Fareez Joulay has been appointed as the new creative director at Eclipse Communications, a full-service communications and PR agency.
Fareez Joulay, creative director at Eclipse Communications
With new ways of advertising coming to the forefront, Joulay believes that PR agencies should be looked at with fresh eyes by brand and marketing managers. “PR agencies are well placed to deliver value in ways not often considered,” he said.
With a clear knowledge of the industry, we spoke to him about his new role, his work and how he manages to stay fresh and creative…
Congratulations on your new appointment, how are you feeling about it?
I am actually very excited. Creativity and ideas have always been my favourite part of the marketing matrix - to be in a position to think creatively and drive the agency's creative agenda is something I am really looking forward to.
What does your role as creative director entail?
My role will involve driving creative thinking internally with the goal to create award-winning work. Further to that, I will be responsible for developing creative talent in the agency as well as securing new business.
What do you love most about your work?
Generating ideas! I absolutely love coming up with ideas. For me, creating campaigns for clients that give them favourable ROI (return-on-investment), whilst still generating consumer interest and excitement, is easily the most fulfilling part of my work. Starting with a one-line brief and building an idea from scratch is very rewarding.
Tell us a bit about your career path before your current role
I started my career in sales and marketing at MTN, later securing an internship at Mediacom where I worked for four years as a media strategist. I subsequently joined MEC Notabene, where I led strategy for the spirits portfolio, pushing hard to secure Smirnoff to the global number one spot in the vodka brand category, at that time.
I then joined JWT SA as an integration strategist and developed the unique skill of bridging media and communications strategies to craft the most performative and creative campaign models.
Finally, I was approached by Eclipse Communications in 2018 to help write the Netflix Social Media pitch, which we subsequently won. Since then, I have worked at the agency in various roles.
Tell us a bit more about Eclipse Communications.
Eclipse Communications is an adaptive and agile full-service communications and PR agency. We were acknowledged as the Best Large PR Consultancy at the 2020 PRISM Awards and Public Relations Agency of the Year at the FM AdFocus Awards 2020.
Over our 20+ year history, we have evolved our service offering to include digital media strategy and execution, reputation management, content creation, influencer management and relations, event management and production, to name a few
What is your creative process when coming up with new ideas and strategies?
Honestly, I try to get as far away from the problem as possible. Experience has taught me that creativity comes most easily when you don't expect it or need it. So, after giving the brief a thorough read and doing some cursory research, I usually go for a walk with my dog or lose myself in a menial task and try to think as little as possible about the task. Usually, this results in freedom of thought-inspiring me and (touch wood) some pretty decent ideas.
Tell us a bit more about your successful projects so far, and why they were successful?
I think most of the Netflix work we've done on projects like Queen Sono
and Blood and Water
One thing that is important to any campaign's success, for me, is creating ideas and strategies that aren't just creative, but also functional. Too often, we get lost in the creative aspects of the campaign and forget that the client's objectives are actually more important. Building campaigns that generate results, as well as creative awards, is the holy grail.
What does the future look like for you in your career?
I'll let you know in the future. I consider myself a free spirit and try to flow with life. If you had told me I'd be a creative director a year ago I wouldn't have believed you, so there really is no telling what the future holds, but I am excited to see.
What advice would you give to anyone trying to enter your industry?
Be multi-faceted. The one aspect of my career that I would never change is the fact that I am skilled in many disciplines. From media strategy to community management, I have made it a career goal to understand almost every aspect of marketing and that has afforded me so much opportunity. This industry is fast-paced and cut-throat - with the growth and fragmentation constantly experienced, it's definitely a good idea to have a few areas you are interested in.