by Herman Manson (@marklives) Today we reveal, as part of our annual Agency Leaders poll, which agency creative leader were most admired by their peers in Johannesburg during the course of 2018!
- Monday: Most-admired creative leaders in Jozi
- Tuesday: Most-admired agency bosses in Jozi
- Wednesday: Most-admired agencies in Jozi
- Thursday: Agency diversity and transformation (Jozi)
- Friday: One to watch in Jozi
Every year since 2012, MarkLives has been polling South Africa’s top agency leaders to find out what they think of their competitors, whom they see as effective managers and great creative leaders, and where they believe their future competition is likely to come from. Last week we revealed the Cape Town results, and the national results come next week, and our remaining categories the week after.
The most-admired creative leader in Jozi
Chief creative officer
Peter Khoury of TBWAHuntLascaris is our most-admired creative leader in Jozi.
On what it takes to succeed in advertising, Khoury believes that, because change is inevitable, you need to understand how to embrace it as an opportunity, as well as a challenge. The South African advertising industry is proof of this and constantly punches above its weight, according to Khoury. Because we’re not afforded the luxury of budgets some brands and agencies might have, our creative ideas have had to be more innovative. For him, there’s a disproportionate ratio between the quality of an idea and its output. “You can’t just be 5/10; you can’t just be vanilla,” he says.
Being a successful ECD comes with its own challenges and, although not everyone was born to be, or even wants to be, a leader, Khoury felt prepared for his role when promoted because of the solid nurturing and experience he’d received working under and with the best local and global talent. “Without a good pedigree, it limits what you can teach,” he says.
Experience is also what has geared him up to handle leadership challenges and has given him the intuition to know a good idea when he sees it. While nurturing the integrity of a good idea, he believes perseverance, stamina, and intuition to be key factors for the success of an ECD, a role that continues to change. For Khoury, an ECD’s role is to continuously stay up to speed with local and global changes and trends and that, as a leader, it’s of particular importance to learn from those you employ and others leading the field. Humbling yourself and making an effort to remain tuned in will reap future rewards.
“Be real about what opportunities your challenges bring you,” he says, “Look on the outskirts of culture and experiment with things that aren’t traditional.”
— Profile by Sabrina Forbes.
Previously: Sbu Sitole, creative director and co-founder at The Odd Number, won in 2017. Joe Public United’s Pepe Marais took top honours for four years in a row, from 2013 until 2016. In 2012, our inaugural poll, it was Pete Case (founder of Gloo, today CCO at Ogilvy Mather South Africa).
The runners-up (tied)
Chief creative officer
Joe Public United
Chief creative officer
MC Saatchi Group SA
Apart from being ranked first at the 2018 Loeries, Assegai Awards, New Gen Awards and the Pendorings, Pepe Marais — alongside Xolisa Dyeshana — shared joint first place in the Loeries ranking of top chief creative officers.
“Our industry is marginalised due to a lack of focus on bringing creative thinking to the table,” says Marais. “The majority of the work of our industry is nothing short of average, and this does not pave the way for growth in an already challenged economy. Our focus will continue to be on the improvement of our strategic thinking and creative product. There’s just no other way. Play your heart out, and all else follows.”
Apart from being CCO at MC Saatchi Group SA, Neo Mashigo is the co-founder and ECD of I See A Different You. He is former chair and a current board member of The Loeries, as well as a member of the Creative Circle committee. Before joining I See A Different You, Mashigo was ECD at Ogilvy Mather Joburg and FCB Joburg.
“Reflecting on 2018, I think, damn, it was a fun unpredictable ride for us,” he says . “Our hot piece of work came from the Nando’s Kitchen — Nando’s #Rightmyname. When it comes to our people, I was forced to keep this list short but what’s beautiful is that we were led by the young ones, Tshegofatso Phetlhe, Tom Kratz, Keke Mahlelebe and Nomaswazi Phumo. Please don’t call them; they’re in good hands. Our proudest moment has to be winning the bid to design a new Nelson Mandela Bay Precinct with our Nelson Mandela Tower of Light concept. We can’t wait to see this one come to life. We go into 2019 on a creative high, being ranked top 5 at The Loerie Awards.”
Previously: In 2017 Ahmed Tilly, FCB Africa joint CCO, tied with Grant Sithole, Avatar South Africa joint ECD (now CCO). In 2016, there was no runner-up. In 2015, Fran Luckin, Grey Africa CCO, was our runner-up. In 2014, joint runners-up were Mariana O’Kelly, Ogilvy Joburg co-ECD, and Morris, then GCEO ECD, FCB South Africa (now FCB Africa). There was no runner-up in 2013. In 2012 — our inaugural poll — it was Pepe Marais.
How the poll works
In November 2018, we invited a panel of 120 agency executives — creative and management, and ranging over a wide spectrum from small- and medium-sized to network agencies — to nominate their most-admired agency and agency leaders regionally (for Johannesburg or Cape Town) and nationally (South Africa). Execs couldn’t nominate their own agencies or staff members. All the nominations were then tallied up for the final result. The editors of MarkLives held two votes in the final poll.
Note: Runner-up(s) will only be named if they achieved a good nomination tally relative to the winner’s position. Contenders are named if they stand out significantly above other nominees but weren’t able to close in on the winner’s tally. The most-admired agency of the year is disqualified from the One to Watch category; votes cast in its favour in this category are discarded.
Herman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of MarkLives.com.
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