As part of its exclusive industry interview series, Modern Marketing spoke with Tseliso Rangaka, Chief Creative Officer (CCO) of FCB Joburg and Hellocomputer, who has been in the adverting and marketing industry for over 21 years. He discusses South African creatives finding their voices again and telling their stories through advertising, and the pace of transformation in agency boardrooms.

What have you enjoyed most about working in the industry?

Rangaka mentioned that advertising is a very difficult industry to work in, but what makes it worthwhile is the people. ‘You will find that across agencies, people are competitors but outside of work, we are a community of creatives. I have enjoyed that sense of community. I have also enjoyed working on ads – coming up with an idea and then seeing it out there and people responding to it,’ he said.

Important industry-related changes

‘I got into advertising in 1998, and at the time the work was very pro-South African – we were still quite fresh out of the democratic elections. There was a sense of optimism in the work and country in general and the advertisements reflected that. There was a lot of Proudly South African work out there.

‘Then in the 2000s, we got into the world of social media, YouTube, etc. We got to see what the rest of the world was doing, and then we started copying what the world was doing because we thought it looked cool. We went through a phase that I call the ‘lost’ phase. But we have since come around, starting to find our unique voice again as Africans and South Africans, and that is starting to show in the work that we produce. We had, amongst other things, the whole Afro-futurism themed work happening last year or the year before,’ Rangaka said. ‘That is us taking back our stories and telling them our way, which is cool and I really enjoy that change.’

Another thing that he has seen, but which he believes still needs a lot of work, is transformation in the industry. When he started working in the industry and looked at the agency’s photographs, he would struggle to see black people featured in them. ‘Then fast-forward to today, we’re starting to see young people and black people like myself who have managed to climb up the ranks. While that is good, there is still a lot of work to be done.’

To find out what the keys to being successful in the industry are, as well as Rangaka’s hobbies and interests, watch the interview on our YouTube channel below.


One of Rangaka’s favourite advertising campaigns:

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