Lessons from Boot of a Car - WRFY


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An extraordinary South African advertising veteran, Reg Lascaris believes in setting big dreams and being a tough-minded optimist. In his new book, Lessons from the Boot of a Car he shares stories about the many ups and downs in his own career. Together with his partner John Hunt, Lascaris launched an agency that would later not only produce some of the most iconic ad campaigns in the world, but would also transform the South African advertising industry into a twenty-first century powerhouse. The world-class agency that eventually became TBWA \ Hunt \ Lascaris, produced the famous Nando's campaign, the brilliant BMW mouse advert, and also the first ANC election campaign. They were responsible for the transformation of the South African advertising industry into a twenty-first century powerhouse.

According to Lascaris, South African businesses are too cautious and pessimistic -- he has written this book for the optimists. "The future is theirs because the pessimists don't want it or can't see it."

Lessons from the Boot of a Car is not a how-to book or a how-I-did-it book. It's a story-book intended to encourage the novice entrepreneur to make a start and help the square peg in a corporate hole seize the opportunities that come along. Each chapter of the book ends with a set of lessons learned from that chapter of his life and career, lessons that are primarily aimed at encouraging young entrepreneurs and anyone who is interested in personal growth in their career. It is illustrated with photos from some of his best ad campaigns.

This WRFY session was presented by Marlize Terblanche-Smit in Cape Town on the 16th of May 2014 and in Johannesburg on the 23rd of May 2014.
Read more at http://www.usb-ed.com/wrfy/pages/Lessons-from-the-Boot-of-a-Car.aspx

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Lessons from Boot of a Car - WRFY

  1. 1. 1 LESSONS from the Boot of a Car By Reg Lascaris Presented by Marlize Terblanche-Smit Date: May 2014 Inspiring thought leadership across Africa
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION Entrepreneurs and Optimists  Lessons from the Boot of a Car - journey of successful entrepreneur: career, business & life lessons  Lascaris - SA businesses too cautious & pessimistic – written for optimists. “The future is theirs because the pessimists don’t want it or can’t see it.”  Unfamiliar with work of advertising agency TBWA Hunt Lascaris, wrong - most iconic SA adverts  Nando’s barking chicken  Barry Hilton in Savanna  BMW mouse 2
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION Creating jobs – economic growth  Micro-business to world class advertising agency out of Africa – TBWA Hunt Lascaris  30th anniversary (2013)  3rd best ad agency worldwide (2012)  Be bold – business risks backed by hard work & dedication, world class quality standards  Entrepreneurial success: vision, discipline & people (teamwork)  Africans = creative  Encourage: entrepreneurship & owning your job  Small businesses salvation of SA 3
  4. 4. BEGINNINGS Career  BComm, quit, travel Europe  Mining industry admin (2 days)  Music industry – recording engineer (fired)  Filming industry – distribute films to prisons  Advertising – 1970, 1 year no job  Offered work for free – Central Adv. Agency (3m) - experience  Next high profile agency & small creative agency Lesson: Never give up 4
  5. 5. GOING PLACES Advertising  Hands advertising mid 70’s  Lack financial skills  Kuper Hands launched  John Hunt – copywriter  Shared goals: advertising is ideas driven Lessons: Reputation is everything (good name) Finish what you start (education) 5
  6. 6. AFRICA’S FIRST WORLD-CLASS AGENCY Planning  Own agency Hunt Lascaris to be the first world-class agency out of Africa.  “We sat down drinking, wrote that down and laughed! We drank some more and the more we drank the more chuffed we were with that mission statement. The next day, once we’ve sobered up, we wondered if we shouldn't leave the whole thing”  Vision – feel it before you think it  Goal was to shake up advertising through "creativity without compromise".  Statement of intent: “Because life’s too short to be mediocre” Lessons: Aim high – very high Set big bold goals 6
  7. 7. AFRICA’S FIRST WORLD-CLASS AGENCY Setting-up  People: creative & strategy  Failing to secure funding asked friend, Neville Mckai, founder of the Kelly Group, for help.  Kelly 1st client  Chasing business & creative pitches  Boot of car to Jhb Country Club  Office space and clients: Nashua, Alitalia… Lessons: Passionate people essential to business success Stand for something (quality of ideas) Perceptions are important (image and expectations) 7
  8. 8. HUNT LASCARIS TBWA Credibility  International connections 1984, TBWA (New York agency) affiliation  New clients and challenge status quo  SA developed socially & economically, advertising industry tracks changes, sometimes even leads them  Became industry leaders  Used influence to try change effect of apartheid & HIV/Aids Lessons: Think ahead (new goals) Be opportunistic 8
  9. 9. HUNT LASCARIS TBWA Credibility  Lascaris (and Nick Green – Markinor) stirred up controversy  Idea that tastes, attitudes and aspirations are same in black and white consumers not dictated by a person’s pigmentation, revolutionary in the 1980s, booed off stage  1989 – clients: City Lodge, SABC Radio, Premier Milling, etc. and….BMW  BMW pivotal campaign gave credibility  Nando’s great for agency, CEO demanded give him something that scares him Lessons: Passion is everything (passion & creativity drivers of value) Be prepared for consequences (taking a stand) 9
  10. 10. Campaigns that made the difference  ANC first election campaign – selected agency  24-hour agency, two shifts 12 hours each, specialized division working on ANC’s election campaign  Lesson from Madiba: listen (silent & listen contain the same letters)  Challenging clients to do extraordinary  BMWs “Beat the Bends” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM8s1ilxab8  Comparative advertising illegal in SA, ad over weekend, Monday banned, already successful, pulled ad AAA ruling Lessons: Watch the competition Leaders listen 10 AD CAMPAIGNS
  11. 11. Campaigns that made the difference  Most iconic campaign - little white mouse BMW 3-series (1990s)  Introducing concept of power steering  Client wanted ¼ page print ad, agency idea mouse running on steering wheel demonstrate power steering https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf0jvHfTODw  Only South African ad in the hall of fame in New York – most awarded TV ad in SA Lessons: Small beginnings can lead to big things 11 AD CAMPAIGNS
  12. 12. Campaigns that made the difference  Cape Town office – 1990  More national clients, Tiger Brands, Standard bank, City Lodge, etc…  Kardies – Wild thing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGgV0OM8z6c  Nandos’ barking chicken https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BarvvRj5RPg  Societal role: HIV/Aids, Peace Movement,  1993 International Ad Agency of the Year (Ad Age)  2000 Africa & Middle-East Lessons: Relate, don’t dictate (in touch with customers feelings) If you give you get 12 AD CAMPAIGNS
  13. 13. Reinvention  2003, agency in decline, lost edge & creativity, losing clients  Instead of thinking work done & clients special, employees grew arrogant  Lascaris says ‘like to draw veil over those years, some important lessons arise from failures’  2004/06: New generation of management; founder’s trap  2007: reinvention Lessons: Diversity is strength Beware the rear-view mirror 13 A NEW ERA
  14. 14. The Future  New generation of entrepreneurs  New consumers – talk back, social media  Make it in business and in life  Set goals  See the future  Work hard & with passion  Stand up to challenges  Surround yourself with good people  Keep a balance between work & play Lessons: Use a compass not a map QR codes back of book - watch Hunt Lascaris’ advertisements on your smartphone 14 CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
  15. 15. Thank you!