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In conversation with Loeries chairman, Tseliso Rangaka

Cannes Grand Prix winner, Tseliso Rangaka is one of the 2019 Cannes Lions Radio & Audio category jury members, ECD of Ogilvy Cape Town and Chairman of the Loeries Africa Middle East. Here, he talks about the power of brand communications, why high school kids should be exposed to advertising and why it is important for creatives to strive for awards.

What makes you excited about brand communications?

Brand communications allows our clients have meaningful connections with people. The power and ubiquity of modern media means that brands, now more than ever, can have a profound influence on consumers. It is up to us to help shape that influence into a positive force.

What new skills and technologies do you see coming through in media and advertising right now?

Technology is advancing at a rapid pace, so a firm grasp on innovation and trends is more important than ever. This combined with extreme human empathy and understanding is what will drive the industry forward.

What is unique about brand communications in Africa and the Middle East?

Africa and the Middle East have long, perhaps unfairly, been the underdogs when it comes to this industry. We have exacerbated this by emulating  what the other regions do at the expense of our unique voice. I’m happy to say that the trend is shifting and we are seeing the value of infusing our work with stories, insights and the diversity of culture that is unique to us.

What kind of innovation and creative work are you hoping will come out of the Loeries 2019?

I’m looking forward to seeing strong local and regional work that can stand with the best in the world.

Do you think the tenets of a successful media campaign are universal?

Yes they are. A strong consumer insight, innovation, and brilliant execution will always lead to success.

Why do we need to expose high school kids to the advertising industry as a possible future career path?

The industry is its own best kept secret and has been attracting a very specific type of creative person. If we all agree that diversity is the fuel we need to run, then we must widen the aperture and look in places we haven’t traditionally searched for talent. High school kids need to be exposed to the industry in order for them to consider advertising as a potential career.

Why is it important for creative talent to strive for awards such as the Loeries?

Advertising awards are the best way for creative talent to profile themselves within the industry. Shining on the Loeries stage is a really good way to build one’s brand as a creative. It’s also a way to inspire other creatives to make the best work they can for their clients and agencies.

Zwelethu Radebe creates nostalgic new TVC for Cadbury

Hot on the heels on a spate of accolades for his short film Vuka, including a merit certificate from the prestigious One Show, Egg Films’ Zwelethu Radebe has drawn on memories of his childhood to create a new TVC for Cadbury that will tug on South Africa’s heart strings.

The hard-hitting Vuka, created for the SAB ‘Be the Mentor’ programme, added the One Show Merit Award to its Editor’s Choice on Little Black Book, Best of Reel on ididtht, Creative Circle Awards 2018 2nd position, and Ciclope shortlist.

The Cadbury ‘Mom’s Birthday’ TVC, tapping into the truth that moms always have a lot going on – work, dinner, family life, your homework – tells the story of one little girl doing what she can to make her mom feel special on her birthday.

“Whether it’s in 60 seconds or 180 minutes, story is everything,” says Egg Films’ Zwelethu Radebe. “In addition, my dad owned a filling station and convenience store in Soweto while I was growing up, so ‘Mom’s Birthday’ lands in a particularly nostalgic place for me.”

The ad is an adaptation of a British commercial, but interestingly feels distinctly South African. Working alongside Egg producer Saskia Rosenberg Haak, Ogilvy creatives Terry McKenna, Sue Jenner, Hazel Davies, and DOP Fabian Vettiger, Radebe has delivered authentic textures, effortless visual aesthetic and a complimentary ensemble cast.

“Zwelethu’s filmmaking is defined by an empathy for his characters and a genuine interest in what they experience, so naturally a lot of the really important work happens during casting,” adds Rosenberg Haak. “In this piece, we enjoy three beautifully juxtaposed characters for a brief moment. Enormous in their subtlety – the performances are understated and nuanced.”

This is one of the sweetest ads of the year. Watch it now.

Inside Ogilvy’s social media performance division, Social.Lab SA


In 2013, award-winning advertising, marketing, and public relations agency, Ogilvy, envisioned the promising future of social media marketing – and as a result, bought an 80% stake in social media agency Social.Lab. Social.Lab operates in numerous major cities around the world including New York, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Singapore, Dubai and Amsterdam.

Since then, Social.Lab has become the fastest-growing company in Ogilvy’s international network. With Social.Lab’s focused approach to the strategic use of social media as a business tool, Ogilvy has been able to enhance its offering to further support clients in their digital transformations.

“There have been many highlights in the partnership between Ogilvy and Social.Lab over the past few years,” says managing director of Social.Lab SA, Christophe Chantraine. “Perhaps some of the most memorable are the global account wins that have been achieved with Social.Lab. Some of these include the Nespresso global social account as well as the BMW global social work. Another key milestone has been the set-up of the Real Time Marketing Centre for Philips, which is a unique internal social performance marketing centre in the Philips headquarters in Amsterdam.

“More recently, the developments of new propositions around e-commerce and influencer marketing have been very exciting. These are initiatives we soon hope to bring to South Africa,” Chantraine adds.

On 22 February 2019, Ogilvy’s Social.Lab established its very first African office in South Africa: a social media performance division specifically focused on helping African businesses make the most of the digital revolution.

The launch of Social.Lab SA was held in conjunction with a two-hour conference at the Ogilvy offices in Bryanston, titled ‘How social media is fuelling the e-commerce economy.’

“We observed globally that social platforms are delivering double the volume to e-commerce sites compared to what they did two years ago, and that they accounted for 76 per cent of direct and indirect (influenced) online sales,” says Chantraine.

Speakers at the conference expanded on how social platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, have capitalised on this substantial increase in online viewership and social selling by rolling out advertising formats that encourage online commerce conversion.

According to Chantraine, South Africa’s online spend is predicted to reach R60 billion by the end of this year, with a projected annual growth rate of 15% by 2021. “This represents only a fraction of the value of the country’s retail sector as a whole, and indicates immense potential for growth and opportunity.”

Chantraine says that the launch of Social.Lab SA has been on the cards for quite some time. Just last year, Ogilvy SA sent several of its staff members to train at the Social.Lab head offices in Brussels. These staff members now form part of the eighteen social-media experts – composed of SEO and SEA, programmatic and display experts – working under Chantraine for Social.Lab SA.

Chantraine, who previously had led the social media team at Social.Lab’s Brussels headquarters, now heads up Social.Lab SA.

As a result, he has spent ample time familiarising himself with the African market and its online potential. He shared some of his findings on Africa’s digital status:

e-Commerce is on the rise

According to Chantraine, social-media platforms are becoming leading marketing tools in South Africa – and as a result, they are increasingly being employed to build brands and drive sales.

“From Facebook or Instagram with their Collection and Dynamic ads, to Snapchat and its recent Amazon partnership, or even Pinterest’s ‘Shop the Look’ feature, social selling is slowly taking over and it’s here to stay.”

Africa versus the rest of the world

While high data prices still remain a challenge to South Africa’s online trade, millennials are finding creative ways to help solve these connectivity hurdles, says Chantraine.

‘Journeys to Connectivity’, a Facebook-commissioned study done by D3 Systems which looked into the online patterns of young people in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, identified these as some of the creative workarounds used to stay online and continue to make use of the social market:

  • Unreliable network: Over 86% of users have complained about experiencing spotty network coverage – as a result, 38% combat this problem by having multiple SIM cards;
  • Load-shedding: About 31% of users have reported unreliable electricity supply – this has motivated over 34% of mobile users to turn their phone off until it is needed;
  • High data cost: High data costs have led to more than 67% of users needing to recharge each week – to save on data, consumers have opted to turn off their mobile data connection off until it is needed.

Content + Social Media Expertise = Campaign Success

With Social.Lab being a social-first marketing organisation powered by Ogilvy’s strategic and creative muscles, the new social performance division will help Ogilvy SA combine top-drawer creative content with extensive paid-social media expertise.

“Launching Social.Lab in South Africa answers a need for agencies to consolidate advertising, activations, direct marketing, digital, PR and social media. We bring these capabilities together – fittingly per client and brief – to develop integrated, dynamic content strategies that make brands, sales and customer value grow. Our conviction is that social has a transformative power for business when you combine creative content and sophisticated distribution,” Chantraine concludes.


Ogilvy opens Nigeria office in the run up to its 70th anniversary


Ogilvy Africa a wholly owned subsidiary of WPP Scangroup Pls, has announced the opening of its new office in Lagos, Nigeria.

Ogilvy Nigeria becomes the integrated communications’ firm 24th office in sub-Saharan Africa. It represents the strategic expansion of the Ogilvy brand across Africa.

Speaking at the newly opened office, Mathieu Plassard, chief executive officer of Ogilvy, Africa said the office in Nigeria would enable the firm to create a cohesive creative communications solutions team and further strengthen the agency’s ability to offer clients in Nigeria focused attention.

Announcing the changes, Bharat Thakrar, CEO of WPP-Scangroup, said the opening of Ogilvy Nigeria is confirmation of the group’s commitment to enhance its communication services offering for clients across the region. The Ogilvy brand was previously represented in Nigeria under Prima Garnet Communications Limited. An amicable out of court settlement between Ogilvy & Mather Africa BV and Prima Garnet Communications reached in December 2017 paved the way for the opening of Ogilvy Nigeria.

The office will be headed by Fiona Uwagwu who, until her appointment as managing director, Ogilvy Nigeria, was managing partner for Customer Engagement in the Ogilvy office in Nairobi. Uwagwu previously worked in Ogilvy, United Kingdom.

“Nigeria is one of the biggest economies in sub-Saharan Africa and creates both challenges and opportunities for an innovative communications firm such as Ogilvy. We will make use of our global network advantages, coupled with our local professional services experience, to provide strategic communications support to our clients here,” said Uwagu.

Ogilvy Cape Town’s Rangaka takes Loeries chair


Tseliso Rangaka, executive creative director at Ogilvy Cape Town, has been appointed chairman of the Loeries for the next two years. He takes over from Suhana Gordhan, creative director at FCB Africa, who ended her term as chairwoman.

The announcement was made during the first night of the 40th Loerie Awards on Friday, 17 August at the Durban International Convention Centre.

Rangaka follows Suhana Gordhan into the Loeries’ chair position and welcomes the chance to help re-shape the industry to meet dynamic, contemporary marketing challenges in South Africa: “Relevance is the key – our creativity must connect with our clients’ markets and reach them in ways that surprise and engage. A critical ingredient to this is getting the right mix of people around the puzzle. That’s when magic happens.”

Tseliso Rangaka’s appointment is “a milestone moment” according to Ogilvy Cape Town MD Vicki Buys. Rangaka has been ECD at the agency since 2015, when he succeeded Chris Gotz, and Buys says this industry recognition is thoroughly deserved: “Tseliso has changed both the way we work and how we think about what we do and he’s been a key part of some extraordinary output as ECD including Soccer Songs For Change for Carling Black Label which won a Cannes Grand Prix this year.”

Ogilvy SA effective campaigns recognised in Apex triumph

Ogilvy emerged from the recent Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) APEX awards with an unrivalled five awards, underlining the agency’s position as an industry leader in effective communication.

In the Launch category, Ogilvy secured a silver award for the Audi #untaggable campaign, a bronze for the Carling Black Label #NoExcuse campaign and a bronze for the KFC Taking Back Lunch campaign.

In the Change category, Ogilvy won silver for the Cadbury P.S 2.0 campaign and bronze for the Neurobion Marketing the Unmarketable campaign.

In total, Ogilvy won two silver and three bronze awards, making them the most awarded agency for effectiveness, on an evening where King James secured the only gold award presented, for their Sanlam Uk’Shona Kwelanga campaign.

“We’re extremely honoured to be recognised by the Apex judges, because the adjudication process is so stringent,” said Neo Makhele, head of Strategy for Ogilvy SA. “Entrants have to prove their campaigns contribute to their clients’ bottom line. Our five awards are an acknowledgement of Ogilvy’s constant focus in putting client needs first.”

The Apex awards recognise both strategic and creative effectiveness, and are presented by the Association for Communication and Advertising, the official representative body for the Communications and Advertising profession in South Africa.

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