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Bringing Creatives and Marketers Together in South Africa



South Africa Creative Circle Chairman and FoxP2 Creative Founding Partner, Justin Gomes

Bringing Creatives and Marketers Together in South Africa

When I accepted the role as Creative Circle Chairman, I stated that my vision for the next two years would be to try and close the gap between creatives and marketers. If we are to create big ideas that reverberate around the world, we need the budget and scale that only top-level client commitment can provide. Big, sticky ideas with the power to permeate popular culture require marketers and creatives working together, hand in glove, with a collective will. Think Carling Be The Coach, Nedbank Ke Yona Team Search, Coke Rainbows - this kind of work can never be achieved in a vacuum. 

Now that we have Coca-Cola onboard as The Creative Circle's official partner, we'll be launching several initiatives to showcase the power of creativity as a business tool to South Africa's marketers. Hopefully these initiatives will get us the traction needed for the kind of creative work that has the power and scale to permeate popular culture. Coca-Cola South Africa has won a number of local and international creative awards over the past several years, and we are eager to share this success with the marketing and creative community alike. Coca Cola is a business that knows first hand how creativity works, that it is a crucial business tool capable of exponentially increasing business gains - if done right. If more marketers were aware of this, if this awareness makes them less wary of creatives and creative marketing, then more might be inclined to try it out for themselves. This has a snowball effect - better work, better results, better relationships, better skills development … the gains for the industry could be huge.

We need to improve our dialogue with marketers. For years, creative teams have been working closely alongside top-level marketers to improve business results, but for some reason this is a closely-guarded secret in South Africa - especially among younger creatives and marketers who tend to view each other as working in separate camps, often against each other instead of together. The reality is that life is lived by example. It’s time we stepped out the closet, and showed the creative and marketing world that there are many, very successful and closely-bound creative-marketing business relationships. So the Creative Circle will be working closely with the South African marketing community to showcase the successful work that is borne of successful relationships. 

Our "Champions Of Creativity" initiative will place marketers who embrace creativity to achieve business results firmly in the spotlight and we'll be sharing the creative work they have produced with the broader marketing community.

We'll also be re-launching the Creative Circle website with practical "Creative Circle Better Practice" toolkits for marketers and agencies. Often the intent is there, but the processes do not lend themselves to creating category-redefining work. Topics we'll cover will include the pitch process, the writing of briefs, the evaluation of creative work, the role of research and the planning of the production process. The website will also be a source of hard data that will help the creative industry build the case for creativity with their clients.

I have no doubt we have the creative and marketing talent in this country to create the big, sticky ideas that permeate popular culture. We just need a collective will.

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