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Mike on Turning Five

Mike Abel

 

Maurice Saatchi, as you may know, is the embodiment of Brutal Simplicity of Thought. So when he asked us what we planned to do differently in starting our South African agency 5 years ago, we told him. He nodded. And said, "All I want is for you to say what it is that you plan to do – and to then do it". And isn't that scary. To say what you plan to do – and then do it.

Because plans, if worthwhile, are bold, audacious and daring. Otherwise it's not really a plan, it's a to-do list. Let's also not forget our ethos is "Nothing is impossible". This forms the backdrop to the said plan being presented to The Lord Saatchi.

So, our business plan was indeed BOLD. The South African ad industry termed it “crazy”. A downturned economy, a saturated market – predictions were it would all end badly, quickly. But we knew it wouldn't fail. 

If we had the best possible people, the right focus and orientation and the required tenacity, determination and smarts, it would succeed. Success would come in the form of clients who wanted to believe in us. Who took a calculated risk to go with a brand-new independent start-up they liked versus choosing an established agency.

A sincere thank you to the amazing clients who believed in us. Who gave us that chance 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 years ago - and who have all stayed with us since then. 

Hollard advert Hollard advert
Hollard advert

Last year, we went out on a limb. We said "next year we'll achieve some global fame". And so in the spirit of Saatchi, and if you say you'll do it, then best you do, we entered some of our best and bravest work for judging.

And how relieved we are that we delivered to the plan with Gold awards (and many others) at Cannes, Clios, Apex and Loeries. 

You see, we will never set out to specifically win awards, we'll always set out to do the best possible job for our client. And if we do that brilliantly, then hopefully we'll get some industry recognition.

A big thank you to all our brave and bright people who make our remarkable Johannesburg, Cape Town, Africa and Connect companies what they are. Today we are but 5 years old. The journey has just begun, the road is wide and open – and adventure calls. Here's to the next 5 and those bold plans that will define the route. 

Lord Saatchi Dinner 2014 Lord Saatchi Dinner 2014
Lord Saatchi Dinner 2014