The Lead Creative

iAfrikan Media

The Lead Creative podcast hosts a series of conversations with great minds in the creative, marketing, and communication industries.

Welcome to The Lead Creative
Trailer 1 min 8 sec

All Episodes

Leadership in the creative industry can contribute to the kind of society we want to build and to influence brands positively. In this episode of The Lead Creative, we are joined by Abey Mokgwatsane, the Managing Executive of Brand, Communications, and Sponsorships at Vodacom. He was previously the CEO of Ogilvy and the CEO of a global brand experience agency, VWV before that. He has been in leadership positions for just over 20 years in both agencies and brands, where he has built a wealth of insights and knowledge. In this episode, Abey unpacks some trends that have influenced both brand and agency relations, as well as strategy. “In my view, clients seriously underestimate how much work they need to do in order to facilitate a successful agency relationship. Often the thing that takes time, is not the interface between the client and the agency. It is the interface between the client value-chain itself; such that by the time that interfaces with the agency, it is clear.” - Abey Mokgwatsane We also get into the thinking behind Vodacom insourcing some elements of their digital marketing functions, which has led to useful brand insights. This includes the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning as they gather customer and user data.

Nov 2020

29 min 44 sec

The creative industry is filled with massive global players, where only a few small agency teams tend to breakthrough. In this episode of The Lead Creative we are joined by the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer (CCO) of Think Creative Africa, Nkgabiseng Motau to talk about the role of leadership and collaboration in building a remarkable agency. She shares some of the important lessons that came with lockdown, due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, and how they adapted to working remotely as a team. Their nimble team was already geared towards working remotely and had collaborations that enabled the transition to occur easier. Think Creative Africa is an award-winning through-the-line creative agency that has worked with DSTV, Rand Mutual Assurance, Engen, Showmax, and other notable brands. They are one of the agencies that are challenging the status quo in the creative industry and creating remarkable work for brands across many industries. “We are always looking to solve business problems creatively. When a brief comes to us we will interrogate it to see what this means to the ordinary South African and the most unheard people country.” - Nkgabiseng Motau This episode also looks at how bringing one’s lived experiences into creative work can add value, bring in cultural relevance and insight into the final execution.

Nov 2020

32 min 14 sec

Traditional broadcast platforms such as TV and radio continue to be important for content consumption and advertising. In this episode we are joined by Melissa Attree, who is a Marketing and Digital Communications specialist to make sense of how advertising will remain relevant in the advent of on-demand content. The growth of on-demand content and streaming platforms like Netflix, Showmax, Amazon Prime, Apple TV and others may have adverse effects on advertising. As people gain access to connected devices, they can avoid unsolicited brand content. Melissa Attree unpacks some insights and strategies that brands can use to connect with customers. In this episode of The Lead Creative podcast, Melissa talks about the rise of streaming services and how this affects advertising. She also discusses the importance of collaboration in influencer marketing initiatives where brands, agencies and influencers can work effectively. “We are definitely seeing a lot more brands being interested in purpose-led content or content that has a social mission attached to it.” - Melissa Attree Melissa has held many commercial, strategic and creative positions for the past 24 years at agencies and top brands. Some of the brands and agencies that Melissa has been part of, in various executive positions include; Ogilvy, Cerebra, 5FM, L'Oreal and many others.

Oct 2020

37 min 25 sec

Creating brand stories and content that resonates requires many different perspectives, where harnessing a creative process can lead to concepts win minds and hearts. In this episode of The Lead Creative podcast, we are joined by the former Editor of Destiny Man, a seasoned content creator, strategist, keynote speaker, Kojo Baffoe. Kojo was also the host of Life with Kojo on KayaFM among many other roles. “The starting point is; ‘who is your community, who are you and what do you stand for’ , then being able to communicate that consistently. It’s also understanding that that community is diverse, Africa is a diverse continent.” - Kojo Baffoe Our conversation includes the importance of context and nuance in telling both media and brand stories, where inclusivity is significant. He talks about some of the content decisions and creative processes during his tenure at Destiny Man, as well as other content creation strategies. While thinking of brands that tell Africa’s stories in a way that resonates, Kojo mentions Shoprite as one of the retailers that carry products from specific countries on their shelves. He mentions that most brands do it from an operational and business perspective, not always on the ground.

Oct 2020

40 min

Diversity, ownership, and transformation in the creative industry can have a positive impact on brand communication and advertising. Veli Ngubane, founding Partner and Chief Creative Officer at Avatar and co-founder of M and N Brands joins us on this episode to talk about their outlook towards building an African owned agency network. Veli talks about the importance of representation in boardrooms and agencies which leads to more diverse and culturally representative brand communication and advertising. Instead of only looking to transform the work that reaches the consumer, he also talks about the importance of ownership as a pillar that would positively change the creative industry. “When you want to change an industry, ownership is the fastest way to transform that industry. So when we talk about transformation, when we talk about the societal changes that transformation requires ownership becomes an important pillar.” - Veli Ngubane Veli notes that telecommunications brands from Telkom, MTN, Vodacom, and Cell C, have all shown exemplary diversity and cultural insight in their work. Thinking back to their campaigns, Veli highlights MTN’s Ayoba campaign; Yebo Gogo by Vodacom; the light-hearted “For Yourself” campaign by Cell C, and the memorable “Molo mhlobo wam” work by Telkom. These brands and others in the telecommunications industry have shown that they understand the customer and the culture that they operate in. “You will see that the industry is transformed when the work reflects a more diverse positioning when we don’t have protests due to lack of insight and general ignorance.” added Veli.

Oct 2020

31 min 31 sec

Authenticity in brand communication and advertising comes up a lot. We unpack what it means in this episode of The Lead Creative podcast with Josephine ‘Jay’ Sebesho, Managing Director and Founder of Janong, a Creative and Digital Agency. Jay joins us in this episode to share how they at Janongview and include authenticity in their work. The Coca-Cola “Share a Coke” campaign comes in our conversation was one of the most authentic consumer and insights-driven communications of recent times. The culture of sharing was on the rise at the time of this campaign, both social media and across other platforms. “This is an example of how brands can plug into a change in the culture and show that they understand their customers,” said Jay. Jay points to representation as one of the measurables in knowing whether a brand or a piece of communication is authentic. If the work represents the customer or target audience closely and builds a relationship that is more thanjust transactional, then it is moving towards authenticity. “It all starts with purpose. Articulating your brand purpose incommunication is important and adds to the authenticity, that cannotbe copied.” — Josephine ‘Jay’ Sebesho Brands should strive to be authentic in both their connections with customers and their communication because it increases relevance. Jay thinks MTN with its Ayoba campaign shows this relevance and how a brand can fit into the local vocabulary in a way that says: “I see and understand you.” “Authentic brand connections are about creating an emotionalthe connection between the brand and consumer, it’s this positivelink.” — Josephine ‘Jay’ Sebesho This episode has thoughts, strategies, and ideas on being a more authentic and connected brand.

Oct 2020

34 min 16 sec

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have accelerated the adoption of social media and digital usage, both in South Africa and the rest of the world. Digital strategist at Gorilla Creative Media, Zahira Kharsany joins us on this episode to discuss some of her observations on how brands and individuals have been using digital platforms. The increased adoption of e-commerce and online shopping, notes Zahira, is one of the areas that most people are turning to. She also says brands have found smart ways to help alleviate the pressure on consumers, which has taken the lead across social media and digital platforms. Online shopping outlets that allow people to make purchases and pay on delivery have seen increased sales from users who were once less likely to shop online. This has opened up more possibilities for e-commerce brands and shoppers in South Africa. “Rural communities have taken to WhatsApp significantly with group buying and the stokvel model showed growth during the pandemic.” - Zahira Kharsany On the subject of influencers and digital content creators, Zahira has noticed that more brands are letting content creators take the lead on the creative aspect of content creation. Some include their communities in the curation process of idea generation.

Oct 2020

45 min 20 sec

The best client and agency partnerships lead to the most inspired brand communication work, which also helps brands to win the hearts and minds of more consumers. This is what award-winning work that shows the greatest ROI is made of, along with strong customer insights. But what goes into making these relationships work? Award-winning Executive Creative Director of Pacinamix, Colin Makhubela joins us on this episode of The Lead Creative to draw from some of his own experiences, where he unpacks what led to some of the brand and agency partnerships that he was part of. He shares observations and findings from working with brands like Nike, Nedbank, DStv, First National Bank, Lucozade, and many others. Talking about some of his current work with McDonald’s South Africa, he says they created a more inclusive process that brings agencies and the brand closer. This inclusion, he adds, is working well for McDonald’s, where it is helping to shape communication in a way that enables the brand to entrench itself in the local market. This, while competing with popular fast food brands such as KFC, Nando’s, Chicken Licken, and others. “Data in isolation is not the whole picture, it’s a habit. People are not habits. People can change their habits on any given day if their motivations, needs and wants change.” — Colin Makhubela Makhubela also addresses the significance of utilizing customer data wisely to inform strategy, rather than taking the data to be insight.

Sep 2020

40 min 1 sec

Some advertising work adds to the noise and interrupts people while other concepts resonate and change minds, Founder and Executive Creative Director of the Make Beautiful Agency, Zwelakhe ‘Zee’ Tshabangu tells us why this is. Their work ethos at Make Beautiful includes a collaborative approach between the agency and clients. The Make Beautiful Agency is celebrating their fifth year in business. In this episode of The Lead Creative podcast, Zwelakhe shares some of their lessons from understanding innovative ways to create work for various platforms and how consumers engage with brands across such platforms. Citing a Burger King campaign, Zee says some creative executions work for certain media platforms and not others which range from television, radio to social networks. He goes on to say that creative teams should make it worthwhile for the consumer to watch or interact with a piece of creative content. One of the creative case studies that Tshabangu talks to is their work with Channel O, which is work that what the brand stands for.

Sep 2020

31 min 19 sec

Founder and Executive Creative Director of SoulProviders Collective, Sarah-Jane ‘SJ’ Boden talks about some of the strides that the creative industry has made in South Africa. She also talks about the need for transformation, representation, and diversity across brands and the agencies they work with. Partly citing the Clicks debacle, SJ says some of the issues stem from the fact the people brands want to speak to are not represented in the spaces where ideas are generated. Talking about representation and its significance, she points out that in some instances brands have men thinking around and writing copy for women’s products. The same diversity and inclusivity apply across race and many other factors. As a former judge at the PRISM Awards and a judge at the Loeries Awards, SJ notes that there has been increased diversity and transformation within the Loeries in 2020. According to SJ, under the leadership of the new CEO, Preetesh Sewraj, the Loeries the brand has been taken on a fresh course towards greater inclusion.

Sep 2020

40 min 56 sec

Senior Marketing and Communications Strategist, Tumi Rabanye joins this episode of The Lead Creative podcast to talk about the role and significance of strategy when the only constant is disruption, where brands have access to more consumer data than ever. Tumi shares many insights around remaining relevant, being more human and staying on course. As jury chair of the AdFocus awards, Tumi also talks about the importance of advertising and creative awards in this time saying “there is an even greater opportunity to bring in global thinking.” This episode also covers how data can be embraced in the creative process for more compelling brand messaging.

Sep 2020

49 min 59 sec

In this episode, award-winning brand and advertising strategist turned growth-hacker, Lebogang Mukansi talks about the value of growth hacking. Lebogang mentions brands that have utilized growth hacking for the benefit of customers across the African continent. Some of his examples include Capitec, Safaricom, Equity Bank, and others. Our conversation goes into how different growth hacking is from advertising and brand communication strategy where it sometimes requires changes in the product. Business is about serving people, providing value to customers, and creating products that matter. Find Lebogang Mukansi on LinkedIn: Connect with our host, Mongezi Mtati, on: Web: Twitter: @Mongezi or LinkedIn:

Aug 2020

41 min 59 sec

The Lead Creative podcast hosts a series of conversations with great minds in the creative, marketing, and communication industries. These are some of the creative and dynamic people behind some of the leading brands, businesses, organizations, and top ideas that we all love. Hosted and conceptualized by Mongezi Mtati, the podcast shares insights, analysis, trends, and strategic intelligence. Find the podcast host, Mongezi Mtati on Twitter: @Mongezi The podcast: Mongezi Mtati is also on LinkedIn This podcast is produced, distributed, and is also available on

Aug 2020

1 min 8 sec