The Retro Revival

By | Food for thought

While advertisers are debating whether augmented reality will pip virtual reality at the post, some marketers are heeding the consumers’ desire to go back to basics with a retro revival. Brought to a head, or should we say beard, by a generation of hipsters, we’re seeing a lot of new-retro around and these are some of our favourite throwback iterations.

The Retro RevivalAuthor Mokokoma Mokhonoana said (rather uncharitably), “Retro is a symptom of a generation that is too lazy to innovate,” but that was way back in 2011 when our lives weren’t quite so engulfed by digital “reality”. To counter an ever increasing online existence people are yearning for tangible experiences. They want to be involved in creative projects that take time and make memories, and brands are listening. In many ways we’re going old school and the latest “thing” harks back to a time before; retro is cool again.

Do It Yourself: You know when has a free Weekend Workshop section, showcasing “bad ass” DIY projects, that creating is big. From crafting your own record player to building a retro gaming console, it’s all right there for you to DIY.  The Workshop calls itself “equal parts easy, affordable, and fun”, and that’s it in a nutshell, plus, hopefully, you’re actually left with something useful in your garage at the end of it.

The Retro RevivalPyjamas in the Daytime: Seeing Britney and Madonna on the red carpet recently you may be thinking the “underwear on the outside” fashion is back. But no, it was Dolce&Gabbana’s pyjama range that caught our eye as well as their retro ethos: “The pyjama, an everyday item, or a glamorous subversion of fashion etiquette, remains unmoved in fashion, yet mirrors the changing times.” The brand’s also showcased from loungewear to fashion, an elegant reminder that the liberation of pyjamas are in some ways associated with the liberation of women.

Stamps: We’re enchanted by the UK’s Royal Mail’s new Animail stamp series – cute cut out animal stamps, including a woodpecker, snake, chimpanzee, bat, orang-utan and koala bear, all of which cling to the edge of the envelope. These stamps were designed to appeal to children and pre-suppose an era where people actually wrote letters and collected stamps, which it seems they still do.

The Retro RevivalDoodle Art: A local campaign, 1000 Drawings Jozi, encourages people of all ages and stages to do an A5 doodle (or take a photo, or embroider) for charity. The project runs all year long, with people doing group doodles and donating their art to an exhibition at the end of the year. What’s retro about this? People putting actual pen to paper and leaving their comfort zone to make a difference – instead of doing an EFT.

Storytelling:  As long as we have stories, we have retro. We evoke the past to have a retrospective story on which a future can be built. While content marketing studios and customer innovation labs are becoming a “thing”, brands still need authenticity. Google’s Africa Connected is a wonderful campaign that showcases and awards innovative and inspirational stories.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to make a cup of tea from water boiled in my 1950’s style mint green kettle.

Sheila McGillivray, Tribe Leader




Giving Back with One Lady & A Tribe

By | Food for thought

Giving Back with One Lady & A TribeEvery once in a while we take stock and check if our mantra of “Doing good and doing good business” is still in place. We’re happy to say it is, and to share an overview of the uplifting projects One Lady & a Tribe have helped with recently.

Joost van der Westhuizen Centre for Neurodegeneration

Through ourpassion for cause marketing we’ve been honoured to work with our favourite rugby scrum half, Joostvan der Westhuizen,since the conception of the Centre of Neurodegeneration in 2013. Our challengethen was to achieve the dream of having a MNDcentre in this country. The dream has been realised and (so far)over R567,000 has been raised for a centre of excellence for MND – the first of its kind in Africa.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation

For the last six years we’ve been privileged to share our ideas and develop campaigns for both Mandela Day and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.  This work has included the heartfelt Make Every Day Mandela Day video, encouraging people all over the world to give of their time on 18 July, and throughout the year, to inspire change.

Quartet of Peace

The Quartet of Peace embodies all that is great about South Africa. It promotes reconciliation, mutual respect and tolerance through music, symbolised by the lives of South Africa’s Nobel Peace Laureates. The Quartet of Peace is becoming part of South Africa’s cultural life, as they travel locally and internationally to inspire support for our young musical talent. One Lady & a Tribe is assisting to promote this uplifting project by creating awareness.

Centrum Guardians

The EMS of South Africa largely go unrecognised and unrewarded. Since 2008 we’ve worked with the Centrum brand to achieve double-digit growth year-on-year and have won numerous awards for the Centrum Guardians Project. This was truly inspiring and life-changing. We got to meet the Emergency Services crews that save lives daily, and to help them to receive over R3 million worth of training.

Schizophrenia and Bipolar Alliance: SABDA

A note like this from a pro bono client it is a reminder that supporting good causes actually makes a difference:

“We cannot thank you enough for the generous help you have given us in terms of your time, expertise and advertising space. As you predicted the phones have not stopped ringing…” Ronnie Creasy, SABDA

We contributed a print campaign, to de-stigmatise the disease,and negotiated space with local newspapers around Johannesburg, as well as giving them online strategic assistance by growing their Facebook page.


One Lady & a Tribe supported the 2016 ARNSA #TakeOnRacism campaign from conception to design, with a memorable series of print images, TV and radio spots that raised the issue of racism, encouraging people to pledge their support for anti-racism online via social media campaigns.

Ultimately all these Cause Marketing projects are underpinned by my own personal philosophy which is that I truly admire people who plant trees, under whose shade they may never sit.

Sheila McGillivray, Tribe Leader

Brand Love: What Makes it Real?

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“During difficult economic times, consumers gravitate toward the brands they know, the brands they love and trust.” Muhtar Kent (CEO of The Coca-Cola Company)

It is difficult times and this quote by Muhtar Kent prompted us to explore what underpins Brand Love today – what makes it real?  Here’s what we came up with:

Brand Love What makes it RealLoyalty

“Brand loyalty does exist – up to a point. But it cannot be taken for granted.” Subbu Subramanyeswar, Publicis Ambience India

Consumer loyalty in South Africa is on the decline, particularly because for Generation Y (18-34) brand commitment has never really been a drive to purchase. But for consumers falling into the Baby Boomers and Gen X segments – loyalty is still a driving factor – unless the brand begins to deliver a bad product or service, they will keep going back.

Examples of local brands who market strongly to their audience loyalty are Volkswagen and Koo (Tiger Brands).

Brand Love What makes it RealRewards

“I am still a Smart Shopper – or I will be until I experience something that really changes my feelings about the brand.” Clive Evans, The Strategy Department

Rewards Programs and Loyalty Clubs in South Africa have shown significant growth in the last five years and the number of registered members has almost doubled since 2011. This translates into over 82 million registered programme members, meaning the average adult is signed up to at least three programs.

The top loyalty programmes in SA are PicknPay Smart Shopper, Woolworths WRewards and Clicks Club Card.

Brand Love What makes it RealQuality

 “Perhaps the most salient factor for the most successful brands is the promise of consistent quality.” Rosi McMurray, ED of Strategy, The Brand Union

In the digital era of brand naming and shaming online, no brand’s long term strategy can be sustainable without delivery on quality. Consumers hold all the cards and social activism has been gaining momentum since the dawn of social media. Brands have nowhere to hide.

For a sobering look at how big brands are faring WRT quality and service, here is the most complained-about companies in South Africa list.

Brand Love What makes it RealAgility

“Building a brand is about a thousand little new touches … Consistency is only for liars.” Eric Ryan

In the last ten years, major brands have lost market share to entrepreneurial brands who know how to be agile and to hustle – we call this the David and Goliath Syndrome.

No longer is their biggest competition the number one or number two brand in the category. Now, they’re threatened by the dreaded “all the other,” a collection of brands that often aren’t even listed by name on a market share report, because they’re viewed as too small to matter. Let’s be straight. They matter. Their strategy is agile and often more appealing to the competition.

A big brand that caught our eye doing something agile and hipster is Pepsi, who have just launched their “Artisanal Craft Soda” in the US. This “craft beverage” contains kola nut extract, certified fair trade sugar and sparkling water – interesting times indeed!

Brand Love What makes it RealFeeling

 “What brands can do brilliantly is broker change in people’s lives.” John Grant, co-founder, St Luke’s

“Feeling” encompasses brand ethos. This includes values, authenticity, trust and (becoming crucial), being committed to visibly doing good, benefiting a cause outside of the product itself.

A brand whose “feeling” or commitment marketing is outstanding is Unilever  – promoting their green eco ethos (over product) in an ongoing series of beautifully designed communications.

In closing: All of these “brand love” realities will change to a greater or lesser degree, even in the short term. As traditional marketing audiences fragment, integrated and holistic campaigns need to look at incorporating all of these motivators. This is more important now than ever before.

Sheila McGillivray, Tribe Leader

Meet our Tribe Leader: Sheila McGillivray

By | Food for thought

Meet our Tribe Leader Sheila McGillivraySheila McGillivray started in the advertising world in the late ‘60s, building knowledge and experience that spanned continents and spheres of influence.

Her agency, One Lady and a Tribe, has, over a relatively short period, built a reputation for tackling projects with passion and determination and delivering results.

Sheila’s portfolio over the years has included a multitude of prestigious accounts, including Hyperama, for whom she produced South Africa’s first live TV commercial concept with M Net – CNA, Edgars and Boardmans, Mazda, Amstel  and many more.

After several years in various agencies, Sheila decided to start  her own company, and her passion for Cause Marketing  is demonstrated in the amazing results achieved with the Centrum Guardian Project, an initiative with Centrum Multivitamin from Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. The campaign has earned accolades on a local and global scale and demonstrates the agency belief in Cause Marketing. Doing good and doing good business.

We chatted to this amazing Tribe and Thought Leader to get her take on things affecting the advertising industry and more. Here’s what Sheila had to say:

Integration is something that is affecting all marketing considerations now. The fragmentation of audiences means that integrated campaigns are more important now than they have ever been. The complexity of the modern audience also demands integration for an effective campaign.

Consumer Activism can’t be ignored. There’s no doubt that consumers now hold all the cards and social activism has been gaining momentum since the dawn of social media. Brands have no where to hide.

In the last ten years, major brands have lost market share to entrepreneurial brands who know how to hustle – we call this the David and Goliath Syndrome.

No longer is their biggest competition the number 1 or number 2 brand in the category. Now, they’re threatened by the dreaded “all the other,” a collection of brands that  often aren’t even listed by name on a market share report, because they’re viewed as too small to matter. Let’s be straight. They matter.

Who do I admire? People who plant trees under whose shade they may never sit and I believe that mentorship is essential for the next generation of communication gurus.

My favourite words to live are: “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

Who Owns the Brand Idea?

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Who owns the brand ideaMedia and creative agencies often have similar objectives of finding “the big idea” that will help sell the brand to customers. The creative idea and the media that is selected to reach the consumer contribute to the magic that becomes an award winning campaign.

Often, as agencies work together for a brand’s success the lines blur and it becomes difficult to identify who is in charge of leading the campaign, which then raises the question: Who owns the idea?

In the AMASA Forum held on 3 February, Sheila McGillivray, our Tribe Leader, joined Johnathan Deeb from FCB in a debate hosted by IIthateng Mokgoro (TedX) to discuss and debate the issues around “Who owns the idea?”

With another Awards season underway, and entries for industry events, such as Cannes Lions Press,being disappointing, the discussion began by questioning the entire role of advertising creativity. Is creativity in crisis? If there are great ideas, are they actually benefiting brands or consumers?

As the“Who owns the idea?” debate progressed, the comments from different industry perspectives were as diverse as the industry itself.

From an agency perspective the question of creativity and ownership is sometimes a difficult space to be in. Agencies are entrusted with building a brand through creativity as well as making them commercial viability. Ultimately, it is the agency that ensures this comes together, which is why they have usually been recognised for having the creative idea. Agencies are also feeling the pinch in terms of losing some of their creative leverage as strategic and media companies begin to pitch directly to clients.

Increasingly however, the collaboration between the media, advertising and marketing industries has meant that the idea and where it comes is really now a group effort. Gone are the days of ego-driven campaigns, and as one of the speakers so aptly said: “With regards the Ego-nomics of Ideas, the ego has no place in brilliance.”

The panel agreed that like-minded people have the power to bring together brilliant ideas. But when marketers and creatives are in a room the brand supersedes them both as the most important entity, “In the rock stardom for creativity-the brand is actually ‘the star’.”

While the issue of creativity and idea ownership is a complex one, the following points were raised in terms of how to manage accolades for creativity better:

  • Although collaborators are paid by agencies or sometimes directly by the client, this does not publicly acknowledge that the idea was collaboration.
  • The presence of both marketers and brand managers at creative circles and Awards shows would go towards showing that the brand creative idea is owned by a multidisciplinary team.
  • Having the right marketers on the job helps to ensure a brand`s long-term success.This will also mean that the“idea” is more likely to stay true to the brand promise for the consumers.

There were more excellent suggestions raised at the first AMASA forum of the year. Some of these being:

  • Do we need an industry standard for idea generation to exist?
  • Should there be more standardisation for paid for pitches?

With so many controversial issues left to discuss to keep our advertising and marketing industry vibrant and fair, One Lady and a Tribe looks forward to being invited to another forum.

5 Reasons to Love Women in Marketing

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In honour of International Women’s Day on 8 March we’ve highlighted 5 Reasons to Love Women in Marketing and, as you’ll see, we believe make women outstanding in the field of advertising and communications.

Living Empowerment 

5 Reasons to Love Women in Marketing

“A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman.” Melinda Gates

It’s no small thing that most women in the industry have often worked even harder than their male counterparts to get where they are. We don’t take that for granted. When you have reached for the sky you want others to reach for the sky too. By being in top positions, female leaders, in whatever field, are a testimony to the living empowerment of what women can achieve.

Designing Value

5 Reasons to Love Women in Marketing

“Women are the real architects of society.” Harriet Beecher Stowe, American Abolitionist and Author

It’s seldom you’ll find a women-driven campaign that is one dimensional. We’re programmed to find solutions and to add value. This value usually extends to more than a client’s needs in terms of ROI – it will have longer legs, lasting value, benefit the consumer and ultimately have the longevity to impact change.

Mentorship over Leadership

5 Reasons to Love Women in Marketing

“You can show your scars – you’re not trying to be perfect.” Kristin Lemkau, CMO, JPMorgan Chase

Personal development is high on the agenda for women. It comes from an innate desire to push people to be the best that they can be – rather than bask in the glory themselves. Many women in leadership positions would define themselves as mentors rather than leaders, often having had great female mentors themselves.

Authentic Development

5 Reasons to Love Women in Marketing


 “A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” Diane Mariechild, Author

Women in marketing are creating accessible products while innovating new ways of ushering in authentic development. In addition to this, self-made women are generally engaged in open communication with all members of their tribe – including clients, customers and colleagues.

Using creative, sustainable ways of thinking, women in marketing are making a difference. We look forward to continuing our authentic dialogue within our circles of influence, helping to change the lives of those around us.

Sheila McGillivray, Tribe Leader

A Culture Code to Live By: One Lady and a Tribe

By | Food for thought

We are an ad agency. Just not your typical one.  We know we don’t always have the answers. So we bring in amazing collaborators; designers, actors, techies, chefs, musicians, scientists, sports stars… even a peacock once (long story) and we combine their expertise with our own. We form a tribe. Together, we find the answers you’re looking for and create beautiful work that works.

We’re also big on culture and have a code that we like to live by. A mantra that we’re proud of and which keeps us on track.

 A Culture Code to Live By One Lady and a Tribe

Create Beautiful Work that Works

It’s not enough to make something look good, our strategic campaigns integrate meaningful concepts with beautiful and innovative design that benefits our clients and their customers.

A Culture Code to Live By One Lady and a Tribe

Be a Perpetual Work in Progress

Life is a journey – we want to enjoy the ride and transition along with it when needed.

A Culture Code to Live By One Lady and a Tribe

Invest in Individual Mastery

Our people are our inspiration and by our people we mean our extended Tribe.  Artists, actors, musicians, designers. We embrace creativity, innovation and change and help to develop talent where we can.

A Culture Code to Live By One Lady and a Tribe

Be Radically Transparent

This can be uncomfortable at times – but you’ll get used to it! If we all have our cards on the table we can take the game to the next level!

A Culture Code to Live By One Lady and a Tribe

Speak the Truth

In the words of the genius Mark Twain: “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”

A Culture Code to Live By One Lady and a Tribe

Face the Facts

The advantage of being straight with the facts is that our client’s know they can rely on our integrity and agility if something is not working.

A Culture Code to Live By One Lady and a Tribe

Defy Conventional Wisdom

Seeing the other side, not following the herd and never failing to surprise.

4 Authentic Marketing Trends in 2016

By | Food for thought

While technology will dominate marketing direction in 2016, from virtual reality to tapping into smart everything, there are four exciting trends that will see brands strive to make a more authentic impact.

4 Authentic Marketing Trends in 2016Co-Branding

The “Science of Alliance” is strong.  This looks set to become more commonplace, particularly in the luxury retail sector where upper-end brands (on their own) are struggling to be relevant to the younger wave of consumers. A pairing that caught our eye last year was between Hermes and Apple Watch. But more to the point of authentic, the eight year partnership between Centrum® and the SA Emergency Rescue Services set the bar high in terms of co-branding in South Africa. We’re sure to see similar alliances strive to make a social impact in the future.

4 Authentic Marketing Trends in 2016Pop-Ups

Who could forget the #PLAYWITHOREO pop-up café in Rosebank? A delicious innovation, made even sweeter by being temporary. Social media played its part – spreading FOMO throughout the country and giving the brand longevity though visible online customer feedback. Also The Street Store, “The world’s first rent-free, premises-free, free pop-up clothing store for the homeless, found entirely on the street…” How amazing was that? The more emphasis we put on quality and creating value the more likely we are to enter (and create) the wonderful world of impactful pop-ups.

4 Authentic Marketing Trends in 2016Up-Cycling

Up-cycling is about recognising the value in old or discarded things. Seeing something differently and transforming it. This story about old payphones in New York City being used as super-fast, free Wi-Fi kiosks is inspiring. South Africa already has a strong culture of up-cycling – whether it is actual city centres, specific buildings or the humble plastic bag. It’s only a matter of time before our big brands start designing their products or packaging in such a way that they have value beyond their original use.

Sharing4 Authentic Marketing Trends in 2016

Brands like Unilever are making sure that they share their commitment to a “Bright Future” as are KFC with their ongoing Add Hope campaign, and many others. Brands that don’t have a strategy for authentic change in place will need to focus on finding one and sharing it in 2016.

Bernadette Jiwa recently wrote an article highlighting the three marketing superpowers of Judgement, Empathy and Timing – all of which resonate with how we see brand positioning in 2016. So let’s do it wisely and kindly and as soon as possible.

Sheila McGillivray, Tribe Leader


Which Facebook Personality Are You?

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“That little zing you get when someone ‘likes’ your picture or sings your praises on Facebook? That’s the reward centre in your brain getting a boost,” – so says Time Magazine. And this has been scientifically proven. When we receive positive feedback on Facebook, dopamine levels rise and we experience a response similar to how we feel when we think about “fun things like sex and food and money.”

But not everyone is a ‘liker’. Many are lurkers and there are more and more dislikers. We’re looking forward to see who’s who when Facebook introduces their new Emoji buttons, then we’ll have six “emotions” to choose from: 

Which Facebook Personality Are You 3

But for now, which of these categories do you fall into?

Which Facebook Personality Are YouLike to Like!

It makes me feel good knowing I’m lighting up someone else’s pleasure centre. I am a fan of people’s family and animal posts – I’m even keen to know what you had for breakfast. And it’s a win-win, if I like someone’s post they’ll probably like mine.

Which Facebook Personality Are You A Looker Not a Liker

I like to see what people are up to and find some of the posts I see funny or engaging. But I am not really someone who likes to like posts all over the place. I prefer to keep my preferences to myself. But please keep posting – people like me are actually stalking, I mean watching.

Not Much to Like

Which Facebook Personality Are You

I hardly ever see anything that appeals to me any more on Facebook. My newsfeed is flooded with doom and gloom or people whose children are phenomenal overachievers. I used to like Facebook a lot, but now I don’t like it – or the posts I see.




Rebels with a Centrum Guardians Cause

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Rebels with a Centrum Guardians CauseFor all its excitement, advertising can be dull at times. Generic projects with generic strategies and generic outcomes. Just watch television for an hour and you’ll see the lack of love and enthusiasm. You’ll see the effect of agencies going through the motions. Trying, but not really caring.

But every now and again, you come across a project that transcends advertising. It sounds dramatic, but it’s true. Projects where you don’t sell anything to anyone. Where your target audience isn’t a statistic, but a common denominator called compassion. One such project is Rebels with a Centrum Guardians CauseCentrum Guardians. As an example of cause marketing that drove a brand proposition, it leads the way as one of South Africa’s best yet. But that’s not what this entry is about. (If you’re interested in the numbers, drop us a line and we’ll gladly share them.)

This entry is about ad people who have the rare chance to pour their passion into something they believe in. An idea with a cause. A campaign that pays homage to the brave souls from the Rebels with a Centrum Guardians CauseEmergency Rescue Services all over the country. In a way, it is the perfect marriage; a bunch of oddball ad people teaming up with fire fighters, paramedics and lifeguards (to name but a few) to retell their tales of ‘heroism’ (they don’t like it when we used that word). From the outset, we were willing to walk through fire, literally and figuratively. We became rebels with a cause.

Too often we get told that if you really believe in something, you’ll do whatever it takes. You go above and beyond. You’ll even sacrifice. But rarely do we get the opportunity (read: project) where our hearts give us the spontaneous thumbs up. Centrum Guardians is one of those rare projects. The last eight years has seen us produce work that connects with people, but more importantly, it allowed everyone to flex their considerable marketing muscles for a good cause. It showed everyone that hidden nirvana in the marketing world that’s not about sales or awards. It’s about doing good, and when you do it well, it feels great. Amazing, really.

These rebels are looking for a new cause. Watch this space.