According to Botha, the reaction to their blog has so far been excellent and visits to dishoeonsrol.co.za
should soon exceed the 10 000-mark.
"Not bad for a blog that's been going for three weeks. More wild 'rolls' are coming, as we want to share as much as possible of our NY experience with creatives and colleagues at home. We still want to do a number of interviews with industry people, as well as show more places of interest that we plan to visit."
They are pleased with their learning experiences at the hot shop Johannes Leonardo, jointly founded by South African Jan Jacobs.
"The agency is growing very fast, so much so that most of the employees are virtually as 'new' as Renier and I were when we first arrived. There is also a hotchpotch of nationalities: Americans, Australians, Italians, Lebanese, Spaniards, as well as a South African. Everybody works very hard, with most employees slogging away at the agency until 7pm but then the work day only starts at 9.30am, which is normal practice in New York." "Learn as much as possible"
A stimulating agency brief was awarded to Botha and Zandberg, but due to its confidential nature, they are not allowed to divulge anything about it. "Obviously we're trying our utmost to learn as much as possible from the process. However, by 7pm we disappear to scout the city once more. This keeps us busy until about 11pm, when we go 'home' to work on the blog. We try to load new posts every day so that the folk back home have something new and interesting to enjoy. Then we go to bed for about 30 minutes before we start all over the next day."
Nico Botha and Renier Zandberg
The work experience is somewhat new. "Just the type of work that you can do because of the technological advances is mind-boggling. When you come up with an idea, there simply is no such thing as 'No, we cannot do it because the Internet is too slow'. Here they find a way to do everything. This excites us about what the future may hold in this regard for the South African advertising industry!
"Internet advertising and particularly on mobile phones, develops fast as it is part of everybody's life. Nevertheless, this does not mean traditional media are lagging. In fact, consumers can now be targeted much more personally. One thing that really stands out is the abundance of outdoor advertising. It's absolutely everywhere."
The agency set-up is pretty much the same as in South Africa. However, the way of doing things differs somewhat, Botha explains. "Client service and strategy people, for example, are more involved in the creative development and roll-out of projects. Right from the outset, everybody works together in one big team and that is good."South Africa is not far behind"
"The best part of our American trip so far, is the variety of sights and things that we've been able to experience. It is amazing what is going on in this place and that is just Manhattan. We do not really get to see places like Brooklyn and Queens. Most things happen in Manhattan.
"At the same time, it also makes one realise how incredible South Africa is. New York may well be one of the busiest cities in the world, but in many aspects, South Africa is not far behind. We just need to work on our infrastructure and improve our technology as a matter of urgency," Botha reckons.
Their opinion of Afrikaans advertising has not changed one bit.
"We are still crazy about it and in future want to do much more Afrikaans work. We believe that if South Africa could catch up on the technological front, it could mean a lot for Afrikaans advertising. By targeting consumers by mobile phone and computer, you do not only address them personally, but also in their home language. Then you no longer have a 'general conduit' like TV and radio, which needs to talk to different cultures in a 'universal' language. You can speak Afrikaans to Afrikaans-speaking consumers and Zulu to Zulu-speaking consumers. That's great!"For More list added at 11.11am on 14 September 2011.