Youth Month Special Section

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#YouthMatters: Hatsu Mphatsoe, copywriter at Ogilvy

This year on 16 June, we commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising. As part of our contribution, we're celebrating youth who are making a difference in various sectors. Follow our #YouthMatters special section as we honour the under-35s who are the rising stars of the future.
Hatsu Mphatsoe, a copywriter at Ogilvy
Hatsu Mphatsoe, a copywriter at Ogilvy

We chat to Hatsu Mphatsoe, who works in marketing communications as a copywriter at Ogilvy.

Can you tell us what your role as copywriter entails?

It entails making magic out of nothing. It’s more than just playing with words to come up with a one-liner. It’s making people feel things. Well, that’s the everyday lesson for me.

What sparked your interest in getting into copywriting?

So, my first encounter with copywriting was in 2nd year. We had it as a module (which goes down as still one of my favourite modules to have gained knowledge from) and that’s when it piqued my interest.

How did you get into the industry?

I came into the industry through the O25 Graduate programme at Ogilvy. Towards the end of my postgrad year, a friend encouraged me to apply, and I took a chance on myself. Now, here I am!

The o25 Graduate Programme gives graduates real-life work experience in the industry, with the opportunity to develop their creative marketing career. It’s a 12-month immersion programme, where graduates gain hands-on-experience in integrated marketing and in their respective areas of specialization, with much of the work focused on digital.

What did you learn?

The programme was in a sense a more practical and theoretical approach to giving graduates an overview of Ogilvy’s systems work, and obviously the industry.

I got first-hand experience of what the day to day hustle of being a creative looks like. From brief to production, and we also really got to try ourselves at everything. It was a holistic experience that allowed for one to choose where & how they want to fit in.

What was the experience like?

Listen, every day was nerve-wrecking. But there was still the excitement of actually doing dope work and learning from some of the most amazing creative minds in the country. Having the opportunity to share rooms with them showed me, that in small and big ways, that I deserve to be (t)here

What excites you the most about copywriting?

When you see that “We open on...” come to life? That feeling is unmatched.

Seeing a creative collaborative vision or concept unfold before your eyes makes the many reverts of crafting, the moments of doubt and frustration kind of worth it.
And being able to have a hand in it at every step, alongside some of the most amazing creative minds in the industry, makes it even more special.

Besides copywriting, what other talents do you have?

Well, I do know my way behind the camera, even though I haven’t played around in a hot minute. And given the chance (again) and discipline, I know there’s a young DJ within me.

What would you say are the qualities a copywriter needs to have?

A curious mind makes for a good writer [read creative].

One must never stop learning from the world around them.
Discipline is how you sharpen your pen. And play. Play is such an important part of creating. There’s not enough of that.

What is the one project you have worked on that you are incredibly proud of?

It’d have to be the “Bula” campaign. It was such a fun concept that allowed us to show the textures and vibrancy of our people through the lens of the most anticipated time of the year.

What are the victories that you’ve had since starting out?

Well, there’s a Pendoring here, a couple of Promax awards there and a sprinkle of some Loeries nominations and finalist.

If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give yourself?

What I’d say to my younger self, actually even the me from last week is...

Trust yourself and trust what you create.
BizcommunityWhere do you see yourself in 5 years time?

No cap, I want to be a ccreative director, whether for an agency or for a brand. I definitely see myself actively expanding on all my other creative outlets (photography and music). However, these journeys may look, I just hope that I’m fulfilled.

As we celebrate Youth Month, do you have any words of encouragement for the youth?

Revolt at every chance you get. Nothing changes when we don’t use our voices.

The goodness of the future that lies ahead will be birthed by the disruptions we cause today, here, and now.
Take your time with yourself and what becomes of what you create.

About Evan-Lee Courie

Press Office Editor | Group Editor: Lifestyle and Education

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