The Switch: Less adrenalin, more inspiration

by Alistair Mokoena (@AlistairMokoena) One of the biggest myths that clients believe about creativity is that adrenalin is the secret ingredient behind great work. In other words, they believe that great work is produced when the artist, composer or the writer is under time pressure. This influences the amount of time clients allocate to agencies to respond to briefs.

The Switch: Experience by any other name

by Alistair Mokoena (@AlistairMokoena) It is often said that experience is the best teacher. Some even go as far as saying there’s no substitute for it. I tend to agree; no amount of theory can replace experience. In my view, theory only gets you through the door; experience is what separates the youth from the adults.

The Switch: Towards a yes-yes relationship

by Alistair Mokoena (@AlistairMokoena) What would happen if both clients and agencies were more instinctively inclined to say “yes” instead of “no”? Would clients end up with poor work? Would agencies end up financially ruined? I don’t think so. Saying yes doesn’t make you weak or easy. Saying yes makes you a willing and enabling partner.

The Switch: Get the reference right

by Alistair Mokoena (@AlistairMokoena) The various nationalities, races, languages, class groups, cultures and the subcultures of South Africa all make for a very interesting landscape — the kind of landscape that should be an artist’s paradise. I use the words “should be” instead of “is” because I don’t believe our industry does enough to take full advantage of this diversity.

The Switch: Passion’s role in advertising

by Alistair Mokoena (@AlistairMokoena) Every agency claims to be a collection of passionate creative souls. Every client claims to be passionate about its brands. Agency-performance contracts stipulate that agencies must show passion for client business, brands and services. But nowhere have I come across an explanation for what it means to be passionate.

The Switch: Perils of the inside track

by Alistair Mokoena (@AlistairMokoena) One of the lessons one picks up in business school is the importance of environmental scanning as a business practice. I agree with the notion that all things are good as long as they are done in moderation but I think our industry takes competitor intelligence and understanding our clients too far.

The Switch: Ethics and profits — the elephant in the room

by Alistair Mokoena (@AlistairMokoena) For an industry that jealously protects self-regulation like the advertising industry does, the role of ethics is paramount. Not only is it critical to shaping the image of our industry in the eyes of our stakeholders, it is simply the right thing to do.

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