There’s no such thing as…

free lunch.jpgpic courtesy Jardel

“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things and no good thing ever dies”

This is about free lunch which was an initiative a group of people tried to set up in Cape Town. First some necessary reference:lunch_freelunch.001 pageant.jpg
I was one of the founding partners at an agency based in Cape Town called ‘lunch.’ that attempted to evolve from a ‘Below The Line” agency to a ‘Non-Traditional’ agency to a ‘Communication New Product Development’ agency. In doing so it became more and more obvious that two key challenges could be met simultaneously:

Firstly, the rapidly changing media environment consumed by the holy grail 18-35 audience who are themselves becoming more discerning and difficult to engage.

Secondly, the incredibly slow rate of transformation in South Africa’s Marketing Communications Industry along with money being spent by government and charitable organisations in the same area.

That answer was ‘free lunch’. A way of being a conduit between a whole host of talented and enthusiastic individuals (some of whom would never dream of working for an ‘advertising agency’ but would happily get involved in such an initiative) and an industry that needed new ideas, suppliers and transformation.

There is a very simple presentation here, but basically if you want different answers or approaches to some of the same questions about reaching, engaging and motivating consumers/customers, don’t ask an industry that hasn’t really changed its model for 60 years and in which everybody reads the same awards’ annuals, websites and books!!!!

Ask and use the people outside and unaffected by that industry.

Simultaneously, what transformation of that industry needs is more information about it, more access to it and more work/remuneration from it, for previously disadvantaged individuals.

A natural fit. What’s more, free lunch could extend the spend from just creatives to suppliers, t-shirt makers, anyone involved in marketing communication spend actually.

Well maybe a natural fit but not a natural conclusion. There are extensive business case documents and plans but despite a lot of very talented and wonderful people getting involved I’m afraid the final epithet is probably the antithesis of Dr. Seuss : “The people who cared didn’t really matter and the people who mattered didn’t really care”.

Maybe Andy Dufresne just hasn’t made his way to the end of the tunnel yet…

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2 Comments on “There’s no such thing as…”

  1. […] became very interested in this when moving from lunch/ free lunch to ‘Global Agency of the Year’ BBDO. The opportunity to work on Marketing and Business […]

  2. […] became very interested in this when moving from lunch/ free lunch to one of the leading Global creative agencies. The opportunity to work on Marketing and Business […]


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