Branding Interview South Africa


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    #Exclusive: Promise Group makes strides at The One Show Awards 2021

    Earlier this month, The One Club announced their creative rankings and pencil winners for the prestigious One Show Awards.
    Nic Kostouros, integrated creative director at Promise Group
    Nic Kostouros, integrated creative director at Promise Group

    Promise Group led the way for South Africa in both sections. They came first in South Africa, third in Middle East Asia and seventh in independent agency global creative rankings. Also winning some pencils for their Castle Lite Cold Tracker campaign - Promise really brought excellence forward.

    We connected with Nic Kostouros, the integrated creative director and one of the people responsible for working on the Castle Lite work which performed at The One Show.

    Here, he tells us more about their win, Promise Group and plans for the future…

    Congratulations on your achievements! How are you feeling about it?

    Pretty damn good. There’s always an immense sense of pride that runs through an agency when recognition like this is given at such a high level. Having the opportunity to represent SA and contribute to its creative ranking globally is very special for us.

    What does your role entail and what does an average day at work look like for you?

    I work closely with our ECD and cofounder Marc Watson. We work on all the creative aspects of the agency, from building and maintaining the creative team and their aspirations, to landing new business, adding essential value to our brands and always striving to make iconic work.

    It’s always a busy day, but I’ve been fortunate enough to find myself in a role where I can work with great talent and brands, whilst learning about the intricacies of what it takes to not only run a successful agency in today’s world, but also grow it and its people for the future. A day well spent is making great work through the hands and hearts of our talented people.

    Could you tell us more about Promise Group?

    Promise is a medium-sized, independent, full-service agency which was started 16 years ago by Marc Watson and James Moffatt. Today we’re fortunate enough to have incredible brands and clients with us which include Rand Merchant Bank, AB InBev, AfriSam, PPS, Redefine Properties and Cricket SA to name a few. We treat every job with the same level of importance as the next.

    We’re an exceptionally hungry bunch and always have been, never shying away from a challenge and often punching way above our weight. But it really all does come down to our people who drive this culture. The people that come through our doors often have a self-starter mentality which gives us our edge; all of us becoming leagues better than when we started, irrespective of the level of experience.

    Take us through the campaign which won the prestigious gold pencil (and silver) at The One Show?

    Castle Lite has been building its cold credentials under the Unlock Extra Cold Refreshment proposition for over a decade.
    So, when informal beer outlets started turning off their fridges due to hiking electricity costs, cold beer became harder and harder to find in some key beer selling regions, inevitably making all our advertising meaningless. The challenge we faced was an economic one that wasn’t going to go away too easily.

    We realised if we really wanted to solve the problem, it wasn’t a B2C campaign that was needed, but rather a smart B2B idea. The beer outlet owners in the different African markets are extremely resourceful and business-focused. We needed to make cold fridges worth the extra spend for them, in order to make extra cold beer available again for us.

    And that’s how Cold Tracker was born. The world’s first temperature-based media trading platform, which traded cold fridge space in exchange for free ad space.
    I would like to give a special mention to our AB InBev client, Castle Lite, who were incredible partners on this project.

    What was the most rewarding aspect of working on this campaign?

    The biggest thing for me is that this campaign benefited everyone. It gave consumers cold Castle Lite, it helped our brand stay relevant in a disrupted market and it also improved sales by +26% in the cold tracked outlets. A real win-win-win.

    We’re aware that brands live in societal ecosystems, so when we do our jobs as communicators it’s always rewarding seeing your work benefit that entire ecosystem and not just a small part of it. Not just the business part, but the human part too.

    What are the long-term plans for Promise Group as a brand?

    If the world has taught us anything, it’s that a good plan is only as good as what the future can accommodate. Having the benefit of being an independent agency, we’ve always had the agility to evolve as the world around us evolves. We’re constantly questioning how we can be better partners to our clients, not allowing ourselves to become an outcome of the times, but rather to forge our place in the future. This for me is one of our biggest strengths and has been a journey for us all.

    The one thing I can guarantee will be our need to produce creatively powerful work that makes the brands we work on a success, regardless of the challenges around us.

    About Emily Stander

    Freelancer specialising in games and entertainment | My first loves are writing, music and video games
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