A long overdue post on an exhibition that came and went but one that has stayed in my imagination… There is no better word than Huw Morris’ own descriptor of “murky” to describe the territory of his photographic series So, this is desire? In 11 photographs the 30-something photographer’s narrative of love set in a 1970’s South African home pulls at a small thread in the fabric of South Africa’s domestic story and as the viewer you are left with the feeling of helplessly watching something unravel.
The photographs make you look twice. First because they are pretty, stylized shots, speaking the language of fashion photography, and then again because of their setting.
Pimville, Kliptown and Orlando in Soweto, Alexandra are not usually names that conjure the hipster lifestyle, freedom, beauty, or high fashion. Continue reading
After two weeks of watching Joburg go to war about a piece of art that started as a spear and then became a fear-inducing smear I am delighted to announce that Nando’s latest campaign has managed to lift the gloom.
I love this ad that tackles one of South Africa’s saddest darkest and twisty-est predilections – xenophobia.
It was shared by one of my favourite organisations Cheesekids for Humanity – led by the “grand fromage” Shaka Sisulu – who have teamed up with the chicken brand for their latest campaign. Continue reading
Watch the new Nando’s ad with comedian Kagiso Lediga doing his version of Trevor Noah and taking Cell C’s pompous ad campaign to a whole new level. Still irked by the con of “we listened to our customers” when Cell C chose to manufacture a customer instead. What it is with companies who really want customers but just can’t stand having to deal with them. Continue reading
# 197 Point you to what I think is a brilliant campaign created by TBWA for Joburg’s top museum, the Apartheid Museum. It’s called “A history forgotten is a future lost” and it’s a series of video interviews conducted with young adults in the form of a pop quiz.
And depending on which generation you fit into you’ll find this video either amusing, heartening, shocking or just plain sad. Continue reading
#188. Listen to one of the other stars of the Flux Trend Review, Sylvester Chauke, marketing manager of Nando’s. Not only did he dance onstage to Beyonce’s “All the single ladies” but he also revealed the essence of the company’s marketing strategy, summed up by: “passionate about South Africa, and taking a stand against the bland”. The chicken brand is determined not to bore its audience, seeking instead to engage their attention in interesting ways, mostly through sharp social commentary and humour. They are keen to be part of the conversation and their ads provoke a reaction because they have a way of bringing to light the country’s zeitgeist. This I like.
A current favourite is their response to Fifa’s tagline: Make sure you can say “I was there”.
Then there’s my other favourite favourite — the recent Valentine’s Day message riffing off Jacob Zuma’s latest romantic misadventures. Continue reading
#184. Enjoy Nando’s take on Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler Barnard’s momentary lapse of composure in Parliament (thanks to Matthew Buckland). Kohler Barnard was been suspended for five days after uttering the phrase “Fuck you” in the house – clearly it’s not that kind of house. To read the back story on what made her do it, go here. She also answered Chris Barron’s questions in the Sunday Times.
South Africa’s famous chicken brand and one of the country’s most lucid political commentators was quick off the mark with …
Come to think of it there’s no shortage of chicken jokes you could throw at Parliament involving pecking orders, “Chicks rule”, “It’s cooking in there” and “Parliament – No place for chickens”, a nice variation on the sissies theme.
#183. Plan ahead. The annual Flux Trend Review is a collection of essays brought together by Dion Chang, to put words to the “state we are in”. This year’s edition (the third) is from an eclectic mix of viewpoints on mostly everything under the formerly cloud-laden sky, from our relationship with technology and the social web to our overwhelming desire to slow things down, from the anticipated real impact of the soccer world cup to the world become undone by the global recession.There are big questions asked and answers given on everything from our health to the labels we covet.
There’s talk of the power of word of mouse and lots about what’s shaking up the old media business (Irwin Manoim) and even an essay on how the rainbow nation hasn’t ended with a pot of gold by Sunday Times editor Mondli Makhanya. I liked the cute piece on soccer players eclipsing rock stars as the new celebrities and the idea that as the world reels from massive retrenchments and job losses there is a trend towards reassessing our working lives and re-crafting them to be less of a wage slave cliche.
So that’s the state we are in and you have to humour a trend consultancy that labels itself Flux. At this point I should disclose that I had a small hand in the book (as a copy-editor on the project). But it’s not for this reason that I am planning on attending the Conference this week (it’s my consolation for not making it to Cape Town’s Design Indaba). It’s an opportunity to have the bones thrown on what the future just might look like.
It all happens on Thursday (February 25) at the University of Johannesburg theatre in Auckland Park and the lineup includes City Press Editor Ferial Haffajee on the state of our nation (If all I know about Ms Haffajee is true then the nation would have got a better deal had they had saved their TV time for her instead of tuning into the more”official” S O N last week) and the “Green Bishop” Geoff Davies on the state of the planet. There is also Mokena Makeka, creative director and MD of Makeka Designs on the topic of “Urban Spaces for Modern Tribes” (he’s also in style bible Visi this month) and Sylvester Chauke, Marketing Manager of one of SA’s cheekiest brands, Nandos SA. There’s something on wellness in the 21st century and lots about living a digital life.
There’s even a bit of poetic license as corporate poet Lebo Mashile rounds off the proceedings. Definitely something to do in Joburg this week. For more or to book a ticket go to http://www.fluxtrends.co.za/
#165. Watch the video that brings fun theory to life.
This is from a campaign by Volkswagen on the site TheFunTheory.com. It is “dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.” No disagreement there.
#121. Love this campaign by Channel O on DSTV. It’s called Young, Gifted and Black and its key motif is the remake of a Nina Simone song that became a civil rights anthem. The Channel O version features a star line-up including Lira and Yvonne Chaka Chaka. Its moving and soulful and beautiful to watch. Continue reading