Barnwell’s Return Shot In Arm For Cape Town Ad Industry
31 January 2012
Cape Town’s advertising industry has been given a shot in the arm with the return of one of South Africa’s favourite creative sons, Mike Barnwell.
But, the much-awarded creative livewire is not only returning, he will take over the executive creative director’s chair at the sister agency of that where he earned much of his reputation.
Barnwell, who left South Africa in 2010, guided the creative fortunes of Publicis Mojo Auckland before accepting Draftfcb Cape Town’s offer to return home. Prior to leaving the republic’s shores, he was at Grey South Africa, where he served for five years as executive creative director, and Draftfcb Johannesburg, where he worked for seven years as senior art director and creative director.
It was here that his work on the Vodacom account earned him Ad Review's ‘Campaign of the Year’ and his launch campaign for the Toyota Tazz shot the vehicle to the top of the best-selling list shortly after its release. His tenure at Grey South Africa ensured that agency consistently ranked as the Grey Group's most creative worldwide.
Barnwell is also one of very few South African creatives who can list two Yellow Pencils at D&AD plus Gold, Silver and Bronze Lions at Cannes on their CV.
Commenting on his move back to South Africa, Barnwell said: “To be joining a group that's just had one of its offices named Agency of the Year, in a town that's just been named Design Capital of the World, is a pretty exciting prospect. Seriously, how lucky am I? I'm really looking forward to be working alongside Godfrey and the rest of the team who've all done a fantastic job in taking Draftfcb Cape Town from strength to strength the past few years.”
Draftfcb Group Chief Creative Officer, Brett Morris, worked closely with Barnwell at Draftfcb Johannesburg and is delighted to be welcoming him back to the country’s creative scene.
“Securing such a talented and dynamic creative head to replace Francois de Villiers is a major coupe for Draftfcb Cape Town and the local industry as a whole. Francois, who has attained legendary status in the industry, created some of the country’s favourite ads while at Draftfcb Cape Town but has, over the past year, carefully mentored creative directors Aaron Harris and Doug Larter where they are now among the top four creative directors in the Draftfcb South Africa network consistently putting out inspired work.
“My feeling is that, with Mike at the helm, they will become an even more significant creative force in the Cape Town industry, and I am so excited for the agency and for those businesses that will get to work with Mike.”
Group CEO, John Dixon, concurred: “Draftfcb Cape Town, under the leadership of Godfrey Morley and his management team, has gone from strength-to-strength despite the arduous trading conditions characterising the market.
“With Mike’s return, I certainly expect the agency’s creative product to continue along its upward path, and look forward to the energy and vitality he’ll bring to agency, and the industry as a whole.
“In particular, I anticipate Mike adding considerable value to the integrated campaigns and marketing solutions Draftfcb Cape Town is delivering for its clients. Not only was he responsible for launching the through-the-line experiential department while at Grey, he has spent a great deal of time exploring the new media clients expect us to excel in today.
Draftfcb Cape Town Managing Director, Godfrey Morley, hasn’t worked with Barnwell before but is enthusiastic about getting his new ECD on board. “Mike’s move to the Mother City is a major shot in the arm for the Cape Town industry and our agency,” he said.
Barnwell joins Draftfcb Cape Town on March 1.
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