#BigQNarratives: What is our South African creative narrative?

by MarkLives. Felix Kessel is our first panellist to tackle: “Are SA ad agencies and brands embracing an authentically African narrative and aesthetic or do they continue to imitate US and European work?”

OwenKessel: do the right thing, kill those silos

by Herman Manson (@marklives) Own what you choose to be and be good at it. And do the right thing. With these two simple rules, Felix Kessel and Vaughan Owen set out five years ago to a build small but successful agency that tends to punch well above its weight. The Johannesburg based OwenKessel currently employs 40 people with revenue of R20 million and billings of R50 million. It holds the Business Day account as well as Amstel Lager, LG South Africa Consumer Electronics and Diageo Reserve amongst others.

The business launched after Kessel and Owen both left Ogilvy Johannesburg to go on their own. Kessel had been ECD at Ogilvy Brand Activation and Owen a Creative Director. Both were looking for something more entrepreneurial and wanted to shape a more honest agency environment.

They were tired of the continued perseverance of silos within the agency structure, in spite of most agencies preaching 360 vision, and a lack of media agnosticism that they believed held back effective communication. Kessel believes the people that write the TV ad should be involved in writing the Facebook campaign and insists they do at his agency.

Owenkessel GM Sizwe Salimane – sharp as a Ginsu knife*

by Herman Manson. Owenkessel has appointed Sizwe Salimane as its new GM, just a year after appointing Donovan Bryan as its executive creative director.

Salimane knew Bryan from their time together at Grey where Bryan was Creative Director and Salimane Strategic Planning Manager and lists his presence at Owenkessel. Salimane says Bryan’s presence at Owenkessel was a major contributing factor to his decision to move to the agency from FNB where he was the marketing manager for FNB EasyPlan – an affordable paperless bank offering.

As GM Salimane is responsible for ensuring processes are put in place to facilitate business growth, protecting both shareholders and clients, and ensuring internal efficiencies. Salimane says he aims to improve briefing processes and the traffic system inside the agency.

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