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#DigitalAgencyShowcase: Emphasis on the silent 'plus' at HelloFCB+

Rob Stokes, chairman of Red and Yellow School, got their second #digitalagencyshowcase underway by calling Mark Tomlinson and Robyn Campbell of HelloFCB+ to the podium, to explain the process of combining Hellocomputer and FCB Cape Town as HelloFCB+, and why the 'plus' is silent but so important.


Campbell set the scene by explaining that independent agencies continue to be bought up as the concept of integration grows, with many dramatic changes globally at holding group level across the board. This all happens as the industry itself changes so fast.

While many of those changes come from the West, the formation of HelloFCB+ was localised in Cape Town, with the associated change from creative department to creative agency. This means everyone who works in the agency now has a seat at the table, as they all have a creative soul.

Hellocomputer Cape Town and FCB Cape Town merge to form new agency, HelloFCB+

Hellocomputer Cape Town and FCB Cape Town have merged to launch HelloFCB+, a new agency with a full-service offering to design, build and run customer journeys.

29 Apr 2019


It was therefore an inherently experimental shift, with the team stress-testing and tinkering in the background for about a year before the big announcement of the new agency was made.

Creating connections: Shifting from the silo to the plus


While they're still digitally led, this is no longer done in silo fashion, as siloes just don't work in an omnichannel world.

Explaining the 'plus', Tomlinson said: "It’s silent. You don’t say it. It serves as a signifier and encapsulates our core vision of connecting, as a human connections agency."

As a result, at HelloFCB+ and increasingly elsewhere, even if you have specialist skills, you're expected to contribute more than what you're briefed. It's all about creating connections with humans, and putting creativity at the heart of the customer journey, at every touchpoint.

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Speaking of the HelloFCB+ renewed purpose, Campbell said especially when introducing yourself as a new agency, you need to show that you believe in more than the work you create. For HelloFCB+, this means a strong focus on building SA. That's a large task but on a day-to-day level, it boils down to the following six human truths...

1. Be yourself. Be true to you, yourself and your vision.
2. Fight the similiar. Step out of your comfort zone.
3. Make things happen. Don’t wait, as the opportunity may pass you by.
4. Keep an open mind. You never know where the next best idea will come from.
5. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Broaden perspective beyond your own reality.
6. Always have one another's back, as we are stronger and more awesome when we're connected.


Tomlinson and Campbell then showed a few examples of their recent work with these principles in action.

A common theme in the work is not just of solving an immediate problem, but also creating change with long-lasting effect as it’s based on emotional connections. Whether that's based in humour or shock value to get the intiial message across, they ensure that there work has talkability and a strong take-home message for the consumer. For example...



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BG, the Johannesburg Zoo's honey badger that began 'tweeting' in June, has become a worldwide phenomenon - gaining over 5000 followers in just 50 tweets.

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We're looking forward to seeing what's next from HelloFCB+. The Red & Yellow School's Digital Agency Showcase turns the spotlight on the six top-ranked digital agencies from the IAB SA's Bookmark Awards. Watch for more of my #DigitalAgencyShowcase coverage, and follow Red & Yellow School and ‏HelloFCB+ on Twitter for the latest updates.
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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality. She's also on the Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, was an #Inspiring50 2018 nominee, and can be reached at ...
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