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    #Newsmaker: Linda Hächler: Exploring new paths for a new world

    Linda Hächler, recently appointed executive creative director of MetropolitanRepublic, alongside Kamogelo Sesing to run the creative team in Johannesburg, brings a wealth of experience to the position.
    (Image supplied) Linda Hächler, recently appointed executive creative director MetropolitanRepublic
    (Image supplied) Linda Hächler, recently appointed executive creative director MetropolitanRepublic

    Starting her career as an art director at the Hardy Boys, she moved to Cerebra, joining Mike Stopforth, when social media gained traction.

    Later she joined Wunderman Thompson where she led the content production unit.

    It was during this time that she pursued a passion project as a digital creator, primarily as an outlet for her innate love for food and photography, and it was this side hustle that led her to start her own consulting business, specialising in digital marketing, content production, and creative strategy.

    A fortunate project connected her with MetropolitanRepublic, and she has been part of the team ever since.

    Can you elaborate on your vision for the agency?

    I'm passionate about steering our agency away from the traditional structures prevalent in the industry.

    My vision is to create an environment that fosters and cultivates emerging talent.

    We're aiming to evolve our operational methods, adapting to the rapidly changing advertising and media landscape.

    It's about nurturing fresh ideas and embracing new ways of working that align with the dynamic nature of our industry today.

    You stated that "visual stories need to be as powerful as our strategic narratives”. Can you elaborate on this?

    My focus is crafting stories that capture the attention of today's consumers.

    In a world saturated with visuals (social media, streaming services like Netflix etc) we need to be able to tell stories that resonate in this visually-driven culture.

    It's about creating content that stands out and engages our audience in a meaningful way.

    What are the changes in the industry and how can an agency innovate around these?

    The advertising industry is currently at a pivotal moment.

    On one hand, there's the rapid advancement of AI technology, and on the other, consumer behaviour is fickle and constantly evolving.

    To stay ahead, we need to be proactive in driving change. This means innovating in how we approach advertising and ensuring that our strategies are adaptive and forward-thinking.

    Can you explain more about how an agency can use creativity to innovate?

    Innovation in our industry is rooted in creative thinking.

    It's not just about having “clever” ideas but using creativity to solve problems, take calculated risks, and nurture ideas that challenge the status quo.

    By fostering a culture that encourages and embraces this kind of creativity, we can push boundaries, develop new ways of thinking, and hopefully influence consumer behaviour.

    Fostering a culture of innovation is paramount to you. How will you accomplish this?

    I believe in pushing everyone slightly beyond their comfort zones. In a world where content is ever-present, relying on traditional methods simply isn't enough.

    In a world of constant content, we can't stick to the same old ways. It's an exciting time and playing it safe, simply won't cut it.

    We need to challenge ourselves and explore new paths if we want to remain relevant.

    About Danette Breitenbach

    Danette Breitenbach is a marketing & media editor at Previously she freelanced in the marketing and media sector, including for Bizcommunity. She was editor and publisher of AdVantage, the publication that served the marketing, media and advertising industry in southern Africa. She has worked extensively in print media, mainly B2B. She has a Masters in Financial Journalism from Wits.
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