[Video] The Inside Story of 3 Legendary Ad Agency Mavericks …

[Video] The Inside Story of 3 Legendary Ad Agency Mavericks …

 

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In 1976, Bob Rightford, Brian Searle-Tripp and Roger Makin founded Rightford, Searle-Tripp & Makin (RS-TM) – a dynamic advertising agency based in Cape Town – which quickly became one of the Ogilvy & Mather Group’s shining lights, producing many of South Africa’s iconic advertising campaigns to this day. Now, with the release of Wallop! An Advertising Phenomenon called Rightford, Searle-Tripp & Makin, readers can gain firsthand insight into how the agency came to be…and some of the key factors that played a part in its enduring success.

 

 

 

 

 

We caught up with Bob Rightford and Roger Makin to find out more…

“The response from folk who have bought and read the book has been terrific,” says Rightford. “We originally wanted to publish the story so that all those who played such a wonderful part in helping us build the company had a record of their achievements somewhere.”

With regards to RS-TM’s  tie-up with Ogilvy, Rightford explains that ‘we didn’t realise just how like the Ogilvy operation we were’.9780624064954

“As time went on, we felt like we were contributing and working within the Ogilvy culture better than most offices in the world…and I think this was recognised by David Ogilvy – because he just loved coming here, and he contributed a lot when he did come here,” he says. “I think that what he liked about the agency was the attitude of ‘divine discontent’ as he labeled it.”

Behind the Bumblebee…

Makin explains the thinking behind the signature RS-TM  bumblebee, and its reflection of the agency’s unique culture and approach: “The bumblebee is unable to fly…But the bumblebee, being unaware of the scientific facts, and possessing considerable determination, does fly and makes a little honey too.”

He adds: “At RS-TM, we not only shared the corporate colours of the bumblebee, we also subscribed to his aversion to rules…”

The Maverick Culture

So how did the amazing company culture within the agency come to be?

“When we started up, Brian, Roger and I just loved working together and we seemed to work in a similar way – and believe in the same sort of policies and principles of advertising,” explains Rightford. “I think it was just the way we worked together and the type of people we employed to help us build the agency. They were more of a maverick sort – and they found that the culture of the agency helped them to achieve much more than they thought they were capable of!”

The Mistakes…

“There were lots of monumental mess ups, but fortunately I have forgotten most of them,” says Makin. Although he did recount this one…

“We had this little account in Natal, called Rentokil, and they killed insects,” he explains. “They had a trickle of replies for cockroach maintenance, and they wanted to build that up. So I got Brian to do the voice of a cockroach (it was a radio campaign), and he said something like: ‘Don’t call in Rentokil…otherwise we’ll go extinct….’ and so nobody called in to Rentokil, and we lost the account!”

Advice to Clients…

Makin explains the ‘wisdom’ that they have always dispensed to clients…

“It comes from our initials, RS-TM,” he says. “Remember, Spend The Money!”

 

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Category: Advertising