#BehindtheSelfie with... Mike Barnwell

This week, we go behind the selfie with Mike Barnwell, chief creative officer at HelloFCB+.
Barnwell captions this: "Backdrop: The Mother of all Cities."

1. Where do you live, work and play?


I live in Newlands, work in Woodstock and play wherever my kids want me to on weekends.

2. What’s your claim to fame?


I probably shouldn’t admit it, but I created Mo the Meerkat.

Meerkat love...

In Mo’s fifth television appearance – a new commercial which broke on 8 April 2007 – Vodacom and FCB Johannesburg have added a new dimension to the character’s appeal and given him the opportunity to link up with the ‘Meerkitten’ of his dreams.

Issued by FCB Africa 8 May 2007


3. Describe your career so far.


I originally wanted to be a cartoonist, but somehow fell into advertising instead.

Lucky for me, because in the past 20 odd years, I’ve travelled the world, worked in the UK, Johannesburg, Australia and New Zealand.

HelloFCB+ wins creative and strategic duties for the City of Cape Town

The City of Cape Town has handed HelloFCB+ the reins to its account after a hotly contested pitch that pit a number of Cape Town-based agencies against each other...

Issued by FCB Africa 15 Aug 2019


And now that I live in Cape Town, it’s safe to say, I’ve quite literally come a long way.

4. Tell us a few of your favourite things.


Brilliant ideas, music, football and family.

5. What do you love about your industry?


Using creativity to solve ‘unsolvable’ problems.


6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.


You’re right, it doesn’t exist. No two days are the same.
It’s a cliché, but change is the only constant in our business. Anyone who stepped out of it a few years ago would think they’d just fallen into a time warp if they tried to get back in again today.

7. What are the tools of your trade?


Not that I’d refer to them as erm, tools, but definitely the brilliant minds I’m surrounded by every day.

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


8. Who is getting it right in your industry?


Brands with purpose, which aren’t afraid to take a stand for what they believe in.

9. List a few pain points the industry can improve on.


Brands without purpose, which are afraid to take a stand for what they believe in.

10. What are you working on right now?


Barnwell also submitted this pic, captioned: "Look sharp, think sharp."
There’s a bunch of stuff in the system that I’m really excited about right now. Stay tuned!

11. Where and when do you have your best ideas?


Often, when you least expect it. It’s the only upside to never being able to switch off.

12. What’s your secret talent/party trick?


I can bend my fingers all the way back.

13. Are you a technophobe or a technophile?


I like to think I sit somewhere comfortably in the middle. Although I must admit, not a day goes by where I’m not completely blown away by some new piece of tech.

We live in extremely exciting times.

14. What would we find if we scrolled through your phone?


It’ll probably open up on the Spotify or Man United app. In photos: mostly kids, dog and travel.

Barnwell and kids, captioned: "Have fun. Be young."

15. What advice would you give to newbies hoping to crack into the industry?


Work hard and be nice to people.

Simple as that. Visit the FCB Africa press office, Twitter or Instagram feed and follow Barnwell on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates.

*Interviewed by Leigh Andrews.
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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, and can be reached at ...
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