s waiting room.

There is a product or solution for every occasion, stage of life, and level of consciousness. We will market to you when you’re on the loo, on the job, or on holiday. Once we’ve penetrated your cells- and we won’t rest until every hyper-niched segment has been unearthed – we’ll create a new paradigm to make all other niches irrelevant. Rinse and repeat.

So while trying to retain the balance between ‘it’s not heart surgery’ and ‘oh my god I’m going to die poor’, tuck this nugget into your arsenal, kyk maar Noord and vok maar voord. (which roughly translates as “Look but North and fuck but forth.”) And remember, you’re only as smart as your ability to ignore the ‘shop now’ clickbait. 

New Deadline. Who dis?

There are three types of deadlines.

  1. The deadline
  2. The extended deadline
  3. And the AFL drop dead deadline

What even is agency life if you don’t completely ignore the first one, watch the second one whizzing by, and blame the screech to the finish line on the media buyer who had absolutely no place booking a zillionty trillionty ZARS of airplay without seeing the finished artwork first.

Also, now everything needs to be resized, and you’re working on another deadline so we’ll need to find a freelancer.

Deadline one is a minor inconvenience for the creative team, simply because, Chase.

It usually prompts a wildly ambitious, highly creative keynote presentation which bears no resemblance to the direction given in the brief, or indeed to what the finished artwork / TVC  will look like.

The extended deadline is marginally less annoying because of the associate smugness in having proved that the initial deadline was, in fact,  unreasonable. The AFL is when the shit hits the fan and If anyone is going to be driven over by a pantechnicon, it ain’t going to be you.

The misery of the all-nighter fades into insignificance when you do deliver after having gently nudged either Traffic or Accounts under the bus, been seen to have be rushing to the printers at 1am – ensure this is done on Agency Uber – rolling up your sleeves and vaping heavily like a bad photo library image and barking ‘Buy, Sell, no I said Buy’ into the bottom of your iPhone because only losers hold them to their ears.

I made that bit up, but the gist is there.

Like these (wait, this is too much fun and I have a deadline)

Consequently, you save the day, get a raise, take some mental health duvet leave and remain the god that you are.

Alexandra the Great

🏞️

 

No, not like the ancient greek king of Macedon but commands the same amount of respect as Alexander but without all the violence. She absolutely loves nature and animals – so very much the opposite of Alexander. One thing we can agree on is that she is grrrrreat (cue Tony the Tiger).

Alex Hope-Bailie is a through the line Producer, Stylist, Wanderluster, and
a budding Horticulturist. We caught up with her over a video call and discussed
everything from early creative influences to what it’s like working at a modern
ad agency.

Alex is seriously into art, fashion, and music, and is also a
classically-trained and operatically-trained singer. Nowadays Alex has a vision
of making the world a greener place, working and traveling abroad, and also
collaborating on various projects ranging from sustainable fashion to
eco-technology. ♻️

Alex is the most organised person we know, the person you can always rely
on, and someone who can connect you with someone, or people you never knew you needed to know.. Follow Alex on Instagram @ahopebailie
to satisfy all your travel, food, art, fashion, and inspiration needs. Also, if
you want to pleasure your shelf, watch Alex’s episode of bleed on our YouTube.
channel.

Alex’s picks:

How Covid-19 has influenced our living spaces:

Beko: The Age of Nesting

A cause to uphold maritime law:

The M.V. Louise Michel

The ultimate style blog:

SF Girl

Environmental restoration:

Footprint Coalition

Alex Hope-Bailie, Jacque Moodley, and Ryan Whyte discuss their creative influences growing up, how they got into advertising, and what their first impressions of the industry were.

Toni Becker, Triple Threat Recovery Icon. 

💀

Recovery is not limited, or exclusive to a substance dependancy, Toni Becker is testimony to that. By her nature, triangular, she is multi-faceted and a total badass. 

Toni Becker (also known as Toniquinne) /  AKA  Toni Triangle is, if the gurus (and the interwebs) are to be believed,  the epitome of strength. Combining essence, enjoyment and transformation into the all-powerful shape of her life.  

The one side is Working Toni,  content writer, digital strategist and PR specialist. Another side represents Recovery Toni, who, by her own admission, not only studied, but created Drama in her twenties. 

Lastly, and most importantly, the third side is the Now Toni. A fully paid up, card carrying member of the present and delightful sister, daughter and friend.

The strongest angle of the Triangle Toni that has combined her experiences and challenges both in her working, personal and physical life and emerged a person that can share the joy, strife and growth of her past and present life, in a fun, authentic and meaningful way. 🌹

Currently studying to become one badass, recovery icon, addiction counsellor, Toni has the time and energy of the three people in her triangle combined. 

When she’s not coming up with irony-fuelled recovery TikTok memes (assisted by, in her words – long-suffering –  boyfriend Rekso Le Hond) and  two cats, Nacho and Waffles, she’s keeping Netflix’s lights on with her murder mystery, conspiracy theory documentary and RuPaul’s Drag Race bingeing. We assume she finds time to eat and sleep, but we’re not convinced. 

We would be remiss to not mention her outstanding social media accounts that make us look like the amateurs we are so: follow Toni @toniquinne on Instagram, subscribe to her recovery channel, The Truth Hurts on YouTube, and watch her bleed episode on our YouTube channel  – that last one is for us because we need the like | subscribes and there’s nothing quite like riding on the coat tails of genius. 

Toni reviews the portrayal of addiction in movies and series.
Jacque Moodley, Ryan Whyte, and Toni Becker discuss what creative outlets they were most interested in growing up and how those activities lead them to where they are today. Some of the topics that cropped up in the process include drama, drama creation, addiction, recovery, and TikTok.

All hail the asterisk *Why wait to be an award winner?

🍯

Awards used as bookends, Oscars in the loo, Loeries as paperweights*, a conscious nod to self-deprecation, and the ultimate humble brag. Imagine if we gave you an award that was intended to be useful?

Beat by FalconeBeats

The Concept

The Jar. Historically used to purchase jam in, save old marbles, and store previously enjoyed cooking oil, has been elevated to an iconic status of cool

Apparently we call them Mason Jars now, and they are the vessels of choice for smoothies, cocktails and salads (don’t even ask – I burst into tears and decanted it into a bowl).

A fully functional Consol ‘Mason Jar’ is the acme of coolth and holds not only your chia seeds and organic, long-grain, brown rice, but massive Instagramability appeal.

We thought, why not elevate the elevated, and take the fun out of using your Golden Pencil as a swizzle stick. 

The jar is the vessel that seals in freshness. In our case, freshness of ideas. It takes a strong brain to open that jar, not unlike the Tricky Dicky you need to open the sticky mess of your farm to table pickled artichoke leaves that you forgot you’d made. Now glaze that jar in gold, emblazon it with an asterisk, and you have yourself one hell of a concept for the hottest award show on the market right now.

 

The Golden Jar Awards 

There is no platinum jar, no silver, no bronze. Nor is there a Grand Prix jar.

First prize is gold. Second prize is a NutriBullet**, and in the words of Alec Baldwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross, third prize is ‘you’re fired’.

The Winning Circle

A Golden Jar is automatically presented to anyone who has featured and/or contributed to the winner of the particular category, and in this case Golden Jars go to the following people in order of appearance and contribution:****

Also, we are the winners in the categories. 

The cynical (or undeserving) may feel that it is controversial, nay, contentious that the founding members of the Golden Jar Awards are potentially the opposite of biased when handing them out, but at The JAR Awards we can’t be like the other awards shows.

Awards committees who say no to nepotism, are fair in their assessment of creative work.

We cannot be bribed.***

All hail the asterisk. Ts & Cs apply.

*Actually bloody good paperweights

**Second prize is the same as third prize which is not, in fact, a NutriBullet

***We can

****See below

  1. Alex Hope-Bailie
  2. Dana Jacob
  3. Kholisile Zwane
  4. Rekso Le Hond
  5. Victor Jacob
  6. Siya Tyali
  7. Toniquinne
  8. Mandla Black Jar Moscow
  9. Michelle Lupton
  10. Bernice Puleng

Conspiracy Theories and The Gif’ter

💻

Steve Jobs is not dead.

Conspiracy Theory exclusive; let this serve as evidence in the public domain that when it’s revealed that Steve Jobs is alive, we will reap the accolades for calling it. As will Siya Tyali.

How is Steve Jobs still alive?

The theory suggests that Jobs’ consciousness has been digitised to a mainframe and become an omnipresent being. Sounds familiarly like Johnny Depp’s character who was uploaded to the Quantum Computer in the movie Transcendence, but moving on.

Naturally, it’s been a secret to date, but we can reveal that Steve Jobs is actually Siri – the built-in, voice-controlled personal assistant for Apple devices – as opposed to Siri, a Nordic Goddess.

Now we can’t argue with what is arguably fact. Siri was released on the 4th October 2011, and after a 24 hour standard bug check, Steve Jobs death was announced on the 5th of October 2011. Not even co-incidence could get that right, and Siya agrees.

And when we say agree, what we mean is completely fabricated by Siya.

A lover of graphic novels, unattributed quotes and entrepreneurship, he is – unrelated- a master of selecting the perfect gif for any occasion, hence his monicker ‘The Gif’ter’.

#TrueFacts time, Siya is a gifted writer, brilliant storyteller and wildly conceptual thinker. He’d have to be.

Follow him @mattesilver on Instagram and then slide into his DMs if you want to collaborate or contemplate the next Illuminati machination.

Critically, and because we need the clicks, check his bleed episode on our YouTube channel.

Steve Jobs is Siri, just like how it happened in Transcendence.
In this episode, Jacque Moodley, Ryan Whyte, and Siya Tyali go through the usual drill. Some of the topics we discussed include the good ol’ days of advertising, ad vampires, and uploading human consciousness onto the mainframe.

Would I lie to you baby?

🤥

The Lie Factory

Were it possible that our pants could actually catch on fire as a consequence of telling a lie, there would be a great number of lawyers with scorchies, and an equally great number of advertisers.

While you can tell that lawyers are lying simply by virtue of their lips moving, advertising agencies are stealth liars.

Advertisers are the ultimate Lie Merchants. We sell you snake oil and dreams while conversely convincing our clients that the juice is worth the squeeze.

Think about it. We call ourselves story tellers, and why let the truth get in the way of a good story?

Strategists, copywriters, art directors, graphic designers, and account managers, a merry band of thieves peddling our fresh, shiny wares.

To make this more fun, we’ll unpack this (we like to say unpack) by breaking down fancy advertising titles and the tales they weave by adding an associate farming analogy.

Strategists – Harvesting 🥕

A strategist is the grim reaper of advertising. They will find a chink in the toughest armour, niche that fucker and then flood you with advertising. I would not be surprised if they’re the masterminds behind the liberation of organs, having identified the serious demand for used parts.

The strategist is the forager or harvester of insights. Insights can be grown artificially (data from the internet) and found in the wild (market research).

The Creative Team – Production 🥫

Once an insight from a particular market segment has been reaped (or manufactured), a copywriter will produce a story . The story will be neither truth nor fiction, however it will present itself as a fact, essentially gaslighting you into wondering if you even know the difference.

The creative team’s role is to give the words a visual representation of the meeting of lies. An art director (visual propagandist), in collaboration with a graphic designer (hard worker) will naturally create prize pig splendour which will be hard to ignore,

Marketing – Sowing & Growing 🌱

Once the turd has been polished, its handed over to the Account Manager AKA Con Artist to dump it at the Client’s doorstep. If the client is successfully duped (more fancy words for lies) they give the go-ahead to take our concept, and their product to market.

There it will either be added to basket, or perish on the market table. In which case we’re all piles of manure. And shitty liars.

And now for the truth 😇

We’ve only wrote this blog post as a piece of Trojan horse, chicanery  for the sole purpose of creating clickbait to this site to buy into our narrative, or to buy us coffee on Patreon.

And they all lived happily ever after,

The End

Victor Jacobs is a modern Renaissance Man.

💯

Inspired by the arts, Blockbusters and dinosaurs, he is a visual content creator par excellence. He does the full enchilada from design, illustration and animation, across 3D sculpting or 2D motion design,
Victor is versed in all things graphic*. This passion for creativity and visual expression comes from his love for film and special effects. His curiosity of the animatronics seen in Steven Spielberg’s 🦖 Jurassic Park took him on a path of learning about how visual effects. This subsequently drove him towards a career in design.


*We’re not sure about the term graphic content but we’ll leave it in if you need a childish snicker.

In true Renaissance style, Victor  also has a fervency for technology and began his career in computer engineering and programming.
Cue another trip to the movies to see The Matrix, and he decided to marry his interests and moved into digital marketing, A realm where he could combine, flex and practice both disciplines.
Victor is an AR and VR enthusiast. When he is not Digitally Creatively Directing you’ll likely find him plugged in. Into the Matrix with his VR headset, sculpting in 3D, watching movies in a VR cinema, or  just replying to mails. Modern Renaissance Men need to email too. 
If you want to get his attention, nudge him gently because sometimes the line between virtual reality and reality is ever so thin.

Follow Victor @design_socialist on Instagram, and if you want to see how awkward it is climbing in VR, watch Victor’s episode on our YouTube channel.

3D illustration – pushing metal in different ways.
Jacque Moodley and Ryan Whyte catch up with Victor Jacobs. Victor is a Motion Designer, Graphic Designer, and Digital Creative Director. Some of the topics we sink our teeth into are Hollywood special effects, animatronics in movies, and the impending VR and AR revolution.

Rekso Le Hond

🤘

Kyle Baillie is a talented young Art Director &Graphic Designer, working his way up the ranks in the agency world, carving a career for himself in advertising.

Kyle’s alter ego | alias Rekso Le Hond, is still a talented Art Director &Graphic Designer, but now also an established Illustrator, and graffiti and tattoo artist.

As cliched as it may sound for a graffiti artist to be an enthusiastic skater, Kyle has set the bar for it.

When he’s not skating he’s conjuring up new illustrations with his cats, Nacho, and Waffles by his side 🐈.

When he isn’t illustrating, you’ll definitely find him helping his girlfriend, Toniquinne film TikTok videos (judgingly).

We want to tell you how amazing Rekso’s artwork is but we believe it speaks for itself, so follow him @rekso_le_hond on Instagram, or check out his Behance portfolio.

If you want to discover the hilarity in getting strange client requests like,

“Can you storyboard the radio ad?”,

watch Rekso’s episode on our YouTube channel.

For illustration and graffiti commissions, slide into his Instagram DMs.

Zombie queen. Prints available through @curbsideprints
Jacque Moodley and Ryan Whyte are in conversation with Rekso Le Hond. Rekso is an Illustrator, Tattoo Artist, Graffiti Artist, and an Art Director/Graphic Designer. In this episode, we discuss how Rekso first started up in the graffiti and tattoo world, reminisce about the good old days in advertising, and talk about the inner workings of modern ad agencies.

Kholisile Zwane

👍🏾

Kholisile, Kholster, Khols, and Mr. Zwane was once described as, “The craziest, most laziest guy I have ever met”.

I beg to differ on the laziest part, Kholi is a man go Gets Involved with capital letters. He’s a full blown llustrator / Graphic Designer / UX Designer / Art Director Slashie.

Any and everything creative is in his arsenal – photography, film, fashion, illustration, and animation. As far as the crazy side goes, he’s definitely supes off the charts on the crazy | talented scale. Always keen to collaborate, (except on a Monday), Kholi doesn’t wait for permission, but rather takes things on and builds the airplane mid-flight.

He’s a tech enthusiast who has it covered on the latest gadgets, However, and inconveniently, he admits that collaborating on projects and other creative pursuits often take him away from the gaming controller 🎮.

Follow this multi-disciplined designer on Instagram @kholisile, to see why he neglects his PS4.

To see some of his illustrations, check out the beautiful colouring book, Colour Me Melanin. If you want to see what people who suck at maths decide to study, watch Kholi’s episode of bleed on our YouTube channel.

Illustration from the colouring book, Colour Me Melanin.
Jacque Moodley, Ryan Whyte, and, Kholisile Zwane discuss corporate versus agency, and what they don’t teach you at Art School.