Friday, December 06, 2013

A Healer. A Leader. A Legend. #RIPMadiba

In honour of him, let’s remember one of his most famous quotes, as he quoted Marianne Williamson in his inaugural speech :

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.”

Monday, September 09, 2013

Miss You Dad.

ROY MALCOLM BRYCE  aged 55 passed away peacefully in East London on 9 September 1998.

Roy was born in East London on 2 December 1943. He attended the Union High School in Graaff-Reinet and Matriculated in 1962. From there he went on to the Graaff-Reinet Teachers Training College where he received his Teachers Diploma in 1966.

He relocated to East London in 1967 when he landed a post with Cambridge Junior School. Being ambitious,  a few years later he gained the position of Vice Principal at College Street Primary School also in East London.

Roy was loved by and extremely popular with his students and colleagues alike. His extra-mural activities included rugby to the U11’s  and to this day his ex-pupils contact us with fond memories.

He was a wonderful, caring and devoted father to his two children, Thurla-Dene and Clint. Teaching them from an early age to reach for the stars and to believe in themselves.

Tragedy struck in 1970 when a diving accident caused his health to deteriorate systematically. He never really fully recovered.

His sunny disposition, kindness and ready wit will remain with us always.

Roy is survived (and sorely missed) by Mariana Bryce; his 2 children, Thurla-Dene and Clint; and his 4 grandsons, Matthew Solomon, Tyler Bryce, Dune Bryce and Jagger Bryce.


This obituary was written by my mom, Mariana.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Digital is doomed as an ad industry specialisation

Digital won’t last. It’s already on its last legs as an advertising industry specialisation and about time too. Coming from an agency professional with a 15-year grounding in digital communication this sounds like a betrayal. It’s not.

International trends indicate that digital is becoming part of the mainstream communication mix. Separation of digital formats as a distinct campaign element still happens, but this increasingly identifies the digital component as an afterthought rather than an integral part of a wider concept. Agencies that ‘get it’ realise that digital is an infrastructure, not a medium.

A growing number of agencies appreciate that it’s just not best practice to hive off digital. Leading brands have reached the same conclusion.

It’s therefore a safe bet that within a few years the digital label will become irrelevant. Major campaigns will all contain digital components. There will be no need to set the specialisation apart. It will be as ludicrous as emphasising typography as a subset of print media art direction. Everybody knows it’s part of the package.

Honesty, a Swedish agency, recently dumped all digital roles as a way of making every team member responsible for all creative output whether it plays out on Facebook, radio or TV.

Part of the rationale is that the Internet spotlights the need for speed. Separation impedes high tempo interaction with consumers. A focused approach to storytelling, no matter what format, can also help an agency strip out overheads.

The trend is clear. Digital is everybody’s business. It no longer belongs to the geeks.
This does not mean we won’t see specialist resistance. Protecting your special status is understandable.

What is a techie really saying when he tells you ‘we’re debating HTML5 versus Flash, but we’ve prioritised a high SERP ranking through VSEO and will be adopting Augmented Reality protocols’?
A simple translation might be: “I don’t want non-specialists to understand a word I’m saying because I prefer to retain ownership of the digital turf.”

Over time, however, digital defensiveness will be less and less of an option.

Some supposedly traditional creatives are acquiring good overall understanding of digital and social channels. They’re excited by opportunities to achieve greater impact by developing concepts that work in lots of ways for lots of people. The advertising playing field has just become a whole lot bigger.

They are looking to create advertising that’s an interaction, not an interruption, and are willing to explore various avenues to that goal.

After all, the audience doesn’t care about digital or traditional labels. That’s a debate for industry insiders. Consumers use whatever format suits them best.

There’s a message for us here. Effective brand interaction is ideas based, not media dependent or led.
It would be absurd to categorise the Red Bull Stratos space jump project purely as a made-for-YouTube viral ad. Admittedly, it achieved all sorts of streaming records, but Red Bull also earned massive noting across TV and print media (not bad for a piece that had no budget for TV, print or outdoor).

It’s a great idea that’s hugely relevant to a brand that gives you wings.

‘Dumb Ways to Die’ became a social media phenomenon, but digital does not have exclusive claim to the success achieved by the safety message for Australia’s Metro Trains. The message went viral and was posted on the Tumblr microblogging site, but it also went into newspapers, radio, outdoor and on Metro Trains.

‘Dumb Ways to Die’ became a catchy hit song and then morphed into a game app.
Work back to the origins of the idea and the odds are you won’t find some specialist who piped up ‘I think I’ve got a neat digital media concept’.

The breakthrough was more fundamental than that. Someone decided it would be a great idea to get cute with accidental death. An idea as disruptive as that developed its own traction. Digital made it better. The technology empowered the idea.

Two other factors will contribute to digital’s demise as a distinct specialisation.

The first is the erosion of the ad industry gap between authority and expertise.

Currently, the under-35s tend to be quite comfortable with digital terms and thinking. They have familiarity, but (most) lack authority. However, in a few years, they will be the over-40s and will be industry decision-makers. For them, digital will be part of the palette. It won’t reside in a separate can someone left in the basement.

The second factor is self-interest.

After a period of defensiveness, the digital specialist will realise that big ideas (and big-money campaigns) make you famous and beef up your bottom line. This realisation has already dawned — just look at the high rate of senior creative talent swapping between digital marketers and ad agencies.

‘Migrants’ will continue to gravitate to wider creative teams who recognise no artificial boundaries and simply work to achieve the greatest success for clients, irrespective of format.

You can work as a mechanic or you can help design the vehicle. Developers and designers earn more than mechanics. It makes commercial sense to move away from the nuts and bolts and closer to the creative action.

This isn’t selling out. This is buying into a bigger future. That future is closer than many digital specialists think.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Ad agencies aping clients to secure future growth [Opinion piece]

Organisational re-engineering has become top priority for an industry with little experience of corporate restructuring – advertising and marketing. To get the job done, ad agencies will be borrowing the blueprint from their clients. So says Clint Bryce, executive creative director (digital) at TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris.

He says corporate clients ‘broke down the silos’ to secure new millennium growth. And agencies seeking a bigger share of the future have to do something similar.

Bryce believes flatter, smarter, faster and more collaborative ad agency structures have become an urgent necessity and are in the first stages of implementation at some advertising businesses. “Big corporates got it right 10, even 15 years ago,” says Bryce. “Silo thinking has to go. Flatter structures and multi-disciplinary processes are more appropriate when integrated campaigns usually deliver the best results for clients and potentially the best earnings for agencies."

"Agencies had a front-row seat when big clients re-engineered their businesses, but preferred to stick with time-honoured approaches to message-based advertising. Not any more. Competitive pressure and advances by digital formats mean inertia is no longer an option."

Organisational challenges are compounded by "silo creep" following media fragmentation and the emergence of new digital formats.

Silos include both disciplines (people) and media (channels):

- Social and mobile media;
- Search;
- User experience (UX), information architecture (IA) and interaction design specialisations;
- Promotions and competitions (Net-based and traditional);
- Events and shopper marketing; and
- Classic message-based advertising, with sub-sets like art direction, copy and design.

Bryce says another challenge relates to culture. “Most creative workers from a digital base are comfortable in an open environment where collaboration is the norm. Classic advertising often favours a more closed environment in which copywriters and art directors sometimes lock themselves away until they crack the big ideas that create an emotional link with consumers and drive successful campaigns. The common currency is the big idea. This encourages shared discourse that will enable the two cultures to come together and eventually converge.”

The good news is that cultural change and flatter structures are neither job-threatening nor career-limiting.

Bryce says his own job of ‘executive creative director (digital)’ is new. His task is to enable digital fulfilment of creative ideas that could play out across multiple channels. The job is new locally, but mimics some international developments. Another new post is that of chief digital officer, a hybrid executive responsible for both marketing and technology functions.

Bryce predicts growth and new career opportunities. “Convergence of creativity and technology has the potential to drive exceptional growth in the marketing and advertising industry," he says. "Some larger agency groups with strengths across both traditional and non-traditional platforms realise this. At the moment, it’s a silent revolution because re-engineering is work in progress. This will change because getting it right bestows huge competitive advantage and ad agencies are not known for staying quiet when they can claim a unique selling proposition."

Friday, June 07, 2013

In Search of the Iconic

I had the pleasure (and privilege) to watch John Hunt in full force this week.

He had prepared a presentation called "In Search of the Iconic" for all TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris clients and the agency. John supported his observations through a carefully selected body of work from around the TBWA global network.

He has an amazing ability to deliver insightful knowledge in a quiet, almost understated fashion. He practices restraint. Every phrase uttered could easily be a headline.

Here are his observations. Paraphrased, of course. You should have been there.

Traditional still equals opportunity.
Everyone is looking to 'become digital'. The industry buzz word is 'integration'. Technology has disrupted the entire landscape. Here John warned us to pay equal attention to the traditional medium as it still holds great importance when the idea is strong and the craft is evident. He shared some very interesting print work and the impressive Heineken Star Serve commercial.

Great ideas don't dance alone.
John made the point that there is no agency in the world that has ALL the necessary disciplines under one roof. Everything has changed. It's complex, messy, fragmented. We need friends to dance with in order to make great ideas come alive. Examples included Become a Maes, Take a look a Brussels, Metro Photo Challenge.

All together now, c-o-l-l-a-b-o-r-a-t-e.
John illustrated that great agencies are quick to connect the dots. Often the idea lies in identifying a partnership or association that creates interest for a brand or service. In this particular case, John shared the 100% Middle Earth, 100% Pure New Zealand work and encouraged the audience to try things out. The agency had to work with Warner Bros. and on many occasions they were told they couldn't do certain things, but they always reverted with other suggestions. In the end the idea was published.

Media is anything, anyhow, anywhere, anytime.
Too often we are media-led. The brief stipulates what the client is expecting. A TVC here, a radio spot there. Media should be seen as anything that connects an idea to an audience in a memorable and impactful manner. One of the examples we used to bring this observation to life was Roachville.

Do good by doing good.
Social causes are big news. No one can guarantee the success of an idea an agency may have. It takes a calculated risk on behalf of both the agency and the non-profit. The road to greatness is often unlegislated, non-linear and full of surprises. What we do need is faith that the idea might just work. One of the examples shown was the Rhino Stamp Project from our agency.

Looking out for ideas sometimes means looking in.
Sometimes you simply need to create the opportunity from within. No client. No brief. Just you, your team, and your imagination. John showed the incredible Internet Museum to prove his point.

Play God. Create something from nothing.
And finally, there's no greater feeling than to simply produce something out of thin air. When do we cross the line from being ad men and women, to inventor? The process is now: Idea > Solve the Problem > Find the Media.

In other words, we must adapt our techniques to the idea, and not the idea to our techniques. Examples included: Adidas NEO Window Shopping, Protoleaf's Soil Restaurant, Shout Out Loud Ice Record Project.

you can thank me later.


Friday, March 29, 2013

"To mom and dad" - an email from our 11yr old son.

This is priceless. Dune (11) sent this email to mom and dad whilst on a 2 day journey from JoBurg to Cape Town with our friend Mary. I can only imagine how valuable this message-from-the-heart will be in time to come. It's too precious for words. I love you my son.


Begin forwarded message:

From: Dune Bryce
Date: 29 March 2013 8:14:46 AM SAST
To: Mandy Bryce , Clint Bryce
Subject: To mom and dad

To mom and dad

I love you so much and can't wait to be back again love you with all my heart and I'm going to take a photo what ever we do I'm loving this and took some photos now and on the n1 now and very dark clouds. So sad to leave but it's fun and holding your tedy you gave me and ely cant wait to get back.:-) went past a sign that said cape town 1.219km but we take to 2 days still on the road playing music.past animals and Jagger took some photos. Now at a shop and then going on. We on our way about 20min away. Going to have a braai and going to braai ostrich and I have never had it ever. We at the place where we going to sleep and mary and Brian is going to braai. And for supper we had ostrich and it was mazballs I loved it. Outside and playing music it is 8:00 and it was a thunder storm can't wait for tomorrow. It is 7:01 in the morning and we where going for a swim but it's raining we well be on the road at 8:00 in morning so can't wait tell we get to the ather place going to have Brek soon. We had Brek in bed and we had fruit and now packed up. Okay now we back on the road can't wait to get to the ather place. Saw some cows and birds. We driving past the thickest part of a storm and it's dark. About to stop for breakfast. Went to maxis but it was closed now driving 10k now till we get to anther place. At steers having hot choc. Just past a sign that said 1000kms till cape town I'm so happy YAYAYA. Past some road work and now on our way. Past some ostrichs and cows can't 940kms to cape town can't wait YAYAYAYA. Driving to 2nd place where we going to sleep. Past some mountains and got some funny vidaos can't wait to get to cape town YYAYAYAY. When we get to cape town we going to give my best friend a fright and I can't wait to do that it's going to be funny. Just past the orange river and that's where Emma came I can't think of that. Just had lunch and now on the road for 2h00 and till we get to the place where we going to sleep and we going to run and swim and then have supper tomorrow we going to go to cape town YAYAYAYA. We saw cows,horses,Mia-cat,bulls,lams,sheeps and ostriches they so cool and I love animals. Also we saw sun flowrse witch is cool I love cape town and my best friend can't wait to get to cape town. And also we did the betty wave and it's funny love you mom and dad I love you so much I am going to cry I love you can't wait to get back to see you love you with all my heart and we past lots of things and lots of animals love you. And Jagger and I have got you and dad a present can't wait to give it to you I love you and dad all the time even if we fight I still love you this is BY YOUR BEST SON DUNE:-).:-). :-)and also I sleeped with the tedy and ely you gave me I will alwas love you FROM DUNE it is 644mls to cape town can't wait I love you with all my heart and tummy I love you this is from your loving son and loving son dune and Jagger I love you and I wish I was with you hope your day was nice love you from Dune and Jagger <3.and cape town is 535k YAYAYA and beaufort west is 75k that's where we going to sleep. Live you so much!!!!! From dune. Now at a place where we going to eat and I just phoned you and you where at a curry place and I hope you enjoy that love you with all my heart and tummy love you so much from dune. Today is brians 50!!!birthday but looks about 30 and the day that we going to CAPE TOWN YAYAYAYAY. AND we going to see OUR FRIEND. Going for brek and then getting in the car and going to cape town. We are at a place where we going to eat it is could a coffee shop and it opened 3 weeks ago and after we going to cape town. We off to cape town and you can all ready see the Karoo. It is 455to cape town. We leving the Karoo and getting more into cape town about 2h30 to cape town YATAYAY can't wait to see cape town and can't wait to see my oamy and can't wait to see my best best friend Connor and see cape town in only 2h28 min TAYAYAYAY. 175 to cape town YYYAY can't wait. We are in CAPE TOWN YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYyyayYayayayaysyayayayayayyayYayyayayayAYAYAYAYAYAYAYYAYAYAYAYAYAYYAYAYAYSYAYYAYAYAYAYYAYAYAUUAY CAN'T WAIT TO SEE CONNOR MY BEST AND BESTIST FRIEND. Love you mom and dad. We where in the Karoo and now we out of it can't wait. I can see the table mountain.
YATAYAYAYAYAYAYAY. 35km to cape town. Im at my old house and connor did not now we where coming and now he got a fright I love him as a friend. It is the 29th of march and I can't wait for Easter.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Camp Awesome

Alistair Duff, our new Strategic Director, and I have founded Camp Awesome: a camp for awesome people. And Yoda.

Camp Awesome Founders: C Bryce, A Duff, Yoda circa 2013