Mike Silver is the founder of Elevator, a brand experience agency now part of the Smollan Group. Mike has been working in the below-the-line and brand experience arena since 2000. Current clients include Lipton Ice Tea, Old Mutual and Pernod Ricard.
The all-agency feast

Most agencies don't give it a second thought but I often find myself in crowded meeting rooms, questioning how so many people got invited into one tiny space. It appears that clients (and agencies) have adopted their own #squeezechallenge...

By Mike Silver 7 Jun 2019

Out of line

In 2019, when certain people are building walls, it's high time the ad industry let's go of similar security they place around drawing lines...

By Mike Silver 3 Apr 2019

Advertising is dead. Long live value-tising

As we begin 2019, our industry sits quaking in its ethically sourced vintage leather boots. Panic and anxiety around data, consultants, insourcing, etc. But has this all not been self-inflicted? Is this all the final acknowledgement of an industry with an identity crisis?

By Mike Silver 16 Jan 2019

Politics of communication

Growing up with a British father, Sky News was as much a fixture of my childhood as builders' tea and beans on toast...

By Mike Silver 30 Sep 2015

Staying power: Going a few more rounds as independents

A couple of months back I wrote an article on independent agencies and the temptation to cash in and get out...

By Mike Silver 2 Sep 2015

Selling out: The daily dilemma of the independent agency

When you first set out to start an agency, you do so because you believe the current market offering is lacking something and that you, if you get it right, can make something that will bring home the bacon...

By Mike Silver 7 Jul 2015

Commercialising the YouTube experience

YouTube's first-ever video upload was of Jawed Karim (the site's co-founder) looking a little awkward during a trip to the zoo. Since then, we've seen a host of other shareworthy content... (video)

By Mike Silver 2 Jun 2014

SA's creative awards... They're our Golden Calves*

We've all been there. The shortlists are announced, the chatter begins and the creative industry suddenly forgets to eat, sleep or Instagram their latest sunset. Awards fever is upon us.

By Mike Silver 11 Nov 2013

[2013 trends] The year ahead for experiential marketing

It's that time of the year where agencies are asked to haul out the old crystal ball and provide pearls of thumb-sucking wisdom. Before we do so, it would be wise to see how history might repeat itself. Reflecting briefly, for experiential marketing, 2012 was quite a year locally and abroad. Oh, and mazeltov on surviving the Mayan apocalypse - it was touch-and-go for a second there.

By Mike Silver 29 Jan 2013

Rules of engagement: Minimise awkward client/agency physical interactions

In many ways, the new business-development game has many parallels with dating. It all starts with making eye contact from across the room (or PC), then the manipulative schemes to frequently 'bump' into one another at random. This leads to the exchange of personal details, the initial credentials coffee-date, the follow-up credentials date, the opportunity to prove your worthiness and trust and, finally, all things going well, the first kiss.

By Mike Silver 1 Oct 2012

The art of brand war

Travelling one early evening back from Joburg to Cape Town, my tired mind was concerned only with berating myself for leaving my Slow Lounge card at home. En route to a rubbery toasted sandwich, I stopped, impressed by this large netted installation of empty bottles.

By Mike Silver 5 Jul 2012

Student spending: a new school of thought

In days gone by, the university student was viewed as a dreamer. Their jovial and carefree existence was juxtaposed with real adult life of taxes, mortgages and in-laws. Until only recently, brands looked at them with a similar disdain. In recent times, though, businesses have been schooled that maybe it's time to take their studies into the student market a little more seriously.

By Mike Silver 8 Mar 2012

Experiential marketing - The Dark Knight

When Christian Bale donned his plastic body suit to fight Gotham City's evil-doers, he was near invincible in his vigilantism crusade. In an environment fraught with corruption, inefficiency and lack of service delivery, Batman's approach was really a last resort for a desperate city in search of freedom.

By Mike Silver 1 Jul 2011

Festival marketing - celebrating good times

South Africa appears to be following the developed market trend of the growth in the number of lifestyle properties/events and the involvement of sponsor brands that follow suit.

By Mike Silver 1 Jun 2011

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