FCB Johannesburg executive creative director Rob McLennan, a rock musician at heart, is the first of our peek into the murky world of advertising creatives and their secret desires – well not really, we just wanted to find out more about them. The fact that they disclosed some of their secret desires is nothing to do with us; some people just need to talk.
After false starts in the banking industry and house painting, McLennan started his studies in the fine arts department at Wits University and ending them at Wits Technikon in graphic design. He began his career at Collett Dickenson Pearce as an art director. He then simultaneously embarked on a career as singer/guitarist in alternative rock band No Friends of Harry, while joining Column advertising as co-owner and creative director.
Five albums and six hits later, Column was bought out and merged with Lowe Bull (then Lintas Bull Calvert Pace) and McLennan was appointed creative director. As executive creative director at Lowe Bull, the agency constantly featured in the top three within South Africa's creative ranking, and was ranked first in 2003. He has collected 15 Cannes Lions, among various Grand Prix and Loeries Golds, Ads of the Year, One Shows, Clios and D&Ads, in that period, most noticeably for the award-winning Dulux “Any colour you can think of” and Axe “Get a Girlfriend” campaigns, which many industry pundits rate as some of the finest South African campaigns of the last five years.
McLennan has recently been appointed executive creative director of FCB Johannesburg after spending a year and a half as national creative director for JWT South Africa and six years at Lowe Bull as executive creative director.
He is proud to have judged both the Cannes Lions and D&AD awards and is on the South Africa's Creative Circle Executive Committee.
He now fronts his new band, Doris. 1. Define creativity…
It's when you create really interesting, exciting stuff that can't really be explained, measured, bottled, constructed, molded, or boxed.2. What do awards mean to you?
They're a measurement that you're on the right track as an agency and as a creative.3. If you thought you were a sure thing for a Loerie and then lost out to the competition, would you be a bad loser?
Me? Never.4. If you were an animal, which would you be and why?
A bear. With a sore head.5. Which superhero power do you wish you had?
Hypnotismo man.6. What is the best thing about the ad industry?
Ummm, let me think....7. What do people call you behind your back?
Mr Grumpy (true).8. If you weren't in advertising, what would you do?
What everyone else would. Be a world famous, very wealthy rock star.9. Name an ad campaign or jingle that you will remember till you die.
“When your drain is being naughty...” (kidding). “Bud light's – Real men of genius”.10. What is your best attribute/strength?