On my first day in Africa, lions surrounded me. Beautiful bronze, gold and even silver coloured lions. They were eyeballing me the whole time. But they didn’t move an inch…
The reason? I just started working at Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town. For three years in a row the most awarded creative agency of Africa. I saw Cannes Lions in almost every corner of the office. It’s like going on safari in the land of advertising.
My personal tour guide in this adventure was Chris Rawlinson. Chris is Head of Innovation at Ogilvy Cape Town and WPP Africa Stream Director. But after he epically introduced me to +150 employees at Ogilvy and vice versa I came up with a new name for his business card: ‘Master of Introduction’. You should see him do it. He just nails it.
The office is a 6 store building filled with more than 350 talented people and situated in the middle of Cape Town. It has an amazing view over the city. Every day I could see the sun disappear behind the iconic Table Mountain.
During my time there I helped out with different projects. From crafting copy for a pitch to brainstorming and helping out with reviews. It was a great way to get to know their ways of working and people. Two awesome creatives I’ve worked with were Matthew Pullen & Dean Paradise; the guys behind Facebook Holiday and more smart stuff. And yes, Dean’s last name really is ‘Paradise’.
With Roger (history in the) Makin at Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town
Talking about great work. I also had a wonderful chat with one of the founding fathers of the company; ‘Roger Makin’. Roger is the co-founder of RSTM, which became Ogilvy. He built up the company, wrote famous ads, doesn’t have to work anymore but still comes in every day. His business card says: ‘Retired old fart’. #Nojoke. Almost every sentence coming from his mouth was a headline. At the end he invited me to go to his beach house so next time when I’m in Cape Town I have a nice place to crash ;).
In the evenings and weekends Chris proved me his skills as a skilled tour guide. Thanks to Cape Town Tourism we dove with Great White Sharks (and LIVE Periscoped it with +10.000 people watching us!), went paragliding, swam with seals (one of the best things ever) and dropped by all the greatest restaurants, bars and clubs Cape Town has to offer. One of my favourite places was cocktail bar ‘The Orphanage’. Don’t miss that one if you visit the Cape.
Live on National TV Show Expresso (interview starts after 1:00)
I’ve been in the media a couple of times with this project but in South Africa it was crazy. On one day I had a live interview on main national TV show Expresso, Goodhope FM, Metro FM and Cape Talk Radio. Later on with The Cape Argus newspaper, Media Update and eNCAnews. My story reached over 6 million people in just a few days!
With Chris Gotz (Chief Creative Officer) at Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town
Besides working on different projects I also had the opportunity to have meetings with Luca Gallarelli (Managing Director), Chris Gotz (Chief Creative Officer) and Rob Hill (Chief Executive Officer). We talked about leadership, the future of the creative industry and shared our visions on the business. Thanks so much for your time guys! If you need any help, you know where to find me 😉
On my last day I gave a presentation for the entire office to inspire them with tips on how to make ideas fly.
Here’s a group picture with a bunch of them. I already miss you guys and hope to see you again soon. Preferably during the legendary Friday night drinks at the office.
Chris, Luca, Rob and the rest of the Ogilvy & Mather crew, thank you so much for this incredible experience. It was kaklekker!
Last but not least I want to thank my bro Chris Rawlinson for being the most amazing host 3 weeks in a row. We’ll meet again mate. Big fan.
Hey, I’ve been following you since the beginning, but only now I decided to drop you a line. I still remember when you made this video and piece of paper with “Backpacking intern” on it and said that you gonna travel the world. I’m amazed how your project has grown. Crazy! Good idea and great way of traveling!