The Lead Creative podcast hosts a series of conversations with great minds in the creative, marketing, and communication industries.
Abey Mokgwatsane on leadership in brands and agencies
Leadership in the creative industry can contribute to the kind of society we want to build and to influence brands positively. In this episode of The Lead Creative, we are joined by Abey Mokgwatsane, the Managing Executive of Brand, Communications, and Sponsorships at Vodacom.
He was previously the CEO of Ogilvy and the CEO of a global brand experience agency, VWV before that. He has been in leadership positions for just over 20 years in both agencies and brands, where he has built a wealth of insights and knowledge.
In this episode, Abey unpacks some trends that have influenced both brand and agency relations, as well as strategy.
“In my view, clients seriously underestimate how much work they need to do in order to facilitate a successful agency relationship. Often the thing that takes time, is not the interface between the client and the agency. It is the interface between the client value-chain itself; such that by the time that interfaces with the agency, it is clear.” - Abey Mokgwatsane
We also get into the thinking behind Vodacom insourcing some elements of their digital marketing functions, which has led to useful brand insights. This includes the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning as they gather customer and user data.
Nkgabiseng Motau on the role of collaboration
The creative industry is filled with massive global players, where only a few small agency teams tend to breakthrough. In this episode of The Lead Creative we are joined by the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer (CCO) of Think Creative Africa, Nkgabiseng Motau to talk about the role of leadership and collaboration in building a remarkable agency.
She shares some of the important lessons that came with lockdown, due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, and how they adapted to working remotely as a team. Their nimble team was already geared towards working remotely and had collaborations that enabled the transition to occur easier.
Think Creative Africa is an award-winning through-the-line creative agency that has worked with DSTV, Rand Mutual Assurance, Engen, Showmax, and other notable brands. They are one of the agencies that are challenging the status quo in the creative industry and creating remarkable work for brands across many industries.
“We are always looking to solve business problems creatively. When a brief comes to us we will interrogate it to see what this means to the ordinary South African and the most unheard people country.” - Nkgabiseng Motau
This episode also looks at how bringing one’s lived experiences into creative work can add value, bring in cultural relevance and insight into the final execution.
Melissa Attree discusses the rise of on-demand content
Traditional broadcast platforms such as TV and radio continue to be important for content consumption and advertising. In this episode we are joined by Melissa Attree, who is a Marketing and Digital Communications specialist to make sense of how advertising will remain relevant in the advent of on-demand content.
The growth of on-demand content and streaming platforms like Netflix, Showmax, Amazon Prime, Apple TV and others may have adverse effects on advertising. As people gain access to connected devices, they can avoid unsolicited brand content. Melissa Attree unpacks some insights and strategies that brands can use to connect with customers.
In this episode of The Lead Creative podcast, Melissa talks about the rise of streaming services and how this affects advertising. She also discusses the importance of collaboration in influencer marketing initiatives where brands, agencies and influencers can work effectively.
“We are definitely seeing a lot more brands being interested in purpose-led content or content that has a social mission attached to it.” - Melissa Attree
Melissa has held many commercial, strategic and creative positions for the past 24 years at agencies and top brands. Some of the brands and agencies that Melissa has been part of, in various executive positions include; Ogilvy, Cerebra, 5FM, L'Oreal and many others.
Kojo Baffoe on the content creation process
Creating brand stories and content that resonates requires many different perspectives, where harnessing a creative process can lead to concepts win minds and hearts.
In this episode of The Lead Creative podcast, we are joined by the former Editor of Destiny Man, a seasoned content creator, strategist, keynote speaker, Kojo Baffoe. Kojo was also the host of Life with Kojo on KayaFM among many other roles.
“The starting point is; ‘who is your community, who are you and what do you stand for’ , then being able to communicate that consistently. It’s also understanding that that community is diverse, Africa is a diverse continent.” - Kojo Baffoe
Our conversation includes the importance of context and nuance in telling both media and brand stories, where inclusivity is significant. He talks about some of the content decisions and creative processes during his tenure at Destiny Man, as well as other content creation strategies. While thinking of brands that tell Africa’s stories in a way that resonates, Kojo mentions Shoprite as one of the retailers that carry products from specific countries on their shelves.
He mentions that most brands do it from an operational and business perspective, not always on the ground.
Veli Ngubane on how diversity can grow the creative industries
Diversity, ownership, and transformation in the creative industry can have a positive impact on brand communication and advertising. Veli Ngubane, founding Partner and Chief Creative Officer at Avatar and co-founder of M and N Brands joins us on this episode to talk about their outlook towards building an African owned agency network.
Veli talks about the importance of representation in boardrooms and agencies which leads to more diverse and culturally representative brand communication and advertising. Instead of only looking to transform the work that reaches the consumer, he also talks about the importance of ownership as a pillar that would positively change the creative industry.
“When you want to change an industry, ownership is the fastest way to transform that industry. So when we talk about transformation, when we talk about the societal changes that transformation requires ownership becomes an important pillar.” - Veli Ngubane
Veli notes that telecommunications brands from Telkom, MTN, Vodacom, and Cell C, have all shown exemplary diversity and cultural insight in their work. Thinking back to their campaigns, Veli highlights MTN’s Ayoba campaign; Yebo Gogo by Vodacom; the light-hearted “For Yourself” campaign by Cell C, and the memorable “Molo mhlobo wam” work by Telkom.
These brands and others in the telecommunications industry have shown that they understand the customer and the culture that they operate in.
“You will see that the industry is transformed when the work reflects a more diverse positioning when we don’t have protests due to lack of insight and general ignorance.” added Veli.
Jay Sebesho unpacks authenticity in brand communication
Authenticity in brand communication and advertising comes up a lot. We unpack what it means in this episode of The Lead Creative podcast with Josephine ‘Jay’ Sebesho, Managing Director and Founder of Janong, a Creative and Digital Agency.
Jay joins us in this episode to share how they at Janongview and include authenticity in their work.
The Coca-Cola “Share a Coke” campaign comes in our conversation was one of the most authentic consumer and insights-driven communications of recent times. The culture of sharing was on the rise at the time of this campaign, both social media and across other platforms.
“This is an example of how brands can plug into a change in the culture and show that they understand their customers,” said Jay.
Jay points to representation as one of the measurables in knowing whether a brand or a piece of communication is authentic. If the work represents the customer or target audience closely and builds a relationship that is more thanjust transactional, then it is moving towards authenticity.
“It all starts with purpose. Articulating your brand purpose incommunication is important and adds to the authenticity, that cannotbe copied.” — Josephine ‘Jay’ Sebesho
Brands should strive to be authentic in both their connections with customers and their communication because it increases relevance. Jay thinks MTN with its Ayoba campaign shows this relevance and how a brand can fit into the local vocabulary in a way that says:
“I see and understand you.”
“Authentic brand connections are about creating an emotionalthe connection between the brand and consumer, it’s this positivelink.” — Josephine ‘Jay’ Sebesho
This episode has thoughts, strategies, and ideas on being a more authentic and connected brand.
Getting back in touch with reality !!!
Building solutions that reflect the lived experiences of consumers not our desired outcomes.
Great content 🙏🏿🔥